Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 28, 2013

Nihongo Fiesta at SM City North Edsa

Music, contests, and workshops highlighted the recent Nihongo Fiesta 2013 at the SM City North EDSA.

A joint project of SM City North EDSA with the Embassy of Japan and the Japan Foundation Manila, the Nihongo Fiesta is part of the celebration of the 40th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation. This yearly Japan Foundation Manila event showcases Japanese language, arts and culture through events like the speech contest, quiz bee and musical concerts.

Other partners include the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines, Inc. (JCCIPI), The Japanese Association Manila (JAMI), Japan Overseas Enterprises Association (JOEA), Association of Filipino Nihongo Teachers (AFINITE), Animax, Japan Airlines, UNIQLO, Canon Marketing (Philippines) and Yoshinoya.

This year's Fiesta presented three exciting activities during the whole day celebration: the 40th Nihongo Speech Contest, the 5th Quiz Bee(Nihongo) for High School Students, and the rock concert of Uchusentai: NOIZ.

The 40th Nihongo Speech Contest is an annual competition of Filipino students and professionals from all over the country that showcases their excellence in the Japanese language through speech. Mr. Luigi Miguel E. Ma of Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku was the First Place and Outstanding Performance Awardee, while Mr. Karlo Emmanuel P. Ballescas of Alliance Software Inc. Cebu was the First Place and Grand Prize Winner. Both the winners had an all expense paid study tour to Japan as their prize.

The 5th Nihongo Quiz Bee, on the other hand, brings together high schools students of the country to challenge their knowledge about the Japanese language and culture. The Makati Science High School won the 5th Nihongo Quiz Bee Grand Champion. City of Mandaluyong Science High School and the Taguig Science High School, placed second and third, respectively.

Judges of the competitions included the Japanese Association, Manila, Inc. President Mr. Katsuji Nakagawa, Nikkei Manila Bureau Chief Mr. Minoru Satake, Japan Foundation Manila Japanese Language Education Adviser Mr. Kunio Aonuma, and Yaegashi International, Inc. (Cebu) General Manager Ms. Maria Christina Magueflor Yaegashi. Director Kiyoshi Takeuchi of the Embassy of Japan's Information and Culture Center and SM City North EDSA Mall Manager Ms. Hershe Angeles were also present during the awarding.

Other activities included origami demonstration workshop and a photo session with Japanese theme photo booth for the public.

The whole day fiesta culminated with a rock concert of Uchusentai: NOIZ, a visual kei rock band from Japan. Formed in 1999, the group is composed of Angel Taka, Masato, Kyo, Kotaro and Yamato, who are known for their energetic music, wild cosplay like outfits and live shows full of energy and on stage antics. More than 1500 fans rocked, jumped and danced at the Skydome.

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