Padilla: Philippines-Japan Tomodachi Day rites in the city today

THE 7th Philippines-Japan Friendship Day celebration in the city will be held this morning at the Filipino-Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon, Inc. (Abong), headed by its chairman Honorary Consul Carlos B. Teraoka of the Japanese Embassy in Manila.

Last Wednesday, I received a letter from Consul Taraoka inviting yours truly to attend the historic occasion which is set at 9:00 in the morning. Part of the letter reads, “As the promoter of the very first “Tomodachi Day” Celebration in Baguio City and the constant and dependable organizer and over-all executive coordinator of the past annual Philippines-Japan Friendship Day Celebration in Baguio City, your presence during this event is highly appreciated.”

Of course, I am personally gratified and very appreciative that my modest and humble leadership is recognized by the foundation. I must say however, that the fruition and success of the series of Fil-Japanese friendship day celebrations in the city were a joint effort in partnership with the CSWDO, OSCA, BARP Foundation, the Federation of Baguio Senior Citizen Associations, Philippine Government Retirees Association Baguio Chapter, the Abong and most particularly the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines, USAFIP Northern Luzon World War II Veterans, the Veterans Federation of the Philippines PHASES Learning Center and the Baguio City National High School. The named organizations were the key supporters and participants including the FJFNL headed by the later Engr. Leopoldo Escaño and the local Japanese recidents associations in the locality. Significantly, the first edition of the red letter day was held as a special international episode of the Baguio City Centennial Celebration in 2009. Yes, I personally worked and coordinated the inclusion of the special event with the Centennial Commission and the Japanese Embassy. The rest of the story is now part of history. Thank you Consul Teraoka and OIC-Executive Director Maria Editha Cabanisas for your kind thoughts about me.

The highlight features of the program at the memorial garden starts with flag ceremonies, singing of Pambansang Awit and “Kimigayo”. Welcomee greetings by Consul Teraoka, inspirational messages by City Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Counselor Susumu Tsuda of the Japanese Embassy, floral and candlelight offering and a tribal dance presentation by NIIT, Atty. Allyson Lecano, Vice Chairman of the foundation will deliver the closing words.

Tomorrow, Sunday, The Shrine of the Brown Madonna Board will honor Rev. Fr. Alejandro Bangilan with a fellowship hour at the shrine’s compound after the Holy Mass scheduled at 10 o’clock in the morning. With the Lord’s blessing, the day marks the first anniversary of Fr. Alejandro as the Shrine’s and the NCCB’s Spiritual Adviser. At the head of the simple get together are benefactors Wilfredo and Brenda Leyson from Urdaneta City, Pangasinan; Raffy Policarpio, Jaime and Gladys Tamsi from Nangalisan, Tuba, Benguet and my family.

Again, we are reminding the devotees of the Shrine of the Brown Madonna at Asin Road, Km 7, to join us in the simple celebration. Mabuhay po kayo Rev. Fr. Alejandro!

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