Tag Archives: Japan

Tales of Matryoshka Dolls

Tales of Matryoshka dolls started when i was a teenager, I have a distant aunt ( on the maternal side) who just collected a couple of sets of the famed Matryoshka dolls . It was part of a few items displayed at the second floor of apartment and commercial stall somewhere along Salazar street within Binondo district, Manila.

According to her , the dolls were bought sometime in the early 1980’s from a Russian who sold some Matryoshka dolls during a bazaar in Makati.

It was selling like pancakes since there were few items sold in the country during the early part of the Russian- Philippines diplomatic relations. Being a license jewelry appraiser and Chinese plaque maker was the key in meeting some foreign dignitaries or joining a bazaar.

It was late 2005, when i saw again the dolls at the display cabinet. I felt like those dolls are quite eerie since they were facing the sala set near her room, I felt like those were voodoo dolls. They have large eyes!

She asked me if i have some friends or relatives who would love to buy the set including an old vintage cabinet made from narra ( a hardwood variety ) art deco era around 1940’s and a Fuk Luk Su figurine set . She badly needed the money , But i have no friends who would collect those nesting dolls , Fu Luk Su and even the narra cabinet could not be sold immediately.

Business is getting bad and eventually there were a lot of bad credits and paying their debts is one of her priority. Her father ( technically i called him great grandfather ( tai kung kung  ) because he is over 90 years old ! was the original owner of the cabinet.

Eventually, great grandfather or tai kung kung died a year after and they were evicted by the association who owns the the unit that they were renting since the 1940’s . They are not able to settle the rentals for more than a year. Most of the items were used as payment to settle some of her bad debts, but it was not enough, since outstanding debts runs into millions of pesos ! According to her story, there were 2 old time regular ” suki ” jeweler from the province who borrowed some jewelries ( in millions )  paid in half  , since the jewelries would be shown to her buyer. Eventually, the cheque issued bounced and jeweler could not be found.

It was the same story of a Cebu based fashion accessory owner who also owe her about Php 450,000 worth of real jewelries and only paid her in fraction , Mostly useless fashion accessories which was never sold.

her health failed and she died last year.

History

  The Chinese crafted nesting boxes , gift boxes or surprise boxes that date back to the Song Dynasty, around 1000 AD or a little bit earlier sometime around 950 AD  These boxes were both functional and decorative. Sometime during the 1700s they applied this concept to a set of dolls and the first nesting doll was born.

Chinese nesting dolls are similar to the nesting dolls that are common today.  In the original Chinese sets the smallest doll held a single grain of rice normally or  prosperity or fruitful. There were a lot of meaning an symbolism behind the rice.

Due to trade relations between China and Japan. Some of the nesting boxes or surprise boxes were adopted by the Japanese and new dolls were created sometime around the 17th century .

The outer most doll was Fukurokuju the Japanese god of happiness and longevity. Daruma dolls originated in the city of Takasaki, around the mid- 1760s.  They are a hollow Papier-mâché doll and often have a wooden mold to create their shape.

How did it Come to Russia

Some historians and dolls collector would trace their roots around 1880s to 1890’s when Savva Mamontov discovered a set maybe from Japan.  Mamontov was a wealthy supporter of the arts and wanted to revive Russian folk art.   One of his artists, Sergei Maliutin created the first Russian set with the help of Vassily Zviozdochkin.

Eventually it became a fad and it became a popular gifts . Some Eastern European countries also adopted the nesting dolls and there are clubs and associations which collects and exhibits the dolls.

 

Collector Friend

A friend who will be celebrating her birthday next week ,collects different kind of dolls, one of her bucket list was a Matryoshka dolls. Her passion started when she was a teenager with some barbie dolls she acquired as a birthday present. Her collection quickly expanded into dolls from other countries.

I saw 2 sets posted in a swap and buying site . The item quickly caught my attention. After a few days and a couple of delays ( due to heavy monsoon rains ) I was able to meet the dealer/ collector and paid the stuff. According to the collector, He got the item from Japan few years ago and decided to unload the item.

