The Nihongo Center Foundation/Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture (NCF/PIJLC) co-sponsored with Kake Educational Institute 加計学園 of Okayama, Japan the Manila Competition for the 5thKakeGakuen International Nihongo Speech Contest 第5回加計学園杯日本語弁論国際大会マニラ予選 . The speech contest, the second to include the Philippines, was held on September 19, 2015 at the Jose P. Laurel Hall, 4th floor Philippines-Japan Friendship Center-Manila in Sampaloc, Manila.

 There were nine contestants who prepared their own speeches in Nihongo on the theme: “My Message to the Future”未来へ伝えたいこと. Ms. Camille Valerie Torre of the NCF/PIJLC N1 Review Class who has been a student of NCF since 2006 won first place, entitling her to represent the country in the Final Competition in Okayama, Japan to be held on November 25-29, 2015. She was also granted 2-year scholarship at any of the three universities under the Kake Educational Institution System.

The second place was awarded to Ms. Jacqueline Okaya of the NCF/PIJLC Teacher Training Course, while Ms. Carmel Acuzar of the Intermediate 1 Class won third place.

The panel of judges consisted of Director Tatsuo Kitagawa of the Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan, Dr. Takuji Hoshino of the Okayama University of Science, and Prof. Kenjiro Ogata, Academic Advisor of NCF-PIJLC.

Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores, NCF-PIJLC President delivered an extemporaneous speech on the merits of participating in and preparing for a speech contestat the start of the Program. He was followed by Dir. Kitagawa who praised Kake Gakuen for hosting the international speech contest and thanked NCF-PIJLC for partnering with Kake Gakuen on this worthwhile project that promotes Nihongo education in the Philippines. At the end of the contest, Dir. Hoshino thanked all the participants and encouraged all the contestants to strive hard in learning Nihongo. He added that with the high quality of speeches presented during the contest, all the participants were actually winners.

After the Speech Contest, PIJLC hosted dinner for the guests from Japan at the Barbara’s Cultural Restaurant in Intramuros.

SANVICTORES and MAHIWO receive Gaimusho Commendation (Sept. 16, 2015)

On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan外務省, Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa conferred the Foreign Minister’s Commendation on two Filipinos closely associated with the Philippines-Japan Society in simple yet appropriate conferment ceremonies held on September 16, 2015 at the Ambassador’s residence in Makati.

 The Commendations were presented to Mr. Gerard B. Sanvictores, Vice-President of the Philippines-Japan Society, concurrently co-Chairman of the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee (PHILJEC); and to the late Dr. Silvano Dong-E Mahiwo of the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman, and a stalwart of the Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA).

Mr. Sanvictores was cited for his long and outstanding service in promoting Philippines-Japan relations, notably as Vice-President of the Philippines-Japan Society and, more recently, as co-Chairman of PHILJEC. As PHILJEC Secretary-General for many years, he spearheaded preparations for the annual joint meetings of the Economic Cooperation Committees of the Philippines and Japan. The 2015 PHILJEC Joint Meeting was held in Tokyo in April 2015 which was followed by a highly successful Philippine investment seminar. PHILJEC also assists in state and working visits to Japan of Philippine Presidents, the latest of which was the State Visit of President Benigno S. Aquino III in June 2015.

Mr. Sanvictores was a Partner of SGV & Company (Ernst & Young) for 36 years where he had assisted many Japanese investors set up operations in the Philippines. He was also a ranking member of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) and is currently a Member of the Board of Accountancy by way of a Presidential appointment.

Dr. Mahiwo, on the other hand, was a regular fixture of Japan alumni activities, serving for many years as Secretary-General of the Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA) and working closely with counterpart officials of the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA) and their member Japan alumni associations in ASEAN. Dr. Mahiwo earned his masters and doctorate degrees from Tokyo University in 1991 and has served at the University of the Philippines as a Full Professor. He was also a consultant of the Embassy of Japan in Manila on various matters and assisted in the selection of Japan Government scholars under various programs. As a Professor on International Relations of the Asian Center in UP Diliman, Dr. Mahiwo published numerous research papers and studies on Philippines-Japan, intra-ASEAN and ASEAN-Japan relations and was thus recognized as one of the country’s eminent Japanolgists. He died in July 2015 and this award was presented posthumously to his widow, Atty. Teresa Mahiwo.

Families and associates of the awardees were present during the conferment ceremonies, which was also attended by ranking officials of the Embassy of Japan, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines and the Japanese Association Manila.

平成27年度外務大臣表彰 : http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/press/release/press3_000115.html;

2015 Foreign Minister’s Commendation: http://www.mofa.go.jp/press/release/press3e_000039.html

Mr. Gerard Sanvictores Acceptance Speech at the Conferment of the Foreign Ministries’ Commendation: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BweKoSxnhLdhdEN6YUtSSTEzSGc/view?usp=sharing

Atty. Teresa Mahiwo’s Acceptance Speech at the Conferment of the Foreign Ministries’ Commendation upon the late Dr. Sylvano Dong-E Mahiwo: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BweKoSxnhLdhTnljNHYzNkRqeTQ/view?usp=sharing

PHILJEC Chair Bobby Castillo Hosts Lunch (Sept 9, 2015)

PHILJEC Chairman Bobby Castillo hosted a working lunch today at the Taipan of the Tower Club in Makati to discuss the proposed visit of the Kansai Keizai Douyukai Mission to Manila on December 3, 2015.  The meeting was attended by (in photo L-R): Mr. Ricardo C. Reyes – Vice President & Gen. Manager, Gulf Asia International Corp.; Mr. Philip Sanvictores – President Nihongo Center and Netmarks PH; Mr. Shozo Suzuki – Investment & EPA Advisor, JETRO; Mr. Bobby Castillo (host) – PHILJEC Chairman and President-CEO, EEI Corp.; Mr. Yoshio Amano – President, Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industry of the PH and General Manager, Mitsubishi Corp Manila Branch; Mr. JJ Soriano – PHILJEC Secretary-General and Chairman Soriano Projects & Ventures; Mr. Gerry Sanvictores – PHILJEC Co-Chairman and President, Quantum; and Mr. Ferdinand G. Villafuerte, Sr. Vice-President, EEI Corp.

The Kansai Keizai Douyukai Mission is a fact-finding initiative to look into the conditions of Japan-owned companies in the Philippines, how they develop and utilize human resources in the context of Japan’s labor shortage.  The Mission will also gather information on Filipino former students in Japan – their careers and professions, as well as issues surrounding the development of Filipino human resources as a potential strength of Japanese enterprises. 

The Mission is an activity of the Keizai Douyukai Committee on Human Resource Development which involves a tour of Southeast Asia to undertake high-level contact to gather information, exchange ideas and solicit recommendations on various issues on human resource development and training and the upgrade of Asia standards for HR capabilities and qualifications.