WITH its aim to reach out and strengthen ties with the Filipino communities in the country, the Japan/Philippines Fallen Soldier Memorial Association “MUSUBI” has recently distributed donation packs to over 400 aeta youth from Porac, Pampanga.
The non-profit organization has been contributing to the promotion of humanistic values and volunteerism for more than a decade and half now since it began doing charity works in the island of Marinduque.
In the province, it has been relentlessly pioneering valuable causes for over four years, according to its top adviser, Shinkou Iwahashi, a Koyasan Shingon Buddhist monk and Izumo Taisha Shinto priest.
He explained that since its inception, their group has been committed to provide assistance to the underprivileged, especially the youth, in honor of the Japanese and Filipinos who dedicated their lives during the World War II in the Philippines.
“By helping those in need, we aim to comfort the spirits of our fallen soldiers, as we also recognize their sacrifice through our memorial efforts that ensure that the tragic history of the war is not forgotten and is passed on to the younger generation,” he said.
“As you see, we focus our endeavors in areas with fateful history with Japan to support the people living in those communities. Through our sincere efforts, we hope to form friendships and share a desire for peace and diplomacy. It is also our mission to inspire and impart to our children the importance of giving,” he added.
He noted that this year, their organization has chosen the indigenous students of Camias Resettlement Elementary School and Camias High School as their beneficiaries. The young natives received notebooks, shoes, clothes, and toys which were donated by common individuals from Japan. Apart from the said donations, they were also given meals and enjoined for various games and activities.
Camias High School OIC Vince Edward Manalo, in behalf of the institution, expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Japanese group for their heartwarming initiative.
“We are very thankful that the Japan/Philippines Fallen Soldier Memorial Association extended a helping hand and shared a bond with our aeta students. Their generous donations and genuine acts of kindness really put a smile in each of our young learners face,” he relayed.
Izumisano City Councilor Hidetaka Nakashouya who flew from Osaka, Japan to personally witness the turnover program, for his part, said that he is privileged to visit the Philippines and share time with the locals.
Prior to the donation program, he also attended a special Shinto prayer ceremony held at Kamikaze (Divine Wind) East Airfield in Mabalacat City. The event was graced by the Japan/Philippines Fallen Soldier Memorial Association and Mabalacat Aeta Tribal Association, Inc. members.
Mabalacat Aeta Tribal Association, Inc. chairman Larry Velasco said that they value the strong partnership between the Japanese advocates and the Aeta community of the municipality.
“We are very grateful that our group was chosen as beneficiary of the TV sets and refrigerators from Japan. We hope that they will continue this noble undertaking as it is a big help to us,” he noted.