Want to get in touch with your inner Japanophile? Want to review your Nihongo-speaking skills? Or do you just want to relate a little bit more with your student, dear RareJob tutor? Lucky for you, July is the Philippines-Japan Friendship month! And events will pour in not just this rainy month of July but they will last until August—and even October if you live in the North. Mark your calendars!



Eigasai / Japanese Film Festival


Eigasai is back with 17 films and 10 venues. Catch live-action movies Samurai Marathon, The House Where The Mermaid Sleeps, Yakiniku Dragon, Lying To Mom, The Tears Of Malumpati, After The Storm, The 8-Year Engagement, The Crimes That Bind, Laughing Under The Clouds, Kakegurui, Mixed Doubles, The Third Murder, One Cut Of The Dead, Shoplifters, and Perfect World; and animation films like Lu Over The Wall and Mirai from July 3 to August 25.


This is a free film festival except for the Red Carpet event at EDSA Shangri-la, with tickets a mere P100. For a complete list of schedule, visit the Japan Foundation Manila website.



Come On Irene


If you’re open-minded and a little curious about history, you might want to catch Come On Irene. This Japanese film starring Filipina actress, Nats Sitoy, starts showing in Philippine cinemas this July 31.


The film is eponymous to its manga published in 1995; and in context, the story has hints of a problem in Japan in the late 1980s—shortage of brides in the Japanese countryside. If you already know where I’m going with this, read the Japan Times’ review and spoiler of Come On Irene.



The Strangers


Now, if drama is your thing, then catching the play The Strangers might speak to your drama-seeking self (and I think this will touch on both meanings of drama).


Brought to you by the Goethe-Institut Philippinen and the Japan Foundation Manila, The Strangers is a play about—and let me be cryptic about this to avoid spoilers—the human condition. It was initiated by Goethe-Institut Osaka and the ricca ricca*festa Okinawa. Performed by international dancers from Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Taiwan, The Strangers will be shown at the Blackbox Theatre (De La Salle College of Saint Benilde) this July 8 and 9.


Admission is free and is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, visit the Goethe Institut Philippines website.



IGA-Ken QC Dojo Trial Session


If you want something more physical than just reaching for that popcorn, then this kendo session might be for you!


The IGA Kendo Club Philippines was established back in 2010, and it now has three dojos—two in Makati and one in Quezon City. If you’re interested in the way of the sword, IGA-Ken is holding free trial sessions on July 20 and 27 at the 3rd Fitness Lab in Diliman. The sessions are held from 3 to 5 p.m., and interested participants can register here.


For more information, visit the IGA-Ken Facebook page.



Contemporary Wood-Carved Netsuke


Netsuke are very tiny carved objects that were once used as fixtures in kimono. If you’re interested in tiny objects or in sculptures, check out the netsuke exhibit in Greenbelt 5, Makati from July 1 to 21. Bring your glasses—or a friend—to enjoy this exhibit of delicate art and craftsmanship!



Tanabata Festival 10


If you’re Filipino and familiar with the Tanabata story, then you must already know that every year, Baguio has something celebrating the Tanabata Festival. From July 13 to October 12, the land of strawberries has something for you.


You can join the Tanabata Seven Ornaments making workshop and Nagasaki Ohura Church Papercraft making workshop on July 13 and 20. On July 21, attend a special concert at the SLA CCA Theater. On August 4, get free admission to Baguio Museum and learn the history of the Philippines and Japan in the 17th century. Lastly, watch Japanese films at the Benguet State University, Saint Louis University, University of Baguio, University of the Cordilleras, and UP Baguio from September 18 to October 12.


All events are free admission. For more details, see poster here.



Cosplay Tanabata 7: The Harajuku Parade


Otakus of the Philippine North celebrate! Baguio’s biggest cosplay fest is back for the seventh season at the Newtown Plaza Hotel Event Center. With focus on culture and cosplay, join the event’s festivities and activities like the BGO 48 Dance Cover Contest, Lolita Fashion Show, mini J-pop concert, and more. Wear your most Harajuku outfit this August 17 and 18 and join Cosplay Tanabata 7!


This event is part of Baguio’s Tanabata Festival 10. Visit  Curteanah Cosplay Events – Baguio Facebook page for more information on event tickets and activities.