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Up to 50,000 people join 'Barrio Fiesta 2012' in Japan

September 15, 2012 3:30pm

Tags: Japan
Some 30,000 to 50,000 people joined the Philippine Festival Barrio Fiesta (PBF) 2012 at the Yamashita Park in Yokohama, Japan on September 1 and 2, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
 
In a news release, the DFA said the festival was last held at the Yoyogi Park, Tokyo in 2007.

PBF 2012 featured a lively and colorful cultural parade that showcased:
  • the "Higantes Festival" (also known as the celebration of the feast of San Clemente) of Angono,
  • "Halad Festival" (a religious celebration to commemorate Sta. Teresa de Avila) of Leyte and Samar,
  • folk dances from Abra and the Cordillera, and
  • a Santacruzan.

Filipino celebrities such as Lovie Poe, Allan K., Christopher de Leon, Pops Fernandez, and Ariel Rivera graced the event.
 
Japan-based Filipino talents also performed songs and dances to showcase the diversity and richness of Filipino culture.
 
The PBF 2012 had 54 booths that featured Philippine food, handicrafts, and other products.

On the first day of the festival, Lopez and Yokohama City Mayor Fumiko Hayashi laid flowers at the commemorative marker of General Artermio Ricarte at Yamashita Park.
 
Hayashi said,  “While in exile in Japan, General Ricarte, one of the heroes who contributed to the independence of the Philippines, lived for approximately 20 years around what is now Chinatown.”
 
Hayashi also noted that Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal first landed in Japan through the port of Yokohama.
 
She said both Rizal and Ricarte “would surely be so pleased that the Philippine Festival is so splendidly held in Yokohama which has very deep ties with the Philippines.”
 
She also hoped that through the Barrio Fiesta, “the friendship between our two countries can grow even stronger.”

During the opening ceremony, Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez said the PBF aims to strengthen ties between Filipinos and the Japanese.
 
Taking a cue from the Philippines' popular tourism slogan, Lopez said the hospitality of Filipinos makes it more fun not only  in the Philippines but also in Japan.
 
PBF Chairperson Jenavilla Shigemizu also said the fiesta is a Filipino tradition that prays for safety from harm and disasters.
 
She also hoped that the event would help Filipinos in Japan unite for the good and welfare of their native land -- the Philippines -- and their second home, Japan.

Organized by the Filipino community in Japan, PBF 2012 was sponsored by the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, the city of Yokohama, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA).

As of 2011, there were more than 210,000 Filipinos in Japan, with around 128,000 residing in East Japan. - Andrei Medina, VVP, GMA News
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Tags: Japan