First, I want to introduce myself.
I am Kaila Ocampo, one of the founders of “Kawaii Philippines”, a community that gathers all cute fans here in PH. Our online portal is at www.kawaii.ph. For your reference, “Kawaii” is the Japanese term for “cute”.
Last September 6, 2014, the first ever “Kawaii” Convention in the Philippines (entitled “Kawaii in Manila 2”) happened and it was so successful that we got 1,500+ attendees that time, when we were just expecting 500 people. Japanese media also cameand people from different parts of the Philippines came to support us. It was a memorable day for everyone because a lot of “dreams” came true that day.
I just want to share my team’s story briefly. Actually, we used to just dream of a convention that caters to all cute lovers, whether you are 13 or 30. I’m working based in Japan and a huge fan of kawaii culture (since it is really a big thing there). Our goal for Kawaii Philippines was to bring the same kawaii experience here in Manila by mixing it with our unique and colorful culture. During Kawaii in Manila 2, we had a kawaii art exhibit, kawaii bazaar, fashion shows (we brought Japanese brands in, which was really hard to do at first), live art, workshops, kawaii girl and ikemen guy contests…. & everything cute and happy! We pitched this idea and sent many sponsorship proposals to companies but only a few responded and believed in our cause, so you can tell that my team really had to exert 10000% of our effort to make what we had envisioned into a victorious reality. We didn’t have any allocated budget for traditional advertising and the like, so you could say that Kawaii in Manila 2 was a huge social media success. 🙂
About the photo above– I guess it looks kind of awkward but it’s the best photo to describe what happened during the whole event.. from my perspective. It’s me and my co-founder Anne, hugging in tears, as we were about to deliver our talk about “Changing The World With Kawaii.” We haven’t had breakfast, lunch and dinner that time yet (and no sleep), so all the emotions and feelings just overflowed when we went to the stage!
Our aim for promoting “kawaii” is to spread happiness, and to encourage crazy dreamers like us to chase after their passion. And we want to make this message clear: Dreams do come true, if you believe and you work hard! (You can read more about our cause / vision here: www.the.rainbowholic.me/kawaii/changing-the-world-with-kawaii-a-talk-by-kawaii-ph-founders-kaila-and-anne/)
Here are some of the testimonials / blog entries we received: www.convention.kawaii.ph/2014/09/kawaii-in-manila-2-blog-entries
And just a trivia, when we first had a meeting about “www.kawaii.ph”, it was in Coffeebean too. I would always work and do my founder duties in Coffeebean (my favorite is in Greenhills / Katipunan).
Now, we are constructing our own Kawaii PH Headquarters and preparing for our Kawaii.PH/Store, a collective of locally produced kawaii brands here in Manila.
Honestly at first, we didn’t know how to do it, as we are beginners in convention-planning. But our drive to share happiness through a unique medium such as cuteness/ ka-wa-ii was too powerful… that we didn’t mind doing all the crazy work.. as long as we could motivate and encourage others to accept their own quirks and uniqueness while embracing their kawaii personality. There were puzzle pieces already– we just had to be brave and courageous enough to build and form it into one kawaii picture.
Hope this touches & inspires other people too! 🙂