It has been a month since we celebrated the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month. Like in the past years, the friendship month was celebrated with a series of culture and art events like the film festival, visual art exhibits, theater productions and musical performances around Manila, Cebu and Davao.
The highlight of this year’s friendship month is the 3 night performance of Yamato: Drummers of Japan at SM Mall of Asia and SM City North EDSA. Yamato is one of the best taiko ensembles in Japan. The group was founded by Masa Ogawa in 1993. This is the second time that Yamato has come to the Philippines to perform, the first time was in 2006 which was also during the celebration of the Friendship Month.
Bringing a big group like Yamato is not an easy feat. Aside from coordinating with the sponsors, technical and transportation suppliers, we also had to make sure that we have an audience for the 3 shows and that the group, drums and all technical equipment are transported on time from SM MOA to SM North EDSA (which in itself is a major production already).
But all these things (plus some other “minor” problems like getting all the 14 cases of drums on the same flight as the group, the rented truck with the drums arriving an hour late for the Unang Hirit TV guesting) were worth it. Yamato: Drums of Japan was a success. After a month, I still remember the energy of Yamato and the audience during the 3 night performance, the screaming girls (and boys), the long line outside Sky Dome even though it was drizzling… and I even remember the group of girls waiting patiently outside the backstage door just to get a glimpse (and photo) of the Yamato boys.
Yamato’s motto is “Go anywhere if invited and make the world a little more happy.” I think they did just that last July. They made Manila a little more happy. Until the next Friendship Month.
Personal thanks to Barbie, Louise, Ms. Deng, Len, Steph, Lyn of SM and Claude of Cebu Pacific.