Spinning Manila: J-Pop Live – Celebrating Friendship with Music!

Spinning Manila: J-Pop Live

Spinning Manila: J-Pop Live is just one of the many activities co-organized by the Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) and the Embassy of Japan to celebrate 2016 as Japan-Philippines Friendship year. 2016 is the 60th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Philippines. It is also the 20th anniversary of JFM’s foundation. Music is always one of the great avenues for bridging different cultures, and organizing a free concert is a great way to start the year.

Spinning Manila drew a crowd of nearly 300 attendees at Whitespace Manila. Lovers of the kawaii~ and the kakkoii~ were treated to special musical guests from Japan: THE BEATMOTORS, Joe Inoue, and Diana Garnet. Japanese music lovers were treated to upbeat music, original works, nostalgic classics, and the latest songs. JFM announced the winners of the first Facebook Cosplay Photo Contest, and invited attendees to cosplay their favorite characters.


Spinning Manila’s first act were THE BEATMOTORS – Masahi Akiba (Vocals, Guitar), Tetsuro Kimura (Guitar), Johnny Yanagawa (Bass), and Takahiro Shikano (Drums)! Since their debut in 2009, this rock group has an impressive two mini albums, a live album, and three full albums, with the third just recently released. THE BEATMOTORS have toured Japan, bringing their interpretations of Western Rock, both new and old. THE BEATMOTORS definitely pumped up the crowd with their Japanese-Western fusion rock, mixing genres like blues, J-Rock, and more! The crowd was very receptive to them, even though their music wasn’t as well-known as their co-guests (at least to me). Follow them on Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter!

M1 アンドレア
M2 どんどん時計はDon’t Stop
M3 マリー
M4 恋するふたり
M5 Top of the world
M6 Everyday is like Sunday
M7 いつかのサマータイム
M8 ジェット先生
M9 ばらいろの世界

Joe Inoue

Joe Inoue is no stranger the Philippines. Hailing from sunny Los Angeles, Spinning Manila marks his his fifth trip to the Philippines. Talented in multiple instruments, Joe self-taught himself Japanese through manga, which helped launch his musical career in Japan. Joe is a consummate performer, loving his time in the spotlight and always interacting with his audience. Coupled with a good sense of humor, his segment was sprinkled with pose segments, toilet jokes, and fun anecdotes. Joe busted out an acoustic guitar to share his new song dedicated to his Filipino fans, Philippines. A dedicated Pinoy fan even gifted him with a cute headband, featuring Joe’s face wearing a bowtie! Joe’s setlist comprised of covers of English and Japanese songs, his own originals compositions, a fantastic anime medley, and popular Naruto themes, including his very own, Closer! Follow Joe Inoue on Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter

Joe Inoue Set List:
M1 Haruka Kanata from Naruto
M2 Straight Up Killing Me by Joe Inoue
M3 Doki Doki Morning by Babymetal
M4 Philippines by Joe Inoue
M5 Jetlag by Simple Plan
M6 Anime medley
– We are from One Piece
– Butterfly from Digimon
– Cha-la Head Chala from Dragon Ball Z
– Unravel from Tokyo Ghoul
– Hero from One Punch Man
M7 Go from Naruto
M8 Closer from Naruto

Diana Garnet

Diana Garnet headlined the final segment of Spinning Manila. In fact, the entire show bears the name of her latest single – Spinning World! It wouldn’t be hard to believe that Diana was the living embodiment of kawaii cuteness and energy. She was always smiling and energetic, although she had to recharge every once in while with some soothing Pinoy mango juice. Diana also took this opportunity to meet with one of her music collaborators, Jhona also known as Beibi. (A/N: Jhona’s new Youtube channels is here and her old one is here!) It’s always heartwarming to see how music can bring together friends from across oceans. Diana sang a few duet songs with her.

Diana also several popular anime songs during her set, many of which are featured in her AniSong Acapella segment with Tokyo Otaku Mode. She sang her own album songs, including themes from Naruto and Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note. However, Diana’s repertoire is not limited to only AniSongs and J-Pop. Her song, Diana Anthem, stretches her rapping skills. She even surprised the audience with Enka, a genre of sentimental ballad music that closely resembles traditional Japanese music. The audience loved every minute of her on stage. Her encore song, Arigato by Ikimono-gakari, was so emotional and moving that it sent shivers down my skin, even though I didn’t know what the song was about. That, my dear readers, is the power of music. Follow Diana Garnet on Facebook and Twitter!

Here’s Diana Garnet’s Set List:
M1 Diana Anthem by Diana Garnet
M2 Sobakasu  from Rurouni Kenshin
M3 Sorairo Day from Tengen Teppen Gurren Lapan
M4 Senbonzakura from Vocaloid
M5 Spinning World by Diana Garnet from Naruto
M6 Bluebird from Naruto
M7 Nankai! Mystery by Diana Garnet from Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note
M8 Yuzurenai Negai from Magic Knight Rayearth – Duet with Jhona
M9 Secret Base from Anohana –  Duet with Jhona
M10 Cruel Angel Thesis from Neon Genesis Evangelion – Duet with Jhona
M11 Tsugaru Strait Winter Scenery by Sayuri Ishikawa – (ENKA Song)
M12 Arigatō by Ikimono-gakari

Lastly, JFM announced the winners of the Spinning Manila: Facebook Cosplay Photo Contest. The photos were judged by the Spinning Manila guest musical artists. The finalists and winners were as follows:

Guren Ichinose from Owari No Seraph cosplayed by Aram Joshua M. Ponce
Master Pogi from Dragonball Z cosplayed by David D’Angelo (3RD PLACE)
Saitama from One Punch Man cosplayed by Richard Miranda Concepcion
Sinon from Sword Art Online II cosplayed by Brendhine Jonelle L. Frias (WINNER)
Uta from Tokyo Ghoul cosplayed by Kristian Vibal (2ND PLACE)

What’s A Geek would like to thank the Japan Foundation Manila for inviting us to cover this event, in celebration of the long history of culture and cooperation between the Japan and the Philippines. We look forward to the rest of the events JFM has lined up for Japan-Philippines Friendship Year. Read more about JFM activites, including an interview with Diana Garnet in the JFM’s tri-annual newsletter, SUKI (VOLUME XX ISSUE 3) here.

Spinning Manila: J-Pop Live! is made possible by Canon Marketing (Philippines) Inc. and partners HERO TV,, Otaku Asia, The Cosplay Café, and Naruto Cosplayers Philippines.

Spinning Manila
ARIGATO from (Left to Right)  Masahi Akiba, Tetsuro Kimura, Takahiro Shikano, Johnny Yanagawa, Joe Inoue, and Diana Garnet

Emile Josef

Jack of All Trades, Master of None, I'll write about anything under the sun. Anime, Games, Comics, or Food, I'll give it a looksie, as long as it's good.

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