Japanese Free Papers in SE Asia


I am a media person.  I grew up watching TV, reading magazines and listening to radios that led me to pursue some works in the media industry. I then got very passionate to advertising, marketing and to the platform that doesn’t limit information only in tri-media, the world wide web.

But being exposed to publishing in the Philippines for quite a long time, I can say that ‘free papers’ are becoming a  trend now and unlike the former notion that since they’re-free-they-don’t-have-good-info, I noticed that they are now becoming ‘glossier’ and thicker. 

But as I started working for the Philippine Primer, I got more and more exposed to a several Japanese free papers in the Southeast Asia and I started to wonder if this trend is from Japan just like the famous Hot Pepper. What do you think?



When I had a short chat with Philippine Primer’s President, Hiromichi Fujita, I realized that Japanese people are having a hard time doing business abroad because of the language and since there are many of them who are interested in investment and business in developing countries like the Philippines, the more they need information in their language that can truly assist them to maximize opportunities in business and life. 

Surely, blogs are helping (like the blog of my wonderful CEO, Motokatsu Sunagawa and the one from guy with the small eyes, Takuya Oka) but I think free papers are still the best for the Japanese to maximize their stay in the country or for the local entrepreneurs and brand to take advantage of these high-end market. I looked for some of the helpful Japanese free papers in Southeast Asia:

LAOS

They have Taste of Laos for Laos!

VIETNAM

Photo is from http://aab.co.jp

According to AAB Inc., Vietnam Sketch is the first Japanese information magazine in Vietnam that is issued monthly. The main targets of the magazine are travelers from Japan and Japanese people residing in Vietnam. It covers highlights of Vietnamese trend, cultural information and living information. The magazine is distributed to 500 and more places for free in addition to distribution to travelers via travel agencies. Their websire has obtained the wide range of readership in both Japan and Vietnam.



Heritage Japan is a media that appeal to tourists and business people who travel to Vietnam. The magazine is distributed to 1,400 Japanese companies in Vietnam and it is considered a reliable medium among local Japanese publications. 

Wise Weekly free paper is also now being distributed in Ho Chi Minh. IT was first distributed in Bangkok.



Photo from http://fujisan.co.jp

CAMBODIA




Krorma Magazine is a bi-monthly magazine in Cambodia for the Japanese residents and tourists.









SINGAPORE

There are many Japanesse in the lion city but I’m more familiar with JPlus, the Total Lifestyle Japanese Magazine published by Comm Pte Ltd. According to its CEO, Connecting People, Communicating with the World” Through our media, COMM strives to foster the relationship between Singapore and Asia through creating “Communication Platform”. We, as a leading Japanese media in Singapore and Asia, believe in bringing people together, introducing good quality businesses for the people, and creating a lifestyle that enables people to have better, and more enriching life.”




But aside from Jplus, Singapore also has Mangosteen Club, a monthly Japanese magazine.












INDONESIA



Indonesia is also one of the favorite SE countries of the Japanese. In Bali, Japanese travelers and investors are flying back and forth. I was awed when I had a vacation there and noticed that most of the locals even speak Nihonggo making a vacation so much easier for the Japanese. And of course, Api Magazine always make their lives easy-riffic!




THAILAND

According to Fujita san, maybe the SE Asian country with the biggest number of Japanese is Thailand with an estimated count of 40,000. No wonder they have around 14 Japanese free papers there! And here to name a few:


Wise Weekly is a very popular weekly free paper that captures the biggest percentage of Japanese in Thailand. The information that they give is concentrated in Restaurants, Beauty, Schools, and several other industries that help businesses. They also circulate in Vietnam now in Ho Chi Minh city.



WOM is one of my favorites for its petite size and beautiful layout.





DACO is also distributed in Thailand every month.

















PHILIPPINES

Philippine Primer is monthly lifestyle Japanese magazine in the Philippines that connects local entrepreneurs to the Japanese market. Launched in 2008, it works closely with the Philippine Department of Tourism in publishing various information about F&B establishment, beauty and learning info, the updates on art, sport, business, history and culture. The magazine and website are published ad moderated by Primer Media, Inc. and aims to assist the Japanese expats, residents and tourists in the country.

I don’t have information on free papers in MALAYSIA, BRUNEI and MYANMAR so if you know some, just please leave a comment on this post! But in addition, there’s also a Japanese free paper in INDIA, Chalo. Chalo is a free monthly free paper in Japanese in New Delhi.
Photo Source: kyodonews.jp

JPy Magazine is a lifestyle magazine for Asian women in Southern California. It was established in 2006 and the first issue was launched in 2007. Their motto is “Happiness is Infectious” in which it acts as an innovative portal connecting global women working towards achieving their goals and dreams in LA with real success stories of actual people. In addition, the quarterly issue of JPy offers the latest tips and information for enriching the lifestyle of LA’s women.

