Although he was in the Pinoy Dream Academy for less than a month, Jun Hirano captured the hearts of Filipinos, young and old alike. Everywhere he went, fans screamed, even when he rendered his songs in Japanese.
When he voluntarily asked for exit, his housemates and the Filipino viewers cried with him. A native of Tottori in the Kansai area of Japan, Jun said he wanted to continue with his schooling in Japan and also expressed loneliness for his Filipina mom, who is divorced from his Japanese father, and his sister. Jun also left behind a girlfriend.
Like any other teen his age, 18 yr. old Jun is a bit insecure. He only considers a handful of people as his friends, while the ones closest to him are his mom, his two sisters and his girlfriend. He doesn’t know how to speak Tagalog nor English because he had difficulty in trying to learn these languages. Jun considers music as a universal language, which he can use to conquer the language barrier here. It was actually his sister who first auditioned for PDA but his mom prodded him to also give it a shot. He really values his education and had a hard time choosing between pursuing PDA and continuing high school. In the end it was his love for music, which prevailed.
Jun’s popularity extended even to Filipinos in Japan. He performed for the first time in Japan during the Philippine Fiesta in Tokyo on November 12. The warm reception given to the 18-year old surprised everyone, including the TFC staff. He was an instant hit, especially with the younger crowd of mixed nationalities. From the Japinoys to the Japanese kids who were brought along by their Japinoy friends, the mostly Pinoy crowd of five thousand greeted Jun with shrieks and screams. The crowd became more ecstatic when he greeted them and spoke in Filipino.
Appearing courtesy of The Filipino Channel, Jun stood his ground and performed well alongside concert artist Randy Santiago and comedienne Pokwang.
Singing one of the songs he used during the auditions of the PDA in Tokyo last August and another of his own composition, Arigato Tomadachi, the crowd broke into frenzy especially on the parts of the song with the Tagalog lyrics.
More unbelievable moments came during the autograph signing, as people of all ages were seen lining up and converging towards Jun. TFC even had inquiries from other sponsors’ booths why this boy is so popular. The Japanese technical people during the fiesta were also left in awe with this boy’s charisma with the crowd. With cameras clicking and hands clapping, the TFC staff had goose bumps with the reaction of the crowd.
Even during the sponsors’ dinner that night which TFC gave, inquiries about Jun kept pouring in. Bigshot companies serving our Filipino community in Japan were overheard that they will seriously consider giving Jun endorsements.
Many are awaiting his return to showbiz even as his fans are allowing him space and time to consider his life’s path.
(Part of the text and the photo are supplied by ABS-CBN Japan.)