Since its establishment in June 1996, the Japan Foundation Manila Office (JFMO) has remained true to its mandate of fostering friendship and promoting stronger cultural ties between Japan and the Philippines.
This year, JFMO marks its 20th anniversary, which fortuitously coincides with the 60 years of Philippines-Japan Friendship. And so, there had been major gatherings and special events since June 18 when the foundation formally celebrated its 20 years in the country.
But perhaps, among all the grand activities and painstakingly planned events and programs surrounding JFMO’s 20th Year celebration, the most insightful and inspiring would be its collection of essays written by colleagues, students, and friends of the foundation and published on its newsletter, Suki.
In its October Issue, Suki featured the story of Amb. Benjamin F. Sanvictores, Executive Trustee of The Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation.
Reflective and lyrical, Amb. Sanvictores’ essay recalls his personal experience as an impetuous 15-year-old who joins a select group of young Filipino students bound for Japan during the height of World War II. He narrates, through his rich store of anecdotes, how his seemingly dangerous decision to live in the land of the “enemy” turned out to be a destined journey that gave him the privilege to work towards developing and maintaining the friendly Philippines-Japan relations that peoples of the two countries enjoy today.
Following is the full article of Amb. Sanvictores entitled “Still Travelling After a 73-Year Journey” as it was published on Suki and his Congratulatory Message delivered at JFMO’s 20th Anniversary Celebration:
Article and photos courtesy of Suki and The Japan Foundation Manila Office.