PHILFEJA Holds 2019 General Members Assembly

The Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA) held its Regular Annual General Members Assembly on Saturday, 27 July 2019 from 2:30-5:30 PM at the Philippines-Japan Friendship Hall at the Dominion Bldg. in Makati. The new President of PHILFEJA from the JICA Alumni Association of the Philippines (JAAP), Ms. Junelyn A. Pagunsan, presided over the Meeting.

After determination of the quorum and approval of the Minutes of the Meeting held on July 7, 2017, the Annual Report of the President followed. Mrs. Cecilia Tolentino, Secretary-General of PHILFEJA presented the Power-Point Report in the absence of the Immediate Past President, Atty. Powell del Rosario who is based in Capiz. Highlights of the Report were the activities of member Associations- APPAJU, JAAP, PHILAJAMES, PHILCULTAROS and SAPILNIP for fiscal year 2018. Also presented were the Conferences and Symposiums where PHILFEJA Officers and members participated:

  • Awarding of Japan’s Foreign Minister’s Commendation on September 18, 2018 in
    recognition of “its significant contributions in advancing Japan-Philippine relations
    through its role of connecting Filipino Japan alumni and in promoting Japanese
    educational values in the Philippines”
  • The 24 th ASCOJA Conference in Siem Reap, Cambodia on October 19-21, 2018 where the
    Philippines had the biggest delegation of 38 participants
  • The ASJA-ASCOJA-PERSADA Symposium in Jakarta, Indonesia from December 14-15,
  • The ASJA-ASCOJA International Meeting in Tokyo on March 14-15, 2019
  • The Toshiba Youth Club Asia Program in Tokyo from March 20-17, 2019
  • The Pre-ASCOJA Conference in Luang Prabang, Laos on June 22, 2019

Toshiba Youth Club Asia is a highly unique program that aims at fostering a network of next- generation Asian leaders with a long-term vision to sustain the future of Asia. Selected high school students who qualified through a nation-wide essay contest are Vivienne Angelica Viernes and Bertrand Michael Diola, both from Philippine Science High School. They participated in the program together with their attendant, Ms. Natalie Victorino of the Department of Finance.

The financial statements for the periods ending 31 March 2018 and 31 March 2019 duly certified by the independent auditor, Diaz, Murillo, Dalupan & Company were also presented to the Assembly.

Pursuant to the provisions of the By-Laws, the election of the members of the Board of Trustees who shall serve during the ensuing fiscal year 2019-2020 was held. The remaining term of Atty. Powell del Rosario of JAAP as PHILFEJA President will be served by Ms. Junelyn A. Pagunsan who was elected during the JAAP elections early this year.

Other matters discussed were the forthcoming Asean Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA) 25 th Conference in Vientiane, Laos from October 4-6, 2019 which will be proceeded by the ASJA- ASCOJA-JAOL Symposium on Food Safety on October 3, 2019. PHILFEJA is sending Dr. Neil tan Gana of Ateneo de Manila as panel speaker. Speaker for the Conference will be Dr. Gilda Lasay-Uy of the UP School of Kinetics. Also mentioned is the National Institute of Youth Education (NIYE) Junior Program inviting 6 high school students 13-16 years old and one attendant from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines from November 18- 26, 2019 at the National Chuo Youth Friendship Center in Shizuoka Prefecture. Also presented is the proposed ASJA-ASCOJA-PHILFEJA Symposium in February 2020 with the topic “Fourth Industrial Symposium (FIRe)”.

Immediately after the Regular Annual General Assembly, the organizational meeting of the Board of Trustees was held for the purpose of electing the President and other officers and constitute the Execom.

Miss Junelyn A. Pagunsan was elected President, Mr. Orlando Bautista of PHILCULTAROS as Vice President and Mr. Domingo Go of APPAJU as Treasurer. Trustees are Ms. Lavi Penaverde of PHILAJAMES and Mr. Philip Sanvictores of SAPILNIP. Mrs. Cecilia Tolentino was re-appointed Secretary-General. The Execom members are Ms. Pagunsan, Mr. Sanvictores, Ms. Penaverde and Mrs. Tolentino.

