Bon Odori is an annual Japanese Summer Festival that is also celebrated in the Philippines, particularly in Cebu. This is a Japanese celebration in honor of their ancestors.
The 2015 Bon Odori summer festival was held last August 7 & 8 at the Family Park in Banilad. Attended not just by Japanese- Filipino and Korean as well and was indeed a feast! The venue was perfect to accommodate hundreds of attendees. There are a lot of food stalls that served Japanese and Filipino food, souvenir shops and other organization stalls that offer Japanese information (education, travel and etc). Most of the attendees were also wearing the traditional Japanese festival clothes, Yukata and Kimono. Walking around the venue made it feel like you’re walking around Japan.
The 2-day event was also filled with activities such as Ms. Yumi’s performance of the traditional Enka song. There was also a Bon Odori dance which the attendees enjoyed, the very fun portable shrine, the Candy shower and of course, the fireworks display by the Philippine Dragon Fireworks. There were also Sinulog Dance performances, the performance of the Cebu Seven Spirit Orchestra on the first day and the Karate exhibition on the second day.
There were more activities on the final day. There was Mochitsuki (rice cake pounding) that showed us how the popular rice cake is made. The attendees were also able to taste the freshly-made rice cake by our Japanese friends. Surely, it tastes so good- not to mention that the Uncles had to wear fundoshi; the traditional Japanese men’s underwear.
There was also a Yukata contest joined by the beautiful Filipino and Japanese ladies, the Karaoke contest and the Cosplay contest which despite of some obvious rumbled program sequence and the first-timer hosts, the event was still fun- thanks to Iron man, Olaf and all of the cosplayers for turning things around!
Despite of the rain which showered really hard on the second day, the event was still a success. Thank you to the Japanese people who flew all the way from Japan just to join the Cebuanos in celebrating and honoring their ancestors. And of course, kudos to the organizers and sponsors who made this event
See you all next summer!