Alan Shirahama in Cebu, the potency of pop culture’s influence in driving tourism

ENTERTAINER. Alan Shirahama plays a set for his fans.
ENTERTAINER. Alan Shirahama plays a set for his fans.
PRESS. Alan Shirahama 
during the media huddle.
PRESS. Alan Shirahama during the media huddle.

In a vibrant display of cultural exchange and fan enthusiasm, Japanese performer, actor and DJ Alan Shirahama graced Cebu with his presence for an eagerly anticipated fan meeting on March 3, 2024 at JPark Island Resort and Waterpark. As the Philippine Tourism Ambassador in Japan, Shirahama’s visit not only delighted his fans but also significantly boosted the appeal of the Philippines as a tourist destination among Japanese travelers.

Local event

Shirahama, known for his dynamic career in music and entertainment, has over three million followers across his social media platforms. His influence as a performer and his role as the Philippine Tourism Ambassador in Japan were underscored by the special fan meet and greet event, which was arranged by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

According to Judy Dela Cruz Gabato, DOT chief tourism operations officer, and Niel Ballesteros, the DOT attache and director for East Japan, the event was a testament to Shirahama’s love for the Philippines and his efforts to deepen cultural ties between Japan and the Philippines.

The fan meeting saw 69 Japanese fans flying into Cebu to attend the event, highlighting Shirahama’s ability to drive tourism through pop culture. The event featured an exciting lineup, including a performance by Sinulog dancers, a Q&A session and a live DJ performance by Shirahama himself, where his fans got to rave. The food served at the event, including quintessential Filipino delicacies like Lechon and Pancit, further immersed attendees in the rich culture of the Philippines.

Talented artist

Shirahama’s connection to the Philippines runs deep, as he is half-Filipino, with his mother hailing from Valenzuela, Metro Manila. His journey in the entertainment industry began in 2012 with GENERATIONS from EXILE TRIBE, leading to his selection as a new member of EXILE in 2014. His versatility as a performer has been evident, as he not only became the leader of GENERATIONS but also contributed to EXILE, showcasing his talent and passion for music and dance.

Venturing into new realms, Shirahama kicked off his DJ career in 2015, and by 2020, he joined the creative music group PKCZR. His DJ sets are known for their focus on bass-heavy genres like Trap and Dubstep, yet he effortlessly blends a variety of other styles, including Hip Hop, Pop, House and Disco, showcasing his rhythmic finesse as a dancer. With his boundary-pushing approach as a DJ, trackmaker, actor and singer, Shirahama is poised for international acclaim.

Cebu experience

According to Gabato and Ballesteros, many of Shirahama’s dedicated fans took the opportunity to explore the enchanting destinations in Cebu that had captured their idol’s heart. One such destination was Oslob, known for its breathtaking whale shark encounters and pristine beaches. Inspired by Shirahama’s love for adventure and exploration, fans embarked on their own journeys of discovery, immersing themselves in the natural beauty and cultural richness of Cebu. Their experiences not only deepened their admiration for Shirahama but also created lasting memories of their time in the Philippines, highlighting the transformative power of travel and cultural exchange.

The success of Shirahama’s fan meeting in Cebu highlights the potency of pop culture’s influence in driving tourism. By leveraging Shirahama’s popularity and cultural connection to the Philippines, the DOT was able to attract Japanese tourists and deepen cultural exchanges between the two countries. As countries around the world look for innovative ways to boost tourism, the example set by events like Shirahama’s fan meeting demonstrates the power of pop culture in creating meaningful connections and driving economic growth.


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.