Went to the Nihongo Festival and saw Joe Inoue Live in Manila

27 February 2016

Today was supposed to be an ordinary day until Patrick tagged me on this link.  Joe Inoue, the singer of "Closer", one of Naruto Shippuuden's ending songs, was going to be performing live in the afternoon at the Nihongo Fiesta 2016 sponsored by the Japan Foundation Manila at the Shangri-la Plaza for free!  Dana, Dylan and I were so excited because first, it's free! Second, the venue was accessible! Third, we had plenty of time to finish our chores before we go! :) yay! There was a moment of doubt because we might have a hard time coming home from there since I remember that area always being jam-packed with people during the rush hour.  But, what the heck, it's a rare opportunity so we went!

We thought we wouldn't make it in time because the driver of the cab was apparently sleepy and was driving a bit slow.  But on hindsight, at least he was careful and was really trying to keep himself awake.  It was still a relatively fast trip considering the traffic in Manila and it was a Saturday no less.

When we got there, we headed to the Grand Atrium where we could already hear the screaming of fans who were at that time watching a live performance by Kawaii 5, the Filipino girl group endorsers of the Japanese TV Drama AMACHAN.  After, Joe Inoue and Diana Garnet, another singer of a Naruto Shippuuden opening/ending credits song, were introduced and interviewed shortly on stage.

We positioned ourselves next to the stage when we figured that the interview was nearing its end.  We were fortunate to have the opportunity to take a few photos with Joe when he got off the stage. Thank you Joe for being so accommodating to your fans!

Meanwhile, Diana performed a few songs on stage and then when she was done, we were able to take a picture with her too :)


Then it was Joe's turn to perform and the crowd went wild when he performed excerpts from Naruto Shippuuden's "Closer" and the themes from Tokyo Ghoul, DragonBall Z and One Punch Man :)

As the event was drawing to a close, all the guests (including J-Pop group The Beatmotors) were asked to step on the stage for the final farewell.  Then the host proposed a group selfie which drove the audience in a frenzy.  Dana scampered up and onto the stage.  It happened so fast I wasn't even able to take a picture haha When that group selfie surfaces on the net, I'll be sure to grab a copy :)

We were able to catch up with Kawaii5 when we were going around the mall after the show. :)

It was such a brief moment, around 1 1/2 hours, but the kids obviously enjoyed themselves.  Dylan was even jumping up and down when the first note (more like scream) from One Punch Man was sung :) Dana was in high spirits because it was such an awesome experience :)  She can't wait to tell her friends about it. :)

The Nihongo Fiesta 2016 also featured the 43rd Nihongo Speech Contest, the 8th Nihongo Quiz Bee for High School Students and the screening of the "Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai" anime. 

Joe Inoue, Diana Garnet and the Beatmotors will also be performing live at a concert dubbed "Spinning Manila: J-Pop Live" at WhiteSpace Manila, Chino Roces Street Makati City on February 28 (Sun) at 5PM. The concert is free and open to the public but online registration at http://spinningmanila.eventbrite.com is required.  

For more information, you may visit the Japan Foundation, Manila's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jfmanila.