Emotionally Powerful, Beautiful, and Deserves a Brave Comeback – Monsters the Musical

From Monsters the Musical Facebook Page

“So I will take this risk of loving you, and having you, cause my heart insists.”*

“Loving is not owning, We can let it go, We can let it go.”**

Last year, I went to Cebu to watch a locally-produced musical. Although this article is almost a year too late, the entire production was just beautiful enough to still talk about it at present.

Photo by The Lily Cat

I was speechless. Monsters the Musical captured by heart, made me sing, and got me to tears. This was the first Girls Love musical I have ever watched in my life—it is such a shame that I wasn’t able to be given an opportunity to watch it twice…perhaps even more.

How I Knew About the Musical

From Monsters the Musical Facebook Page

Time and time again, I am proud enough to say that aside from talking about Yuri and GL content, I always have a very deep love for theater. Musicals to be specific. I even flew to Manila a couple of times in a year just to watch them. I even called off one of my dates just to watch musicals. This is how it really means to me.

Now, how did I know about this musical? I have been seeing of some of my friends from my personal Facebook account sharing about Monsters the Musical, a coming-of-age love story musical produced by MDF Productions. Monsters isn’t the first musical they’ve ever produced for Cebu, they had a couple of musical productions way back. It was my first time seeing one of them and I can tell you, the musical was in level with all the top musical and theater plays that are produced in Manila.


The songs in this musical are written and composed by a Cebu-based artist, Cattski Espina. Monsters gave her songs a new spin that blend perfectly well with the characters and flow of the story.

I checked their show dates and it is quite timely that it falls on the same weekend as ARCHCON 2019. Without hesitation, I reached out to the musical’s FB page and reserved a VIP front row ticket. One of my seniors played one of the leading characters in the play so I was happy enough to support her during her gala performance. I watched the November 16 Gala performance at the SM Seaside Centerstage.

Powerful and Colorful Characters

Musical Highlights:


Monsters is centered on the lives of two friends: Bea and Elle. They have known each other since childhood and were there through thick and thin. Elle is a proud nerd—loves to write poetry and wanted to pursue it with a passion. Bea was an opposite of Elle. She was outspoken, loves to play the guitar, and very independent. The musical introduces you to other characters which played a part in Bea and Elle’s lives, both good and bad. Main ones are Dex (Elle’s long-time guy friend who admired her) and Jake (Bea’s abusive boyfriend).

Bea (Seated) | From Monsters the Musical Facebook Page

This musical was a roller-coaster of emotions and it kept me on the edge of my seat. The story and the situations that the main characters have to go through were so raw and relatable.

I really felt Elle’s emotions. I felt her struggle, her stress, and her pain. Imagine, she had a long-time crush with Bea ever since they were young. She continued to do poetry and was always inspired to do so, all because of Bea. My heart also ached for Bea. She was lost and confused—struggling who to follow or who to stay. I honestly can’t blame her for that.

Elle | From Monsters the Musical Facebook Page

As the musical progressed, Elle and Bea realized their feelings for each other. There was a part of their lives when they were torn of following their heart or following the perspectives of what society thinks is normal. Instead of pursuing her dreams, Elle went in a different career path as a nurse, while Bea continued to be with her abusive boyfriend Jake even there was less or no love to give anymore.

Realizing and thinking that both her and Bea will never be together in the end, Elle ended up dating and marrying Dex and started a family together. Knowing that they have been long time friends, Dex knew too well that Elle really cared for Bea so much and he knew that she still had feelings for her. Elle thought she was doing the right thing and what’s best for her self, but her mind and her heart were not in sync.

Love Wins

Bea and Elle | From Monsters the Musical Facebook Page

I honestly had no idea about what Monsters the Musical was about in case of synopsis and sneak-peeks are concerned because I honestly avoided them just to experience it as it is. I’ve been seeing headlines about their musical from notable musical and theater websites but never read the full articles.

Avoiding these were definitely worth it because when Act 1 was done, I froze on my seat. I was speechless and in awe of everything. I had to skip my bathroom break and spent it on a phone call with my friends Sei and Din (who are also my fellow co-admins of Yuri/GL Philippines). I will never forget the exact words I said to them: “Guys, you wouldn’t believe this! I watched a Girl’s Love musical.”

Bea and Elle | Photos from Monsters the Musical Facebook Page

When Act 2 began, this is when the tide of emotions roll in. I can hear a lot of sniffles and soft sobbing in the audience. I was so focused on the show that I only lately realized my tears flowing down my face. Just who wouldn’t cry about the situation of these characters? Bea was lost (she finally let go of Jake off her life) and finally accepted it was only Elle who could love her unconditionally. Elle realized that although she is now in this current part of her life, she could not stop her heart regardless of what she’ll do. Love will always find its way no matter what ever time or circumstance you are currently dealing with.