 

 

 

 

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Zootobia Ski Resort Soon to be Opened in Japan

Zoomanity Group which is known for managing Zoobic Safari in Subic, Zambales, Zoocobia in Clark, Pampanga, Residence Inn in Tagaytay, Paradizoo in Mendez, Cavite and Zoocolate Thrills in Bohol is preparing to launch 3-4 theme parks before 2018 and headed by Mr. Robert Laurel Yupangco, the theme park management guru.

Zootopia Ski Resort at Nagano, Japan will be launched under the hotel and theme park management of Zoomanity Group, the leader in producing zoo and hotel facilities in the Philippines. True to the vision of the company to expand from 5 theme parks to 24 theme parks across the country.

For Zootopia, the company just purchased 11 rooms and plan to buy the whole facility and prepared to treat the Japan visitors and tourists to an experience they will never forget to try the following activities; Ski (Dragon Slider, Snow Strider, Snow Bike, Snow Tubing, Buggy and Snow Rafting), Snow Monkeys encounter, trip to Zenkoji and Kiyomizudera and Tokyo for as low as $999.00 per head for 5 Days and 4 Nights Itinerary at Dia Palace, Iiyama.

Situated in the far north of Nagano Prefecture, Iiyama city is Japan’s eternal home town, where nostalgic scenery depicted in songs like Furusato and Oborozukiyo can still be found. Amidst the region’s rich natural landscape, a unique history and culture, sense of tradition, and kindness has flourished. With elegant streets lined with temples, deep forests and highlands, and specialty produce each season, the area is full of charming attractions.
In addition, the Hokuriku Shinkansen (Bullet Train) line between Nagano City and Kanazawa City will begin running in the spring of 2015, and a new train station in Iiyama will be opened. With this launch, it will be easier to get to Iiyama from anywhere in Japan, and we hope to welcome many more travelers.

For more information, email your inquiries to grace@asiadigitalmarketing.ph or text/call 09166299381. TAG Media and Public Relations is the Marketing & Branding arm of Zoomanity Group under the Yupangco Group of Companies.

Yamaha Technician Grand Prix -Philippines

Music Hall , SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City- Philippines

Music Hall

Yamaha Motor Philippines Incorporated. plans to rev the hearts of many through the first -ever Technician Grand Prix in the Philippines. bearing the tagline ” Making a Difference in the Race for Service Excellence ” , The TGP poses a great challenge to Yamaha Technical Academy technicians to show off what they have learned and become the best in their fields .

The competition is joined by certified YTA technicians with  minimum level of YTA silver who is a regular employee with at least a year of work experience in Yamaha 3S shops. The mood is very festive with on the spot raffle , Yamaha Motor membership booth , friendly sales staffs . I even won some Yamaha backpack bags ! Yippie!!!!!

The regional TPG was held last November 2013 simultaneously done at the Yamaha head office in LIMA Technology Center and Yamaha Cebu Sales office, garnering a total of 67 participants.

Yamaha- Philippines 10 finalists

 From there , only 10 advanced to the national competition . These finalists received a plaque of recognition plus Php 3,00 worth of Yamaha apparels and other items.

L-R Mr. Vince Alquizalas, Mr. Yukio Fukada, Mr. Tomoyoshi Inoue and Mr. Sam Macapulay

The technical crew competed in Three categories : Written Examination , Salesmanship and the last one is the Technical Trouble-Shooting of motorcycle parts for the National finals .

The grand winner will take home a trophy, a motorcycle unit and will be our country’s representative for the WTGP 2014 in Japan.

2014 National finalists includes Mr. Edwin Aranguren from Misamis Oriental, Mr. Noel Bigay from San Pedro , Laguna, Mr. Conrado Bucar , Mandaue-Cebu , Mr. Joel Hidalgo- Pasig , Metro Manila ,  , Mr. Arpee Obina -Rosario, Cavite, Mr. Wilfredo Perez- Balayan , Batangas, Mr. Jade Pondar -Trans Cycle , Ozamiz , Misamis Occidental , Mr. Ramel Realin – UEMi , Urdaneta , Pangasinan , Mr. Calvin Kenneth Tan , Malabon, Metro Manila and Mr. Wilson Torres – Lemery, Batangas

There are about 5,000 participants in the World Technicians Grand Prix in Japan with 2 categories small motorcycles units and big motorcycle unit.

brand new Yamaha motorcycle awaits the National Grand Prix winner

The winner of the Philippine leg elimination will also win a Yamaha motorcycle , trip to Japan and some bragging rights.

