Members of PJLA welcomed 2018 with a colorful “Shinnenkai” or New Year’s party on January 17 held at the Milky Way Café in Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City. This year’s gathering had a special welcome for Madame Ihoko Haneda, wife of Mr. Koji Haneda who is the new Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines.
Mrs. Ma. Elena Laurel-Loinaz, PJLA President, welcomed the guests and members with her opening remarks and presented a bouquet of flowers to Madame Haneda, which was followed by the Ambassador’s wife’s brief acknowledgement message.
“I’m so honored and thank you for your warm welcome. I’m so happy. Thirty-five years ago, I was here, so we are balikbayans,” explained Mrs. Haneda. She added, “Our first country of assignment was Manila, so this is a very memorable country for Koji and me. I look forward to seeing you many times in the near future.”
The Shinnenkai party started around 2 p.m. and wrapped up around 4 p.m. after snacks and fellowship. It also served as the birthday celebration for several PJLA members who had their birthdays in November and December 2017, and January 2018.