The Japan Foundation, Manila
The Japan Foundation, Manila focuses on introducing Japanese culture and teaching Japanese language especially for young people against the backdrop of recent, increasing interest in Japanese pop culture. Last February we held three major events: Nihongo Fiesta; WADAIKO performance; and the 1st National Bento Competition simultaneously at EDSA Shangri-la Plaza Mall. These events entitled "J-Taste at The Shang!" were held for two days and attracted a total of more than 10 thousand audience.
Nihongo Fiesta, a festival for many students and working people learning Japanese in Philippines, was held this year for a third year. The Fiesta is enhanced and attracts more participants every year to be a well-known event among Japanese learners. In the 35th Nihongo Speech Contest, Ms. Maricel Bornilla's speech "Transcending a Japayuki" won outstanding performance award in the non-student division. The first ever Nihongo Performance Contest had 8 participating groups, total 200 high-school, college and working Japanese learners, enjoyed J-Pop, traditional and original dance, and cosplay.
In the First National Bento Competition held on the second day, traditional yet very common Japanese lunchbox Bento was the focal point, and Japan's famous train lunch are exhibited. Charaben, vividly reflecting modern sense of bento in Japan, was also demonstrated and at the same time, Filipinos competed to showcase home-grown ingredients and products and to prepare intricate and artistic bento. Eight pairs of chef contested to put Filipino taste and wit in the Japanese lunchbox to produce totally new bento.