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Filipino Culture, Food, Products, Services, and Performances Get the Spotlight at the Philippine Festival Tokyo 2023

28 November 2023 – It was another grand reunion of the Filipino Community during the Philippine Festival Tokyo 2023 held on 25 to 26 November 2023 at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward. More than 150,000 festivalgoers were estimated to have attended this event, which is supported by the Philippine Embassy and organized by the Philippine Festival Committee of the Philippine Assistance Group (PAG).

In her welcome remarks at the opening ceremonies, Philippine Ambassador Mylene J. Garcia-Albano mentioned that there is more that can be done in terms of fostering closer people-to-people ties and building bridges of mutual understanding of each other’s cultures. The Ambassador further stated that, “Our community in Japan is 300,000-strong, spread over almost all Prefectures. You are formidable. You can make a positive impact on your local communities.”

Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiro KOMURA graced the opening ceremony of the Philippine Festival, together with Honorable Shinsuke OKUNO, Vice Chair of the Japan-Philippines Parliamentarian Friendship League (JPPFL), Honorable Ayaka SHIOMURA, Member of the House of Councillors and Dr. Kunihiko HIRABAYASHI, Secretary-General of the ASEAN-Japan Centre (AJC).

In his remarks, Parliamentary Vice Minister Komura shared that the year 2023 marks the 50th Year of Friendship and Cooperation between ASEAN and Japan and that the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit Meeting will be held in Japan this December. Japan looks forward to further enhancing Japan-ASEAN relations as well as developing Japan-Philippines relations based on this Meeting’s outcome.

The Philippine Festival Committee Heads led by their Chairman, Mr. Berlito Capulong, joined the Officials in the ceremonial ribbon-cutting followed by the toast to formally open the Festival.

Once again, many visitors lined-up to try Filipino cuisine and products sold in various food booths during the festival, including the fruits at the booth of the Department of Agriculture. The Trade Office also had various Philippine products on sale. The Department of Tourism promoted the Philippines’ world-class destinations. In addition to this, there were booths of the Migrant Workers Office, and booths of special guests from SSS, Pag-IBIG, Philhealth, Land Registration Authority represented by the Register of Deeds of Davao City, and Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Davao City Chapter, who provided answers to the various queries of Filipino nationals at the event.

The Philippine Festival’s full two-day program featured on-stage cultural presentations by members of the Filipino community in Japan and performances featuring celebrities from the Philippines.

Filipino community activities such as the Philippine Festival continue to serve as an excellent platform towards developing cultural exchanges between the Philippines and Japan by highlighting our traditions, food, art, and culture.