The Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA) held a Memorial Service for its late President Benjamin “Benjie” C. Laurel during the PHILFEJA General Members Assembly held on October 11, 2014 at the Dusit Thani Manila.
The meeting started with the recognition of officers and representatives of the various PHILFEJA Chapter Associations, Dir. Tatsuo Kitagawa of the Japan Information and Cultural Center (JICC), Amb. and Mrs. Benjamin F. Sanvictores representing the Philippines-Japan Society and OMNI Ventures (the group of wartime Filipino students to Japan known as the Nampo Tokubetsu Ryugakusei 南方特別留学生), Messrs. Jimmy Ng and Freddie Chia of the Japan University Graduates Association of Singapore (JUGAS) who came from Singapore to attend the Memorial, and members of the Laurel family, notably Ms. Auring Montano and Mr. Jingjong Laurel, son of Benjie Laurel and his wife Cristalle.
The first order of business was the induction of Mr. Philip Sanvictores as President of PHILFEJA, succeeding the late Benjie Laurel and who will serve the latter’s unexpired term until the end of fiscal year 2015 (i.e., March 31, 2016).
Mr. Philip Sanvictores then shared the eulogy he read during the necrological rites for Mr. Laurel during his wake as a tribute to his “senpai” and predecessor. This was followed by speeches in memory of the departed PHILFEJA President by: Amb. Pete Firmalino, former Consul General of the Philippine Consulate in Kobe; Dr. Lydia Tansinsin of PHILAJAMES, Ms. Tina Francisco, past President of PHILCULTAROS, Mr. Rene Guatlo of SAPILNIP, Prof. Kenjiro Ogata of the PIJLC-NCF, and Mr. Jimmy Ng of JUGAS. Finally, the eulogy given by Amb. Benjamin F. Sanvictores during the necrological service was read, where he reminisced about his long association with Benjie-san in the various PJS organizations since the mid-70s.
PHILFEJA President Philip Sanvictores then presented a Plaque of Recognition in honor of Mr. Benjie Laurel to Ms. Auring Montano and Mr. and Mrs. Jingjong Laurel, for his lifetime advocacy and leadership in strengthening relations between Filipinos, Japanese and peoples of ASEAN.
In closing, Gov. Jose C. Laurel, elder brother of the late Benjie delivered a response on behalf of the Laurel Family, expressing gratitude for the honor and recognition given to his late brother.
Merienda Cena was served upon adjournment of the meeting.