Yamaha Motor Philippines Inc. : http://www.yamaha-motor.com.ph/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ph.yamaha

Miss International 2013 is Ms. Bea Rose Santiago from the Philippines !

Shinagawa Prince Hotel – Tokyo, Japan

L-R first runner-up Nathalie den Dekker (Netherlands) , Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago ( Philippines )  and 2nd runner-up Casey Radley (New Zealand) photo from Reuters

Ms. Bea Rose Santiago from Masbate , Philippines captured the fifth Miss International crown tonight at Shinagawa Prince Hotel Hall in Tokyo- Japan. -Top 5 included  Colombia and Hungary.

 Top 15 were Gibraltar, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Hungary, Netherlands, United States, Philippines, New Zealand, Lithuania, Iceland, Colombia, Russia, Thailand, and Spain.

Early favorites Miss Venezuela , Miss Mexico , Miss Korea , Miss Poland and host country Miss Japan failed to make it in the semi-finals.

Ms. Bea Santiago during the swimsuit competition

She bested 66 other contestants .

Special Awards:

Miss National Costume: Miss Aruba Erialda Croes

Miss Friendship: Miss New Zealand Casey Radley

Miss Internet: Miss Macau Adela Ka-Wai Sou

Miss Photogenic: Miss Lithuania Elma Segzdaviciute

  Miss International 2008 Alejandra Andreu of Spain crowned Miss  Philippines Bea Rose Santiago

Controversy:

  The winner of Miss International 2012  Ikumi Yoshimatsu of Japan was barred from attending the event due to her involvement in a scandal where a media executive Genichi Taniguchi allegedly harassed and intimidated Ms. Yoshimatsu for not signing on to a talent agency with ties to the Japanese Yakuza or underworld. This was revealed during a press conference held a few days before the pageant.

History:

Mr. Oscar Meinhardt ( the man who developed the Miss Universe idea) established the International Beauty Congress ( IBC) in 1959 . The first Miss International pageant was held in Long Beach, California , USA in 1960. After  the departure of the Miss Universe pageant in Miami Beach , Florida .  Ms. Stella Marquez from Colombia is the first winner of the pageant .

Miss Stella Z. Marquez and her court – Miss International 1960

The pageant was hosted  in Long Beach until 1967, And the pageant moved to Japan from 1968–1970, being hosted each year in the same city as the Expo 1970.  For 1971 and 1972, it was held in Long Beach again, but since that time it has been held annually in Japan.  Some countries have co-hosted the pageant like Macau, China.

Philippines Participation:

Philippines is one of the few countries which send representatives annually in Miss International since its inception in 1960. Ms. Gemma Guerrero Cruz was the first Asian and Filipina to capture the crown in 1964.

Ms. Gemma Guerrero Cruz- Miss International 1964

Ms. Aurora Pijuan- Miss International 1970

Mimilanie Laurel Marquez – Miss International 1979

Miss International winner Precious Lara Quigaman from the Philippines (C), first runner-up Miss Dominican Republic Yadira Geara (L) and second runner-up Miss Finland Susanna Laine

The country ‘s almost perfect attendance was marred with a personal withdrawal  in 1977 of Ms. Maria Cristina ” Pinky” Alberto who alleged of favoritism and sexual harassment by judges.

