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

PJFF, NCF, & PIJLC Celebrate Christmas 2017

PJFF, NCF, & PIJLC celebrated their joint Christmas Party on December 22, 2017 at their head office in Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City. Officers, staff, and faculty members together with their families attended the holiday get together, which started around 11 a.m. with warm Christmas greetings from PJFF Treasurer, Mrs. Ma. Elena Loinaz.

NCF Administrative Assistant, Ms. Donjie Reyes, and NCF teacher, Vianca Ramirez-Sensei handled several fun and engaging team-building games before the Christmas lunch and another set of games and raffles in the afternoon. Prizes for the Christmas raffle included home appliances and grocery packs sponsored by business partners and friends of the organizations.

Newly hired staff of NCF and teacher trainees also sang Christmas songs as part of their intermission performances before proceeding with the exchange gift portion of the party. A photo session for all attendees was also done towards the end of the afternoon affair.

Photo Album

Philstar and PDI feature NCF Hotel Nihongo Course

The Philippine Star and Philippine Daily Inquirer, two of the country’s leading broadsheet newspapers, recently featured NCF’s Hotel Nihongo Course on January 18 and on January 22 respectively.

The special course, which was headed by NCF Academic Adviser, Kenjiro Ogata-sensei, trained 10 selected graduates of hospitality-related courses from the Lyceum of the Philippines (LPU)-Manila on Japanese language used in hotel operations. The students started as absolute beginners and attended the intensive classes that totaled 600 hours. Their training covered writing, reading, speaking, and listening and special training for business/polite Japanese.

Both write-ups included the names of the Lyceum students who will soon leave for Japan to start their employment in the Japanese hotel industry.

For more details about the course, please read our full article here.





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

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