C3 was giving away Tammy the Tamaraw plushies for free to the first 100 who came to the convention. I was one of them through the use of my special stalker powers. Actually, I was at Megamall's doorstep at 8:30 am and made a rush for Megatrade Hall 2 when the doors opened at 9 am. It's fortunate I didn't go with Bart since their car broke down of all days, overheating and causing them to arrive at the mall after opening time.
A lot of attendees were waiting at Megamall's entrance but only a few of us actually ran. It paid off since I was #5. It was supposed to be #4 but someone cut in line and the intimidating guards didn't see it. It was also of great foresight to me that I bought a ticket in advance, enabling me to stand in the much shorter line. Speaking of lines, it was so long that it filled most of the 5th floor, stretching as far as the escalators and then turning back so that it reached the carpark entrance.
As usual, the con opened late but only for fifteen minutes or so. I waited in line for an hour and a half before I actually managed to get in. Michael V. did the opening ceremonies with help from JM and Choi. Apparently, they were also selling Tammy Tamaraw plushies for P299.00 although purchasing one involves a ridiculous and tedious procedure (getting a form from the booth, going to another booth to pay for it, then going back to the original booth to get the merchandise).
Cosplay events were held in several batches and in the end, there were something like fourteen finalists. Of course the star attraction is the choreographed fight scene. There were seven participating groups all in all although half of them were utter crap.
Why utter crap? Well, four of the groups did nothing but beat each other up. Aside from the flying kicks, little else captivated people. No drama, no suspense, just pure beating each other up in tune with the music. One group though used arnis sticks in the middle although they were using them wrong (using them as blades rather than arnis sticks). The other had a gimmick when in the last twenty seconds, Hanamichi would come in and beat the rest. Just a surprise factor but it was too short, or came too late.
Third place went to Fed, Paulie, Krizelle, and Horace's group. It was a ring match with Fed and Horace playing the announcers and Paulie fighting against himself. I was wondering why Krizelle was wearing a black jacket and well, the event revealed why. She had a white bathing suit underneath and played the girl who's waving "Round 1" in most boxing matches.
Second place went to yaoi dudes with their spoof of the sentai genre, tinged with yaoi overtones. They won P3000 and a new Epson Printer.
Of course first place went to Choi and JM in their Sanosuke vs Saito skit entitled "Crouching Wolf Hidden Chicken" or something to that effect. Basically, the two fought (in perfect dramatic tension, I might add, and not the useless whacks the previous groups were doing) and before it could end, the pager system was activated and it seems that Saito is "under" someone. He loses the fight to Sanosuke and quickly departs. Not bad for the pair considering they won P5000, a scanner, and a jacket between the two of them, in comparison to the other groups that had something like four or more members.
Other worthy to note is the oversized Tammy Tamaraw plushie in which everyone was taking pictures with. There's two stalls devoted to Independent Comics (which quickly sold out except for some staples like Ground Zero and Armored Core). Arnold Arre was giving away posters, signing them, and even drawing personalized sketches. Several commercial booths as well like Smarty Toys, Comic Alley and its derivatives, Comic Quest, etc. The mechapinoy booth drew a crowd despite its lackluster background (it's all white! no posters or anything... just a table full of extravagant kits). The Aegis booth managed to draw a number of new RPG players, and some of the females were in costumes.
I guess it was shocking to see Allen Sywenson, an old friend and avid RPG gamer. In his usual style of cross-dressing in cosplays (last year he did Rei Ayanami), he qualified for the finals in his getup as that girl from Pasig (forgot her name). Also saw batchmates and what I presume is the significant other of one of them.
Of course throughout this time, I spent a lot of hours standing, including the waiting in line. When I got to the LotR premier, it involved a lot more standing, waiting, and straining my legs.
The premier actually started at 9 pm and they didn't give away the 2003 The Two Towers Calendar (sorry PJ!). They were selling posters though for P80. Beside me was Arianna, who caught the premier in Alabang Town Center last Wednesday for answering a lot of LotR trivia (like what does Aragorn's name mean). That entailed I had someone close to a Tolkien dictionary I could refer to during the whole movie, and she did point out the inconsistencies with the novel.
While getting seats were hard since I was #238, Arianna picked a good place as I was able to implement the rule of six degrees. Xander, one of the staff in the Fine Arts department, was seated three seats away from me. Behind me my former Filipino teacher, Mr. Yapan and to several seats to his right was one of my fellow D&D gamers, Ronil. Apparently, Mr. Yapan and Ronil know each other. Ronil also got A Storm of Swords for Christmas from our GM, Mars. Mr. Yapan now wants to borrow the Song of Fire and Ice saga from me. ^^
Garrick and the rest of the Neutral Grounds staff was three rows in front of me. The row in front of me contained my batchmates, some of which I ran into during the convention. And after the movie, I saw Ambrosio. Oh, he's back in the Philippines. And no one told me...
Anyway, got home via Garrick although I had to encircle Megamall building A to find where his car was parked. Ummm, I have to wake up early tomorrow to get into the convention. And most probably, I'd get home at midnight tomorrow evening. Walking home now (after all that lining up), without dinner I might add, is not the way to survive. ZzZzZzZz