As the culminating event for their 25th anniversary celebration, UP Tomo-Kai’s Hiyaw was indeed the rich and exciting cultural night with just the feel of a Japanese summer festival right at the heart of the UP-Diliman campus.  The event brought 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. is glad to be an official media partner for Hiyaw, and we are pleased to bring you the highlights of this wonderful event.

Helping us cover this event is our Cosplay Model Ai Chi, who readily admits to enjoying getting this particular assignment as it was her second time covering this summer festival in UP. With a lively and loud Japanese school festival as its theme, Hiyaw was definitely a delight to the senses as Filipino and Japanese cultures coalesce in one cultural event with UP Tomo-Kai bringing the feel of a traditional Japanese summer festival to the university at UP Diliman campus’ iconic Sunken Garden.



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, Goen Kendama, UPCIS Bunraku Ensemble, UP CIS Noh Ensemble, UP Sangkil Karasak, and UP KonTraGaPi.



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.   Other organizations like HallyUP, UP KAISA (K1), University of the Philippines Anime Manga Enthusiasts, UP Art Studies Society, UP Sandiwa, GakUEn-REALM, Hinomoto, and BPSU Filipino – Nihongo Cultural Society, also lent their support.



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.  There was also the ring toss and pong game.



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.



More than the varied sensory experiences that the festival offered, what Hiyaw 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.  Hiyaw 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.  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.



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.



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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