ASJA Completes Study Trip for SEA Students

The Asia Japan Alumni International (ASJA) recently concluded a short study trip for Southeast Asian students of the Japanese language last November 2 to 5, 2017 in Gunma, Japan. The trip was conducted in order to help students get to know and have a personal experience of Japanese culture.

This time around, there were a total of 25 participants coming from different Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore and Myanmar just to name a few. One of their cultural activities during the trip was “箸作り”(hashi-dzukuri or chopsticks making) using a traditional Japanese wood planing tool called the “カンナがけ” (kanna-kage).

Watch how the students reacted to the experience and enjoyed carving and painting their own chopsticks the traditional way in this news clip from Gunma TV.

NCF & PIJLC Welcome Guests in 2017 Open House

Japanese language and culture enthusiasts enjoyed a day of activities and contests in this year’s NCF & PIJLC Open House event held last October 7 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Manila. The line-up of activities included on-the-spot contests like cosplay, Kana writing, anime drawing, and karaoke while cultural activities included Origami making, Yukata wearing, Omikuji (fortune telling), and free Nihongo lessons.

With over 100 registered guests, the Open House started the morning with the Kana writing contest where participants presented their skills in writing Hiragana and Katakana characters. The Yukata wearing activity was also opened and visitors had the experience of wearing the traditional Japanese summer kimono complete with accessories like the Uchiwa (Japanese paddle-shape, non-folding fans) and Geta (traditional wooden sandals) with the help of NCF staff. Some participants brought along their whole family and took fun selfies while wearing the colorful outfit.

The afternoon was reserved for the very popular Karaoke contest, where contestants sang their best versions of Jpop songs to the delight of the crowd. Ma. Romina B. Arizapa bagged the top prize for the Karaoke contest while other contest winners were also announced in the afternoon including first place winner for Cosplay and Kana writing, Ms. Kesselyn Joy Piamonte and Drawing contest top winner, Joanne Christine Masing. All winners received gift certificates and giveaways.

For this year, the Open House event also welcomed various partners who set up booths such as a VR gaming booth by Tek-Info VR, and other food and merchandise concessionaires. Jellyfish Education, which provides consultancy services for living and studying in Japan, also had a booth to accommodate interested applicants while Professional Staffers under John Clements Consultants, a global recruitment firm, joined the event to offer available positions for job seekers with Japanese language skills.

NCF teacher trainees also offered free Nihongo lessons during the morning while teachers and students gave a special Yosakoi (festival dance) performance after lunch. A raffle for visitors was also held towards the end of the program.



2017 NCF&PIJLC Open House Photo Album
2017 Open House List of Winners

Meet the PH Delegates to the NIYE Junior Program 2017

Six promising Filipino youths were chosen as delegates to this year’s National Institution for Youth Education (NIYE) program from October 16 – 24, 2017 at the National Chuo Youth Friendship Center in Shizuoka Prefecture. Supported in the Philippines by PHILFEJA, the program promotes youth education and independence through experiential activities.

The delegates are Marie Frances Preza Espejo, 14; Luis Rivaldo Toral Ferma, 15; Kyle Andrei Lagarit Irig, 15; Ryu Ichiro Ramos Malaque, 16; Felicia Christina Dela Paz, 16; and Victoria Kathryn Faeldonea Tanco, 15 years old. These young and bright individuals come from different regions of the country and social backgrounds, but all have excellent records to show when it comes to their academic standing and community engagement.  

Know more about their interests and talents in music, dance, and sports, and how they were introduced to Japanese arts and culture by downloading the 2017 NIYE PH Delegation Brochure.

NIYE Junior Program 2017 PH Delegation Brochure (pdf download)


Past Delegates

For many years, PHILFEJA has worked with NIYE to give opportunities for young Filipinos to visit Japan not just for cultural exchange, but also for helping them expand their personal experiences involving nature and real life. For the list of past delegates, please refer to our Related Resources section below (year 2014, 2015, and 2016).

Learn more about NIYE through their official website.



