Monday, April 25, 2011

Common Misconceptions About Cosplaying

I am a self confessed otaku and I just love attending anime, gaming, toy or even comic conventions. I did cosplaying too and I am still considering doing so just for fun these days. I have seen how every event changes and yet somehow still stays the same. I have also seen how the attendees and the cosplayers have changed a lot in time. I remember before when cosplaying wasn't even that popular yet and there were only a few people who did it. Back then, cosplaying was still somehow a rare art form however due to the fact that media and so called cosplaying idols have made cosplaying into the next popular trend almost everybody now is doing it and somehow I feel like it has lost it's real essence. Whatever happened to cosplaying because it's fun not because it's another freaking beauty contest or another easy way for you to gain popularity and attention. I mean come on! If you are truly wise, don't use conventions as a way for you to become famous. 

Everybody knows that if you do that sometimes you end up soliciting more negative publicity and attention than positive ones. For example, young girls who don't dress, act and talk like their age. They may look like they are under aged however due to what they wear, say or how they act around others, people will perceive them differently. These girls also must understand that not everybody in the world means them well. In the real world, there are perverts, child molesters, pornographers, hypocrites and so many negative people who are all present, lurking and simply waiting for their next victims. If they continue on to solicite negative attention then I assure you that they will get them. If you truly want to cosplay, then cosplay appropriately for your age and if you are under aged and you decide to cosplay someone sexy then be careful always. Aside from that, know that there will always be negative reactions to what you do. Cosplaying isn't a perfect trend. There are lots of people who bash others for never giving justice to their so called roles. There are also others who take things to a more personal level. As a cosplayer, you should be aware of such things.

Sure, loads of people will take photos of you but do you know what they will do to theses photos? Clearly, you do not. I admit I don't know either but how sure are you that these people will use your photos for good use. Sure, some are harmless enough to take your photos and then just post them on their facebook albums or whatever but then again, there are still some people who do not mean well. If you don't want to be criticized or bashed by other people, make sure that you pose nicely. Don't do slutty poses even if old perv photographers tell you to do so. Never wear anything too revealing to the extent that other people can already see what shouldn't be seen. Be a decent cosplayer and never ever send the wrong message. Always remember that one false rumor can lead to another and in the end destroy your life without you ever gaining control of it. Cosplaying may sound fun but for some people it's not a game. It's personal and if you are still young be cautious to never fall victims to those who do not mean you well. 

Cosplaying is addicting. Why? Because of many reasons. I find it addicting because I like to cosplay and just have fun with my real friends and family. For some people, they find not the cosplaying part addicting but the attention itself which lures them and intoxicates them. After all, cosplaying can make you a celebrity in just a day. Just like what people say, just show a little bit of flesh and you'll turn into a star overnight. Sure, you'll be famous but aside from that there are other catastrophic results. So before you decide to enter the world of cosplaying, always remember that there are many factors to consider before dressing up into your favorite gaming or anime character. If ever you do venture into the world of cosplaying, please be a responsible cosplayer. You may not become a celebrity overnight but at least, you won't be the talk of the town and the butt of many jokes. I'd rather be an unknown cosplayer who cosplays characters because I want to and not because I have to do fan service to people who only care for the cosplayer in me. I'd rather stick to those around who know the real me and appreciate me for who I am and not just an empty shell of a cosplayer who's face and body would probably deteriorate in a few years and become nothing more than a has been. 
 Clearly this kid wasn't trying to hard and yet, he's already a crowd favorite. Good job, kid!
 I see more boobs than cosplayer. Seriously, never ever cosplay a character that shows way too much flesh if you're alone in a convention. That only attracts negative attention. What if a perv suddenly decide it's nice to grab your boobs while everybody's watching? Seriously, what would you do? Do you think anybody would help you if people would think you were asking for it? *Shakes Head* Sometimes, I just pity these girls seriously. This is not the proper way to become famous. 
 Would you let your 14 year old daughter wear a push up bra just to look older and sexier in her costume at a public convention for everyone to see? If I were her mother, I wouldn't. You're 14 not 18! Don't do your best to grow up easily just yet. Whatever happened to your innocence? So young and yet so very indecent already. What is this world turning into?
 Not all the photographers taking her picture in this photo mean well. Technically, some are old perverts who have devious minds and might end up using her photos for something nasty. I don't want to know and I don't want to think about it. At least, she still has the dignity not to pose slutty in front of everyone or even give them a sneak peak of what's underneath her top or her skirt. Whew! 
Lastly, a cosplayer is clearly like a celebrity so if you are a famous cosplayer never ever write anything private on your public wall and never ever let people know your personal business only because you were asking for it. It's your life. Take control of it. If it's a private matter then settle things through PM or even settle things by having actual personal conversations. Unfortunately, this cosplayer and her ex boyfriend seem to have started fighting on her wall without even thinking that other people will feast on the treat that they just let everybody see. Clearly, these kids have no clue at what's gonna hit them. I pity these kids parents. I don't want to judge their upbringing or anything of that sort. All I can judge now is their characters. So, if you really want to enter the world of cosplaying, don't tell me you weren't warned.

