Filipino-Japanese Journal November 2019

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ISSUE #46

NOVEMBER 2019 • FREE

Bela Padilla RETURNS TO TOKYO FILM FEST FOR ‘MAÑANITA’

PHILIPPINES

Makes Strong Comeback to Tokyo Film Fest

PH’S PATCH MAGTANONG Finishes in Top 8 of Miss International 2019

www.filipinojapanesejournal.com

BENCH

Brings Young PH Designers to Japan Fashion Week for the Fourth Time


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FILIPINO JAPANESE JOURNAL • NOVEMBER

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FILIPINO JAPANESE JOURNAL • NOVEMBER

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Contributors PUBLISHER D&D PRESS JAPAN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF FLORENDA CORPUZ ASSOCIATE EDITOR NEL SALVADOR

Herlyn Alegre

Din Eugenio

Arlene Donaire

is a graduate student at Waseda University in Tokyo. She is in love with the Tokyo Tower and crazy about Japanese history. The works of Haruki Murakami stir her thoughts and inspire her writing. The Beatles relaxes her and puts her in a mood to dream.

is a Tokyo-based Filipino press photographer whose work has appeared in publications like TIME (digital edition), ABC News, Daily Mail, Philippine Star and Philippine Daily Inquirer. He completed his professional photography course at the prestigious New York Institute of Photography in 2004. Before coming to Japan, he worked as a still photographer for Regal Films, a film outfit in the Philippines, from 1997-1999. He is the only Filipino press photographer officially accredited to cover the Tokyo International Film Festival since 2013. He regularly covers Hollywood movie premieres in Japan.

is a development economist and project management specialist by profession. She has worked in various government and consulting assignments for the past 27 years. She also served as Information and Public Relations Officer of the Tokyo-based Asian Productivity Organization back in 2010-11. She has been featured as Photographer of the Week by Manila Bulletin's Picture Perfect and won the nationwide Masskara Festival Photo Contest in 2014. She shoots with her Fujifilm X and Benro system.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS HERLYN ALEGRE OLIVER CORPUZ ARLENE DONAIRE TIM RAMOS ART DIRECTOR VERJUBE PHOTOGRAPHICS CIRCULATION & DISTRIBUTION MANAGER JIRO KURANE MARKETING OFFICER CORAZON KURANE EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING OFFICE 334-0011 SAITAMA-KEN, KAWAGUCHI-SHI, MITSUWA 1-12-6 ANNEX OKA 102 MOBILE 080-9153-2430 080-3357-2430

Oliver Corpuz

E-MAIL filipinojapanesejournal @yahoo.com

is a budding photographer from Tokyo. He took up photography courses at Philippine Center for Creative Imaging.

While Tim Ramos enjoys writing about the U.S. banking industry to pay the bills, he spends part of his free time pursuing two of his passions - photography and travel.

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FILIPINO JAPANESE JOURNAL • NOVEMBER

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Contents

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Editor's Note

SPOTLIGHT

e are beaming with pride as this issue features Filipino talents and works that represented the Philippines in various competitions and events here in Tokyo. With eight films that were screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) headlined by the Bela Padilla starrer “Mañanita,” Miss Philippines Patch Magtanong who finished in the top 8 of the Miss International Beauty Pageant 2019, and Bench that brought young designers to Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo, they made us proud to be a Filipino in Japan!

Bench Brings Young PH Designers to Japan Fashion Week for the Fourth Time

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ON THE COVER

Bela Padilla Returns to Tokyo Film Fest for ‘Mañanita’

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IN FOCUS

PH’s Patch Magtanong Finishes in Top 8 of Miss International 2019

ENTERTAINMENT

13 Florenda Corpuz Editor-in-Chief

Zhang Ziyi, Jury Members Name Tokyo Film Fest Winners

PROUDLY PINOY

Philippines Makes Strong Comeback to Tokyo Film Fest

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FILCOM WATCH

Tomoyuki Nagao: Getting to Know Philippine Airlines Japan Country Manager

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SPOTLIGHT

Bench Brings Young PH Designers to Japan Fashion Week for the Fourth Time

From left: Ben Chan, Bon Reyes, Jace Quiambao and Antonina Abad Amoncio

TOKYO – Bench flew three aspiring Filipino designers to Japan to showcase their creations to an international audience at the recently concluded Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo (RFWT). This marked the brand’s fourth participation at the celebrated biannual fashion event.