Special Awards:

The country’s representative took home several special awards

1972- Best in National Costume

1976- Best in National Costume

1979-Best in National Costume

1989- Miss Friendship

1994- Miss Friendship

2010- Most Expressive and Miss Talent

2011- Miss Internet Popularity

Miss Philippines- International Trivia

Ms.  Edita Resurreccion VitalMiss Press Photography of the Philippines when she joined the search for Miss Philippines 1960 that would represent the Philippines in the very first Miss International Beauty Contest in Long Beach, California on August 12, 1960. She made it to the semi-finals that year. She made 2 films after the contest and earned a best actress nomination from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences in 1961 for her role as Maria Clara in Jose Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere”

Ms. Gemma Guerrero  Cruz  paternal great-grandmother was Doña Maria Mercado, the sister of the Philippine’s national heroof Jose Rizal, she donated $10,000 of her price to Manila- Boys Town and  Girl’s Home she received an “Outstanding Manileña” and a “Golden Heart” Presidential decoration by President Diosado Macapagal. She was greeted with over 200,000 people when she arrived at the airport.

Ms.Aurora Pijuan was an early favorite to win at the Miss International 1970.

Ms. Mimilanie Laurel -Marquez is the youngest Miss International title holder- she was just 15 years-old, when she won.  She also won Best in National Costume designed by Renee Salud and with a price tag of Php 10,000

Ms. Maria Cristina ” Pinky” Alberto– was the first Filipina to withdrew from the pageant in 1977.

Ms. Lilia Andanar– She won Miss Friendship at the 1989 Miss International pageant.

Ms. Precious Lara Quigaman – She is the shortest Miss International winner at 5’6 .

Note: The pageant is about 4 hours long . Congratulations !

LINKS:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Miss.International.bp

Miss International: http://www.miss-international.org/en/

Pageantopolis : http://www.pageantopolis.com/

Missosology: http://www.missosology.info/~missyorg/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=180664&start=0

MD Juan Enterprises: A Heritage of the Philippines and the World

2 Susano Road , Deparo , Novaliches – Caloocan City , Philippines

Dr. Maximo D. Juan – founder of the MD Juan company

Heritage Born:

MD Juan Enterprises , Inc. was conceived on March 1967 by Dr. Maximo D. Juan  to answer the growing need for a rugged, light vehicle (the multi-purpose jeep) in the Philippines.   Initially, Dr. Juan imported World War II surplus jeeps from Europe and Japan. With the steady growth of the surplus market, MD Juan Enterprises started fabricating replacement jeep body parts not available locally.

different kinds of electronic jeepneys

Soon, Filipino jeep enthusiasts either refurbished their old jeeps using MD Juan bodies (popularly known as the Jeepstar) or built new jeeps using MD Juan’s USM chassis, the Jeepstar body and surplus engines and power trains from Japan.

different types of jeeps

In  August 1969 MD Juan built its manufacturing plant in Novaliches, Caloocan City. In 1970 MD Juan ventured into the export markets of Japan, Australia/New Zealand and the U.S.A.

group discussion

 the company export  concentration was on jeep bodies and parts identified with World War II: the MB and the Korean War: the M38. Soon after, the civilian jeep models like the CJ series were being produced in the production line.

In 1980 the company  exhibited its products in various foreign expositions like the Lausanne Trade Fair, the Melbourne Trade Fair and the Singapore Trade Fair.  These led to the establishment of distributorships in Europe, Australia/New Zealand and the U.S.A. In the Philippines, MD Juan is active with their participation in the annual Manila International Auto Show.

Social Advocates :

As part of the company ‘s corporate social responsibility.  The company had  tie-ups with TESDA and the Caloocan City local government office .

several citations given to MD Juan enterprises

Aside from providing jobs to many people around the vicinity of Novaliches, Caloocan area.  The company had water treatment facilities which conforms with the requirements set by both Department of Environment and Natural Resources ( DENR )  and Laguna Lake Development Authority ( LLDA).

Mr. Rommel Juan together with a colorful electronic jeepney

 Another social advocacy is the introduction of  the electric jeepneys and tricycles for mass transportation .   Some cities like Makati and Taguig  already purchased some units  . Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas ( Central Bank of the Philippines ) , several resorts , congress and even tourist shuttles .

E-Quad Tricycle

Roving Business:  social entrepreneurship which the company is engaging  the customization of jeepney carts  with special compartments which is used for merchandize storage and display  .  The jeepney cart  is use for traveling trade exposition organized by the  Department of Agriculture ( DA )  and the Department of Trade and Industries  ( DTI ) .  The customized jeepney carts  attracts crowd from both local and foreign exhibitions.

