November 2017 Activity:
PJLA Members Visit Yakult Factory

On November 22, 2017, the ladies of PJLA visited the iconic Yakult factory in Calamba, Laguna for their association’s monthly activity. The ladies assembled early, around 8:30 a.m., in Makati City and traveled together to the Southern province to see a glimpse of how one of the world’s most loved and recognized dairy product is made.

Upon arrival, the PJLA members were welcomed by factory manager Ms. Bela Sta. Elena who gave an overview of the Yakult production process. PJLA Vice-President Tomoko Nakagawa said that they were oriented about the process of making Yakult until it was packed into its very unique small bottles. They also received some free Yakult products before proceeding with the guided factory tour. After the tour, the ladies enjoyed posing for their group photos with the Yakult mascot and at other areas around the factory.

Lunch was provided by Yazaki-Torres Manufacturing Inc. courtesy of PJLA treasurer Dra. Nora Torres. A Yazaki-Torres staff also gave a brief orientation to the visitors about their company before lunch.

“The factory was impressively clean and the lunch was super delicious!” exclaimed PJLA President, Mrs. Ma. Elena L. Loinaz.

For photos of the Yakult factory visit, see resources below.


PJLA Yakult Factory Visit Photos


10th Batch of Filipino Nurses and Care Workers for Japan Start 6-Month Intensive Nihongo Training

In an Opening Ceremony held last November 9, 2017, NCF Manila welcomed its 10th batch of students for the Preparatory Japanese Language Training for Nurses and Care Workers under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA). NCF will train 110 students who, after finishing their intensive 6-month course in Manila, will move to Japan for another six months of further language studies before finally starting their work at different Japanese hospitals and care-giving facilities.

Head lecturer of the program, Josef Orillo-sensei, said that the goal of the training is not only to study and understand Nihongo as a language, but also to practice and apply it as a method of communication. He explained:  

“Learning Nihongo is very similar to learning a physical activity, like basketball, for example. Anyone can sit down and learn the rules and how to play the sport. But to actually learn how to play and play well, there’s no other method than to go out and practice every day until your body learns and moves through instinct.

Both Orillo-sensei and Mr. Hiroaki Uesugi, Director of The Japan Foundation Manila Office (JFMO), which oversees the program, also emphasized in their messages to the students the importance of developing the habit of self-training.

“After finishing the training here in the Philippines, and in Japan, you will start training and working at Japanese hospitals and care-giving facilities. Therefore, it is very important that you establish this basic Learning Cycle – preparing, attending class, reviewing and self-study during the training period,” said Mr. Uesugi.

Other honorable guests during the afternoon event included NCF President, Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores, Atty. Rosemarie G. Duquez who represented the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), and Mr. Manabu Yasukawa, First Secretary, Labour Attaché of the Embassy of Japan.

President Sanvictores, in his message, reminded the students about how being among the few chosen Filipinos in the EPA program is truly a great opportunity that also comes with great responsibility.

“…this did not come by going to the sari-sari store and say, “Pa-order nga ng isang trip to Japan para mag-trabaho ako doon. At kung ayaw ko na, sauli ko na lang sa inyo. Can you imagine, “hindi lang yun basta-basta na ordinaryong kontrata between me and Director Uesugi. Hindi. Our government, the Senate, had to pass it as it was a Treaty.”

“Japan also needed to pass this Agreement through their parliament more than 10 years ago. So what you entered now, what it means, is you are blessed. But it also means you have the responsibility to work hard. Not only to yourselves, but also to your families; and also to our Government that has worked so hard to make this thing happen.”

As a response, Ms. Shydney Faye E. Quillosa, representative of the 10th batch, acknowledged in her speech the opportunity and challenges that they may face

“I would like to take this chance to express our gratitude to the Philippine Government as well as the Japanese Government for this wonderful opportunity. We also have the added honor and responsibility in representing fellow professionals of the Philippines overseas. We do know that caregiving is a noble and fulfilling job, and I can say that not all have the guts to pursue it.”

For 2018, the JPEPA Program for Nurses and Care Workers has more than 300 candidates. Aside from NCF Manila, two other institutions—TESDA and the Personal Ability Development Foundation, Inc. (PAD)—are conducting the preparatory language training including lectures about Japanese society, customs and manners, geography, and other topics related to general life in Japan.

For the full speeches of the guests and photos of the Opening Ceremony Program, see resources below.



Opening Ceremony Photo Collage
Josef Orillo-sensei, Program Head Teacher
Mr. Hiroaki Uesugi, Director, JFMO
Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores, NCF President
Atty. Rosemarie G. Duquez, Director II, POEA
Mr. Manabu Yasukawa, First Secretary, Labour Attaché, Embassy of Japan
Ms. Shydney Faye E. Quillosa, Batch 10 Representative

Lyceum Graduates Ready to Work in Japan After Finishing Intensive Hotel Nihongo Course

After six months and 600 hours of classroom instruction, 10 fresh graduates of hospitality-related courses from Lyceum University successfully finished their Intensive Hotel Nihongo Course at NCF Manila. QRD International Placement Inc. recruited the 10 participants for Japanese company, Ken Corporation, and will all start work in Japan early this year.

