This is a long overdue blog post and I’ve been putting it off for too long because, to be honest, I don’t know how to start. Should I begin with how the day started? How the meet up came to be? Or how the group was formed? I guess I’ll start by thanking everyone who came on that day despite not knowing each other and having to postpone it on such a short notice the week before.
It was December 2014, the third Christmas since I left the corporate world. After seeing the status updates and photos shared by friends on Facebook about their respective Christmas parties, I felt kind of jealous. I mean corporate Christmas parties are one of those few events where I can comfortably get creative or total weirdo on my choice of outfit!
Then an idea came in to me… why don’t I organize one?
The timing is perfect because the Kawaii Lovers Cebu group I initiated was slowly getting traction and I really wanted to meet fellow kawaii enthusiasts. On December 9, 2014, I posted the below update on our Facebook group and page:
It took me a lot of thinking and self encouragement before posting that update because I am never the spontaneous type or someone you can call a “social” person. I’ve always been a weird one and I could never imagine myself organizing a meet up with a bunch of strangers. I do enjoy attending events and I don’t mind going there despite not knowing anyone but organizing a meet up is a different story.
I’m so glad to have meet Vanessa who has been very supportive and proactive ever since we meet online. I’m so sorry but I think this is going to be a really long post.
I created the Kawaii Lovers Cebu Facebook group on August 28, 2013 because I couldn’t find any kawaii lifestyle related community in Cebu and I wanted to have a place to spazz about Japanese street fashion and random kawaii stuff. There was never an intention to make a formal club.
I wasn’t actively promoting the group I created. I left it all to destiny. I thought, people who are also searching for a Cebu-based kawaii community would definitely do research and somehow stumble upon the group. This is a great way to find people who are really into kawaii and build a genuine community. Most of my friends are not interested in this particular sub culture so there is no point in inviting them to the group. I do have friends who are into cosplay, manga, and anime but kawaii addiction is different.
The group only became active when Vanessa joined. I owe big time to her. Thank you so much Vanessa.
A lot of things happened. Suddenly we gained more group members, established a Facebook page, a Twitter account, an Instagram feed, and a Tumblr blog. Heck we even have a website now. There are still a lot of work to do to but I think, we have come so far from an almost ghost-town FB group to a legit community.
The first meet up…
The original plan was to have the meet up slash Christmas party on January 3, 2015 because everyone’s schedule for December 2014 was packed. When the day finally came, it rained hard in my place and I felt a mini heart attack. I checked with Vanessa to see how the weather was on her place and there too was raining. Both Vanessa and I live far from the city and commuting is difficult for us especially when it rains.
I wasn’t confident that people will show up. I panicked and I guess Vanessa panicked too which lead us to postpone the meet up at the last minute. It truly poured that day but when noon came, the sky suddenly became clear and I kind of regretted postponing the event.
We moved the meet up to January 10 and the wait was killing me. The pressure got 20x more intense compared to when I first suggested the Christmas party. Still, I kept hoping that people will show up.
If at least two people came, I would call it a success. I kept telling that to myself. Now the obstacles did not end from the previous week’s weather problem. Being the organizer, I must come to the venue early. We previously agreed to have the party at CosCafe in JY Square Mall. When I came to CosCafe, the place was closed. Not just closed because it was still too early for business hours but closed as in closed for good.
I got another mini heart attack but good thing I had a back up plan. Actually, I was already suspicious of CosCafe because when I tried to contact them through Facebook, I could no longer find their page. There might be a chance that they are still closed for the holidays so I searched for other cafes within the area just in case. I’m so glad I was able to anticipate this problem. Still, I was uneasy and I felt like I was going to die.
I didn’t tell the rest that CosCafe was closed. I just patiently waited outside because I don’t want to give them a reason to not show up. Vanessa came after a few minutes and I shared with her what happened and what we are going to do next.
One by one, the group members who confirmed came and I’m so glad that everyone was still on high spirit despite the venue change. The kawaii spirit was strong on that day and my nervousness was slowly fading.
We transferred to a small cafe just across the road where JY Square mall was located. I’ve never been to that place before but I was eyeing it for the longest time and I’m so glad, again, because the place and their food did not disappoint. There were four of us who came there (I was already contented with this attendance) but we were joined by three more people a few hours later. Awesome!
|The Early Birds.|
|The rest of the gang|
The first Kawaii Lovers Cebu meet up was magical! For the most of us, it was out first time interacting with each other (in real life) but it felt like we’ve known each other for a long time already. We spent the whole afternoon talking about random stuff — from fashion, make up, anime and manga recommendations, weird hobbies, some chismis, deep life lessons to the weird music video Me!Me!Me!
We tried different cupcakes and shared every variant among each other like siblings so everyone gets to try every flavor… as in literal na hating kapatid, walang arte arte.
In hindsight, it was a blessing in disguise that the mini gathering was moved to a later day because I was able to get extra cash that time to treat the girls. It was my party anyway.
I had some time to discuss future plans for Kawaii Lovers Cebu and explained how we are not a structured club or an org but a community. We also made an agreement to make Kawaii Lovers Cebu our personal support circle to encourage and motivate each other when we don’t get it from our family and other friends.
The main agenda of the meet up was the kawaii kris kringle slash exchange gift but we had a mini raffle first.
For the exchange gift, I asked everyone to bring any 3 gifts from a set of criteria (e.g. something cute, round, pink, or handmade). It was kind of funny because everyone was feeling paranoid with their selected gifts, worried that the recipient might not like them. Probably because kawaii is considered weird among our respective peers, so we had this reservation. But anyway, we just laugh it off and continued with the exchanging of kawaii gifts. Everyone was very happy with what they got.
|Check out my kawaii loot XD|
We had so much fun with each other’s company but as with all good things, the party has come to an end. We each went home with a bunch of kawaii goodies but most importantly, we went home with new friendships and wonderful memories.