Happy Easter Everyone!

When you hear the word Easter what usually comes into your mind? Well, there's Easter Egg painting and hunting, aside from that it's also a great time for your family and friends to get together to celebrate and then there's the fact that Easter is actually the end of the Lenten Season and the time when Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. Technically, Easter is supposed to be celebrated and it is supposed to be a happy event for all of us. 

I remember when I was younger, I used to see people who dressed up and pretended to be people who lived in the olden times. They simply re-enacted everything that happened to Jesus Christ during his time. I remember covering my eyes whenever I saw people who had to hit their backs with something sharp to make their backs bleed. They say it is their way of penance, a way of them sacrificing just like Jesus did, it is their way of attoning for their sins. I was too young to understand back then. Furthermore, I felt pity on the man or sometimes even the woman who portrayed Jesus Christ since they had to carry a big cross everywhere and they had to sacrifice as if they were actually being punished. Some devotees who play the role too seriously even devote their time to actually be nailed in an actual cross. I do not want their efforts to just be disregarded even if I feel the need to ask why they do such a thing but who am I to question their faith?

This Holy Week we decided to just visit some relatives and spend time there. We had a small feast and we ended up painting some Easter eggs before the actual Easter egg hunt happens. We also saw some of our relatives whom we haven't seen in a long time. I feel happy and blessed to see that I was able to celebrate Easter in a fun and religious way. I wish I can do the same thing next year or perhaps I can even take part in the stations of the cross. I am open to these things. I just wish I'd be able to do them in time. Until then, Belated Happy Easter everyone! I hope you all had fun somehow. 
Senakulo” (Passion-play) is a traditional dramatic presentation depicting the passion of Jesus Christ — His trial, suffering and death. It is done in towns and cities during Holy Week. People gather in town plazas or churchyards to witness this holy event. Actors and actresses playing in this passion-play do this not just for entertainment but also as their means of “panata” (vow).
 Some people who do passion play even take their vows to the extreme by letting other people actually nail them to the cross as if depicting Jesus Christ's actual crucifixion to the cross.
 It is a painful process that they have to go through but to those people who are devoted to God and their faith, nothing is possible and pain can be tolerated because they know that God will never forsake them.
Then there is Penitensya - It is a tradition wherein sinners cover their faces and beat their bare backs with glass spiked leather thongs while walking on the streets in order to under go the same suffering as Jesus Christ. They do this in the belief that what they have done wrong will somehow be forgiven. True or not, who am I to question their belief?
Lastly, here's a photo of some of the Easter eggs that we enjoyed painting a day before Easter. Some of them look odd but some of them look good. Nonetheless, we still enjoyed coloring them and I am sure the kids and adults enjoyed looking for them and gobbling them up the next day. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Understanding Kleptomania

First of all, no, I am not a kleptomaniac however I have experienced being a victim of one and I know some people who have experienced the same thing. Unfortunately, I am ashamed to say that this certain kleptomaniac that I am referring to might be a certain loved one of mine. Although I don't have 100 percent proof yet of who it is, I have decided that I should just write about it instead. To some, stealing is irresistible and sometimes the temptation is just too difficult to resist. If you feel this strong feeling about taking things that do not belong to you then you are probably already suffering from a condition called Kleptomania.

They say that kleptomania is a disorder wherein an individual feels a powerful urge to take something merely because they feel like it. Not all people who suffer from this disorder take something for personal gain. Sometimes kleptomaniacs take things that have no value to them which they end up stashing somewhere, donating to others or even returning it back to it's original place. Why do they steal in the first place? There are so many reasons as to why they steal. They steal not because of revenge but only because they feel the itch to do so. They can steal too because they feel tension or they feel bad about something. To them stealing isn't bad. It's a way to gratify themselves, to soothe themselves of their needs or even to feel pleasure in doing so without even feeling remorse at first and without even thinking about the repurcussions that it can cause.