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rior to this, Bench has brought nine local designers to Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo (AFWT). They were Carl Jan Cruz, Karen Topacio, Seph Bagasao, Randolph Santos, Jayson Aguilar Glarino, Jennifer Anne Contreras, Sherwin Sacramento, Christian Edward Dalogaog and Renz Reyes. This year, Bench brought Antonina Abad Amoncio (ANTONINA), Bon Reyes (HANSEN) and Jace Quiambao (JACE QUIAMBAO), winners of the Bench Design Awards 2019. They presented their 2020 spring/summer collections during the “Asian Fashion Meets Tokyo – Philippines” show alongside the country’s leading lifestyle and clothing brand held at Shibuya Hikarie Hall A on Oct. 15. “I’m happy that from out of the so many Asian countries, tayo na lang ang naiwan – Pilipinas at Indonesia. Siyempre, I look forward sa suporta ng Japan Fashion Week na mapasali pa rin tayo sa mga susunod na taon,” Bench Founder Ben Chan told Filipino-Japanese Journal right after the show. Bench highlighted the “Filipino Fashion Heritage” by showing inspirations and elements from the national dress: the barong and the Philippine terno, the camisa, saya, and others while taking on a more contemporary approach to appeal to a wider market. 6

Antonina’s collection “GUNITA” features a visual interpretation of an 8-year old child as an exploration of Filipino children’s storybooks. She wishes to depict these elements in forms of hand embroideries and prints illustrated by a child.

Bon Reyes’ “PAGKAHARI” interprets the precolonial clothing of the Filipinos that are translated into soft and hard elements of menswear.

Bench’s Filipino Fashion Heritage collection

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Jace Quiambao’s “A LEPIDOPTERISTS SUMMER” is brought by his fascination of Vladimir Nabokov’s butterfly illustrations and collections. The lepidopterist’s field uniforms inspired the pieces such as twill jackets, shorts, and khaki vests. Garments come in Earth tone suede, juxtaposed with bright colors, oversized silhouettes, and stripes that resemble the veins on the butterfly wings.


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TOKYO – In the past years, Bela Padilla has done movies such as “Camp Sawi,” “I America,” “Meet Me at St. Gallen,” “100 Tula Para Kay Stella,” “Luck At First Sight” and “The Day After Valentine’s” – films that deviate from the usual mainstream formula.

ON THE COVER

Bela Padilla Returns to Tokyo Film Fest for ‘Mañanita’

WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY FLORENDA CORPUZ & NEL SALVADOR PHOTOGRAPHS BY DIN EUGENIO

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adilla’s role choices only prove her mettle as a talented actress whose dedication to her craft is something that one cannot question. From being a reluctant star, Bela managed to transform herself as a serious actress without relying much to her surname that is known and popular in showbiz. She is young, and has a lot more to improve. But it is safe to say that she has come to a point where she can make bold moves in her career. Her dauntless and brave decisions have brought her to prestigious international film festivals representing the Philippines, and earning accolades from critics and audiences alike.

Bela at TIFF In 2016, Padilla attended two prestigious festivals in Japan – Kyoto International Film Festival (KIFF) and the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) for “Tomodachi,” a story about a Filipina who fell in love with a Japanese soldier in World War II under the direction of Joel Lamangan; and “I America,” a film about a woman who’s fighting for her rights to become a US citizen being the daughter of an American. Three years later, Padilla returned to the 32nd TIFF for the world premiere of her latest film “Mañanita” which competed in the Main Competition section of the prestigious festival. Written by Lav Diaz and directed by Paul Soriano, it starred Padilla as the female sniper Edilberta who loses her job then embarks on a journey to

her hometown in search of the man who raped her and killed her parents. “Mañanita” was the lone Filipino entry in the Main Competition section, and Padilla couldn’t be more proud of the film that earned her a best actress nomination. “I usually work on mainstream cinema, mostly love stories and dramas. This is the first time that I was offered to do an experimental film, and I’m very happy that I said yes” she enthused. Explained Bela, “More than the physical aspect of the whole film, what’s interesting for me as an actress is how emotional Edilberta was, but at the same time she could not show it. She has demons inside her that couldn’t get out. We shot the film chronologically so I really felt everything Edilberta was going through.” During the Q&A session at Toho Cinemas in Roppongi Hills held recently, a member of the audience asked how Bela prepared for the role, and mentioned about her character not having many lines. “Actually, that was the biggest challenge for me because I am very talkative,” she said smilingly. “I think the training was more physical though. I had to learn how to assemble and how to use a rifle weeks before filming. I’ve never had a role like this before. Also, I watched films that Direk Paul suggested for me to watch to get into the psyche of a sniper shooter. I wanted to look really believable,” Bela added. Soriano was all praises for Padilla and hopes that Filipino moviegoers can see her believable and remarkable performance in the film when it opens in Philippine cinemas on Dec. 4.