Pocket Page Weekly is the famous Japanese free paper in HONG KONG.

And I’ve found out that there’s a Japanese Media Network and the association of Southeast Asian Japanese free paper, Asia Furipe Editors, that help each country’s free paper to share and recommend information about their respective countries. 

There are also magazines like Domo, J-Style, Move, Concierge, G’day Japan, KauKau, You Maga, etc which I find interesting as well. 

I wonder if there are some Filipino free papers abroad since there are so many Overseas Filipino Workers.

As I trace and research on the famous titles of free papers in the Philippines, I adulate how most of them are owned and managed by Hinge Inquirer, the magazine arm of Inquirer Group of Companies. Free papers based on interests, location and lifestyle..name it, Hinge Inquirer has it!

Note: All photos were taken from the internet.

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Few days left for New 7 Wonders!

New 7 Wonders of the Ancient World

As a kid, I used to dream about visiting the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Until now, I passionately aiming to see The Pyramids of Egypt because I connect it with my favorite constellation, Orion. Whenever I look at those stars, I know the time to see the pyramids will soon come.


But now, we only have a few days to participate in deciding who’s gonna be the New 7 Wonders of the World! I like Halong Bay in Vietnam, Grand Canyon in USA, Islands of Maldives in Maldives, Bu Tinah Island in UAE, Dead Sea in Jordan, but of course Puerto Prinsesa’s Underground river is my favorite! Philippine Primer, a free monthly lifestyle Japanese magazine and website participated in the promotion of Puerto Prinsesa to the Japanese and Filipino communities!



Please vote on or before November 11, 2011 via text or online. Let’s all make history. 🙂

LIKE & WIN Paul & Joe Voucher from Philippine Primer Magazine!



Want a makeover? Want it with a Japanese very sophisticated brand like Paul & Joe? 


Philippine Primer, the most comprehensive and leading source about the Philippines in Japanese, is giving away a Paul & Joe Makeover Voucher worth 2,500 until August 12, 2011, with these easy steps:

1. LIKE Promo on Group, your passes to a delicious, fun and relaxed life!
2. LIKE Philippine Primer for Non-Japanese, your partner in “Understanding and Tapping the Japanese Market!”
3. COMMENT on this post indicating your Facebook name and which of my Blog Categories (Laugh Louder, Learn Extra, Love More, Meets World) is your favorite!


Paul & Joe Philippines is exclusively distributed by Prestige Brands Philippines, Inc.


Here’s the latest Primer Event, Primer Night: Understanding the Japanese MarketAnd it wasn’t all serious. Can’t wait to see you have a new look!

A Healing Journey.


Seeing the photos of last year’s visit at The Farm at San Benito made my Saturday so serene and hopeful. Known for its Detoxification Retreats and Wellness Programs, The Farm at San Benito, in Lipa, Batangas, Philippines is an award-winning health resort located an easy 90-minute drive south of Manila.

the serene area where they hold yoga classes

It was a wonderful Saturday when I went there. As a yoga-lover, I felt the sense of belongingness in the place. The peace seemed to be from within; I breathed carelessly feeling that no polluted air will ever enter in my system.

this is the only thing I was seeing during the spa very relaxing treatment.
Spa and massage is part of my month! I’m having it twice a month and experiencing the spa treatment at The Farm was a very overwhelming experience. Everything that they used in my body was “edible” because they believe that we should be fair to our skin, being the biggest organ of our body, and give what it deserves with the same vitamins and minerals that we give to the rest of our body!
kids will definitely learn the art of flower arrangement and decoration!

Am I just pasted? or just completely wasted?

I had their Alive! Vegetarian 5-course Lunch.
I wasn’t able to talk the whole time I was eating. I was the best Zucchini with Basil Soup ever!
Everything was so lip-smacking and thinking about how they grew every ingredient of what I was eating and what they used in my body for massage was so astonishing and admirable.


All of us should realize The Farm at San Benito’s Philosophy:

“We believe in the body’s inherent ability to heal and maintain a healthy functioning state.
We believe disease is preventable and curable, naturally. We provide the environment, guidance and support you need to realize your maximum human potential. We believe detoxification regiments are highly effective tools in restoring health. We believe good nutrition is enhanced by increasing the intake of raw or “living” food, and may or may not include cooked foods and animal protein. We believe an investment in health will be one of your wisest decisions.”

