Four young talents won in the 2013 J-Pop Anime Singing and Cosplay Mini-Contest held July 20 at SM Mall of Asia Center Stage.
The grand prize was awarded to nine-year-old Melrick James Celajes, who impressed the crowd with his rendition of “Piece of My Wish.”
It was one of the highlights of the celebration of Philippine-Japan Friendship Month and the 40th Year of Asean-Japan Friendship
Sheena Stacey Gonzales won second prize with “Kimi ni Todoke.” Third prize winner was Diana Tabitha Caro who performed the “Ryuusei.” Fourth placer was Alexys Arcilla who interpreted the song “Saigo no Ame.”
Celajes also bagged the Hero’s Choice and Toie’s Choice awards.
The winners were given prizes such as gadgets from Sony, Toshiba, Canon and Panasonic, and scholarships from the Center for Pop Music and various merchandise from Uniqlo, Yakult and Ajinomoto.
Anime enthusiasts, dressed in their favorite characters, gathered in the Mini Cosplay Event. For greater excitement, the mecha and cloth categories were added in the contest.
In the mecha category, Seir Luke Buelos as Gundam Heavy Arms won first prize, and Ashley Misaki Francisco as Garo, second.
In the cloth category, Rica Gabrielle Ortiz as Miku Hatsune was first place. Second was Ian Christopher Ticar as Agent Hunk.
The Toei’s Choice award was given to Rica Gabrielle Ortiz and Shan Lowel Cruz as Garulu. Christine Jean Blardony as Xiang Yu Armor and Gregory Cole Reyes as Yukito were Hero’s Choice awardees. The winners also received gadgets from Panasonic and Canon and gifts from Uniqlo, Yakult and Ajinomoto.
Japanese pop artist Joe Inoue surprised his Filipino fans when he emerged on stage for a brief performance. The audience enjoyed his song “Closer.”
Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe said that the 2013 J-Pop Anime Singing Contest is helping build a legacy in Philippine-Japan ties.
The No Plan Band, composed of diplomats from the Embassy of Japan, took a break from work and performed in the event.
Captain DFA, the Philippines’ own hero, joined the celebration.
The appearance of Doraemon and Nobita never fails to fascinate the audience.
Anime film showing
The anime film screenings of the “Place Promised in Our Days” and “5 Centimeters per Second” at the SM Mall of Asia Cinema 6 received overwhelming support from anime fans.
Some 1,500 people watched this year’s anime films which focused on friendship and relationships.
The 2013 J-Pop Anime Singing Contest and Mini Cosplay Event is organized by the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines and the Japan Foundation Manila.
It is supported by Ajinomoto Philippines, Animation International Licensing Philippines, Canon Information Technologies Philippines Inc., Canon Marketing (Philippines) Inc., Canon Business Machines (Philippines) Inc., Center for Pop Music Philippines Inc., Nihongo Center Foundation Inc., Panasonic Philippines Corp., SM Mall of Asia Cinema, Sony Philippines Inc., Toei Animation Philippines Inc., Toshiba Philippines Inc., Uniqlo Philippines, Yakult Philippines Inc. and Yoshinoya.