“Personally, I’m just hoping that being a part of the Competition section here at TIFF will pick the interest of our local audience. Hopefully, our own Filipino audience will come to the cinema, will be able to appreciate what you have all seen, and witness a fantastic performance by Bela and a great collaboration with Lav, and hope for the same kind of support that we got here in Tokyo,” Soriano said when asked about his expectations when the film screens in the Philippines.

MMFF Entry There’s no stopping Padilla from making films. She is currently filming the Philippine adaptation of “Miracle in Cell No. 7,” which is among the first four selected entries to the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), slated to be shown this December. Padilla replaced fellow Viva star Nadine Lustre who declined the role due to medical concerns in the remake of the popular Korean comedy-drama film. “Miracle in Cell No. 7” is about a mentally challenged man wrongfully imprisoned for murder, who builds friendships with the hardened criminals in his cell, and in return they help him see his daughter again by smuggling her into the prison. In interviews, Padilla said that she doesn’t mind being the second choice for the role, and that she is excited to be given the chance to portray it because she is a fan of Korean dramas and films. Aside from Padilla, the movie also stars Aga Muchlach, Joel Torre, Soliman Cruz, Mon Confiado, JC Santos and Jojit Lorenzo.

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IN FOCUS

PH’s Patch Magtanong Finishes in Top 8 of Miss International 2019 WORDS BY FLORENDA CORPUZ PHOTOGRAPHS BY DIN EUGENIO

TOKYO – Philippine bet Bea Patricia “Patch” Magtanong finished in the top 8 of the 59th Miss International Beauty Pageant held at Tokyo Dome City Hall on Nov. 12. 10

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he 25-year-old lawyer-beauty queen from Bataan delivered an inspiring speech on women empowerment and gender equality during the final round of the competition. “When I was younger, I found it strange that I was subjected to different standards as other boys my age. When I got older and even more so when I became a lawyer, I began to question these standards and challenge them. Why should women live in fear of harassment, violence, and discrimination when basic human decency calls for respect, tolerance, and compassion? “To cheer all women means to support all women regardless of their race, religion, or background. But not only this – it also means to remove the barriers that prevent women from realizing their full potential. Miss International does this by fostering a global culture of women empowerment and gender equality. And through this platform, we can ensure that no woman anytime, anywhere is left behind,” she said. Magtanong aimed for the Philippines’ seventh Miss International crown. “I was just so thankful to even reach the top 8. I was so thankful to deliver my speech. And then after I delivered it, I was at peace. I knew

that I did everything I could and I accepted my fate,” she told Filipino-Japanese Journal in an interview after the coronation. Last year, her predecessor Ma. Ahtisa Manalo almost won the coveted title after she finished first runner-up in the competition. The Philippines has six Miss International winners to date: Kylie Verzosa (2016), who served as backstage correspondent during the coronation night, Bea Rose Santiago (2013), Precious Lara Quigaman (2005), Melanie Marquez (1979), Aurora Pijuan (1970) and Gemma Teresa Cruz (1964). Miss Thailand Sireethorn Leearamwat was crowned Miss International 2019. Other winners include Miss Mexico (1st runner-up), Miss Uganda (2nd runner-up), Miss Colombia (3rd runner-up) and Miss United Kingdom (4th runner-up). Special awards were given to Miss Vietnam (Best in National Costume), Miss Uganda (Best in Swimsuit), Miss Guadeloupe (Miss Photogenic), Miss Venezuela (Best in Evening Gown), Miss Thailand (Miss International Asia), Miss Netherlands (Miss International Europe), Miss Peru (Miss International America), Miss Liberia (Miss International Africa) and Miss Hawaii (Miss International Oceania).

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ENTERTAINMENT

2nd from left to right: Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, Petersen, actress Jette Søndergaard, Zhang and producer Marco Lorenzen

From left: Gerber, Gayet, Zhang, Noer and Hiroki

Zhang Ziyi, Jury Members Name Tokyo Film Fest Winners WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY FLORENDA CORPUZ

TOKYO – The 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) International Competition Jury headed by Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi along with members Hollywood producer Bill Gerber, French actor-producer Julie Gayet, Danish director Michael Noer and Japanese helmer Ryuichi Hiroki has named this year’s winners at a ceremony held in Tokyo International Forum on Nov. 5.

