Friday, July 27, 2012

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:


They have Taste of Laos for Laos!


Photo is from
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

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


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 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!


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.


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:

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 it, Hinge Inquirer has it!

Note: All photos were taken from the internet.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Monchhichi is off to Great Places!

It's funny that whenever I check the stats of my blog, one of the mostly visited post is Monchhichi's New Home. I expect that my serious posts will score the highest but I can imagine how many more people were charmed by this cute fella worldwide! Since most of my friends miss her in my bag and my stories on how Taku compares me with Monchhichi, here's some of her photos while she wanders with us.

This was taken at Bonifacio High Street in BGC when we were goofing around before my bag with most of our valuable things were stolen. Here's the story and video about that learning experience.

Monchhichi wandered a lot in 2011: Singapore, Boracay, Palawan, Bali, Japan and LA. I am very petite but sometimes I wish I am just as her size so it's easy for me to fit in the luggage or better for Taku to be same with her size so I can put him in my pocket so it's always a sun-shiny day! haha.

I don't intend to collect all Monchhichi items that I see in stores (as if there are many in Manila!) since I try to live with less and basic things to save more and maximize the use of everything but I opt to keep those which are really cute, small and useful.

But I am keeping my Monchhichi from Kyoto!

Not just because it's so cute but also because it was given to me by a good friend, Eri, who always bring me Monchhichi omiyage whenever she goes back from Osaka (most of the time the yummy Monchhichi candies!) but my heart skipped when she surprised me with this one:

"There are three monchhichis in the photo!" -Taku

And as we keep the kid in us, reach for our dreams and meet wonderful people along the way, let's remember what Dr. Seuss have said (I'd like to remind my sister Charmaine about this wonderful passages cause I believe she'll go more places!):

Congratulations! Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places! You're off and away!
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And you are the guy who'll decide where to go.
Oh! The places you'll go!
You'll be on your way up! You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.
be your name Bauxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day! 
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

*this is an excerpt from the book Oh! the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss

Monday, July 9, 2012

I got souvenirs!

I don't usually buy so many souvenirs when I travel because I'm more focused in the whole experience and cultural immersion. But when I've seen my souvenirs from Bali and Jakarta which I think were the only things I bought in all my travels, I kinda regret not buying souvenirs from other trips and I think I should buy some important little stuffs from now on just like these two things: 

A charming hair tie from Bali. It's all over which costs 4000- 8000 Rupiah if I remember it right.
Here's the very soft and comfortable scarf from Jakarta where I discovered that 'mahal' (expensive) and "mura" (cheap) in Tagalog have the same meaning in Bahasa. I was shopping for scarf since it's very useful for traveling and I tried to for a discount by saying 'mahal' and was so surprised that they understood me! 
Here's a very memorable gift from Indonesian bloggers, Dafhy and Azaxs, from their wonderful hometown. Please visit to know more about their rich culture and tradition. 

Note: From the Kotareyog's Official twitter account, I learned that the mask's name is "bujang ganong!" Can't wait to know more about this! 

And just yesterday, Taku got back from Japan and he brought me some rice balls which I was so amazed when he showed me how to eat it. haha. So watch it, then, we could all eat rice ball in Japan! :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Emergency Shoes & DigiCam!

Okay, I had so much fun at Canon Night as Canon Philippines celebrated 15 wonderful and successful years in the Philippines! I had so much fun having good food, being in the beautiful Sofitel Plaza, meeting people and talking about business, wine and Filipino culture which was a very good therapy for me since I was feeling so weird lately and have delayed reaction with Dad's passing. Well, according to the psychologist, I'm still normal. haha. And it was very nostalgic to see an AA Battery-powered digital camera! It brought back my college memories! :)

Funny, another thing, since I couldn't stop talking about my 'emergency shoes' and I couldn't take a good photo of it with its add-on emergency bag, i just vlogged it. Mhe, your the person in my mind. haha. Here's Katie's Facebook Account and for each pair, it's only for 599Php! I just couldn't stop talking about it and my buddy who listens to me all the time is in a business trip! hay naku. :( 

(What's naughty in tagalog? I think I said 'Im a naughty girl' haha. My dad's gonna be mad if he'll hear that! haha)


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