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

New NCF-PIJLC Brochures Highlight Japanese Language Courses for Individual and Corporate Clients

NCF and PILC have just released their new brochures detailing different courses for both individual students and corporate clients.

For individual students, regular courses cover Basic Japanese 1 (total beginner) to Intermediate level Japanese. There are also Conversation courses for those who wish to focus on speaking skills only.

Other special courses for individuals include One-on-One Tutorials, Conversation Business Japanese, and JLPT Review classes among others.

For companies or corporate clients, NCF offers Intensive Courses to bring the Japanese level of students from total beginner to intermediate level in as short as 4 months. NCF Manila also has the PJAC Dormitory that serves as the students “home away from home”. The dorm has 24-hour security and spacious rooms so students can fully concentrate on their Nihongo studies.

For more information and to download the new brochures click the links below:

NCF-PIJLC Brochure – Individual Students

NCF-PIJLC Brochure – Corporate Clients


109 Filipino Nurses and Caregivers Complete Preparatory Japanese Language Program at NCF

On May 19, 2017, the 9th batch of Filipino nurses and certified care workers completed their preparatory Japanese language training at the Nihongo Center Foundation under the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). With a closing ceremony held at the President Jose P. Laurel Memorial Hall of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Center in Manila, the 6-month long program successfully produced 315 graduates. Other participants finished their training at TESDA and the Personal Ability Development Foundation (PAD), two other partner institutions for the training program organized together with the Japan Foundation Manila Office (JFMO).

In his opening remarks, JFMO Director, Mr. Hiroaki Uesugi not only gave his sincerest appreciation for the participants’ positive participation and determined efforts, but also thanked the energetic and ceaseless efforts and teamwork of the lecturers and staff members who made sure that the program was at its best. He also encouraged the trainees to think positively and hoped that they will overcome the challenges they may face once they start living, studying, and working in Japan.

Honorable guests Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores, NCF President; Mr. Roberto L. Larga, Director IV, Welfare and Employment Office, P.O.E.A; and Mr. Manabu Yasukawa, First Secretary, Labour Attaché, Embassy of Japan all gave their congratulatory remarks during the program.

This is probably the very first baby steps that you will be taking in your journey of learning Nihongo.” said Mr. Sanvictores. He continued:

When you start off in Japan, please remember that you have a role to play. First you have to be good workers. Secondly, you have to recognize that you are also representing our country, our people, and our soul as Filipinos and our reputations. Please be careful to make sure that the Japanese, your superiors, your patients, the people you work with – they will all be blessed through you because you are doing your job well and the fundamental foundation of that will be language. That is why this is a unique opportunity for each and every one of you to make that step in to a new environment where you are actually going to be a blessing.”

Mr. Manabu Yasukawa commended the participants for their hard work and dedication and echoed the message of the NCF President about the importance of language, specifically mentioning self-discipline and its role in language learning:

“I would like to emphasize the importance of self-discipline in learning the language. We may give you long and intensive training, but without self- discipline, retention might be difficult. You must continue to study everyday even after the training which you will have in the coming months in Japan.”

To address the apprehensions of the graduates about being away from loved ones and being in a different environment, Mr. Yasukawa encouraged them to look at it from another perspective.

“Take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy the sights, food, festivals, and the varied seasons of Japan. Learn about its culture, and build lasting friendships with the people you will meet there. I believe the Japanese are very kind, surely they will appreciate the friendship you will extend to them. I am also certain your respective employers, patients, and caregiving facility residents are looking forward to meeting you and experience the distinct care of Filipinos.”

After the congratulatory remarks, Mr. Uesugi presented the Certificate of Completion to the class representatives and was followed by a message from Ms. Mary Ann Borja, Representative of the Candidates.

To further give support and encouragement to the Japan-bound health workers, Head Leacturer, Josef Carlo Orillo-sensei recalled the first few months of their training:

“At the start of your training, I talked about how a common language becomes a bridge between people of different countries. It is a medium for the sharing of ideas and feelings, a method by which we can learn that despite our differences – the gap of cultures and nations – we all share the same basic needs and wants, thoughts and passions as people.”

For the next months to follow in Japan, he encouraged the trainees to keep on improving their Nihongo:

“Having completed your training, you now have this bridge, this tool for connecting with another person. When you go to Japan, use it, practice it, improve more and more, not only for your work and the eventual goal of passing the licensure exam, but also enrich your relationships with your co-workers and friends.”

The successful trainees will continue another six months of training at a Japanese language institute in Japan before finally getting assigned to hospitals and caregiving facilities all over the country.  After building up on their experiences, the nurse and care worker candidates will be required to take the Japanese national examination for nurses or certified care workers, based on which their work in Japan would continue.


Related Resources:

Speech by Mr. Manabu Yasukawa, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan
Speech by Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores, NCF President
Speech by Josef Orillo Sensei, Head Lecturer
Speech by Mary Ann E. Borja, EPA Candidate
Opening Remarks by Mr. Hiroaki Uesugi, JFMO Director
Photos – Closing Ceremony, 9th Batch of EPA Graduates

Tribute Video:
Kenjiro Ogata Sensei Celebrates 65th Birthday and 25th Year at NCF & PIJLC


On March 6, NCF and PIJLC Academic Adviser, Kenjiro Ogata sensei celebrated his 65th birthday. Coincidentally, this year also marks his 25th year of unwavering commitment to Japanese language education in the Philippines. To celebrate the two joyous and momentous occasions, teachers, students, and staff of the schools presented a surprise tribute video to Ogata Sensei during the recently concluded Faculty Development Program (FDP) at the NCF Makati campus last March 19, 2017.

Before the video presentation, staff brought out a birthday cake and started singing “Happy Birthday” to Ogata Sensei to his surprise. After the greetings, FDP manager, Keli Biscarra Sensei, engaged the teachers in a short trivia game, which included fun questions and facts about the birthday celebrant.

In the tribute video, colleagues and students thanked Ogata Sensei not only for his invaluable contributions to the schools, but also for his support and guidance in their Nihongo studies and training. There were heartwarming anecdotes from students who are now also Nihongo teachers of how Ogata sensei taught them and helped them pass their Japanese proficiency test.

Moreover, staff and school administrators shared their stories about sensei that reflected the long history of his career as a Nihongo teacher in the Philippines. Throughout the 8-minute long video, Ogata sensei quietly watched with a big smile as everyone wished him good health and more birthdays to come.

In addition, The Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation (PJFF), which established and oversees NCF and PIJLC, tendered a separate dinner for Ogata Sensei on March 6. PJFF board members who were present included Amb. Joey Laurel, Mr. Francis Laurel, Ms. Marilen Laurel-Loinaz, Ms. Ditas Laurel-Marquez, Mr. Toti Torres, Mr. Bobby Castillo, and Mr. JJ Soriano. NCF and PIJLC President, Philip Sanvictores, together with other school officials and faculty, also attended the intimate dinner where everyone offered a toast to congratulate Ogata sensei and wish him more years at NCF and PIJLC.


Related Resources:

Ogata Sensei 65th Birthday Photos

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