Bea and Elle | Photos from Monsters the Musical Facebook Page

The musical was now on its climax when it was to find out that Elle had cancer, and she might leave very soon. I really have huge respect for Dex, because he knows and understand the situation. All-in-all, it was Elle’s happiness that’s more important now. He accepted the fact that his wife still loved her first love and had no other way to make her happy but to give her last few days, moments, hours, and minutes, with Bea.

The most iconic scene for me in the musical based from memory was the bench where both Bea and Elle used to talk a lot together. It was very heartwarming moment for both. When they finally said their seemed-last words of goodbye, this is where my tears flow the most. Another favorite, but very emotional scene from the movie was when important people of Elle’s life came together when her ashes were finally scattered and her daughter read allowed the letter Elle left.

Bea and Dex | Photos from Monsters the Musical Facebook Page

Other memorable highlights in the musical for me was when Elle’s parents found out about Elle’s sexual identity and fully accepted who she was (although too late). Then the scene when Bea finally sang her heart out and performed in gigs again because this is what really made her happy, and it would have made Elle happy too.

I am honestly up until here. There’s so much that I still wanted to tell but due to it’s been so long since I watched it, I can not remember some of the stuff in between the show. But reading through this so far, I really did have a great time.


Photos from Monsters the Musical Facebook Page

In these current times when we are recommended to just stay at home, sometimes there are those thoughts of maybe the musical might have some professional recordings during their limited run so they can stream it online for everyone to see. Well, Ang Huling El Bimbo did it. But of course, I’m not expecting.

Monsters the Musical Cast | Photos from Monsters the Musical Facebook Page

Even until now, I still can’t get enough of the story and music of Monsters the Musical and I think the musical is flawless and perfect. It deserves a brave comeback in the theatre stage—hopefully once all of this is over. I was so happy that I was able to catch this theater musical gem in the heart of Cebu. I’ll look forward to what MDF Productions would have in store for us in the near future. This is definitely now one of my favorite original Filipino musicals so far. I do hope more people, especially fellow GL fans like me would get to experience this emotionally powerful musical someday.


Please listen to the soundtrack on Spotify today. Lyrics can also be found here.

Pictures from Monsters The Musical – Facebook Page

More Info from Monsters the Musical Website

* – Lyrics from song Risk by Cattski

** – Lyrics from song Now by MYMP


I hope you enjoy this review. If you like this, want more reviews on GL content, or have been liking what I do, you may consider dropping me a cup of coffee at my Ko-Fi page or support me on my small Patreon page.

Within 24 Hours, San Diego Comic-Con and Anime Expo Announce Cancellations of their Events

Just within 24 hours, two of the most highly anticipated fan and hobby conventions San Diego Comic-Con and Anime Expo (AX) announced on Friday that they would be canceling their events this year and wished attendees to look forward to their 2021 conventions instead. The reason for the cancellations is due to the ongoing Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in which the government has urged its citizens to stay at home and not engage in massive social gatherings until further notice.

This is the first time in its 50-year run that San Diego Comic-Con had to cancel its event that is dedicated to comicbooks and western pop culture franchises. This is also the first time that Anime Expo had to cancel its anime and Japanese franchise-centered hobby convention in its 29-year run. SDCC 2021 is scheduled from July 22-25, 2021, while Anime Expo 2021 is scheduled for July 2 to 5, 2021.

Rey Chiang, CEO of The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, posted a statement on Anime Expo official website which states:

Dear Anime Expo Community,

This is a day my team and I hoped wouldn’t come, but it is with a heavy heart that I am announcing the cancellation of Anime Expo 2020. Our utmost concern is for the health and safety of our amazing Anime Expo community. We understand your disappointment as we are anime fans first and foremost too. As you can imagine, this was one of the most difficult decisions we have had to make in the 29 years of Anime Expo.

With the COVID-19 situation continually changing, as well as more restrictions in place worldwide and in our host city Los Angeles, we can’t in good faith move forward with this year’s event. We know it will affect all of you differently and we did not come to this decision lightly.

For exhibitors, artists, contractors, performers, and more, this impacts you on many levels. Anime Expo is an important source of income as well as inspiration for all of you. We know you have been working tirelessly in preparation for July and we appreciate your dedication to your craft.

For our staff and volunteers, who have been working hard, planning every detail of this year’s event since before AX 2019 ended, we share your sadness – please know we support you every step of the way as we turn our attention to next year, Anime Expo’s 30th anniversary!

