First-ever Japan Fiesta 2019 highlights culture and tourism

Published November 14, 2019, 2:04 PM

by Rica Arevalo

By Roy Mabasa

Filipino and Japanese performers led by singing superstar Sarah Geronimo dominated the staging of the first-ever Japan Fiesta 2019, a cultural and tourism promotion organized by the Embassy of Japan in Manila.

Japan Fiesta 2019 (Japan Fiesta 2019 Website / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Japan Fiesta 2019 (Japan Fiesta 2019 Website / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat led the traditional “kagamibiraki” sake barrel-breaking to highlight the opening of the festival on November 9 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Premier in Taguig City.

In their remarks, both Haneda and Romulo-Puyat expressed great optimism for deeper ties between Japan and the Philippines.

The entire venue was transformed into a rich diversity of booths providing guests with comprehensive information on culture and tourism from various Japanese prefectures, alongside airline and travel companies as well as concessionaires featuring Japanese food and products.

Geronimo delighted the packed audience with her biggest hits, Kilometro and Tala, a performance reminiscent of her outstanding appearance at the 2018 ASEAN-Japan Music Festival that endeared her to the Japanese audience.

Also setting the upbeat mood and energetic atmosphere of the Japan Fiesta 2019 was the high-intensity performance of Japanese drum group Wakodaiko.

Also in attendance were world-renown Japanese characters Pokémon’s Pikachu and Eevee who performed an electrifying dance number and parade while the all-girl Filipino idol group MNL 48 set the stage alight with their topnotch medley of hits. World Yo-Yo Champion, Black, meanwhile showcased his impressive skills.

Aside from the Embassy of Japan, the Japan Fiesta 2019 was co-organized by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) Manila Office; Japan Foundation, Manila; Japanese Association, Manila, Inc. (JAMI); and Primer Media, Inc.