Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai Family still couldn’t enclose the enthusiasm every time they prepare and celebrate the annual Philippine-Japan Festival. The jaunty celebration was the result of the consolidated efforts of the human resources from the Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai Inc., Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School, Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku, PNJK Polyclinic, Japan-Philippine Volunteers Association, PNJK Polyclinic and Multi-Purpose Cooperative, students, parents and members of the community in cooperation with the Embassy of Japan, Japan Information and Cultural Center, Japan Foundation, Tokyo Kichijoji Lions Club, Consular Office of Japan in Davao, Datu Uchida Development Foundation, Davao Japanese Association, JCCM, NISVA and JAM.
This year’s Philippine Japan Festival’s theme is “Philippine-Japan and Southeast Asian Nations Sharing Cultural Values towards ASEAN 2015”. Spearheaded by the school directress Mrs. Ines P. Mallari, the members of the Philippine-Japan committee dedicated much of their time just to come up with a very impressive and memorable celebration.
The week-long celebration started last October 1, 2013 with its medical clinic and blood-letting activity with a minimal fee of fifty pesos. The medical mission was organized by the PNJK Polyclinic and Diagnostics personnel. The following day, October 2, 2013, the motorcade was done at 8:30 wherein more than a hundred joined the said motorcade. It was followed with the Kick-off Program which served as the avenue where one could take a look at the diverse cultures of Asia. The kick-off program showcased different presentations which started with the bee – dance from the cute and jolly preschoolers to the amusement of everyone. Traditional dances of Philippines and Indonesia, the hand mime, the Taiko and Omikoshi practice of Japan were presented by the PNJK family. The kick-off program was graced by prominent national and local personalities like
Honorable Toshinao Urabe-Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, Honorable Eko Hartono – Indonesian Consul, Honorable Abdullah Zawawi Tahir – Malaysian Consul General, Honorable Mabel Sunga-Acosta – Davao City Councilor, Rev. Masataka Ajiro – President, Japan-Philippines Volunteer Association, Japanese friends and visitors, members of the Board of Trustees of PNJKIS, DAPRISA Officers and members and other invited guests.
In the afternoon of October 2, 2013, was the Nihongo and Tagalog Singing Contest wherein pupils, students and employees showcased their knack in singing. The Nihongo Singing Contest was also participated in by contestants from other schools like Yagi Method Children’s Academy, Sekolah Indonesia, Ateneo de Davao, Holy Cross of Sasa, and Davao City National High School. Simultaneous with the Nihongo and Tagalog Singing Contest was a Lecture on Philippine-Japan Relations at the MKD AVR. The Eigasai and Filipino Movie Festival also started in the afternoon of October 2.
The Cultural Lessons were taught on October 3, 2013 where participants were given the chance to learn the cultures of both Philippines and Japan. The cultural lessons taught were the following:
• Japanese Food Cooking
• Filipino Food Cooking
• Laro ng Lahi
• Yukata Wearing
• Chopsticks Lessons
• Japanese Games
In the afternoon of October 3, 2013 was the Inter-School Quiz Bee for High School, which was attended by eighteen (18) schools, Essay Writing Contest for College and On-the-Spot Poster Making Contest for the intermediate. A “Flea Market” was also organized at the PNJKIS baseball field. The garage sale ran from October 2-4, 2013.
The Nihongo Speech and Balak Contest was held in the morning of October 4, 2013 at the MKD AVR where contestants compete among themselves who is the best in speaking the Japanese language. Foreign students on the other hand showed their dexterity in speaking the local language of Davao in the Balak competition. In the afternoon was the Karate demonstration and Sumo competition that was followed by the Awarding ceremony held at the PNJKIS covered court. Simultaneously, the Omochitsuki or Rice Pounding Activity was also done. During the awarding ceremony, pupils, students, parents and members of the PNJK Family were already wearing their Yukata and Happi in anticipation for the much awaited “Bon Odori”. Pupils, students, parents, alumni, PNJK family and visitors, old and new, shared the same excitement and thrill even though some are no longer neophytes to the said ceremony. The “Bon Odori” is one of the highlights of the entire celebration of the Philippine-Japan Festival. It is the most anticipated ceremony of the entire PNJK family, parents, alumni and even students from other schools in the region.
The Philippine-Japan Festival 2013 ended with a triumph as elementary and high school students of PNJKIS bagged the second place in their respective categories in the Recorder Ensemble Contest held at PNJKIS Calinan Campus last October 5, 2013.
Mrs. Ines P. Mallari, head of the Philippine-Japan Festival 2013 planning committee was very happy with the turn-out of the celebration; saying that this year’s festival was a successful one because of the consolidated efforts of those people who poured out their time and effort just to have a successful program. She also said that, this year’s Philippine-Japan Festival is the most festive in all Phil-Japan celebrations. Truly this is an indication that unity could be achieved if respect to others culture is practice. Tothe PNJK Family, omedetou gozaimashita for a very successful Philippine-Japan Festival! (L)