The portrayal of Visayan deity “Naginid” bagged the grand prize at a cosplay contest “Cosplaying Philippine History and Folklore” which marked the Quincentennial celebration of the University of the Philippines (UP).

Sharrie Gail Villaver, a Bachelor of Fine Arts – Studio Arts student from UP Cebu was unanimously chosen by the judges in “Cosplaying Philippine History and Folklore”.

Villaver said her inspiration was Miguel de Loarca’s Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas. She wore a gold traditional dress clad with embellishments with accents resembling a snake. “The naginid is invoked for success in mangayaw raids by offering lana mixed with snake poison,” she explained in her artist’s statement.

The second prize winner was Hinz Benedict Caya III who is a BA History student from UP Visayas. He portrayed the asog, who are likened to the modern day transgender. “They are not like Lapulapu yet they also have the bravery to look forward to a free society,” writing in Filipino in his artist’s statement.

Raine Gem Flores, meanwhile, who is a BS Biology student UP Manila garnered third place. She was Haliya, or the moon goddess. “She resembled his unrivalled beauty to such an extent that a mask of gold was used to hide her face”,  her statement said.

Honorable Mentions were Melody Joy Mocallay, an Associate in Arts student from UP Open University who represented Urduja, the warrior princess of Pangasinan; and Kathryn Grace Abarico, a BS Nursing student from UP Manila, who portrayed Bakunawa, the legendary sea serpent.

The artist’s statement, visual representation, gesticulation and general motion made up the criteria for judging.

They were judged by Prof. Ana Micaela Manansala, Assistant Professor at the Department of English and Comparative at UP Diliman who is into cosplay and pop culture adaptations and currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Tsukuba, Japan; Prof. Rolando Borrinaga, of the School of Health Sciences UP Manila who has written several journal articles as well as books on local history; and Prof. Merlie Alunan, who is Professor Emeritus at UP and a Palanca Award Winner for Poetry in English.

The grand prize winner receives P20,000 while the second prize wins P15,000 and the third prize P10,000. The honorable mentions get P5,000 each.

Article by Annie Perez-Gallardo