Having won 18 international spa industry awards since 2004, The Farm has served as an inspiration to the Philippine tourism industry and benchmark for local spas in the country. It was awarded with the prestigious Asia Spa Award for Best Cuisine of the Year 2010. In 2009, CNN Traveller showcased the resort as one of the world’s best green places to stay in CNN Traveller’s list of Six Best Environmentally Friendly Hotels in the world. Its experienced team of integrated medical doctors, nurturing spa therapists, body-mind-spirit activity consultants, and “living food” chefs together with holistic approach to health has made The Farm one of the leading wellness destinations in the region.

Don’t forget to visit The Farm at San Benito when you visit The Philippines and have a healing journey!


At any time, you may request assistance for transportation or any other by calling the following numbers: 02-884-8074 (as to be dialed within the Philippines) +63-2-884-8074 (as to be dialed from outside the Philippines).

   You can also ask for assistance from iMarketing Japan, Inc & Philippine Primer Magazine at 7th Flr. Maripola Bldg. 109 Perea St. Legaspi Village, Makati City, or call +63.2.836.8381/ +63.2.808.2163.


The Farm at San Benito

119 Barangay Tipakan
4217 Lipa City, Batangas
 Philippines
Reservations: +63 2 884 8074
Cell (6am – 10pm):+63 918 884 8078
Fax: +63 2 889 1150 

Skype: reservations.thefarm/ medical.thefarm

Reasons why you would want to tap the Japanese market in RP.



With all the panic in what’s happening in Japan nowadays, efforts of penetrating the Japanese market in different industries are now being withdrawn.   


Worries that it’s not a good timing to introduce or reintroduce their products and services to that very niche but rich market are in everyone’s discussion. But it’s different with Japanese, for them, Time is really gold. There’s no point of holding back, business is business. This explains why despite of what happened and what’s happening in Japan this month, Japanese arrivals in RP increased by more or less 1,000 and why the World Bank said that they expect the economic impact of the disaster on the East Asian region to be fairly short-lived.

Marketing and advertising with Japanese is quite different. They’re more into details and so much into maps (I was surprised how objective they are!). Here are some descriptions of the Japanese Market:

o   High Barrier entry due to language (English language capability is very limited)
o   Closed society with high potential but not yet fully tapped
o   Prefers and trust Japanese source more than English source
o   Conservative and do not take action unless familiar with the company  or recommended by a Japanese
o   Strong tendency to gather and want information as much as possible before taking action.

And the description of the Japanese Travel Cycle:





The total number of inbound visitors for January and February 2011 reached 668,625 for 17.88% growth compared to the arrivals for the same period in 2010.  This feat may be attributed to the growing confidence of the international market on the Aquino Administration.

In the first two months, Korea maintained its position as the biggest and top source market with 165,868 arrivals, with a share of 24.81% to the total visitor traffic, and growth rate of 35.22% vis-à-vis the previous year.

This market is followed by the USA with 17.05% share for 114,022 arrivals, Japan with 9.83% share for 65,755 arrivals, China with 5.77% share for 38,590 arrivals and Taiwan with 4.26% share for 28,461 arrivals.  Combined arrivals from these top source markets constituted 61.72% of the total inbound traffic.

India, Russia, Australia, and Canada were the fastest growing markets during the period with 74%, 36%, 22%, and 21% increase in visitor arrivals compared to 2010.


European markets, on the other hand, accounted for 11.08% of the total visitor traffic for 74,073 with the United Kingdom posting 8.48% growth and Germany recording 4.67% increase in arrivals.   The Scandinavian markets showed double digit growth while arrivals from France modestly increased by 4.67%.

The ASEAN market expanded by 13.70% for 49,634 arrivals with Malaysia and Singapore registering 20% and 16% growth rates, respectively.  The ASEAN market accounted for 7.42% of the total visitor arrivals during the first two months of 2011.

There are 17, 757 registered Japanese residents and expats in the Philippines according to Japan Embassy and there’s a growing number of Japanese tourists, who would not want to be known to the hard-to-penetrate-rich-market?

Japan & Interdependence.


Though I find the title a bit vague and shallow, I opted to put it because it will look good in the layout of my blog: simple. Sometimes, that’s how we are. Because of the complexity of our lives, we miss thinking about the real essence of what we do or the things we have, sometimes, when it looks good or appear good to others, it’s valid.

This morning, since I work in a Japanese company which publishes a Japanese magazine about the Philippines, Philippine Primer Magazine, we had an emergency meeting regarding the “real” situation in Japan and how we can help the Japanese community.

