Uli-Uli: A Cultural Night, Japanese Summer Festival-Style at UP Diliman

 

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With the feel of a Japanese summer festival right at the heart of the UP-Diliman campus, UP Tomokai’s Uli-uli was indeed the rich and exciting cultural night it was envisioned to be, bringing together the best aspects of Filipino and Japanese culture by showcasing the talents of local and invited studentry, and having attendees enjoy a great time together.  arkadymac.com is glad to be an official media partner for Uli-uli, and we are pleased to bring you the highlights of this wonderful event.

 

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Helping us cover this event is our Cosplay Model Ai Chi, who readily admits to enjoying getting this particular assignment.  We had lots of help from our good friend Yuuko from Talking Apples, who provided us with a splendid yukata so that Ai Chi could really get into the Japanese summer festival feel of Uli-uli. Talking Apples Maid and Butler Cafe was a sponsor for the event too.

 

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Uli-uli is a Filipino word referring to the coming together of opposing currents.  It embodies the harmonization of Filipino and Japanese cultures in one cultural event as UP Tomo-Kai aims to bring the feel of a traditional Japanese summer festival to the university.

 

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Invited guests put on great performances that showcased the rich culture of the Filipinos and the Japanese in front of an appreciative audience.  There were Filipino cultural performances by UP TUGMA, the Munimuni Band, UPCIS Bunraku Ensemble, and UP KonTraGaPi.   There was also a martial arts demonstration by UP Sangkil Karasak as well as a demonstration by the UP Kendo club.

 

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UP Tomo-Kai had also invited partner organizations from other universities to take part in the festivities.  Thomasian Nihon Kyoukai from UST and PNU NAMI are university organizations that share the same ideals, and were supporting the event in full force with their staff manning their special booths at the venue grounds.  Ai Chi got to enjoy the Kendama challenge and won a prize at the marble and chopsticks challenge at the PNU NAMI booth.

 

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Ai Chi tried out the raffle at the TNK booth and had some fun and photos with the members but we have to be honest when we say that she was really disappointed when she failed to win a pack of Ariel detergent srp 7.50.

 

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Fun game booths were all over the venue at UP Sunken Garden, so many that it took Ai Chi a while to try out all of them.  Many emulated the staple booths at festivals in Japan (and in turn, in most animes), making them really worth the try.  The games only cost 5 or 10 pesos per try, which we thought was wonderful because you can just try or have fun to your heart’s content without worrying too much about your budget.  With the low price, everyone would be willing to try them out and just enjoy themselves.  Ai Chi tried the goldfish scooping and managed to catch one before the paper scoop tore.  She tried the ring toss and got to put two rings in to win a prize.  She tried out the coin toss and won a prize when she threw and just barely landed a peso coin at the center of the table on her third try.  Ai Chi tried to burst balloons with darts but that proved more of a challenge for her.

 

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Ai Chi tried out a booth where she could determine her luck.  The one she got said: “Good luck for studies,”  but then again she just finished college.  She tied it on a rope along with those of others in the hopes that the luck would really be of use.

 

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There was also the sakura tree where people can write their thoughts and wishes on paper cherry blossoms and hang them on branches in the hopes that they could come true.

 

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One particularly fun part of the event was the  yosakoi traditional folk dance performance by the Tomo-Kai members and invited exchange students.  It was an engaging and energetic dance, said to be a modern rendition of a traditional Japanese summer dance.  It was fun to watch so the audience couldn’t help but dance along too.

 

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More than the varied sensory experiences that the festival offered, what Uli-uli wished to impart is the value of fellowship and of communication between global citizens.  Whether we be Filipinos or Japanese, it is important to acquaint ourselves with other cultures, and Uli-uli aims to be that avenue to fulfill this aspiration.

 

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Uli-uli encouraged everyone to make new friends from among the other participants so as to the better to enjoy the exciting performances and the amusing attractions the special evening had in store for them.  And there was indeed a warm and welcoming atmosphere at Uli-uli that made people more friendly and approachable with each other.  We got to know, chat, and make new friends with the many guests at the event, particularly the contingent of Japanese exchange students who were genuinely having fun at the event and making friends.  Ai Chi got to be acquainted with them as well as the other guests.  They became instant friends and we had fun taking lots of photos with each other.

 

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The Philippines-Japan Friendship Club, more popularly known as UP Tomo-Kai, is an organization that aims to promote the Japanese language and culture, as well as foster mutual relations between Filipinos and Japanese. Started by seven visionaries in 1990, the organization has grown to an illustrious and full-fledged team of closely-knit students working together to further its goals.  Tomo-Kai plays an active role in promoting Philippine and Japanese culture; whether it be through befriending Japanese exchange students, holding Japanese tutorials for prospective members, dancing to traditional folk music, or organizing a month-long event celebrating our innate thirst for culture.

 

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Many thanks and congratulations to UP Tomo-Kai for holding such a successful event that everyone in attendance really enjoyed.  Ai Chi and I agree that it was definitely one of the best Japanese summer festival-themed events we’ve gone to, and that we enjoyed ourselves too much that we forgot we were actually doing coverage.  Thank you for having us over and we hope to take part of many such events in the future.

 

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Thank you for dropping by, and please visit us again for more cosplay features here at arkadymac.com.

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Author

Xtian Mack

Xtian Mack

Xtian Mack took up AB English Studies, Major in Creative Writing at UP Diliman. Currently works for a medical transcription company. He is the Creative Director of The Cosplay Cafe: arkadymac.com, doing photography, writing, and reporting for the website. His line of photography specializes in cosplay event coverage, having covered 300 events in a span of 3 years. Loves cute and furry things.