For our attendees, AX is a place to see old friends, make new ones, and experience the immersive nature of the larger anime community. We will miss seeing you!

We thank each and every one of you for being a part of a community that makes Anime Expo such a special experience every single year.

Badge holders will have the option to receive a full refund or to have their badges rolled over to AX 2021. As this is a big undertaking, please give us time to get the process solidified and stay tuned for more information in the coming days. Exhibitors and artists can expect to receive information via email sometime next week.

Hotel room reservations booked through ConferenceDirect in the AX official hotel block will be automatically cancelled. If you booked a room outside the AX hotel block, please contact your hotel directly.

It remains our goal to provide fans and industry partners from around the world with a safe space to come together to celebrate and share our love of anime. We are committed to bringing you the best of the best next year as we return to Los Angeles for our 30th anniversary on July 2-5, 2021!

As I have said before, we are in this together. We love and support our community and know Anime Expo is an event like no other. Each summer, Anime Expo allows all of us to connect and share our love of anime and Japanese pop culture.

Be safe, continue to do your part, support your community, and most of all stay well!

We look forward to seeing you at AX 2021!

San Diego Comic-Con also released a statement on their website regarding the cancellation. “Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures, and while we are saddened to take this action, we know it is the right decision,” said David Glanzer, spokesperson for the organization. “We eagerly look forward to the time when we can all meet again and share in the community we all love and enjoy.”

Aside from SDCC, its other convention WonderCon Anaheim was canceled and will return on March 26-28, 2021. The mentioned event was supposed to happen on April 10-12, 2020.

We are all in this together during these difficult times. #StayAtHome and lets #FlattenTheCurve together.

Source: Anime Expo (official website) and SDCC (official website)

Voice Actresses of Korra and Asami will be doing a Live Reading of ‘Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part 1’ on April 6!

If you’ve missed Korra and Asami from The Legend of Korra, then here’s something to keep your spirits up in the midst of the ongoing health crisis (and more reason for you to #StayAtHome!)

American comic book and manga publisher Dark Horse Comics posted on their official Twitter account on Friday that a special live-reading event will be happening featuring the awesome voice actresses Janet Varney and Seychelle Gabriel as Korra and Asami respectively in reading The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part I. Be sure to head on down to the publisher’s official Twitch channel and catch them live on Monday, April 6, 2 pm Pacific.

Aside from the live reading (which will cover the first chapter of the book). Fans will also be given an opportunity to ask questions to the guests via the live stream chat. A moderated Q&A session will also take place during the stream.

Before the start of the stream, a free digital excerpt of Turf Wars Part 1 will be made available for download before the start of the live stream event so that fans can follow along. Also, to add more excitement, Dark Horse Comics will be giving away a prize pack which includes one copy each of the following books of The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Library Edition and The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire Parts 1-3.  Instructions on how to join the giveaway and more will be announced during the live stream launch (so you better log in a little early, just a suggestion!)

We can’t wait for this cool livestream event and this is definitely something to look forward to for long-time The Legend of Korra fans. See you guys on Twitch!


About The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars

Relishing their newfound feelings for each other, Korra and Asami leave the Spirit World . . . but find nothing in Republic City but political hijinks and human vs. spirit conflict!

A pompous developer plans to turn the new spirit portal into an amusement park, potentially severing an already tumultuous connection with the spirits. What’s more, the triads have realigned and are in a brutal all-out brawl at the city’s borders–where hundreds of evacuees have relocated!

In order to get through it all, Korra and Asami vow to look out for each other–but first, they’ve got to get better at being a team and a couple!

Written by series co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino and drawn by Irene Koh T.M.N.T., Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman, Secret Origins: Batgirl, Afrina and the Glass Coffin) and with consultation by Bryan Konietzko, this is the official continuation of The Legend of Korra!

Source: Dark Horse Comics Website, Dark Horse Comics (Twitter), Synopsis from Penguin Random House

Event Report – Otakufest 2020 CEBU Day 1

Otakufest 2020 Stage featuring The Lily Cat logo on the LED

Otakufest is one of Cebu City’s popular anime, cosplay, and hobby conventions. It is also the first highlight event to kickstart the various upcoming cosplay and anime events in the city.

The popularity of Otakufest has grown over the years. Now on its 13th year, cosplayers and attendees coming from different parts of the country travel to the Queen City of the South just to attend the weekend. I am one of those people and I have to say, day one of Otakufest was awesome!

The venue for this year’s Otakufest is still the same as last year, which is at SM Seaside Cebu. The final venue was announced just a few days before the convention weekend due to some factors as mentioned in their FAQ here. Regardless, the organizers have Otakufest still put a great show offering some cool mini-events and contest that everyone can enjoy.