The meeting was followed by Fellowship and Merienda.

Photo Gallery

(This article was written by Mrs. Cecilia Tolentino)

PHILFEJA Receives MOFA Award for 4 Decades of Significant Contributions to Phil-Japan Relations

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) awarded The Foreign Minister’s Commendation to PHILFEJA during a conferment ceremony last September 19, 2018 at Ambassador’s Residence in Makati City. The award recognizes PHILFEJA’s more than 4 decades of significant contributions to the promotion of friendship between the Philippines and Japan through its role as the umbrella organization connecting all Filipino Japan alumni and promoting the values of Japanese education in the Philippines.

PHILFEJA President, Atty. Powel del Rosario, accepted the award and expressed his gratitude for the recognition, which he said would not have been possible if it were not for the efforts of PHILFEJA’s founders 42 years ago.

“Our deepest appreciation to our dear Dai-Sempai, the late Ambassador Jose S. Laurel III and his late son Benjie, whose initiatives and dedications will always be part of PHILFEJA memories,” said Atty. Del Rosario in his acceptance speech. “We are more than 20,000 (members) all over the country. PHILFEJA’s members come from various backgrounds who have benefited from not only education in Japanese universities, but we also have members who received long and short-term trainings, research and similar activities in Japan. I can say that Japan has friends in all the provinces in the Philippines,” he added.


H.E. Mr. Koji Haneda, Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines, presented the award in behalf of Foreign Minister, Mr. Taro Kano. The Ambassador recalled the many accomplishments of PHILFEJA including the special meeting of PHILFEJA members with Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan in 2016, and the establishment of the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA) in 1977, which was made possible by the initiative of the founders of PHILFEJA.


“PHILFEJA’s growth and the extent of its work and accomplishments throughout its 42-year history are testaments to the enduring value of cooperation, hard work, and persistence. I trust that PHILFEJA will remain steadfast in its legacy. These are feats worthy of being emulated, and worthy of the high distinction we now bestow,” said Mr. Haneda.



Embassy of Japan in the Philippines Press Release


PHILFEJA held 2018 Shinnenkai

The Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA) held its Annual Shinnenkai at the AIM Conference Center on the 3 rd of February 2018 from 2:00-5:30 PM. This is an annual undertaking of PHILFEJA to gather officers, active members and Japanese friends of the Federation for a get-together at the start of the year to renew ties and rekindle friendship with one another.

After the special introduction of Mrs. Cecilia Tolentino, Secretary-General of PHILFEJA, the guests including the many distinguished alumni present, the Presidents of the affiliate Associations gave their respective Welcome Greetings: Dr. Danilo Tuazon for PHILAJAMES, Mr. Domingo Go for APPAJU, Mr. Brando Barrantes for PHILCULTAROS and Mr. Philip Sanvictores for SAPILNIP. In the absence of JAAP President, Atty. Powell del Rosario, Ms. Maria Dionne Cruz gave the greetings for the Association. Special Greetings were also given by Mr. Ken Nakamura, Director of the Japan Information and Cultural Center of the Embassy of Japan and Mr. Hiroaki Uesugi, Director of The Japan Foundation, Manila. Before the Merienda and Fellowship, Ms. Lavi Peñaverde reported on the TYCA 2017 (Toshiba Youth Club Asia) while Ms. Zony Yoshii reported and showed videos of the 2017 NIYE (National Institute for Youth Education) Program.

The presence of Mr. Takashi Ishihara, Director of JETRO, and Mr. Toshiyuki Taguchi, Special Asst. on Scholarships of JICC, were also acknowledged by the Master of Ceremonies, Ms. Lavi Peñaverde.