In a graduation ceremony held last November 3, 2017, the students each gave a short speech and thanked their teachers and important people that helped them throughout the intensive course.

私の日本語はまだまだですが、いい基礎ができたと思います (I still have a long way to go with my Japanese studies, but I think I have a good foundation),” said Roselle P. Leones in her speech during the graduation program. Another student, Jeremy Faith N. Seruelo, shared how she continues to learn Japanese and hopes to have a good job in Japan: “私の勉強法の一つは、大好きな日本のアニメやJドラマを見ることです。これからも楽しみながら勉強を続け、日本でいい仕事ができるように頑張りたいと思います。(One of the ways I study is by watching my favorite Japanese anime and TV dramas. I will do my best to have a good job in Japan and continue enjoying my Japanese studies.)

NCF President, Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores, gave the Welcome Remarks and awarded the Certificate of Completion to the students. Other honored guests who gave their Congratulatory Remarks were Mr. Gerald B. Sanvictores, Chairman and President of QRD International Placement Inc.; Mr. Shuichiro Fujita, Global Business Development Executive at With Us Corporation; and Mr. Toshihiko Ogata, Senior Managing Director of Ken Real Estate Lease Ltd.

NCF Academic Adviser, Kenjiro Ogata-sensei, headed the program with Jovita Sancho-sensei and Vianca Ramirez-sensei as co-teachers. The classes were held from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 3:40 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. Students were also given a unit test every two weeks to constantly check their learning progress throughout the intensive course.



Intensive Hotel Nihongo Photo Album
Intensive Hotel Nihongo – Speeches of Students

PJLA September 2017 Activity: Filipino Cooking Demo
PJLA Members Learn History & Recipe of Traditional Bicol Express & Laing

Modern Filipino dishes take many forms and different versions of traditional recipes are aplenty that sometimes it’s hard to know how a particular dish should taste. That’s why it was a real treat for PJLA members to learn the history and traditional recipe of a well-loved Pinoy dish, Bicol Express, during the group’s Filipino Cooking Demonstration held last September 28, 2017.

Complete with all the essential ingredients that make for a truly authentic Bicol Express like pork belly, shrimp paste (bagoong alamang), and coconut milk, Mrs. Glenda T. Ferma shared her family recipe to the curious audience that afternoon at the Ambassador Jose S. Laurel III Hall in Makati City. Also a PJLA member, Mrs. Ferma opened her cooking demo with a bit of history—how the famous dish was actually invented in Malate, Manila by Cecilia “Tita Cely” Villanueva Kalaw who is originally from Los Baños, Laguna and named after the train that travels from Manila to Bicol. There is another anecdote, Ms. Ferma says that tries to makes sense of the name by saying that the dish is so spicy, one needs to run super fast—thus the word “express”—in order to tame down its spiciness.

So what’s the secret to a delicious Bicol Express? According to Mrs. Ferma, use long, green chili peppers (siling haba) instead of the Philippine bird’s eye pepper (siling labuyo). She explained, Bicoloanos only use the labuyo as garnish and for extra color. Another technique she shared is to slice and soak the green chilies in water if you want to remove some of the heat and end up with a milder version. Also, don’t forget to use ginger to balance the flavors of the shrimp paste and coconut milk.

Using the same Bicol Express dish as the base, Mrs. Ferma also showed how you could create another popular Bicolano dish, Laing. It is made with the same essential ingredients as Bicol Express but dried taro leaves are added to the pork mixture. “When cooking laing, never stir the leaves once you’ve placed them in the pot,” reminded Mrs. Ferma. Taro leaves contain calcium oxalate, which can leave an “itchy” sensation in the mouth. It is an old-school belief that you can prevent this by not stirring the dish while it’s cooking.

For video of the cooking demo, please refer to our related sources.


Related Resources:

Filipino Cooking Demo September 2017

Japan Government Confers National Decoration on NCF President, Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores

On November 3, 2017, The Government of Japan announced the conferment of The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette on NCF President, Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores as recognition of his invaluable contributions to the furthering of good relations between Japan and the Philippines.

More than two decades after working on the establishment of the Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture in 1991 and the NCF in 1997, Mr. Sanvictores still continues to devote his efforts in promoting and advancing Japanese language education and training in the country. He is also a Trustee and former President of the Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA), which is the umbrella organization representing various groups of former Filipino students in Japan, and leads many activities of the Philippines-Japan Society.

The teachers and staff of NCF & PIJLC would like to congratulate our President, Mr. Sanvictores, for this much-deserved honor.

To read the entire press release from the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC), please click here.



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