The “Japan Day” celebration to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month which was held on July 21- 22 at SM Mall of Asia was celebrated with festive atmosphere and youthful spirit despite the unprecedented weather condition and the heavy downpour of rain.
J-Pop Anime Singing Contest
The 2012 J-Pop Anime Singing Contest was held at SM Mall of Asia's the Atrium, on July 21, for the 4th consecutive year and continued to entice the youthful and energetic talents from all over the Philippines.The finalists took the center stage as they showcased their best performance to be this year's J-pop Anime Singing Idols!
The top winner of the J-Pop Anime Singing Contest Grand Finals is Sakura Star.The group's soothing rendition of “Mikazuki” made her the runaway winner followed by Ms. Marianne Topacio who sung “Melodies of Life.” Placing third among the panel of judges' list of top five performers is Leira Mae Castro who captivated the audience with her performance of her “Eyes on Me”.
The seven-member group called “Haponesang Dilaaat” landed the fourth spot while the talented duo “Pianika” received the 5 th highest mark. Sakura Star also took home the Hero's choice Award and Toei's Favorite Award.
The ten finalists were judged according to the following criteria: Diction and Pronunciation of Japanese Lyrics– 40%, Voice Quality – 30%, Interpretation and Choreography – 30%. The top three winning performers took home exciting gadgets and goodies.
All the finalists received goody bags from Yakult. The top five winners took home cool gadgets and gizmos from Canon, Panasonic, Toshiba and Sony as well as Umami Books from Ajinomoto. Exclusive merchandize were also given away by Hero TV and Toei Animation Philippines to the contestants.The top three winners received study grants for Nihongo Kaiwa course from the Nihongo Center Foundation, Inc. and scholarships for voice and stage performance lessons from Center for Pop Music.
His excellency, Ambassador Toshinao Urabe delivered a short remarks to the audience and participants and joined in the awarding of the top winners. In his short message, Ambassador Urabe expressed appreciation to the Filipino and Japanese companies who have supported and cooperated with the Embassy of Japan and the Japan Foundation, Manila in making this event possible.
Mini Cosplay Contest
The winners for the Mini-Cosplay Event” were also announced and awarded during the J-Pop Anime Singing Contest Grand Finals. Izaiah Luke Buelos also known as “Voltron” won the first prize and Hero's cosplay choice. Bolen Lareza as MG Sinanju secured the 2 nd prize, Hero's cosplay choice and Toie's cosplay favorite. Ivan Valerio in his Voltes V costume received the 3 rd prize. Th e winners each received exciting gadgets from Toshiba and Canon, goodie bags from Animation International and Yakult, and Japanese books from the Embassy of Japan.
Aside from the performance of the finalists, the audience were also wowed by the performance of “No Plan Band” which is composed of diplomats from the Embassy of Japan and previous year's J-Pop Anime Singing Contest top winner, The Heiki Band. The audience also enjoyed interactive activities prepared by the participating booths. Similarly, the audience had the opportunity to have their pictures taken with Doraemon, Nobita and other colorfully dressed cosplayers.
The J-Pop Anime Singing Contest was presented by the Embassy of Japan in cooperation with the Japan Foundation, Manila and in partnership with Animation International Licensing Philippines, Center for Pop Music, Nihongo Center Foundation, SM Supermalls - SM Mall of Asia, Toei Animation Philippines, Yoshinoya, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Inc., Ajinomoto, Canon, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, Yakult, and HERO TV as the media partner.
Anime Film Showing
The Anime Film Screenings of FullMetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos and Detective Conan: The Lost Ship in the Sky, two delightful contemporary anime films have been actively supported by anime fanatics, youngsters, students, and families who excitedly lined up and dominated the entire cinema. This year's three screenings have entertained about a thousand and five hundred audience as they got hooked from the adventures and feats of their favorite anime characters.
Le Velvets in Manila!
As the highlight of the Japan Day, the Embassy of the Japan in the Philippines together with the support of Viva Communications, SM Supermalls, and the Philippine Airlines held a jam-packed concert at SM Mall of Asia's Atrium on July 22, at 7:00 PM.
The five-member pop-classical group made a sensational debut as they stunned the Filipino audience in their first live concert in the country. They also surprised the Filipino mall-goers with their mall jack, (a performance where the group assemble from various places, each member being disguised in different costumes or outfits who suddenly perform for a brief time for the purpose of drawing more audience) during their series of mall shows in SM North Edsa's the Block Atrium, SM Megamall's Event Center and SM Mall of Asia's the Atrium last July 20, 21 and 22 respectively.
The Le Velvets surprised their audience when they sung the “Lupang Hinirang” to commence the concert. Their fans were captivated even more as the group performed their own rendition of the Filipino classic song, “Dahil Sayo” and the medley of Queen's all-time famous songs. Not only the audience were amazed by their exciting blend of the classical song, “Masque Nada,” they also highly admired the group's performance of the timeless Italian piece, “Nessun Dorma.”
The Filipino audience welcomed the pop-classical group with warmth and hospitality. They were mesmerized by their perfect harmony, diverse genre of music, comical performance and good looks. Fans from all ages lined up after the concert to personally meet them and have their cds and posters signed by them.