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Why The Philippines Should Have A ‘Yuri/Girl’s Love Convention’ Too

In case some are not aware, there is a YURI/GIRL’S LOVE fandom community in this 7,107 islands called the Philippines.

To many of us, fandoms gave us ‘Will to Live’. In the midst of the growing popularity of the Yaoi or Boy’s Love genre here in the Philippines, there is also one particular fandom that has also been (very) solid over the years but not fully recognized due to being overshadowed most of the time by its counterpart.


A ‘Silent’ Fanbase


Before I head on to my reasons why the yuri community deserves to have such a convention or event in the future, here are some of my thoughts about it currently. Based on observation, the Yuri or Girl’s Love fandom here is a ‘silent’ one. While yaoi fans express their love for their handsome boys and spazz together with their fam, a vast majority of yuri fans rather spazz low-key and express their love in the facades of pseudo names, ‘fandom accounts’, writing anonymous fanfiction, lurking in Facebook groups that share manga/manwha, and so on. For the record, it’s not a bad thing. 🙂
Reasons Why There Should Be A Yuri Convention in PH

I have to be honest that I have A LOT of reasons to write down in this single blog post. But due to the lack of time and some people’s short attention span to long wall of text, I decided to plot down the top reasons why the fandom deserve to have a  yuri or GL event/convention in the near future. 😉
1. There Are Yuri/GL Works Made by Filipinos

DRIFT (left) and World Canvas (right)

Believe it not, there are actually Yuri/GL works created by Filipinos and they are officially (and legally) published in print and digital formats. World Canvas, written and illustrated by Godley Malabanan (Kuru) is one popular example (apparently, a lot are still looking for a copy of her work since bookstores seem to not have them anymore). Aside from W.C., Kuru has also illustrated DRIFT, a GL manga written by Nald Tabuzo. She recently released a new book as well first launched during the GENDARE event last June. *

The Third Party is an ongoing GL webcomic series illustrated and written by Enjelicious. This needs to be mentioned because aside from it being a GL and (very) Mature webcomic, it also won in the first ever US Comic Contest organized by the premium webcomic service website, Lezhin Comics. The chapters are updated every Monday and you need to purchase Lezhin coins if you want to read the latest releases. If you’re looking for another work made by her, you can also check out Let’s Study, Shall We? 



Let’s also jump into Philippine Television and Movies. In 2015, The Rich Man’s Daughter was the first Filipino TV drama series which dealt with a lesbian relationship starring Rhian Ramos and Glaiza de Castro. Produced by GMA Network, the show has a loyal fanbase and still being talked about even if the show ended in the same year.

Baka Bukas Movie Poster

There was also an independent Filipino film released in 2016 titled Baka Bukas which is about a lesbian falling in love with her girl bestfriend starring Louise delos Reyes and Jasmine Curtis-Smith. The film was directed by Samantha Lee and first premiered in the Cinama One Originals Film Festival and it was later distributed by Star Cinema, a film and TV production company owned by The ABS-CBN Network in 2017.

2. Yuri Merchandise Everywhere

 
Physical Volumes of Citrus Manga by Saburouta (left) and Girl Friends by Milk Morinaga (right)



From the volumes of Saburouta’s Citrus to Kodama Naoko’s “salty but still good” yuri manga work Netsuzou Trap, the PH bookstore shelves have a couple of yuri titles available. You just need to know where to look or you can even request for some titles to be placed in their next stocks. Fully Booked and Booksale are your friends.

SQ Begin with Your Name by Tan Jiu

If you’re a regular convention goer (Ozine, Cosmania, etc.), you might stumble upon a merchandise booth or an artist booth that sells yuri stuff. If ever you did, it’s very hard to say “No”. You either ask for a possible lower price or go I-don’t-care-anymore-so-Imma-just-buy-this-because-it’s-delicious-yuri-merch. Don’t worry, it’s well spent in the end.
3. ‘WDTFS’ Teams

What Does The Fox Say by Team Gaji

Are you Team Blonde or Team Pink? It’s noticeable that a lot of people in the PH Yuri Community are glued to this popular Korean webcomic series What Does The Fox Say? This series is such a hit  that “teams” are formed depending on which “ship” one supports. If you’re Team Blonde, then you ship Sungji and Sumin, and if you’re Team Pink you ship Sumin and Seju. Some also go for Team Grey which is to support the series’ short-lived friendzoned character, Kim Dawoon
For someone who used to help out in a Facebook group dedicated to this series, I am fully convinced that a lot of PH Yuri fans follow this series with much vigor. Chapter 69 pa lang, shaput na.
4. Yuri Manga, Anime, Cosplay, Video Games, and Media

Kase-san Anime

Yuri media comes in a large volume– almost the same as its fandom counterpart. In fact, anime adaptations of Kase-san and Netsuzou Trap have already been aired. Citrus has also confirmed for an anime adaptation and we are still waiting for the date of its airing. There has also been a rise of yuri visual novels and video games as well. You might have bought some titles in the recent Steam Summer Sale. In relation to games, I’ll leave this here: Bae or Bay?

Chloe and Max from Life is Strange
Some would love to cosplay their favorite character in yuri-themed or yuri-subtext themed but they just don’t know the best event or con to debut it. There are even a lot of yuri doujins available too. These kinds of media mentioned are indications that the fandom is big and in-demand not only just here in the region but also in other countries.

Maria Sama ga Miteru
I’ll also leave this here: Did you know that a popular TV Network in the Philippines has aired Maria Sama Ga Miteru in Tagalog dub? Probably they thought it was just girls praying to the Virgin Mary set in an all-girls school. They were wrong. 😉
5. Great Fam, Awesome Community

Hauls from the GENDARE event

When I arrived in Manila to attend GENDARE last month, I never expected to have so much fun with other yuri-loving peeps. I (along with some of attendees of that event) can attest to this. Although there was only one GL work that was launched, we still gave 200% support because we seriously love our fandom. No one would take that away even if other genres have a couple of titles on their belt. That’s how true and solid af we are– heck it felt like I was attending a family reunion at the same time because the people are just so friendly and upbeat to tag along.

If this happened in a small comicbook launching event, this can also happen in a big event centered for this fandom too.

It’s Going to be Worth It

Creating a convention centered on a particular fandom genre isn’t really a walk in the park. With enough support from the community, partners, exposure, and so on, holding such event for fans is going to be worth it.

I think it’s about time that this particular fandom would have an event of its own. It’s also one avenue to not only unite yuri fans in the country but will also pave way for the yuri media to blossom even more. If ever it will happen the soonest, this will be an event that shouldn’t be missed in your lifetime.

If a flower blooms late, it will be later– and it would be the most beautiful from all the rest. Same goes to yuri– it may not be as popular as its counterpart today, but it will be noticed sooner or later. Baby steps, little grasshopper. We will definitely get there.

* – The following works mentioned in the paragraph are published by Black Ink Comics.

This blog post is dedicated to every Yuri/GL fan here in the Philippines. If you agree to this article, please share this. 

The Lily Cat is your source for the latest updates and reviews on Yuri, GL, anime, manga, cosplay, and more.

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