You know I’m obsessed with almost anything Japanese. I can’t help but think about Filipinos who look Japanese, but tell you the truth, I had a hard time coming up with ten.
Japanese to me—or at least the ones I’ve observed—have an innate coolness, whether they are teenagers or grandfathers. There are certain things they’ll wear. It can be the simplest top and it will just look cool on them.
The Japanese I’ve observed don’t wear body-fit clothes or short sexy dresses, which Filipinos love. Or maybe I’ve been hanging out in the same areas in Tokyo.
Japanese have nice haircuts and are a quiet, relaxed people.
The Filipinos I’ve chosen here are for the most part shy and introverted. They express themselves through talent and they way they dress or colour their hair. Chances are you’ve never even heard of them if you’re not in the industry.
There are Filipinos who try to look Japanese but some of them look like caricatures or maybe more Korean, Taiwanese or Chinese.
This is just my list. I’m sure there are more out there but I probably don’t know them.
The model: John James Uy
This Filipino actor and model was born in Mountain View, California but now working and living in Manila. I rooted for him in the Be Bench Model Search in 2007 but he won second place. I grabbed his pics on Instagram @johnjamesuy and I know him as the boyfriend of model Jessica Yang.
Tom Girl: Jo Ann Bitagcol
I first spotted Jo Ann Bitagcol around 1995 when she was just starting out as a model in Manila. I chose her to open and close my first fashion show in 1996. After that her career just took off and she became Manila’s top model. Since then she has transitioned into one of Manila’s most respected, in-demand photographers.
She continues to be low-maintenance in her lifestyle and the way she dresses.
Her personal style is “tom girl” (a girl who dresses like a boy) just like me. Anything I own just looks more fabulous on her but we don’t hate her.
Kawaii girl: Reese Lansangan
Reese Lansangan is an all-around talent who does visual art, graphic design, fashion design, writes music, you name it.
I don’t know how I found her on Instagram @reeseypeasy but she looks like the girl I would’ve wanted to be if I were in my 20s again. We want to know more about her. She’s so cute!!
The alien: Andre Chang
We don’t know where he came from, but Andre Chang is a Filipino who looks like he’s from another planet. I’ve had my eye on him since 2006 when I started spotting him at fashion events. Good thing I had a style blog; I had an excuse to talk to him and take his picture.
Stylist and fashion editor Andre maintains a Lookbook page that has over 38,000 followers. And while he seems to have broken every rule in the fashion book (while boldly mixing local and international designer brands), we can’t take our eyes off him.
The sister: Daryl Chang
If one has a brother like Andre Chang, what are the chances that the sister would know fashion as well?
I met Daryl through Andre and liked her on sight. Like Andre, I’ve seen her looks transform—physically, hair-wise, fashion-wise. These days she’s second-in-command at Preview magazine where she works as Fashion Editor. I’ve seem her bloom from quiet to confident—all the while keeping her feet on the ground—and we like that.
The Boyfriend: Mano Lotho
Daryl Chang’s boyfriend, Marketing Officer for H&F Retail Concepts, also has his moments of looking Japanese, with some Spanish mestizo mixed in. Unfortunately he is so low-key there are not many photos of him online, so all we have are photos of him with other people. We love the way he can wear a regular Fred Perry shirt and look so good in them. Simple, laid back, Japanese style.
The actor: Jake Macapagal
It was my friend Jude who pointed out that Jake Macapagal, who starred in Sean Ellis’ Metro Manila, look Japanese. I mean just look at him with the chiseled nose, Oriental eyes, nice haircut and carefully chosen wardrobe. Not much photos of him online, but hoping to see more of him on the big screen.