Japanese group seeks aid in conduct of Lantern Fest
Romiel Franz C. Gallego (The Freeman) - June 1, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Japanese Association Cebu, Incorporated yesterday sought Capitol’s help in its celebration of the Japanese Obon or Lantern Festival to be held at the Sugbo Grounds at the South Road Properties this coming August.

Kinue Sakurai, JAC president, said that in a closed-door meeting with Vice Governor Magpale, they relayed their concerns for the event set for August 12 to 13 (Friday and Saturday).

“It’s going to be our sign of friendship between Philippines and Japan since this is the Diplomatic Friendship Year of our 60th anniversary,” Sakurai said.

 Obon is a Japanese festival in commemoration of Japanese ancestors’ spirits.

On this occasion, Japanese, traditionally, will hang lanterns to guide the ancestors’ spirits, perform obon dances (bon odori), visit graves, and make food offerings at house altars and temples, almost similar to the Filipino celebration of All Souls’ Day.

Sakurai said they also want Cebuanos to be part of the festival and feel the Japanese culture by experiencing their cuisine and witnessing the amalgam of performances including the Sinulog dance.

“It’s more of the character exchange and events,” she said, as she assured that being a part of the event will be beneficial.

The festival will showcase booths and promote ‘sharing of homemade’ Japanese products.

This would be the third year that the Bon Odori will be celebrated in Cebu.

JAC is also asking for more volunteers, saying that they are all welcome for the event.

The festival will start at 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. A fireworks display will also be held.

The Japanese Embassy is also coordinating with the Department of Tourism concerning the festival. — (FREEMAN)

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