AKB48’s Team 8 visited the Philippines once more to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Philippines-Japan Friendship held last December 4 at the Market! Market! Bonifacio Global City.
Many of the fans lined up at the entrances of Market! Market! as early as 5 AM! While most fans were satisfied in bringing their light sticks, t-shirts and cloth banners, some, like this guy, was not very discreet in showing off his love for these Japanese idols.
Members of the media were given a chance to ask the girls some questions during the press conference before the event. Each girl responded to one question as the translator interpreted their responses to English.
1. Please tell us your impression on the Philippines upon coming here. For those who came here last year, what are the differences between this year’s visit from the previous?
· [Hamamatsu Riona] I had an awesome time last year and I look forward to that experience again this year.
2. Can you tell us the similarities between Filipinos and Japanese? And then, what are their differences?
· [Hitomi Kotone] I noticed that Filipinos are very friendly and kind. However, the Japanese are very shy.
3. This year marks the 60th year of Japan-Philippines friendship. What do you think is the secret of their long-lasting friendship?
· [Okabe Rin] The secret is that Japan and Philippines take good care of each other which is why they are able to keep their friendship.
4. Do you have a Filipino friend? Also, what kind of Filipino do you want to be friends with?
· [Gyouten Yurina] I currently have only half-Filipino and half-Japanese friends, but I would like to have pure Filipino friends.
5. Where do you want to go in the Philippines? What sort of things would you like to do here?
· [Satou Nanami] On the way from the airport, we were able to visit a Church and there was a beach behind it. I would like to go to the many beaches of the Philippines and have fun.
6. What things about the Philippines would you like to know?
· [Takahashi Ayane] During Christmas in Japan, we have snow and we have Santa Claus. I am curious as to what the Santa Claus in the Philippines look like because you don’t have snow here.
7. Do you know some information about the Philippines? Could you tell us about it?
· [Shimizu Maria] In Japan, we see a lot of Philippine banana so I know that bananas are a very famous fruit in the Philippines. But I was shocked when I went to the market and saw the many different varieties of bananas!
8. Are you interested in Philippine showbiz? If so, what part of Philippine showbiz are you interested in?
· [Fukuchi Rena] During our performance in ABS-CBN, we noticed that Filipinos are very good dancers and like watching dance shows. If we ever go to Philippine showbiz, I would like to be a part of a dance show.
9. Have you tried Filipino food? Which dish or desserts had a lasting impression?
· [Yoshikawa Nanase] When I was small, I was able to taste halo-halo and I want to eat that again!
10. Tell us about your impression on your Filipino fans.
· [Tanikawa Hijiri] I was very excited especially after meeting some of them during the fan meet yesterday.
11. MNL48 Start has been announced. Can you say some messages to hopeful young girls who want to join MNL48?
· [Shimoaoki Karin] It is very important to believe in yourself if you would like to be a part of MNL48. Do your best and good luck!
12. Please say a word or two to your beloved Filipino fans.
· [Nagano Serika] We really love the Philippines. We enjoyed eating Filipino food and meeting our Filipino fans because they are very kind and friendly. We are very thankful that we are able to visit the Philippines.