Related Resources:

NIYE 2014
NIYE 2015
NIYE 2016


Inspiring and Thought-Provoking Speeches Prevail in 7th Kake Speech Contest

Having a life dream can motivate us to always give our best and never give-up no matter how heartbreaking the challenges may be. This is one clear take-away from Erica Eunice Minerva S. Lim’s winning speech in this year’s Kake Trophy Speech Contest titled “世界一のパティシエになりたい” (I Wish to Become the World’s Best Pastry Chef).

As top winner, Ms. Lim received an educational trip to Japan, and cash prize for her speech, which shared her struggles and triumphs while pursuing her life dream of becoming a pastry chef. She is studying Japanese in the hopes of working in Japan someday and becoming an apprentice of renowned Japanese pastry chef, Mochizuki Kanjirou. Ms. Lim will represent the Philippines in the international speech competition to be held in Okayama, Japan on November 17, 2017 where she hopes to win a 2-year scholarship at any of the three universities run by Kake Educational Institution.

Now on it’s 7th year, the event also awarded the 2nd place trophy to Aero Flamiano’s  “運命と話したい”(I Want To Talk with Fate), and 3rd place trophy to Kevin Paul Bautista’s “相互理解が深まるように” (I Wish to Deepen Mutual Understanding)—both thought-provoking speeches that presented an imaginary conversation with fate and a challenge to look beyond stereotypes and cultural differences respectively.

NCF and PIJLC President, Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores, opened the annual event with his Welcome Remarks followed by an inspirational talk from Mr. Ken Nakamura, Director of the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC). Mr. Nakamura was also in this year’s panel of judges together with Mr. Yoshiya Yoshimi, Director of Kake’s Professional Development Office, and Mr. Kenjiro Ogata, NCF & PIJLC Academic Advisor. The Kake Trophy Speech Contest is co-sponsored by NFC & PIJLC and is supported by JICC.




7th Kake Trophy Speech Contest Program
“世界一のパティシエになりたい” by Erica Lim
“運命と話したい” by Aero Flamiano
“相互理解が深まるように” by Kevin Bautista
7th Kake Speech Contest Photo Album

PHILJEC and PJS Host Reception for New BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla, Jr.

The Philippines Japan Economic Cooperation Committee (PHILJEC) and The Philippines Japan Society (PJS) hosted a cocktail reception on July 10, 2017 for new BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr.. Governor Espenilla was a Monbusho Scholar of the Japanese Government from 1986-1988 for his Master in Policy Science degree from Japan’s premier National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS).

Japan’s Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Kazuhide Ishikawa and Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun Awardee, former Philippine Prime Minister Cesar Virata graced the reception held at the Mayuree 2 Ballroom, Dusit Hotel, Makati City.

PHILJEC Chairman Aniceto G. Saludo and PJS President Francis C. Laurel led their respective organizations during the reception. PHILJEC Co-Chairman Edwin Umali, Co-Chairman Gerry Sanvictores, and PHILJEC Secretary General and PJS Trustee JJ Soriano (also from GRIPS) were also present.

In his speech titled, “The Philippines and Japan: Enhancing Strategic Partnership”, Gov. Espenilla recalled his experiences and insights as a Monbusho scholar 31 years ago.

“What a different world it was in 1986!” exclaimed the Governor. “Yet, despite all these vast changes, the Philippines-Japan Society has been unwavering in its commitment to foster closer ties between our nations – even as early as 1972, when it was formally established! I likewise commend the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee for its steadfast initiatives to promote closer economic ties between the Philippines and Japan.”

Another insight Gov. Espenilla shared was his observation about Japanese culture and how it emphasizes cultivating a sense of self vis-à-vis others and society. “I believe this emphasis on harmony and collaboration accounts for our countries’ long-standing relationship. Cooperation between our nations has paved the way for the advancement of our economic and trade relations.”


Under his term as BSP Governor, Gov. Espenilla said that he would ensure that an enabling monetary and financial environment is maintained to achieve the country’s growth objectives, while safeguarding price and financial stability.  He also talked about the increasing presence of foreign banks, in particular 5 Japan-based banks in the Philippines and how this would facilitate the flow of investments, promote trade, support business expansion, and encourage technology transfers, that may lead to more job creation and more productive output. Against this backdrop, Japanese investors in the country can look forward to expanded opportunities for growth and investments.   


Read the full speech of Gov. Espenilla here.

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