Kawaii in Manila started out as a dream.

A product of careless conversation and wishful thinking among friends who love the Japanese culture of cute.

Before, we used to speak of grand dreams.

We wanted a kawaii convention where people from all over the world would gather together to celebrate the love of kawaii. We wanted for more Filipinos to learn about the concept of kawaii and how it is a lifestyle more than a simple word or adjective. We wanted for the Philippines to have a better appreciation of what kawaii really is.

These are our big dreams.

However, we knew that if we wanted to achieve our big dreams, we had to start somewhere.

Thus, Kawaii in Manila was born.

Our intention for Kawaii in Manila was to provide kawaii loving Filipina girls an avenue to be themselves and to learn more about the kawaii culture. We want to give them their own, happy place where they could make frilly tutu skirts and decorate envelopes in animal stickers. Where they could be with so many other girls who know and understand what it's like to live a life in pursuit of all things cute.

Preparing each table for our kawaii participants! Nothing beats sweets and washi tape on polka dotted plates!

 

Each kawaii core member brought their favorite Japanese magazines from their own collections to share with these bright-eyed kawaii girls! What a joy to leaf through these pages for inspiration!

Each of our lucky participants got to take home a Kawaii in Manila bag filled with pins, snacks and amazing accessories both from the Kawaii team and our wonderful sponsors!

 

The photoshoot area we have so lovingly prepared! It was intended to look like a big, kawaii explosion!

 

Violet haired Naomi, leafing through our Japanese meiku face sheets!

Mastermind and head honcho, Kaila Ocampo of Rainbowholic, giving the opening remarks and narrating to everyone how Kawaii in Manila all started.

The Kawaii core team, welcoming the kawaii participants with candid introductions.

First order of the day! Chichi's No Sew DIY Tutu skirt!

The girls, getting creative with the clouds of tulle in their hands !

DIY #2 - No sew felt bows! The kawaii girls have shared that they plan to use their new bows as brooches, bow ties, bag accents, keychains, and hair clips!

Kaila, sharing her "Kawaii Blog Kit" talk. It basically teaches our kawaiii girls how to build their own ".com" websites - entirely from scratch!

 

 

Kawaii girls' snacktime with these dainty clubhouse sandwiches! Check the Kawaii in Manila flag and the rainbow toppers!

Kawaii core team member, Reese Lansangan, performing her original compositions while the girls were busy munching away on their sandwiches!

The cute and the badass! A style study in playful contrasts!

Reese, giving her "A Study of (Kawaii) Style" workshop, wherein she shared the elements of the Japanese kawaii style, layering tips, DIY ideas, & favorite shopping haunts among others!

Kawaii Leader Stella Lee's Harajuku Make Up Tutorial! Kawaii girls learn from the best!

One of the day's highlights - the cupcake decorating session! A blank cupcake, in addition to pink, yellow, and blue icing bags were given to each kawaii table so the girls could freely exercise their creativity in decorating!

Resident cupcake froster, Anne Kate, showing the kawaii girls how to properly hold the icing bags .

But as they say, experience is the best teacher!

 

These girls didn't make it seem like it was their first time decorating cupcakes! Their works were incredibly kawaii!

 

Every kawaii girl needs a perfect polaroid shot to capture kawaii moments! Of course, we couldn't let these girls go without keepsake photos of the memorable Kawaii in Manila event!

We were transported back to our grade school days when we filled the tables with stickers and washi tape to cover their plastic envelopes with! Foam smileys and alphabet stickers abound!

The hardest thing about Kawaii in Manila was having to say goodbye! We individually prepared handwritten letters to each of the girls as a thank you for spending their entire Saturday with us!

We were asked to try doing our best "natural laugh" pose, and this is what we came up with! Awkward, but with a lot of character! We love these kawaii girls so much!

Candid is how we do it best!!!

 

 

AAAND, the Kawaii in Manila core team! Chichi, Kaila, Anne Kate, and Reese with Mikee from Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Philippines, who greatly assisted the core team with the day's events. Our tired faces might not show it, but inside, we were bursting with happiness!

After all the blood, sweat, and tears behind the event preparations, Kawaii in Manila has finally come to an end! Just like that! Although the event was a huge success,, we couldn't help but feel so sad and nostalgic when we were packing up.

As we were folding our tutu skirts and ribbons and tucking them back in our bags, we truly felt like Kawaii in Manila was an affirmation of the big dreams we still hold in our imagination. As our kawaii girl participants had expressed happiness and thanks for having such an event that brings together like minded people for a day of fun and laughter, our hearts were filled with genuine joy and gratitude for their support and appreciation in all our efforts.

Kawaii in Manila is just the beginning. There are so many things left to be learned and to be done! There are so many places to see, and so many people to meet. As for the team, we promise to work hard, each and every day, to make the bigger things become a reality. There's nothing more we'd rather see than fellow Filipinos appreciating and understanding the Japanese kawaii culture that we've come to love. We have a long way to go - before anything big ever happens.

But we've already started small, and we can only go up from there.

So for now, thank you.

Thank you.. from the bottom of our hearts.

Love,

Kaila, Anne, Reese & ChiChi