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

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. http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/00_000394.html



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

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

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