Our plead is to please refrain from retweeting of UNCONFIRMED Information, especially the avenues to help and find missing people, because it’s affecting those who are sincerely willing to help and who are dying to find their missing loved ones. I came to the realization that (our company’s President is right) in the Philippines, when these tragedies happen, we usually have our Church to trust our donations aside from the government and its agencies. But in Japan, the LGUs (Local Government Units) are the ones who do these kinds of activities, thus there are some organizations who are taking initiatives to help and it’s very annoying to know that there are some misleading organizations that are trying to deceive people about their donations.

If this kind of catastrophe happens in the Philippines (Lord, please don’t let it happen), I think it will be worse.

I remember last 2009 when the typhoon Ondoy hit the Philippines (Manila area), I was working in ABSCBN’s News & Current Affairs and saw how bad is the country’s facilities and preparation in such disasters. 

seeing this and hearing their stories melted my heart.



We all know how “unprepared” the Philippines is compared to Japan. During that time, I volunteered in Sagip Kapamilya’s project and answered the calls for all the concerns of people who would like to help or look for their missing family members and I’ve noticed that many Filipinos are very pessimistic and dependent on the government and other people. If want to progress, I think this is one thing that we have to change: mentality.


Japan will definitely recover from this one.  

As compared to what happened in Kobe (which affected 4% of the country’s GDP), the March 11 earthquake just affected 2% of Japan’s GDP because it was in the northeast part of Japan that is rural and the population is small.

Let’s all pray for the safety and recovery of the Japanese people and for our own safety as well.

Media is sensationalized at some point, I had a glimpse of that industry and that’s what I’ve studied for four years. I know that at some point there will be a time that they’ll prefer to give emphasis to the more dramatic. Sometimes, media is just a PR. But it’s a good thing to have these brave reporters because we know “something” but we should be vigilant and keen in discovering the other bits and pieces of the story.  

My boyfriend is in Tokyo now and during breakfast with my Dad while watching TV, we worried a lot about him but maybe, his blog is a breath of fresh air also for all of us who sees things just through the media and hesitant to help. 
I also got this info from him that a Japanese created a Facebook account to cheer up the victims: HOPE
You may also want to read some of Greenpeace thoughts.

Simple steps from ordinary people. I believe we all know how to contribute in our own little ways; we just need to believe that it will make a difference even to a single individual.


It is indeed true that no matter how knowledgeable we are in the world we’re living in or how technical we are with reference to earthly things, there are some things that are out of our control. Don’t wait for the time that disasters will happen in your life for you to realize that relationships matter.

 We don’t need to live alone. After all, all we need is LOVE.

** Just for your info, as of today, here is the information regarding our (Philippines) safety and current situation:

Turning Japanese: Celebrating Hina Matsuri!



Our Client Services team is an all-girls team. Luckily, I have BEAUTIFUL girls in the team and they’re all SINGLE. When our lovely president put the Hina Dolls at the top of the fridge and she said that we should be reminded to remove the dolls on the 3rd of March, everybody was so cautious because we know that according to their belief, if we’ll forget to remove them, we’ll not be able TO MARRY 😦


That is scary, I know. 


I just arrived from a business trip (from Cebu) when we celebrated the all girls’ day then, we had the “how to handle rejection” training. 
Definitely, ALL OF US WILL MARRY SOMEDAY. LOL.

It’s fun to wake up looking forward that you have new things to discover & experience.



We ate Chirashizushi made by our President, Ms. Jeri.


Here’s a gist of the festival’s history:


March 3 is Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival or Girls’ Festival), when people pray for the happiness and healthy growth of girls. Families with young daughters mark this day by setting up a display of dolls inside the house. They offer rice crackers and other food to the dolls.


The dolls wear costumes of the imperial court during the Heian period (794-1192) and are placed on a tiered platform covered with red felt. The size of the dolls and number of steps vary, but usually the displays are of five or seven layers; single-tiered decorations with one male and one female doll are also common. 


The top tier is reserved for the emperor and the empress. A miniature gilded folding screen is placed behind them, just like the real Imperial throne of the ancient court. On the second tier are three ladies-in-waiting, and on the third are five male court musicians. Ministers sit on either side of trays of food on the fourth step, and the fifth row features guards flanked by an orange tree to the left and a cherry tree to the right.

The practice of displaying these dolls on the third day of the third month on the traditional Japanese calendar began during the Edo period (1603-1868). It started as a way of warding off evil spirits, with the dolls acting as a charm. Even today, people in some parts of the country release paper dolls into rivers after the festival, praying that the dolls take people’s place in carrying away sickness and bad fortune. Most families take their beautiful collection of dolls out of the closet around mid-February and put it away again as soon as Hina Matsuri is over. This is because of an old superstition that families that are slow in putting back the dolls have trouble marrying off their daughters.