FULL of hope and joy, an admirable throng of senior citizens and students from various schools and Nippon residents in the city last Sunday celebrated Philippines-Japan Friendship Day at the Baguio City National High School auditorium.
The historic endeavor showcased love, respect and harmony in nurturing the time honored friendship between the Filipinos and Japanese which started in the early part of the 19th century during the construction of the famed Kennon Road.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan in his brief inspirational message recalled memories of the hardworking Japanese laborers from the Land of the Rising Sun who teamed up with Filipinos and other foreign counterparts in the road project. He also mentioned the ongoing partnership and several Japanese government agencies and private institutions in the growth and development of our mountain resort city.
On the other hand, Loreto Pangilinan, who represented Rep. Nicasio Aliping Jr. as the guest of honor and speaker, praised the efforts and dedication of the event organizers and participants to keep alive the flame of friendship between our two Asian countries warm and radiant.
Mayor Domogan and his charming better half Rebecca led in the coronation rites honoring the Friendship Day muses and their escorts. At the fore were Miss Peace Stephanie Grace dela Cruz and escort Bilig Banasan; Miss Friendship Sheila Corpuz and escort Christian Reyes; and Miss Solidarity Erynne Martes and escort Jonie Suhat.
Certainly, it was very inspiring and encouraging to see nearly all the celebrants in various traditional Filipino costumes. Members of the Japanese community and Fil-Japanese descendants wore kimonos. It was something extraordinary. In many ways, the display of costumes was patriotism on focus.
By any yardstick, the Pista sa Nayon which highlighted the day’s celebration will go down memory lanes. Thanks to the BCNHS Special Performing Arts, Phases Learning Center, Federation of Baguio Senior Citizens Cultural Association, BASECA Pinsao Proper Barangay Senior Citizens Assocation, BARP Foundation La Trinidad folk dancers, National Institute of Information Technology Cultural Dance Troupe, Filipino-Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon scholars and the karatekas from Benguet. They were on centerstage for the cultural performance of the Pista sa Nayon. With grace and poise, the dancers wowed the spectators with their skillful performances.
Thank you also to Japan Foundation headed by Director Shuji Takatori for his understanding, generosity and exemplary support. Mabuhay tayong lahat!