After realizing it, this is the first cosplay convention that I have attended this year and indeed it was a good kickoff.

While going through the entrance area of the official event venue (which is the Maze garden), me and my fellow media partner Gary Montejo first went to another side of the mall to cover the meet and greet of International guest cosplayers DD Tenka and Hikarin. As per instruction by the Otakufest organizers, we were not allowed to take videos of the Q and A portion. However, we took pics of how it went. Prints and merch of the guests were also available on sale. Those who got the meet-and-greet package will be able to get their prints signed and half a photo-op. This is also the time when I have finally met with Jay Agonoy of keepsakes. Almost for the rest of the day, I tagged along with both Gary and Jay taking pictures of what is happening on the epic first day. Here are some of my favorite photos.

The rest of the day I have met up and passed by some known cosplayers like GICOF 2019 winner Sergio Sta. Ana, saw the WCS PH 2019 Reps Team Class S, WCS PH 2017 Rep Pirate Ellie, Sean Price, and King Rusydi (who had cosplay crafting workshop). I had a roundtable podcast discussion with Jay and Max of UNITY Productions on the discussion of an Esports Curriculum in the Philippines. And yes, I will not forget meeting again idol group PASTEL MIX. I bought their awesome lightstick!

I ended my day with the team eating at Chowking. Coincidently, we sat on the same area in which we had our first hangout together in Otakufest 2019.

There is still more stuff to share but I would like to let people know that it was all positive. Otakufest 2020 Day 1 was awesome and I am looking forward to what’s going to happen on Day 2 as the Central Visayas Qualifiers of the World Cosplay Summit Philippines will be held.

Congratulations to Otakufest and let’s keep the fun going on Day 2!

The Lily Cat is one of the official Media Partners of Otakufest 2020.


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Cosplay, Games, and Fun are Happening at Otakufest 2020 in Cebu!

The first quarter of anime events in Cebu City will officially start this weekend with the most popular and long-running anime, cosplay, and hobby convention Otakufest! The said event will be happening on February 22 and 23, 2020 at SM Seaside, Cebu City. This is the 13th season and one of Cebu City’s longest-running otaku conventions. The theme for this convention is Studio Ghibli.

This year’s Otakufest will be one awesome weekend for anime fans, cosplayers, and hobbyists alike as a lot of events, programs, workshops, and competitions await everyone who will be joining in the fun. National and International cosplay guests like Hikarin, Pirate Ellie (WCS PH 2017 Representative) , Ae Ri Cosplay, DD Tenka, Sean Price, and King Rusydi will also be in the event and looking forward to meet their fans. Aside from our cosplay guests, awesome groups will also be present this year to perform like Juan Paasa (Summoning Eruand idol group PASTEL MIX.

Otakufest will also be the venue for the highly-anticipated Central Visayas Qualifiers of the World Cosplay Summit Philippines. The winner of this qualifier will compete in the World Cosplay Summit Philippines Grand Finals which will be announced soon.

A complete list of workshops, mini-events, and competitions can be found in the Otakufest official Facebook Page.  You may also check the page for their FAQ and more information.

About Otakufest

Photo from Otakufest Official Website
Photo taken during Otakufest 2019. Photo by The Lily Cat

Otakufest, formally UP Otakufest, was first conceptualized in 2007 as a simple dream to organize an annual event for anime fans and cosplayers. In 2017, it had a record of more than 5,000 attendees and is considered as one of the most highly anticipated anime and hobby conventions in Cebu City.

See you all in Otakufest Cebu 2020 at SM Seaside! It’s going another awesome weekend of awesome fun!

The Lily Cat is an official Media Partner of Otakufest 2020.

ARCHcon Cebu 2019 is the Coolest Event for Gamers, Geeks, and Anime Fans in Cebu City!

This weekend in Cebu City is going to be a blast as ARCHcon Cebu will be happening for two days filled with competitions, exhibits, cosplay, video games, and so much more. The said 2-day convention will be happening on November 16 and 17 at the JCentre Convention Hall.

ARCHcon is the oldest and biggest hobby event in Cebu City that started in 2004. What also made this convention stand out from the rest is that is a convention for a cause.

The convention’s name is an abbreviation for Anime, Role-Playing Games, Comics, and Hobbies Convention.  ARCHcon aims to build the growing creative hobbyist industry in Visayas and Mindanao through supporting hobbies and creating a venue that gives back to the community through talks, workshops, development activities, mini-events, and more into one awesome convention.