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he Competition section consisted of 14 films selected from among 1,804 titles from 115 countries and regions including Paul Soriano’s “Mañanita” from the Philippines. The Tokyo Grand Prix/The Governor of Tokyo Award, TIFF’s most coveted award, went to the Danish film “Uncle” directed by Frelle Petersen. Zhang commented that “it is the best movie,” and that “we [juries] all agree on that.” The Special Jury Prize was awarded to the Ukrainian film “Atlantis” directed by Valentyn Vasyanovych. The French film, “Only the Animals” from director Dominik Moll bagged the Audience Award,” which also received the Best Actress Award for Nadia Tereszkiewicz.

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Best Director Award was given to Saeed Roustaee for the Iranian thriller “Just 6.5.” Best Actor was Navid Mohammadzadeh for his performance in the said film. The Award for Best Artistic Contribution went to Wang Rui’s Chinese feature “Chaogtu with Sarula.” The Best Screenplay was awarded to Shin Adachi for his autobiographical film “A Beloved Wife.” The Tokyo Gemstone Awards, created to honor up-and-coming actors and actresses, went to Riru Yoshina for “Take Over Zone,” Sairi Ito for “Life: Untitled,” Yui Sakuma for “I Was a Secret Bitch” and Josefine Frida, who appeared in the Norwegian film “Disco.” Other big winners of the festival included “Summer Knight” (Best Asian

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Future Film), Reza Jamali for his film “Old Men Never Die” (The Spirit of Asia Award by the Japan Foundation Asia Center), “i -Documentary of the Journalist-” (Best Picture Award Japanese Cinema Splash) and Hirobumi Watanabe for “Cry” (Best Director Award - Japanese Cinema Splash). “We would like to once again thank the Tokyo International Film Festival for bringing us here and giving us this opportunity to watch such superlatives films, as well as the chance to meet each other and spend time together,” Zhang said at a press conference. This year’s TIFF has concluded after nine days of film screenings that attracted an audience of 65,211 and 151,542 visitors to its red carpet and other official events while screening a total of 180 movies.


Brillante Mendoza (Mindanao)

TOKYO – A year after acclaimed filmmaker Brillante Mendoza made history as the first Filipino jury president of the Main Competition section of Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), he is back again in the A-list festival for the screening of his latest masterpiece, “Mindanao,” starring Judy Ann Santos in the World Focus section.

Paul Soriano and Bela Padilla (Mañanita)

Mara Lopez and Pinky Amador (The Halt)

From left: Ben Padero, JC Santos, Bradley Liew and Bianca Balbuena (Motel Acacia)

From left: Dan Villegas, Antoinette Jadaone and Carlo Cannu (Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay)

From left: Mitos Yniguez, Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo and Boy Yniguez (Untrue)

From left: Kent Gonzales and Erik Matti (The Entity)

PROUDLY PINOY

Philippines Makes Strong Comeback to Tokyo Film Fest WORDS BY FLORENDA CORPUZ PHOTOGRAPHS BY DIN EUGENIO

“M

asaya! Kasi parang less ang trabaho. Iba ang trabaho kasi kapag jury ka, kailangan very critical ka. Iba rin kapag filmmaker ka, nandoon ka lang sa pelikula mo, yun lang ang concern mo,” he told Filipino-Japanese Journal (FJJ) about his return to TIFF. “Kapag filmmaker ka, you want to see the reaction of the audience. Alam mo yung napapanood nila yung pelikula mo tapos nakikita nila yung difference ng mga films mo, talagang alam nila yung filmography mo, yun talaga ang fulfilling. You don’t get to feel this kapag jury ka kasi palagi ka nakahiwalay, you just critic the film and be critical about the movie that you are watching. Ngayon it’s not about that eh, parang trabaho kasi yun, ngayon parang ramdam mo yung filmmaker ka,” Mendoza went on. He added: “Sarap ng pakiramdam, masarap yung mga Q&A, alam mong nato-touch ang mga tao, alam mong hindi fake yung kanilang nararamdaman kasi right there and then yun ang sinasabi nila sa’yo.” Aside from Mendoza’s film, this year’s TIFF includes seven other Filipino movies: Paul Soriano’s suspense drama “Mañanita” starring Bela Padilla, which had its world premiere in the Main Competition section on Oct. 29; the horror suspense film “Motel Acacia” directed by Bradley Liew starring JC Santos, which had its cinema debut in the Asian Future category on Nov. 1; Erik Matti’s “Food Lore - Island of Dreams” in the World Focus section; and Lav Diaz’s “The Halt (Ang Hupa),” Matti’s “The Entity (Kuwaresma),” Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo’s “Untrue” and Antoinette Jadaone’s “Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay” in the Crosscut Asia section. Most of them took part in the red carpet event last Oct. 28 at a packed Roppongi Hills Arena.