I have heard that eventually afterwards, they feel an enormous amount of guilt, remorse, self-loathing and fear of arrest which is why they decide to avoid certain people who they stole from or people who they know might be able to help them or even those who they think will probably bring them to jail. I know it isn't easy being one however, how can you understand a person who suffers from this condition if this person does not want to be helped and even if he/she is already being understood by everyone and being helped by those around him/her, he/she still continues with such behavior? What comes next after that? I guess sometimes you have to learn to leave these things to professionals. I believe if a person suffers from such a condition, it is always better to consult someone who has the capability to help him/her get better somehow. I admit that I am not qualified to help such a person. Nobody can tell me that I didn't try. My family has done the same and yet we are still victims of this certain loved one who doesn't seem to care that we are here to help and not here to become victims to his/her occassional compulsive theft. I am ashamed that he/she is a part of our family but what am I to do?

Looks like it's the end of the road for him/her. Our sympathy has run dry. This happens naturally for people who become abused and we have become abused. We have fallen victims to a hopeless cause. We only have two options left now. One is to bring forth this person to the police and submit some evidence for him/her to be detained and be taught an actual lesson or we can still be kind and let this person be in the care of a health care professional. I seriously do not feel anything but hate at the moment for this person for I know that the money that he/she took was meant for something more meaningful. Will this person give the money back to us? I seriously doubt it. This has happened before and all evidence lead only to this person so it's definitely hard to ignore the signs. It's sad but it has to come down to this at one point.

If you know anybody who is suffering from kleptomania, please bring him/her to the nearest health care professional who can attend to his/her needs so that if the urge gets worse, then hopefully, medication can help stop it. I do not know if there is a cure for being a kleptomaniac. All I know is that if you put your mind into something positive then things will end up well. Perhaps with a good support group, a kleptomaniac can get better however, that is if you are willing to put you and your family in a great risk. Helping someone with a compulsive theft condition is risky business but it sure pays off in the end. If you believe that you have this condition then do your best to control your urges and learn to curb them for your own good. Let's all remember that not everybody is as forgiving and as understanding as others. If you ever cross a wrong person, you might end up being in bars for a long time and I am sure you don't want that. Help yourself and let others help you help yourself. 

Impulsive stealing, the motive not being in the intrinsic value of the article to the individual. In almost all cases, the individual has enough money to pay for the stolen goods. The stealing is done without prior planning and without the assistance of others. There is increased tension before the theft and a sense of gratification while committing the act.
Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 18th edition.

An irresistible compulsion to steal, motivated by a neurotic impulse rather than some material need. No specific cause is known. The condition is considered generally as a result of a special underlying emotional disturbance rather than as a form of neurosis in itself. Legally kleptomania is not classified as insanity, and individuals are held responsible except when a complete lack of control over their actions can be definitely established.
A legal definition: "kleptomania. In medical jurisprudence, a species (or symptom) of mania, consisting of an irresistible propensity to steal."
Black's Law Dictionary

 Kleptomania can start even at an early age so be aware if your loved one is already showing signs of being a Kleptomaniac...
 Some Kleptomaniacs take what they don't need and then feel the need to give it back...
Repent and learn before you get yourself locked up in jail for a condition that you think will justify your actions which legally cannot. 
Who knows medication might help in many ways...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

TOMS Shoes: Buy A Pair Of Shoes And Make A Difference!

I bought a pair of new canvas shoes last weekend. I'm not really like other women out there who are addicted to shoe shopping which leaves them with so many shoes that by the end of the day, the realize that they have way too much to wear and have no idea where to wear all of them. What a total waste! True, I am guilty of having a pair or two or boots that I can only wear every once in a while but at least, I still get to wear them. Anyway, the brand of my new canvas shoes is called TOMS. I saw the shoes that sell and what the brand stands for. I clearly liked what their company's goal was. With every pair sold, TOMS donates a new pair of shoes to a child in need. When I got home, I decided to Google the company online and was able to find so many good reviews about the company and their products. They indeed help people who don't have shoes and they travel to those poor places just to give such rations. I know food is more essential than shoes but I think it's the thought that counts. Giving is not a regular thing for everyone and so we must all be thankful that at least there are some people who devote their time and resources to do whatever they can for a cause. 

