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Philippine Embassy and FILCOM Leaders Organize Philippine Festival 2015, 19 and 20 September at Yoyogi Park, Rep. Manny Pacquiao is Special Guest

19-20 September 2015 – The Philippine Embassy and leaders of the Filipino community in Japan organized and presented the best of Filipino culture, hospitality, food and Pinoy entertainment at the Philippine Festival 2015 held on 19 and 20 September 2015 at the Yoyogi Park in Tokyo.

Over 200 ,000 Filipinos and Japanese enjoyed the 2-day fiesta in a sunny and cool weather at the beginning of the 5-day Silver Week holiday in Japan that welcomes the arrival of the autumn season.

Representative Manny “Pacman” Paquiao of the lone district of Saranggani Province and 8-division world boxing title holder was the special guest who, in his remarks at the opening ceremony on September 19, praised the Filipino hospitality as one of the Nation’s valued character and a driving factor in the country’s tourism industry. “The Filipinos are so amiable and their smiles are a trademark of our tourism industry,” Rep. Pacquiao said as the crowd responded with loud applauses and shouts of “Manny, Manny”.

Rep. Pacquiao, who was accompanied during the trip to Japan by wife Jinkee, Vice Governor of Saranggani, encouraged the Filipinos to raise the prestige and honor of the country saying “No matter where you go, you bring with you not just your family name but your country’s pride.”

Ambassador Manuel Lopez, also in his opening remarks, thanked Rep. Pacquiao for responding to the invitation of the Filipinos in Japan to attend the Philippine Festival. Amb. Lopez said the annual Philippine Festival contributes to the tourism promotion program of the country as he noted that “the Philippines has become a tourism hot spot in recent years” as shown by the opening of many new hotels in the country and the increase in the number of Japanese tourists to the Philippines. (Click here for the text of the remarks of Amb. Lopez.)

The Honorable Nobuteru Ishihara, Member of the House of Representatives and Vice Chairman of the Japan-Philippines Parliamentarians Friendship League and Honorable Takashi Uto, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan delivered messages on behalf of the Japanese Government. Some members of the Diplomatic Corps and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the opening program.

The weekend Festival featured a parade, a street dancing competition, performances of bands playing Filipino and Japanese songs, and guest appearances by Manila-based celebrities Jolina Magdangal, Marvin Agustin and OPM singer Rey Valera. One of the main attractions was the Dinagyang festival dance preformed by a group of 30 award-winning dancers and drummers from Iloilo City, Philippines. The Dinagyang is a re-enactment of the sale of the Island of Panay by the local Atis to Malay settlers, with dancers in colorful costumes stamping their feet to the rhythm of drumbeats. The Dinagyang dancers were led by Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog,

A hundred booths representing the culture and heritage of the Philippines’ diverse regions participated in the event. Topping the list of attractions for visitors were booths offering Philippine culinary delights such as adobo, bagnet, lechon kawali, chicken inasal, sisig, and Filipino desserts such as puto, kutsinta, and halo-halo.

With the assistance of the Tourism, Trade and Industry, and Agriculture Attaché Offices of the Embassy, a number of companies from Manila and other regions put up booths that sold bags, accessories, household décor, gift items, food and other agricultural products, real estate and condominium units, and promoted tourism travel to the Philippines.

During the Festival, the Embassy conducted registration of Overseas Absentee Voters which listed over 300 Filipino voters for the 2016 national election.

The annual Philippine Festival is a project of the Filipino Community and the Philippine Embassy in Japan under the leadership of the Philippine Festival Organizing Committee. Now in its fourth year, it has become the biggest and most widely anticipated event of the Filipino Community.

Following is a photo album of the Philippine Festival 2015.