The Embassy of Japan recently celebrated the annual Philippines-Japan Friendship Month with the J-Pop Anime Sing and Dance Contest Grand Finals at the SM Cinema Centerstage in the SM Mall of Asia.
A joint project of the Embassy of Japan, the Japan Foundation, Manila, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), and SM Cinema, the event commemorates 59 years of longstanding cooperation between Japan and the Philippines.
Now on its seventh year, the contest has been a venue for Filipino amateur performers of all ages who can sing and dance their favorite J-Pop or anime songs in Japanese.
Maychell Hernandez won first place and an all-expense paid trip to Japan; while Kenichi Go Uang and Lou Angeline Buenaventura Ulanday placed second and third, respectively.
In the dance category, Fluffy Unicorns won the grand prize; while Seishun Kakumei, came in second.
Special awards were also given to other finalists: the Bandai’s Best for Lou Angeline Buenaventura Ulanday, the Hero Choice Award for Kenichi Go Uang and Fluffy Unicorn, Toei’s Favorite for Maychelle Hernandez and Seiza, and the Doraemon Special Award for Sachii and Kiss-My-Boys.
The Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa graced the annual contest. On the lighter side, the No Plan Band, which is composed of the Japan Embassy’s diplomats, performed anime songs during the event.
Hikari, which won First Place last year in the singing contest, performed for an encore. The event also featured a special appearance of Doraemon and friends: Shizuka, Suneo, Nobita, and Takeshi; as well as Koala’s March and Yakult.