The company was founded by a young entrepreneur named Blake Mycoskie back in 2006. While competing on the second season of the reality show called The Amazing Race, he visited Argentina and saw the situation out there. He decided to come back for a vacation and had the idea to develop a shoe company where for every pair sold, a new pair would be donated to a child in need of shoes. He decided to wear the local alpargata shoes. After going back to America, he sold his driving education school to self finance his then unknown shoe company. For those of you who do not know, Alpargata shoes have been worn by farmers in Argentina for hundreds of years and they became the inspiration for the classic style of TOMS. These canvas or cotton fabric shoes are now manufactured in many styles including a Wrap Boot, Stitchouts, Cordones, and Botas. The sole is constructed of rubber. TOMS offers several vegan styles as well. Ever wondered where the company name came from? The company name was derived from the word "tomorrow" and evolved from the original concept, "Shoes for Tomorrow Project".

Due to their wide range of designs and styles and their passion to help others, TOMS has become a lot more popular since then. Now, TOMS has many programs that they offer to promote awareness among everyone and to seek support from those who are already aware. In 2009, TOMS aimed to give shoes to children in Haiti in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative.They also work with a factory in Ethiopia to provide shoes locally in the surrounding areas. The company has also expanded its merchandise list to include clothing and different types of shoes including Stitchouts, Wrap Boots, Botas, Cordones, and the highly anticipated Wedge, which debuted June 2010. Today, April 5, 2011, TOMS will host the 4th annual One Day Without Shoes. The company will challenge people worldwide to go a day without shoes in order to raise awareness for the millions of children who go without shoes every day. Over 250,000 people across the globe went barefoot on April 8 of last year in support of TOMS One Day Without Shoes. Why not do so again now? If you want to help others and promote awareness then buy a pair of TOMS shoes now and make a difference.

For more information on their products and their cause, please check their official website:

 This is the pair that I bought. The material was both soft and comfortable. Perfect for everyday wear.
 This is a photo of the company's founder and his profile on People magazine...

This is a fact so why not support their cause now. Let's go barefoot today. I dare you!

Why Can't We Just Forgive And Forget?

Why can't we all just forgive and forget? We've all done mistakes in the past and we've all done our best to atone for all of them but somehow, redemption is hard to get and forgiveness is by far, the hardest goal to achieve. My heart aches as I remember the things that I have done to hurt others. I yearn to go back and correct all of them but what am I to do? How can I go back? I know I can never do so. Up until this day, I have regrets about certain things that happened in the past and as much as I want to make things right, I just can't. I know that if I ever get the chance to change the past that I would probably change my future as well. Like a ripple made on water, it will have an effect, no matter how big or how small the object is. I've found it difficult to forgive myself at times too. Why? Because I know that the forgiveness I seek in others can never be given to me no matter how hard I try. 

Forgiving and forgetting are easy words to say but never easy to do or apply in real life. My heart goes to those people who feel like they can never be forgiven and forgotten, to those people who feel like they have sinned big time and to those people who keep on trying no matter how hard it is to attain redemption. I hope and wish that one day things will get better. I feel sorry for the people who get involved and even get hurt in the middle of the process of forgiving and forgetting. They are the ones who suffer a lot because they never take any sides. All they ever hope for is to finally have peace in between. 

I hope that it's true that time can heal all wounds. Will I be finally forgiven after so many years? Only God knows when it will happen but until then my heart will continue aching. It will continue breaking and bleeding. It will continue to cry out for redemption as I repent and pray. When all fails, I don't know what shall become of me or what shall happen next. All I know is that I don't want to feel this way any longer and that I want to continue doing something just to get me out of this mess. Sometimes I wish to make it all go away but how can I when it's not possible to make things alright. I'll just hope and pray that after letting go and finally, giving a chance for me that things will get better then. 

 To err is human, To forgive is divine...
Never run away and don't try to forget. Learn to accept what's been done, find forgiveness in your heart, make peace and then you can finally live life freely with no regrets, free from all the hurt and the pain. By then forgetting is just another option that cowards make...

