Japan festival in Cebu a successCebu Daily News
The Japan Festival 2012 was held successfully last Aug. 11 and 12 at the Ayala Activity Center in celebration of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month.
A series of Japanese cultural events were presented such as Wakodaiko drum club performances, Awaodori dance, karate demonstrations, Japanese and Filipino singing competition and Cosplay.
Booths were set up displaying Ikebana floral arrangement, Japanese dolls and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supplemented Japanese culture exhibits.
At the Terraces garden, a number of Japanese restaurants displayed an array of Japanese dishes sold to festival goers.
In attendance were Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe and his wife Etsuko, Gov. Gwendloyn Garcia, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Ambassador Francisco Benedicto and Consular Corps of Cebu president Armi Lopez Garcia.
“The support of the local community enabled us to organize this largest ever Japan Festival in Cebu,” Ambassador Urabe said.
“The display of Japanese culture was made possible by the good will, time and effort of a large number of Japanese and Filipino volunteers.”
Ambassador Urabe expressed his delight saying, “I am happy because the festival was initiated by the Japanese community. They wanted to express their appreciation to the overwhelming support of Cebuanos for the victims of the Great East Japan earthquake disaster March last year.”
Governor Garcia, for her part, thanked Urabe for bringing the festival to Cebu. She also acknowledged the Japanese companies that have set up operations in Cebu.
The governor said “I’d like to make special mention to cement company Taiheiyo, that worked hand-in-hand with the Cebu provincial government in constructing thousands of classrooms in the province.”
Mayor Rama, in his speech, said, “Let the festival be the venue of the bond and that bond should always be bringing friendship, goodwill, and promoting our international relationship with Japan.”
Wakodaiko head of delegation Yasuhide Tanaka was given a floral bouquet.
A “kagamiwari” ceremony was led by Ambassador Urabe opened the Japanese Festival 2012. He was joined on stage by Governor Garcia, Mayor Rama, Tanaka and Takahiko Imachi.
Kagamiwari is a Japanese ritual where a sake barrel cover is broken to signify the start of something good.
An estimated 20,000 people witnessed the two-day event.