Photo Album

NCF President Philip B. Sanvictores, Conferred Imperial Decoration “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette”

The Government of Japan conferred upon NCF President, Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores, the Imperial Decoration, The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette in fitting ceremonies held last February 9, 2018 at the official residence of H.E. Koji Haneda, Ambassador of Japan in the Philippines. The prestigious decoration recognizes Mr. Sanvictores’ decades-long efforts in furthering good relations between Japan and the Philippines through his work for the Nihongo Center Foundation (NCF), the Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture (PIJLC) and the Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA).

Following the footsteps of his father – Ambassador Benjamin F. Sanvictores who was also conferred The Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon in 1985 – Mr. Sanvictores dedicated his decoration to the faculty and staff of NCF and
PIJLC and to the members of PHILFEJA.

“This Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, truly belongs to the loyal and hardworking Nihongo sensei of PIJLC and the Nihongo Center. It also belongs to many fellow-former Filipino ryugakusei who actively support and participate in the activities of PHILFEJA, established 41 years ago to help promote Philippines-Japan and ASEAN-Japan relations,” said Mr. Sanvictores in his acceptance speech.

He also honored people who helped and guided him throughout his days as a ryugakusei in Japan and expressed his gratitude to those who continue to support him in his endeavors as a businessman and leader of various associations affiliated with the Philippines-Japan Society.

At the close of his message, Mr. Sanvictores spoke about his wish for the future of Philippines-Japan relations:

“Today, I invoke the same prayer – that generations after us would catch the fire that drives this advocacy for close, friendly, mutually beneficial Philippines-Japan relations, and to keep that fire burning well into and beyond their times. I hope that we in the various organizations of the Philippines-Japan Society will live up and be equal to the honor your Government has conferred upon us. And most importantly, may our shared advocacy of closer, friendlier, more mutually beneficial relations between our two peoples always bring honor and glory to God.”

To read the full acceptance speech of Mr. Sanvictores, please refer to “Resources” below.

Promoting Japanese Language & Culture in the Philippines

Mr. Sanvictores went to Japan in 1981 to study Nihongo under the 10-month Intensive Japanese Language course of Kokusai Gakuyu Kai, now known as the Tokyo Japanese Language Education Center.

In 1990, upon the instructions of Ambassador Jose S. Laurel III, Mr. Sanvictores submitted an application with the Japan Foundation for a grant to dispatch a Japanese Language Teacher, who then sent Prof. Kenjiro Ogata. Even after the expiry of the said grant, Prof. Ogata remained in the Philippines and continue his work as Academic Advisor to both NCF and PIJLC, inspired by the noble and lofty ideals of Amb. Laurel for better understanding and closer friendship between Filipinos and Japanese through Nihongo.

The Japan Foundation grant underpinned the establishment of the Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture (PIJLC) in 1991 under the patronage of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation (PJFF). In 1997, in response to an appeal by the Government of Japan, PJFF founded the Nihongo Center Foundation (NCF) to continue the work and practice of the erstwhile “Nihongo Gakko” of the Japan Information & Cultural Center.

In 2014-2016, Mr. Sanvictores served as President of PHILFEJA, the umbrella organization of the different groups of former Filipino students in Japan. In 2015, under his leadership, PHILFEJA hosted the 21st Conference of the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA).  In January 2016, during the state visit to the Philippines of Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, Mr. Sanvictores played a key role in organizing the meeting of Filipino former students and Japanese government scholars with Their Majesties, which was an integral part of the visit.

To read about Mr. Sanvictores’ personal account of Their Majesties State Visit, click here: An Imperial Encounter


About The Order of the Rising Sun

Established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji, The Order of the Rising Sun is the third highest order bestowed by the Japanese Government to people who have made distinguished achievements in the fields of International Relations, Promotion of Japanese Culture, advancement in their field, development in welfare, and preservation of the environment.




Speech of Ambassador Koji Haneda
Acceptance Speech by Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores
Conferment Ceremony Photos

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


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