Padilla: Phil-Japan Friendship Day celebration set this July

SIGNIFICANTLY, the Philippines-Japan Friendship Day nationwide celebration like the Fil-American Friendship Day special are highlight program features of the month of July.

On Tuesday, July 4, our City Government officials will celebrate with our populace the Fil-Am Friendship Day with commemorative activities. A wreath laying will start at 7:30 a.m. at the Col. Lyman Kennon Monument along Zig Zag Road will usher the day's offering.

The flower rites will also be held at the Architect Daniel Monument at the main park, site of the First Philippine Commission along Gov. Pack Road and finally at the Justice George Malcolm Monument at Malcolm Square led by City Mayor Mauricio Domogan. A set of program follows.

At 10 a.m., a “Kultura-O-Rama” of songs and folk dances will be staged at the Baguio Convention Center. The special event, for the first time, will march and crown the Fil-Am Friendship Day Gng. Lakambini, Gng. Peace, and Gng. Unity with their respective escorts.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA), the Baguio Elderly Assembly (BEA), BARP Foundation, Federation of Baguio Senior Citizens Associations and the Philippine Government Retirees Association - Baguio Chapter is coordinating the special offering in partnership with the city's Fil-Am Friendship Day committee.

Last Thursday, Arnel Cabanisas, Executive Director of the Filipino-Japanese Foundation Inc., Northern Luzon and yours truly met at his office at Abong.

Primarily, we talked about the revival of the Fil-Japanese Friendship Day celebration in the city.

The celebration was initiated by the BEA-CSWDO-OSCA and the FPF Inc. and the National Correspondents Club of Baguio in 2009 as a part of the Baguio Centennial Charter Day Celebration. The affair was temporarily out of the program lanes after the death of Engineer Leopoldo Escano, former executive director of the Foundation.

Personally, I am deeply elated to assist in the revival of the 2009 Fil-Japanese Friendship in the city. Thank you to Mr. Cabanisas for his trust and confidence for my modest leadership and services.

The city celebration is scheduled on July 23 with a set of commemorative endeavors with original members of the committee at the front line. The day kicks off at nine in the morning with floral, and candle ceremonies to be held at the Fil-Japanese Memorial Park along Gov. Pack Road.

Participants for the special occasion will be led by ranking city government officials, representatives from the Japanese Embassy in Metro Manila, civic leaders and officers and members of FJ foundation.

At 1 p.m., the program will continue at the Baguio City National High School Auditorium. The afternoon show will feature a Filipino-Japanese photo exhibit through the years at the entrance of the auditorium.

The program will include invocation, the Flag Rites, singing of the Pambansang Awit and the National Anthem of Japan, the Baguio Hymn and the welcome remarks of Mr. Cabanisas.

Mayor Domogan will head visitors to the affair together with invited guests from the Japanese Embassy. A representative from the Embassy will be the guest of honor and speaker.

The presentation, march, and coronation ceremonies honoring the celebration's muses and escorts will also be on center stage. The honorees are Miss Hope, Miss Solidarity and Miss Fil-Japanese Friendship 2017. A FBASECA singer will render a “harana” dedicated to the Royal Court. A cultural presentation of folk dances and songs from the Senior Citizens Associations from the BEA, BCNHS Performing Arts, NIIT, the Kiddies International School and from the ABONG FL Foundation, among others will surely exude joy and entertainment for everyone.

The presentation of awards and recognition to tri-media publications and a television station in Northern Luzon will be in the core. A raffle is added for the “palabas.”

A solo concert of songs by an opera singer from the Land of the Rising Sun, courtesy of the Japanese Embassy, will climax the celebration in the city.

Here are the series of activities marking the Phil-Japan Friendship Month. Submission of entries is in the middle of July. Baguio Heritage Sites Painting Workshop and Contest by JANL at BCNHS or at the Baguio Museum.

July 15 - Tanabata Decoration / Fukinagashi Workshop at Abong. Open to the public.
August 5 - Tanabata decoration/exhibit at the Baguio Museum.
August 8 - PM, opening ceremony of the Phil-Japan Friendship Baguio Tanabata Festival 8 at the Baguio Museum hosted by the City Mayor, Congressman Go, Japanese Embassy, JICA and Japan Foundation.
August 10-13 - Japanese film festival at the SM Cinema, sponsored by Japan Foundation.
August 12-13 - Cosplay Tanabata Festival 6 by the Baguio Cosplay Community.
August 31 - End of all the exhibit at the Baguio Museum.
At this juncture, we are inviting all our friends and the city's cosmopolitan resident to the two international July special friendship events celebration to be held on our Magandang Baguio doorsteps.
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