Hopefully in coming years, with the introduction of these E-jeepneys and E-tricycles into the mass transportation system,   The need to use non-renewable energy like fossil fuels will be minimized  .  The fossil fuels that emit pollution and noise. Hopefully with proper legislature  and passage of clean air , the law will be fully implemented .

Promotion:

poster of the contest

Proud of your Jeep and like to show it off? Here is your chance to do it and win exciting prizes! Keep posted for further details. with DTI permit 3795 series of 2013 .  Email: mostauthentic@mdjuan.com.ph

Note: I would like to ” Thank” all the staffs and Mr. Rommel Juan for the warm accommodation and a personal tour within the facilities . 

Links:

Laguna Lake Development Authority: http://www.llda.gov.ph/

MD Juan Enterprises: http://www.mdjuan.com.ph/

MD Juan Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MDJuanjeeps

TESDA : http://www.tesda.gov.ph/

Toy Convention 2013 Press Launching and Exhibit at Newport Mall

Newport Plaza , Newport Mall – Pasay City – Philippines

Newport Plaza, Newport Mall

Thousands of people from all walks of life troop to the main plaza within Newport Mall in Pasay City. Some of  participants came as far from Bicol , Pangasinan , Cebu and Davao .

life size statutes of action hero and villains were on display on the ground floor

life size statue of Predator

This life-sized statute of the Predator, A science fiction / horror film shown in 1987 is a crowd drawer , soliciting OH and AH’s .  I must say that base on the number of people taking picture . This is also the ” Most Photogenic ” .

LED staircase advertise the upcoming events

Superman impersonator

Mr. Joseph De Leon is a superman follower since he was a kid.  He started to impersonate Superman since November 2012 and he also collects toys , comics and other related items .

storm trooper from star wars

There was the parade of storm troopers by Philippine 501 , The 501st Legion is a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization comprised of and operated by Star Wars fans. While it is not sponsored by Lucasfilm Ltd., it is Lucasfilm’s preferred Imperial costuming group. Star Wars, its characters, costumes, and all associated items are the intellectual property of Lucas film.

Advocacy :

Aside from appearances in toy convention  and cosplay events . The group also  donates all proceeds to helping those who cannot help themselves, They prioritized children’s charity projects.

Website: http://pinoy501st.com/

Mr. Lyndon Gregorio with his recently published book VOCAbolero

Mr. Lyndon Gregorio-comic artist-writer for Beerkada is a well-known comic book illustrator and had published his latest work  VOCAbolero – I have bought a copy of his recent book and have it autographed during the event.

Mr. Micheal Jacinto ” Cholo” F. Manilin together with Ms. Kyla

Before the formal press conference started , There was a short program led by  emcee Mr. Cholo Manilin which  gave away  interesting ballers to the people who can answer the trivia correctly .  His first question ” What is the name of Superman’s pet dog ? ” Answer : Krypto – answered by Ms. Kyla

Mr. Manilin together with Ms. Claire

The second question : ” What is the name of the Biological Mother of Superman ? ” Answer :  ” Lara ”  answered by Ms. Claire

Mr. Cholo Manilin together with Mr. Joseph De Leon

His third trivia question ” Name at least 5  Superman Actors in Film  ” Answer : Kirk Alyn , George Reeves, Christopher ReeveBrandon Routh, Henry Cavill   – answered by  Superman impersonator – Mr. Joseph De Leon- He won a limited collector’s edition Philippine Batman comics.

Superman figurines and Bugs Bunny in a superman costume

angry birds head gear

Micheal Jordan figurines 1/6

Standing tall at almost 13 inches as it is based on Micheal Jordan’s  official height of 6’6’’, this limited edition model is from the toy maker’s “Real Masterpiece” collection – a range of accurately depicted, lifelike figurines that focuses on some of the most recognizable faces in the world. According to the exhibitor of the Micheal Jordan’s figurines , These are limited edition series with 2,000 pieces  manufactured .  400 pieces on 1/26, 400 on 1/27, 120 on 1/28, 120 on 1/29, 120 on 1/30,  120 on 1/31, 300 on 2/1, 300 on 2/2, 120 om 3/2). The price point is almost a steal as these collectibles are a great investment and will skyrocket in value because of demand and scarcity. They’re already going for triple or quadruple price in Ebay and other on-line stores ! About a thousand people lined up for the release on the first day in Hong Kong alone .

