THE citywide celebration of Filipino Japanese Friendship in magandang Baguio ends this afternoon with a closing program at the FVR Sports Center. The curtains go up at 2:00 p.m. An invocation by the Chungalao family followed by the singing of the Pambansang Awit and “Kinigayo” will uncork the afternoon program. Arnel Cabanisas, Executive Director of the Filipino-Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon, host of the annual event will deliver the opening remarks. Highlight of the special event will showcase the talent and skills of Abong Scholars particularly on how to use the Japanese Kimono and the FAB Kimono Walk. The closing remarks will be given by Atty. Allyson Locano, vice president of FJFNL, Inc., who will also serve as the emcee.
Last Sunday morning, the Fil-Japanese Week festivities started with the floral and candlelight ceremonies at the Filipino-Japanese Peace Memorial Garden along Gov. Pack Road. Hon. Atsusshi Kuwabara, Minister Consul General from the Philippine Japanese Embassy, yours truly, Mr. Cabanisas and several officials from the city government joined hands and hearts during the commorative rites. In the afternoon, the day’s program was held at the F.W Forbes Ballroom at the Baguio Country Club. In his welcome remarks, City Mayor Mauricio Domogan praised and thanked judiciously the Japanese government for their cooperation and generous assistance in several socio-economic undertakings of the city to include infrastructure, growth and development projects; and for donating several medical equipment to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.
Minister Kuwabara, on the other hand, stressed that the working relationship between his country and the Philippines in general is at its best. He expressed the hope that this brotherhood relationship will continue to bear fruits of progress through the years.
A special performance of the Wakasa-Benikoma-Sachu from Japan was a highlight feature of the program. The PGRA, Baguio chapter sang songs while folk and modern dances were dished out by the Baguio City National High School Performing Arts Class and the Baguio Cosplay Group and the Filipino Japanese Friendship Association.
Several years ago, as the executive program officer of the historic episode, I wrote a simple acrostic poem, dedicated to Filipino-Japanese Friendship. I hope you like the poem.
F – ilipinos and Japanese share a resume of
I – nteresting history, cultural traditions and
L – ofty ideology which bind us together
I – n brotherhood despite the dark shadows of the
P – ast in the early years of the forty’s
I – nto the future we must seek and strive.
N – ow is the time to forgive and forget the pains of yesterday as destiny willed it to be.
O – nward to global peace, solidarity, and prosperity for all must be our ultimate goal.
J – apan and the Philippines, our dearest Motherland
A – re pearls of the Orient Seas, enjoying mutual respect and harmonious.
P – artnership in various areas of cooperative endeavours in Nation Building
A – nd other special humanitarian offerings for co-existence.
N – otable gains are evidently on the lanes and our determined efforts to pursue our dreams to fruition
E – very single day is stronger, unyielding and undiminished on Friendship Bridge.
S – erving faithfully our Supreme Creator, flag and country and fellowmen until the
E – nd of time, is our solemn pledge and sacred duty while we celebrate in unison the First Filipino-Japanese Friendship day in Baguio, our beautiful mountain resort city.
Note: The poem in acrostic form was penned by yours truly, on July 5, 2009. It is lovingly dedicated to the initiator-sponsor of the First Filipino-Japanese Friendship Day Celebration in the City of Baguio, Sept. 3, 2009. In partnership with the Baguio Japanese Residents Society and the Fil-Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon Inc., in cooperation with the Baguio Centennial Commission and the National Correspondents Club of Baguio.