Here's a copy of my speech / talk last Kawaii in Manila 2!
It's about my personal dream, our dreams turned achievements in Kawaii PH, and how we plan to change the world with kawaii. ^_^
I will be just copy-pasting everything! ^_^
I love you Anne Kate! <3
Good afternoon everyone, my name is Kaila Ocampo, and I am the founder of Kawaii Philippines.
Later on, my co-founder Anne will join me on stage as we present to you our humble achievements and crazy dreams about spreading and sharing kawaii here in the Philippines.
I will start this short presentation with a story.
A story of a girl who just dreamt about Japan.
A girl who has so much passion about sharing kawaii.
And you guessed that right.. that girl is…. me.
I’m sure that many can relate here because we all have dreams.
Lahat po tayo ay may pangarap. Ang pangarap ko po dati ay pumuntang Japan. 10 years or so later, minsan feeling ko, nangangarap pa rin ako. Too good to be true.
I just wanted to see Japan in my own eyes. I’m sure marami makaka-relate dito.
Mahilig po kasi ako manood ng Cardcaptor Sakura dati.
Siya po ang hero ko nung bata ako, feeling ko sana maging katulad ako ni Sakura, forever carefree at parang always “trying her best in everything”.
Watching anime and imagining myself to be in the same place with these “gambatteru hito” girls made me hope and dream big.
Someday, I will go to Japan and see cherry blossoms with my own eyes.
And it happened. If ikkwento ko siguro kung paano ako nakapunta ng Japan, baka mag-overtime tayo so isusummarize ko na lang kung paano ko siya na-“magic”.
I did all my best, grabbed all possible opportunities and never gave up on my dream to go, study and work in Japan.
When I came to Japan, I just wanted to freeze every moment through my photos and videos. I have always loved blogging ever since, the same way I loved fiddling html codes when I was younger. I just had to stop it for a while because I had lots of priorities when I was still studying in my university. So when I came to Japan, sabi ko sa sarili ko, I will blog everything.
I will seize every day and immortalize every moment that I am living my used-to-be impossible dream.
And I did. And I’ve been enjoying this hobby for 3 years as a Kawaii Lifestyle Blogger. A title that I just gave myself because I could not figure out what kind of blogger I am, hehe.
I really really love cute things. As we all know, Japan is undeniably the mecca of everything cute! I didn’t realize that everything that I have been blogging was about Japan’s kawaii culture.
I blogged about my life, discoveries, realizations, learnings..
.... and little did I know, blogging started to pave hundreds of ways for me to accomplish more of my dreams.
This hobby then became my tool to be discovered. A girl who used to be a nobody got discovered in a country she just dreamt about.
When NHK world Kawaii International appointed me to be the representative of Philippines, it was actually during the lowest times of my life.
I thought that I would quit blogging and just become “normal”, whatever that is.. that the society was expecting from me to be.
You know how “society” can be so frustrating and discouraging at times.
You want to stand out and make a mark, yet they tell you that it isn’t possible.
Be ordinary, be normal.
And that was the turning point, during the time I was about to give up, a small voice inside of me told myself that I should keep going, and keep on doing.
And that was the time when “Kawaii” changed me to a person I have always wanted to be.
During this time, together with my teammates, we have also just launched a website called “JapanLover.me”, a website for all kinds of JapanLovers: Kawaii, Cool & Otaku.
We worked on this website for almost 5-6 months. On its first month, we hit 50,000 JapanLovers around the world. Now, we are at 270,000+ JapanLovers.
From that moment, I... we gained more confidence.
Whatever kind of project you are into, if you give it with all your best shot and you surround yourself with like-minded people, the universe will naturally conspire to make your dreams come true.
Kawaii changed my life so much in the most positive way.
And that is why I believe that “kawaii” is more than just fashion, a cute face or a happy lifestyle.
It can be a form of empowerment that we can use to at least make a difference in this world.
I realized that being “cute” shouldn’t be just a matter of looking cute in terms of outside appearance. And that kawaii is for everyone.
Not only for the youthful, but also for the child-like adults.
Childish is different from child-like and not all child-like grown-ups are immature..! :-)
When I became the Kawaii Leader, I worked with Kawaii International for 2 projects.
That time, it felt like I was given something else.. something more than just the “Kawaii Leader” title.
It felt like I was given a baton instead.
With a mission that once felt too inconceivable, too far to achieve…
........ and that is to bring the Kawaii Japan experience to the Philippines.
Thankfully, I have friends who share the same passion over sharing and spreading the kawaii cuture.
One of my crazy dreamer friends is Anne. And it was during one random morning when we talked about how wonderful it would be to have a kawaii convention in the Philippines!
Now, we are sharing the story to every one here.... here in this convention.
This was our line conversation! :)
With all honesty, being a kawaii leader can make any girl feel high about herself.
Syempre, parang kumbaga, ikaw na yung nasa tuktok ng kawaii kingdom…. Kung iisipin mo.
But for me, it felt different.
They say that if you want to go fast, go alone.
But if you want to go far, go with others.
And I would rather choose to go on a roadtrip to a beach with my kawaii friends rather than stay in a kingdom where I am alone. I want to go far. I want to celebrate victories with my family, kawaii friends and comrades.
Last year, with 3 of my friends and support from my family and their families, we formed and organized the First Ever Kawaii Lifestyle workshop in the Philippines since a convention was too far-fetched. Of course, everyone starts small somewhere, with a big dream as a goal. And we had 20+ kawaii girl graduates that time. It was successful to the point that we got comments from kawaii girls from various countries that they also want to have something like that.
From that, we embarked on another mission to attempt to promote kawaii more in the country. Not just in Manila, but the whole of Philippines.
My co-founder Anne shall now narrate and share our small victories.
(Anne Kate delivered her speech freestyle version, hehehehe) <3
Here are the slides from her part! ^_^
Kawaii surprise in Kawaii PH Store!
Filipina bloggers from Japan <3
... [end of Anne Kate's speech that made us all "AWWWWWWWWWW...."]
We have come so far.
From loving the kawaii lifestyle individually as fans,
kawaii lovers turned friends…
that became a small powerhouse team,
to a growing community and to an evolving platform.
And we would like to invite everyone here to be part of Kawaii Philippines.
A community where any form of self-expression is celebrated, where love for the arts, design ,and kawaii culture is shared, where dreamers are encouraged to chase after their wildest ambitions.
If you are a writer, a photographer, someone who would like to contribute his/her time.. a sponsor, an investor, a designer, a student, anyone..
we’re all inviting you take a dive into a pool of like-minded dreamers.
Let’s make this world a little brighter and happier with cuteness.