  There are between 30 to 50 Micheal Jordan figurine collectors in the Philippines !

organizers of the Toy Convention 2013

Hero channel – marketing executive Mr.  Albert Patrick Laroco and Mr. Cholo Manllillin

 Hero TV or sometimes called HERO ,  the first and only multi-genre all-Filipino dubbed anime channel in the Philippines. It was founded around 2005 under the Creatives Program Incorporated, a subsidiary of ABS- CBN channel 2. Its programming is composed primarily of Tagalog-dubbed anime aimed at young audiences.

cosplayers

Anime Face-OFF: TOYCON 2013 in partnership with HERO TV the event will be the venue for the Ultimate Hero Face-off Cosplay Battle competition, Now on its 4th year celebrates Filipino creativity through costume playing  , The TWO local winners  qualifies to participate in the World Cosplay Summit in Japan.

For those interested in joining , Please visit these sites:

http://www.myheronation.com/

http://www.animealliance.com/

http://ph.animealliance.asia/

http://toyconph.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myheronation

Mr. Mark Cerezo

Mr. Mark Cerezo  loves toys and anime – according to him , He would use recycled plastics, rubber and other items from the leftovers of shoe factories in Marikina . He also had a group called ” Pinoy Malikhain ” which gives FREE puppet shows to indigent communities in Marikina and other areas.  He is also called ” Rubber Artist”  of Marikina City and he had been in many part of the world because of his unique cosplay character costumes ! He was  featured in a commercial of a well -known energy drink  which salutes Filipino Modern Heroes .

Media Coverage: I must say that Toy Mania at Newport Mall was well attended by media personalities from Kapamilya, Kapatid , Kapuso , Hero TV and I have seen a lot of bloggers which came in full force to support the event.

Mr. Mark Zambrano of GMA channel 7  together with Ms. Lizette Ilaga- Talent and Press Relations Manager ( Anime Alliance)

Co-Presentors:

The event is co-presented by Collectibles Unlimited , Hero TV, SM Megatrade Halls, sponsored by Maxi Collector , Toy Kingdom, Toy Empire, Warner Brothers Pictures and DC Comics. With special thanks to Big Boys Toy Store, Greta Toys, Revoltech, Nickelodeon , Comic Odyssey , Comicxhub, Buhawi Studio, CIIT, Oreo, Loctite, Mozilla and Resorts World – Manila.

Media Partners: ABS-CBN channel 2, 99.5 Play FM and supported by Anime Alliance , One Sixth Republic and Komikon .

Note :I would like to ” Thank”the organizers of the event . All photos are taken by the author.  

Postcrossing Philippines eyeball in Rizal Park

Rizal Park , Ermita, Manila-Philippines

It was a hot and sunny weather , when small number of postcard collectors met at the historic Rizal Park or Luneta. The event was organized by Ms. Willa Stock – an active blogger, postcard , stamp and letter collector.

In fact , the event was just posted at the Postcrossing Philippines facebook event page last  January 25.  Due to our hectic schedules- (There are many events which overlapped ) few managed to come. I had to skip a heritage talk /art sketch walk in Quiapo ( Bahay Nakpil -Bautista ) earlier .  We were later joined by  Ms. Abigail Kho – a new found convert to our hobby ( postcard and stamp collecting ) .

group picture taken in front of the statute of Dr. Jose Rizal

I managed to skip work in the afternoon ( I had a work on saturday ) just to meet fellow collectors.  Luneta is very accessible to all of us.  We started the afternoon walk  and finding a suitable place ( near the chess area) where Ms. Willa Stock started the short swap meet and on-the spot raffle.

gifts items from Japan

There are some items donated by fellow post-crosser like Ms. Clarissa Sasaki from Japan .