Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Padilla: Citywide Philippines-Japan Friendship Day celebration set on Sunday

JOIN us and be part of history! This is an invitation from the Filipino-Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon, Inc., Japanese Association of Northern Luzon and the National Correspondents Club of Baguio the principal sponsors of the 4th Filipino-Japanese Friendship Day celebration in our beautiful mountain resort city. The historic endeavour is being held in cooperation with the City of Baguio government administration. The first observance of Phil-Japan Friendship Day in the locality was during the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the City of Baguio. It was part of the Centennial Year calendar of events. Thanks to the late Centecom Commissioner for Tourism and Special Events, the late manong Gerry Evangelista Sr., who worked for the inclusion of international “tomodachi” offering in the official Centennial Year program.

The Japanese Embassy in Manila also gave its approving nod to go ahead with the Friendship Day celebration here. With pardonable pride and modesty the Baguio Elderly Assembly and the NCCB with yours truly at the helm and in cooperation with the FJFNL implemented the program with utmost care. I served as the project officer and executive program coordinator of the historic episode. It was a success! A presidential Proclamation issued by former President Gloria Arroyo sometime in 2006 declared Philippines-Japan Friendship Day official in the national list of celebrations. Last year, the City Council also passed a resolution recognizing and to include the special event as part of the city’s annual calendar of international events. We are elated by the turn of events.

The celebration tomorrow starts with a floral, candlelight and prayer ceremony at the Fil-Japanese Memorial Garden along Gov. Pack Road. The brief ceremony is billed at 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon led by the event sponsors and elderlies from the city’s senior citizens organizations and students. Immediately after the garden rites a Pista Sa Nayon to climax the day’s affair will be staged at the BCNHS auditorium.

City Mayor and Mrs. Mauricio Domogan and Congressman and Mr. Nicasio Aliping Jr. have been invited to grace the occasion. They will also officiate in the coronation of the Friendship Day muses and escorts. The youthful honorees are Miss Peace Stephanie Grace dela Cruz and escort Bilig Banasan; Miss Solidarity Erynne Martes and escort Jonie Suhat and Miss Friendship Sheila Corpuz and escort Christian Reyes, all high school students from the city and La Trinidad, Benguet.

Salient parts of the program features a photo exhibit of past celebrations. PHASES Learning Center pupils will offer the invocation while a patrol of Boy and Girl Scouts will act as color bearers in the entry of flags. The Pambansang Awit followed by Kimigayo the National Anthem of Japan will be played by the BCNHS Band. The city executive and the congressman will deliver separate inspirational messages while FJFNL executive director Leopoldo Escano and JANL president Hidenobu Ogani will give the tuloy po kayo and sayonara remarks respectively. A cultural presentation of highland and provincial folk dances and songs by selected participants from the city’s senior citizens organizations and students will highlight the Pista sa Nayon kultura-o-rama show.

Please read on. I hope you will enjoy my acrostic poem on Fil-Japanese Friendship Bridge, dedicated to one and all.
F - Filipinos and Japanese share a resume of
I - Interesting history, cultural traditions and
L - Lofty ideology which binds us together
I - In brotherhood despite the dark shadows of the
P - Past in the early years of the forty’s,
I - Into the future we must seek and strive.
N - Now is the time to forgive and forget the pains of yesterday as destiny willed it to be.
O - Onward to global peace, solidarity and prosperity for all must be our ultimate goal.
J - Japan and the Philippines our dearest Motherland
A - Are Pearls of the Orient Seas, enjoying mutual respect and harmonious
P - Partnership in various areas of cooperative endeavors in Nation Building,
A - And other special humanitarian activities for co-existence.
N - Notable gains are evidently on the lanes and our determined efforts to pursue our dreams to fruition
E - Every single day is stronger, unyielding and undiminished on Friendship Bridge.
S - Serving faithfully our Supreme Creator, flag and country and fellowmen until the
E - End of time is our solemn pledge and sacred duty while we celebrate in unison Philippines-Japan Friendship Day in the City of Baguio, the Summer Capital of the Philippines.

The poem is also dedicated specially to all the officers and members of the Baguio Elderly Assembly (FBASECA, PGRA, BARP Foundation, World War II Veterans from the USAFIP Northern Luzon) who heartedly supported the annual Filipino-Japanese Friendship Day celebration in the city and other parts of the Cordillera Region. The same depth of gratitude also goes to my colleagues in the NCCB.
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