fresh no ads
UP-Diliman graduate grand champion of 51st Nihongo Speech Contest |

Arts and Culture

UP-Diliman graduate grand champion of 51st Nihongo Speech Contest

Dolly Dy-Zulueta -
UP-Diliman graduate grand champion of 51st Nihongo Speech Contest
Grand champion Jacob Fuentebella (center) flanked by Shigeru Shimoda, President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines (left) and Tsutomu 'Ben' Suzuki, Director of Japan Foundation Manila (right).
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines — Jacob Fuentebella, a University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman graduate who now works as a Korean Account Associate, is the grand champion of the 51st Nihongo Speech Contest, which took place at Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong City last February 24.

The speech competition was one of the highlights of the Nihongo Fiesta 2024 organized by Japan Foundation Manila.

Fuentebella, who represented Bulacan, bested eight other finalists from all over the Philippines who came together to showcase their talents and skills in communicating their thoughts in Japanese. Fuentebella’s speech, as translated ("People-to-People Connections Through Foreign Language Studies"), talked about his language learning journey, starting from Korean, and now venturing into Japanese, aiming to inspire others.

Securing the second place was Erina Sotoya (Cebu), with her piece called “Irreplaceable Person,” which she used to share how her memories with her father shaped her deep appreciation for present connections.  

Third place went to Anferee Tizon (Taguig), a 4th year BA Communications student at Adamson University, with his speech titled “Not All Coffee Tastes Bitter,” which reflected his personal journey on friendships and how the lessons he learned shaped his current perspective and attitude towards people, similar to how his taste for coffee has changed.

The Special Jury Award was given to Niño Raphael Mesajon (Davao), a Grade 12 student from Philippine Nikkeijin Kai International School, for his speech “Truth Beyond First Sight.” It talked about how his perspective changed during a visit to a Lumad community, leading him to question the true meaning of living a good life. 

The winners were chosen based on Content (originality, organization and impact), Delivery (voice and manner) and Language (appropriateness and correctness).

Fuentebella will be joining the study tour hosted by the Japan Overseas Enterprises Association, with airfare sponsored by the Japanese Association Manila Inc. and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines Inc.

The 51st Nihongo Speech Contest was one of the highlights of the Nihongo Fiesta 2024 organized by Japan Foundation Manila. The Nihongo Fiesta stands as a tradition serving not only as an event but as a celebration that fosters deeper connections between Japan and the Philippines. It provides a fertile ground for the flourishing community of Nihongo speakers and enthusiasts, welcoming individuals from all walks of life, from eager language learners to seasoned professionals, to take part in an immersive arts and cultural experience.

Nihongo Fiesta 2024 also featured the "Minna no Nihongo Fiesta," a captivating display of photos submitted by educational institutions across the Philippines, giving the audience a unique glimpse into the diverse facets of Japanese cultural appreciation in the Philippines. Meanwhile, attendees were treated to a performance by the UP Philippines-Japan Friendship Club (UP Tomo-Kai), showcasing the rich tapestry of Japanese culture.

Capping off the event was a performance of the Ryukyu Buyo, an Okinawan traditional dance performance, as Nihongo Fiesta 2024 turned out to be a celebration of language, culture and creativity.

RELATED: 'Voltes V,' 'Slam Dunk,' 'Detective Conan' lead Japanese Film Festival 2024 lineup

vuukle comment




Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with