MATA Expo: A Silent Kind of Fun

Genuine smiles, elaborate actions and streams of colors filled the event hall of One Esplanade last February 8, 2014 as over 4,000 attendees witnessed the very distinctively unique event called MATA Expo 2014.

MATA EXPO, according to their website, is an international social-media enterprise expo and more than just a tradeshow. It is a great opportunity for corporations, organizations, and individuals with multicultural aspects “diversity” to promote their services / products to thousands of people. MATA EXPO supports expanding the Multicultural Awareness in the public society.

MATA‘ means “See you later” or “Again” in the Japanese language and “Eyes” in Tagalog language. Mata is also a symbolic word for “visual concept + small world” in the deaf-related community.

MATA Expo seeks to promote empowerment and social awareness regarding issues concerning the deaf and hard of hearing community. Now on its 2nd run in the Philippines, thousands of guests in the event were not only people from the Philippines but also from other countries like USA, Canada and Japan to name a few. With majority of the attendees belonging to the deaf community, visual stimulation plays an important role for better appreciation and experience.

And what better way to give to entertain them but through a fantastic visual concept that showcases art, cosplay, and fashion?

Visual Fun

The event included various entertainment numbers like dance, mime and wrestling performances, live painting and fun activities like hotdog eating, cosplay and harajuku fashion contests. Kawaii Philippines was invited to partake in the event to bring smiles to the attendees and of course, we took this as another opportunity to spread the kawaii love and capture kawaii moments!

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Raindrops, a K-pop cover group, busted out their dance moves to the tune of catchy K-pop songs like Wonder Girls’ Be My Baby, Miss A’s Breath, Hyuna’s Bubble Pop and Change, EXO’s Growl in their cute French maid outfits. The audience was captivated by their energetic dance performance.

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A female mime who came all the way from Mexico surprised the crowd with her miming skills and funny tricks. She was very entertaining!

Talented artists showcased their craft by doing a live painting in front a wide audience. These artists have already made a name for themselves with artworks that have been featured and published in local newspapers, books, and magazines.

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Raine Sarmiento, the artist behind I Paint The Roses Blue, illustrates for Summit Media’s Candy Magazine and Total Girl.

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Borg Sinaban, artist for Mythspace: Unfurling of Wings and writer and illustrator behind Pilandokomiks.

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Here is Kawaii Philippines’ own Kawaii Illustrator Chichi Romero a.k.a. Little Miss Paintbrush doing what she does best – kawaii art!

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Participants of the hotdog eating contest should finish 5 hotdogs that look more like footlongs! Whoever finishes all 5 hotdogs first is the winner. It was fun to watch the contestants finish a whole footlong so fast!

Colorful Runway

Naruto Cosplayers Philippines, one of the partners of MATA Expo, held a Cosplay competition. You can see how amazed the audience was when they saw how well-crafted the costumes were on the catwalk. The cosplayers were able to embody their respective characters very well.

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Our friends from Forestale Shop and Dorotee Sweetlips also held a fashion show to exhibit their spectacular works which are heavily influenced by Japanese fashion.

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Forestale is an alternative shop for affordable and wearable pieces that are whimsical, fun and free. They are best known for their mori-kei themed apparel.

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Ian Cartalaba, the owner and designer behind Forestale Shop.

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Dorotee Sweetlips is Justine Chantelle’s manifestation of dreams, fantasies, and the odd. Her collection showcased colorful and whimsical Lolita fashion.

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Justine Chantelle, the creative mind and designer behind Dorotee Sweetlips.

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Josway by Designer Josue Flores (From Los Angeles) also held his own fashion show. His designs are intricate and have beautiful silhouettes.

Harujuku Fashion Contest

The contestants put great effort in preparing their outfits for the Harajuku Fashion Contest. Harujuku fashion subcultures that graced the catwalk included mori-kei, decora, Lolita fashion, visual-kei, and cosplay. This scene may be unusual for the audience but they were nonetheless entertained and captivated by the colorful figures on stage!

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The winner was chosen based on overall appearance and having the most charming personality on the runway.

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And the winner is none other than… Beru Kashiragu! Congratulations!

Various Snapshots

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Kawaii Philippines’ booth. We sell kawaii accessories during expos or conventions.

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African locals selling accessories made in their hometown.

Other booths:

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We also spotted kawaii people and took photos of them. Most of them were part of the Harajuku fashion contest. ^_^;

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Overall, we believe that the attendees of MATA Expo, particularly the deaf community, had a great time and visual experience because of the variety of activities that took place in the event. Seeing their big and genuine smiles and reactions on the Japanese-related activities was also a nice and fulfilling experience for us. ☺