The Philippine-Japan Media Feted in Tokyo

Benigno D. Tutor, Jr.

The Department of Tourism in Tokyo, headed by Benito “Bong” Bengzon Jr., hosted a party for some 20 members of the Philippine media in Japan at the newly opened Philippine Travel Café in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, last December 19.

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From left to right: Kenny Sato, Jenny Mariano o f IPS (GMA), Ruth Kawashima, Benigno Tutor Jr. of Philippines Today Online and Airmart Newsline, Tourism Attache Benito “Bong” Bengzon, and Japanese photographers Chigusa Takashima and Hinata Haga.

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 From left to right: Tourism Attache Benito “Bong” Bengzon, and Japanese photographers Chigusa Takashima and Hinata Haga.

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 From left to right: Ruth Kawashima, Joselin Kobayashi of KMC, Norma Sunio of Philippine Digest, Kenny Sato and Lynne Tutor of OFW.

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 From left to right: Jenny Mariano, Irene Sun Kaneko of Jeepney Press, unidentified lady, Ruth Kawashima, Joselin Kobayashi of KMC, Norma Sunio of Philippine Digest, Kenny Sato and Lynne Tutor of OFW.

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From left to right: Danny Lim of Philippine Airlines, Andy Fabia of Pinoy Tribune, William Dagan of OFW and Benito “Bong” Bengzon Jr.

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From left to right: Helen Francisco of WINS Channel and Irene Sun Kaneko

Coordinated by Grace Horii, public relations officer at the DOT-Tokyo office, the affair was intended to express DOT’s appreciation for the role of the Philippine media in tourism promotion in Japan. Bengzon recognizes that that the bulk of the 400,000 inbound tourist traffic from Japan are connected either by family or personal relations to the estimated 200,000 Filipino residents who are the end-users of these media outfits.

 

In the Kanto area alone, there are about ten print publications in circulation, most of which are in the format of glossy, full-color magazines. They have an estimated combined circulation of 50,000. In addition, the Philippines’ two major television companies, ABS-CBN and GMA, are also broadcasting via satellite to some 30,000 Filipino household subscribers all over Japan.

 

The Filipino media is further diversifying as internet usage among the Filipinos is increasing, making such sites as Philippines Today and Timog Forum alternative sources of information and venues of exchange of opinion. Local issues concerning such subjects as the recent Philippine embassy-sponsored Philippine Fiesta and media ethics have been debated vigorously in the internet which in turn drew the prompt attention of the concerned parties leading to corrective action. It is expected that the trend pushing the internet towards the mainstream, as far as Philippine mass media is concerned, will intensify as TV broadcast will shift to the broadband internet platform.

 At the DOT-sponsored party, William Dagan, publisher of OFW magazine and a prominent businessman-sportsman in the Philippines, broached the idea of forming a Philippine-Japan media club. An issue raised was the definition of media, considering that many of the publications presently circulating have more than 50 percent advertising content and are in fact marketing arms of commercial and trading entities.

Among those who attended were Benigno Tutor Jr. representing Philippines Today Online and Airmart Newsline, who also acted as emcee; Norma Sunio of Philippine Digest; Akira Kikuchi and Jocelyn Kobayashi of KMC Magazine; William Dagan, publisher of OFW Magazine and Lynne Tutor, OFW marketing director; Irene Sun Kaneko of Jeepney Press; Andy Fabia of Pinoy Tribune; Jenny Mariano, GMA broadcasting manager of IPS; Helen Francisco of the WINS Channel. In addition, Hinata Haga and Chigusa Takashima, members of the Japan Photographers Society, who are fervent lovers of the Philippines also attended the party.