Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Two Sundays ago, I joined a group of photo enthusiasts, spearheaded by Shaffie, to be a part of the documentation team of Utawit 2008 Grand Finals. Yes, as photographers and videographers. Aside from the opportunity to listen to worthy-to-be-heard-by-the-world talents, the event is a also chance to further improve my skills in photography as I have been struggling with action and indoor shots.

While waiting for the program proper to commence, it was actually great to see hundreds of Filipinos around the venue. It was like Philippines for a couple of hours. Really, it was. I have stayed in Japan before but it was the first time I heard about this singing contest.


UTAWIT (Uta and Awit) is a national singing competition for Filipinos and Japanese in Japan. It all started from a simple idea during the summer 2005 of three dynamic filipino groups: Jeepney Press, Samahang Pilipino, and Teatro Kanto. UTAWIT was formally created in cooperation of the Philppine Embassy thru the Philippine Overseas Labor Office. Now UTAWIT has become a grand event for Filipinos and Japanese. It also has become a sysmbol of unity and cooperation of between the Philippines and Japan. Source

As the lights dimmed, I positioned myself on the left side of the stage, readied my gear (Nikon D80 + 105mm lens) and waited for the shining moments of each contestant. Since there’s no second takes on this event, it also means that there’s no time to preview every taken shot. Shooting was never this fun. Naks!

As much as I would like to concentrate on the singing, I just can’t. I’ll be leaving it to the judges. Each finalist exuded confidence and it was very obvious that they have worked hard and prepared enough to be proclaimed as the grand champion. They have gone through elimination rounds in their respective regions and they are the rightful representatives of their areas. Here’s the list of the finalists. But just like in any contest, there’s only one star – the golden one.

Among the eleven finalists, the judges proclaimed these three:

3rd place – Yoko Castro Miyashita

2nd place - Emalyn Takahashi

Utawit 2008 Grand Champion – Queen Santos

Aw, it was sweet to capture victory like this.

But of course, I had my own bet. I thought I found my destiny. Haha. I saw her but she didn't see me. Sometimes, life is unfair. LOL! Just kidding, of course, I am just appreciating Japanese beauty.


Same case with my good friend, Winston, I don't know if their eyes meet through his lens or not at all. He claims to be a kid before he saw her. Pag-ibig nga naman. He's pretty serious when he told me this.


The auditorium was filled with Filipino atmosphere, literally and figuratively speaking. It was a great and rewarding experience.

Congratulations to the winners, finalists, organizers, fellow teammates and to everyone who, in one way or another, contributed to the success of the show.

Sarap ulitin.



  1. galing naman! so did they sing in japanese or filipino? sana may ganyan din dito sa cambodia! hehe...

  2. aba naman! seryoso na pala usapan dito! ang gagaling magkwento, e hindi nyo man lang nilapitan. mga duwag! :-)

  3. Ha ha ikaw talaga r-yo, matatalim ang salita :)
    Totomai, nice post and salamat for helping out sa event. Correction lang, ang pangalan ng 2nd place ay Emalyn Takahashi --- tama ang picture, mali lang yung name.


  4. @TSA, sana nga meron din diyan sa cambodia. ung iba english, yung iba tagalog yung iba japanese. haha.

    @stan, thanks

    @atty, asus, e sa wala kaming guts na gaya mo e. di ba you did your best? bwahaha

    @julius, salamat. na edit ko na po hehe


any thoughts to distill?

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