ARCHcon’s goal is to be an open venue for people of all walks of life to express themselves and freely showcase their world-class talent, creativity and innovation in celebration of their hobbies and interests; as well as to be an instigator of change by donating the proceeds from the event to the Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu Blue Plate Project that helps the education sector fight malnutrition amongst public elementary students through daily feeding programs.

International cosplayers Boiledcurry and Knitemaya are this year’s guests. Workshops, video game competitions, exhibits, talks, and more awaits those who will be attending this two-day event.

For the complete line-up of activities and ticket information, you may visit ARCHCon Cebu’s Official Facebook Page and event page. Cosplayers, anime fans, and fellow geeks see you all at ARCHcon 2019!

The Lily Cat will be doing a two-day event coverage of ARCHcon 2019. Follow the Facebook Page for the latest updates and here on the site for the highlight report.


Source: ARCHcon Cebu (Facebook), Pictures: ARCHcon Cebu Press Kit

Yuri/GL Philippines will be at Cosplay Mania 2019!


Philippine-based Yuri community Yuri/GL Philippines confirmed in their Facebook page recently that they will having an exhibitor’s booth in this year’s Cosplay Mania. This is the organization’s second time to have an booth dedicated to Yuri and Girl’s Love in the country’s most highly anticipated anime and cosplay convention.


The said convention will be held at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City from September 28-29, 2019.

Established in 2017, Yuri/GL Philippines aims to unite yuri and girl’s love fans all over the country (primarily through their Facebook group) and also to promote related works by Filipino artists and writers. They are hoping to partner with various groups and institutions to organize more events (and hopefully a convention dedicated to Yuri and Girl’s Love) in the future.

Source: Yuri/GL Philippines (Facebook)

Pride March 2019 in the Philippines Records More Than 100,000 Attendees

During the Metro Manila Pride March 2019 program held at the Marikina City Sports Center this afternoon June 29, it was announced that this year recorded more than 100,000 attendees.

People from all walks of life, including various organizations and institutions have joined in the Pride March as a way of supporting equality for the LGBT+ community with #ResistTogether as this year’s theme.


The Marikina City Council has also passed their Anti-Discrimination Ordinance as their primary protection against SOGIE-based discrimination in the city. 


This year had welcomed such a massive crowd–evidence that this community deserves to be recognized for who they are inside out. Happy Pride!

Posts from Metro Manila Pride (Facebook)


The Lily Cat Podcast Episode 4 – A Talk on Covering Events with Jay Agonoy of keepsakes.

As promised, I will now start to be active in doing podcasts for the site again and what better way to start the hype is to be talking with one of the key people who got me into covering events.

On this episode, I have a talk with a very good friend of mine Jay Agonoy of keepsakes. who covers cosplay events and conventions in Manila. We talk about how everything goes in writing and covering these events and what should be taken note when being there. Jay is notable for providing updates regarding the World Cosplay Summit Philippines and the World Cosplay Summit as well as the Philippine idol scene.


Follow Jay at http://www.jayagonoy.xyz

Check out http://www.thelilycat.com for more.

If you love the podcast, you may consider supporting me for more episodes: http://www.ko-fi.com/lilycatserena

Otakufest 2019 [Cebu] – Day 2 Report

Team Class S with the Judges

After almost a week of being sick, I’m finally back again with a summary of the updates from last week’s epic Otakufest 2019 in Cebu City.

As a first-timer in the convention, it was indeed a worth it weekend to go especially if you are from Cebu. Same as Day 1, various booths were selling a lot of stuff and the artist alley was also awesome as well!

Team weapon and mask destruction

Now on to the primary highlights. The second day of Otakufest was also the day of the grand finals of Pop Culture Hiroshima – Philippines and the World Cosplay Summit Philippines – Cebu Qualifiers. Team Weapon and Mask Destruction bagged the first place in Pop Culture Hiroshima – Philippines with their very nostalgic skit from the anime DNAngel.

Team Class S, who were World Cosplay Summit – Philippines grand finalists last year, won this year’s World Cosplay Summit Philippines – Cebu Qualifiers and is officially Cebu’s representative for the upcoming grand finals which will be announced soon.

We wish you best of luck to the chosen teams and congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Otakufest. It was definitely the convention to kickstart the year filled with otaku and cosplay events in Cebu.

About the Event

Otakufest, formally UP Otakufest, was first conceptualized in 2007 as a simple dream to organize an annual event for anime fans and cosplayers. In 2017, it had a record of more than 5,000 attendees and is considered as one of the most highly anticipated anime and hobby conventions in Cebu City.

Stay tuned to more features related to Otakufest and my trip to Cebu only here in The Lily Cat!

The Lily Cat is one of the official media partners of Otakufest 2019.