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FILCOM WATCH

Tomoyuki Nagao: Getting to Know Philippine Airlines Japan Country Manager

Philippine Airlines (PAL), the flag carrier of the Philippines, was founded in 1941 and is the first and oldest commercial airline in Asia operating under its original name. For 78 years, PAL has managed to give its valued passengers the excellent service that they are known for. In fact, in 2019 PAL was awarded as the World’s Most Improved Airline by Skytrax.

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part of PAL’s success can be attributed to the men and women behind its operation, working hard to move people, goods, and information from one place to another safely and efficiently. One of those who is behind PAL’s incredible working force is Japanese Tomoyuki Nagao, Country Manager for Japan. Working for PAL since 1999, Nagao held different positions in the company before being promoted as the country manager. For the past two decades, Nagao makes it a point to adhere to PAL’s mission of letting passengers from all over the world to experience “The Heart of the Filipino.” “PAL is the only one with full service airline in the Philippines. On each and every PAL flight, our passengers will experience what we call ‘The Heart of the Filipino.’ This means our cabin crew will provide that distinct brand of Filipino service marked by warmth, charm and heartfelt care,” he enthused in an 14

exclusive interview with FilipinoJapanese Journal (FJJ). Currently, PAL has 85 flights weekly between the Philippines and Japan. There are 59 flights from Tokyo, Haneda, Narita, Osaka Kansai, and Nagoya to Cebu weekly – making Japan as PAL’s most important market. Nagao admitted that one of the greatest challenges that he experienced as the country manager was opening the sixth station in Japan: Manila-Sapporo flight in December 2018. “Sapporo is purely inbound market (foreign tourist coming to Japan), but we had to increase the number of tourists to the Philippines together with the local travel agents in Sapporo.” Through the years, Nagao learned to explore different possibilities in order to remain true to PAL’s mission and vision. “I have learned to analyze the future markets and its possibilities to seize the opportunity to grow and expand. Also, I learned the unique Filipino culture where family and

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kindness extends to everyone and the warmth in the company,” he said. As a boss, he is grateful to work with a team that is driven, competitive, and share the same vision as his. “I like to promote an open office; I do welcome any opinions/views from the staff. Whether just to chat or share their work problems, my door is always open. I think that good human communications and relations, honesty and understanding within the company will make a better working environment. “I do have a great team of people working with me, whom I am able to depend on for information and latest news,” he added. In the next years, he hopes to still help PAL grow by adding more flights from Japan to the Philippines and more new stations throughout Japan. “PAL is always grateful to be given the opportunity to serve and work together with Filipino communities around Japan. We hope that they will experience our whole-hearted service called ‘Buong Pusong Alaga.’”


ADVERTORIAL

SMILES, LAUGHTER, LEARNING - Welcome to MPIJIA, (Maximizing Potential In Japan International Academy), a custom-education school located in Tokyo for students with LEARNING DIFFERENCES

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s you can see from the surrounding photos, smiles are common and plentiful, and the Principal, Bill Ward, feels this is the best state-ofmind to be in, for learning, as well as living. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Bill originally had an education and working background in Electrical Engineering. In 2001, he focused his energy on education, and received his teaching credentials in Dorchester, Massachusetts, an inner-city community of Boston. As he was teaching his Math and Science lessons, he noticed some of the students were not fully “getting” the concepts. It turned out some of these students had Learning Differences, meaning they gained, processed and demonstrated their knowledge and skills in unique and personal ways. Bill went back to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Special Education in 2005. MPIJIA was founded in 2008, and the passion for learning and fun his students

show, through the smiles on their faces, continues to grow every year. This school year, there are four students, with some attending full-time, and some attending part-time. All the students enjoy one-on-one attention, as needed, and an assistant teaches alongside Bill every weekday, Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. A typical school day is academics and social games each morning, with a snack around 10:00 a.m. or so. Lunchtime is 11:30 a.m., followed by daily adventures in a nearby park. After the park, academics and games continue, with frequent breaks and “tricks,” interspersed between the lessons to maintain attention spans and energy levels. The students help guide the direction and intensity of their learning, with the benchmark on how the day is going being the glow of their smile and the warmth of their laughter. MPIJIA is located in Kanamecho, Toshima-ku, and welcomes all visitors, with advance notice. Please contact Bill at 070-7475-6745, or bward@mpijia.com, to arrange a time to visit.

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