Birthdays: Looks Like It's That Time Of The Year Again

Birthdays are supposed to be happy events that everyone looks forward to. For kids, birthdays are special days because on that day, they can either have a party or get some gifts. For teenagers, it's almost the same thing. For grown ups, it's just another regular day. Some dread them because they don't want to grow old while others embrace them because it's only natural to age as a mortal. Regardless of how we perceive birthdays, it shouldn't change the fact that we should actually be celebrating the day we were born and that we should be thankful for that day and for the people who brought us up into this world.

If I remember correctly, not all my birthdays were really happy. The grandest and happiest birthday that I had as a kid was when I was 7 years old. I remember that I also graduated from preparatory school that day. I invited all my friends, all my relatives and all my neighbors. I had more than 2 birthday cakes, had overflowing gifts from people who endeared me, wore three different dresses during my party and so much more. It was like a dream come true. I was a princess without a crown or a kingdom to command as my own. At that time, I felt blessed. Years after that, I realized it was the only party that I would ever have to celebrate my special day. The next birthdays I had were just treated like regular days. Lots of people don't forget to greet me though so despite the fact that I have nothing else to look forward to, all was good in a way.

The saddest birthday that I can remember was my 18th birthday. It was my first year away from my family as they had to be overseas and I had to be home alone. I remember just going to church and just wishing myself a happy birthday. I had no money and I was alone. I did get some birthday greetings though which made me smile and made me feel like I wasn't really forgotten or neglected. I just slept the entire time after that. It was a sad moment for me knowing that other females of my age have grand debuts while I had none. Of course, it's not practical to spend so much on an event such as a debut but hey, it's hard not to be like everybody else sometimes. The pressure is just too much. Anyway, after that I realized that I was a grown up already and that I shouldn't fuss over trivial things. It may be my special day but I shouldn't really make a big deal out of it. As time passed by, I realized that I wasn't alone in doing the same thing. Most adults even disdain their birthdates and either end up ignoring the darn date or even end up denying it. Age does matter, I suppose. 

But going back to the topic, birthdays are still birthdays and nobody should give a damn if you want to celebrate it every year. It's up to you to decide how you're going to have your birthday and how you're going to deal with it. As for me, I will continue celebrating my birthday in a mundane way because I only celebrate my birthdate in a special way if needed or if inspired to do so. As of the moment, I am just happy that mine's over. Despite all the drama involved, at least, I got through in one piece. 

Moving On And Letting Go

It hurts. It's like my heart is being torn into a million pieces and I can't do anything about it. It's like I'm drowning all the time and finding it hard to breathe. I go to the surface to get some air and then find myself in a room filled with people who simply pass me by. I don't recognize any of them and they don't seem to know me either. As I scream to gather what's left of my sanity, I find myself engulfed in darkness. I am all alone. If there is one thing I dread, it's the fact that when everything dissolves into nothingness, I will have nothing left to hold on to but myself. The thought kills me. The thought pains me. It's just too much to bear.

Moving on is easier said than done. Everybody knows that. Letting go is another serious matter. In my 26 years of existence, I've realized early on that I should learn to bear with such things however, they are still hard to accomplish. I first had to deal with letting go and moving on when my grandfather passed away. He was a great man and I loved him dearly. He looked after me when my parents had to leave for another country and it was sad enough that I had to endure the pain of not seeing him take his last breath but what's even sadder was that he really wanted to be with me at that time. Sadly, I wasn't able to be there upon his request due to the fact that I was living with my family in another country at that time and due to budget issues, I couldn't go home to come see him. It was heartbreaking.

After months of grieving and trying to be happy again, I was back on my feet. By then, I have grown mature in the sense that I realized what it was like to lose someone. It was like I had a hole punched through me, like a void that can never be filled again, like a reminder of what it was that had left. It will remain inside of me. Like a scar from a wound, it will forever haunt me. I may have learned how to let go and move on but the memory of the experience lives on. Now that I am older, I have had several other life experiences that required me to let go and move on. From each downfall, from each heartbreak, from each experience, I have learned. Now, all of them are nothing but a simple memory. I smile to myself when I remember what it was like back then and looking back, I realize that I am lucky. I'm a lot happier now than I used to be. I guess moving on and letting go may take time and may not be easy but once you do, you'll truly live a life worth living. A life without sorrow, regret or suffering. I want that kind of life which is why I'm trying hard to get by day by day to earn it. I hope everyone does too...

 If it's true what people say about life then we all must keep on moving on...
 Sometimes you just have to do things without over-analyzing. Keep it together. Do what you have to do!
I couldn't agree more...