PHILIPPINE Nikkei Jin Kai Family still couldn’t enfold the fervor every time they prepare and celebrate the annual Philippine-Japan Festival. The jaunty celebration was the result of the consolidated efforts of the human resources from the Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai Inc., Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School, Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku, PNJK Polyclinic and Diagnostic Center, students, parents and members of the community in cooperation with the Japan-Philippine Volunteers Association, Japan Foundation Manila, Tokyo Kichijoji Lions Club, Datu Uchida Development Foundation, and Japan-Philippine Industry Council, Inc. (JPIC).
This year’s Philippine-Japan Festival is extra special for this year is also the Silver Anniversary of Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School. This year’s theme is “Philippine-Japan Festival: A Celebration of History, Cultural Heritage and Friendship.” Spearheaded by the school directress Ines Mallari, the members of the Philippine-Japan committee dedicated much of their time just to come up with a very exciting and remarkable celebration.
The week-long celebration started last October 10 to 13 with a thanksgiving mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Junar dela Victoria and was followed by the medical clinic and bloodletting activity organized by the PNJK Polyclinic and Diagnostics personnel, while the motorcade was done in the afternoon of October 10. Simultaneous with the Bloodletting activity was a lecture on Omotenashi: The Reason why Japanese Hospitality is Different by the school president Mallari; Improvement of Japanese Studies by Dr. Cynthia Zayas; Cross-Cultural Comparison on Filipinos and Japanese for the college students; Cultural Differences for elementary and high school, as well as lectures on J-Pop for elementary and high school.
The following day, October 11, was the Kick-off Program which served as the avenue where one could take a look at the diverse cultures of Asia. The kick-off program showcased different presentations which started with the opening salvo of the PNJK-IS Drum and Lyre Corps and the Nikkeisians Pep Squad to the enjoyment of everyone. Traditional dances of Philippines and Japan performed by teachers and students, the hand mime of KAPARIZ, the Taiko and Omikoshi practice of Japan were presented by the PNJK family. In the afternoon of October 11 were the Nihongo and Tagalog Singing Contests wherein pupils and students showcased their knack in singing.
The Eigasai and Filipino Movie Festival also started on October 12, 2017. Simultaneous with the Eigasai and Filipino Movie Festival was the Cultural Lessons where participants were given the chance to learn the cultures of both Philippines and Japan. The cultural lessons taught were the following:
• Japanese Food Cooking
• Filipino Food Cooking
• Laro ng Lahi
• Yukata Wearing
• Chopsticks Lessons
• Japanese Games
In the afternoon of October 12 was the Inter-School Quiz Bee for Grade 10 and Grade 12, which was attended by nine ( 9) schools, Essay Writing Contest for Grade 6 and High School, and On-the-Spot Poster Making Contest for the intermediate, and High School. A “Flea Market” was also organized and the garage sale ran from October 11 to 13.
The Nihongo Speech Contest was held in the morning of October 13, 2017 at the MKD Sky gym where contestants compete among themselves who is the best in speaking the Japanese language. In the afternoon were the Japanese and Filipino Cosplay Competitions and J-Pop Dance Contest held at the PNJK-IS main gym. Simultaneous with the Cosplay and J-Pop was the Sumo competition held at the playpen of the primary building that was followed by the Awarding ceremony held at the PNJK-IS main gym. A Japanese Traditional Dance presentation was also showcased by the Fukujuen. During the awarding ceremony, pupils, students, parents and members of the PNJK Family were already wearing their Yukata and Happi in anticipation for the much awaited "Bon Odori."
Pupils, students, parents, alumni, PNJK family and visitors, old and new, shared the same excitement and thrill even though some are no longer neophytes to the said ceremony. The “Bon Odori” is one of the highlights of the entire celebration of the Philippine-Japan Festival. It is the most anticipated ceremony of the entire PNJK family, parents, alumni and even students from other schools in the region.
Mallari, head of the Philippine-Japan Festival 2017 planning committee was very happy with the turn-out of the celebration; saying that another festival is successful because of the consolidated efforts of those people who poured out their time and effort just to have a successful program. Truly this is an indication that unity could be achieved if respect to others culture is practice.
To the PNJK Family, omedetou gozaimashita for a very successful Philippine-Japan Festival! (PR)