PSJNC – not just a fun group

The Philippine Society in Japan was established in 1985 in Tokyo with the following objectives: (1) to promote mutual help and cooperation among Filipinos in Japan, (2) to develop awareness and interest in Philippine historical and contemporary affairs; and (3) to foster closer friendship and understanding with the people of Japan. It is open to Filipinos and non-Filipinos.

The Nagoya Chapter was organized in the same year. At present, PSJNC has about 50 active members; among them are Filipino-Japanese married couples, employees and students.

True to its objectives, the Philippine Society in Japan, Nagoya Chapter continues to promote understanding between Japanese and Filipinos and to nurture friendship through its various activities.

PSJNC has formed a cultural group and a music band to share Filipino culture through music and dance. In 1993, it successfully held an event in Toyota City called Firipin Rikkai Shukan or Philippine Understanding Week. Additionally, “Faces of the Philippines”, a photo exhibit was on display. Finally, the event culminated with “PAGDIRIWANG”, a two-hour concert directed by Marlon Ibao, depicting the evolution of Filipino music from the pre-Spanish period to what it now calls OPM or Original Pilipino Music. Pagdiriwang was performed in seven other venues around Aichi and Gifu prefectures and in Yamagata City.

In cooperation with the Sakuragaoka Community Council in Kani City, PSJNC held the “Pista, Sayaw, Awit” in 1994 which helped raise funds for the various programs of the association. Through this program , the Philippine Society in Japan, Nagoya Chapter became one of the institutional sponsors of the Rizal Youth Leadership Training Institute (RYLTI) of the YMCA of the Philippines.

“Luzviminda” is a 2-hour cultural show featuring dances and songs from the three major island groups of the Philippines. Directed by Lyndon Engbino and choreographed by Gescella Ishimoto and Ellen Hara, Luzviminda was performed at both the Nanzan Cultural Hall and at the Toyota City Noh Theater.

This was followed by “Piano, Jazz, Atbp”, a musical extravaganza held at the Nagoya Women’s Center in 2006.

In 2009, Nagoya City Mayor Takashi Kawamura was the guest of honor at the “Indayog sa Luzviminda”, a 2-hour concert depicting the history of the Philippines through song and dance. It was held at Kokaido Hall in Tsurumai and witnessed by close to a thousand people.

PSJNC also cooperates with the Nagoya City government by performing Philippine folk dances and songs at the annual World Collaboration Festival held at Oasis 21 in Nagoya City.

Apart from cultural performances, PSJNC has been undertaking fund-raising activities to help victims of calamities. We sent cash assistance to ambulant vendors in Cabanatuan City who were victims of the earthquake in 1990. We held an “Obento for a Cause” which raised Y300, 000 yen for the victims of typhoon Ondoy. Close to Y500,000 has also been donated to ABS-CBN’s Bantay Bata for their various projects. PSJNC has also supported a women’s group in Zambales in their livelihood projects and a farmers’ group in Abra in their irrigation program . “PSJNC Goes to Barangay” is a continuing project where the association donates food and clothes to various depressed barangays in the Philippines. For the victims of the tsunami in the Tohoku region, PSJNC held fund raising campaigns in Sakae and in Osu. One hundred fifty thousand yen was contributed to the Chunichi Shimbun calamity fund.

In 2005, the PSJNC Sandiwaan Learning Center was built at the Smokey Mountain in Tondo, Manila in cooperation with the Divine Word missionaries. Every year we send school supplies to the students of the center and conduct an annual feeding and gift-giving program.

Through the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, PSJNC has supported a total of seven university scholars from the different parts of the Philippines. PSJNC has adopted the Parang Elementary School in Parang, Marikina in 2005 through the ABS-CBN Adopt a School program. We have also sent financial assistance to Caritas Manila for their out-of-school youth programs.

Funds for the Sandiwaan Learning Center and other projects were raised through a Reyna ng Tahanan where Filipinas married to Japanese volunteer their time to raise funds for the various projects. To date, we have had three reynas; April Taniishi, Julie Sasaki and Mia Ito. Together, they and the other candidates have raised almost three million yen which was used to finance our most ambitious project called PSJNC-APO Nagoya Village.

In 2009, PSJNC entered into an agreement with Alpha Phi Omega Philippines and Gawad Kalinga for the building of thirty houses in Barangay Gatid, Santa Cruz, Laguna. PSJNC would provide all the funds needed for the project while APO would provide the manpower and the monitoring of the project in the Philippines.

To date, twenty four houses for twenty four homeless families have been funded. On September 18, 2011, we are holding another concert called “Sing and Dance for a Cause” to raise funds for the completion of the Nagoya Village.

Of course, we also see to our members’ welfare. Aside from family gatherings, picnics, sports program and other fellowship activities, we have continuing education programs such as computer literacy, teacher’s training, refresher courses in English and a Japanese driver’s license review course. We have also gone caroling during the Christmas season to share with the Japanese and the foreign community the Christmas spirit and to keep a Filipino tradition alive.

The current officers (2011-2012) are:
President - Virj Salaver Ishii
Vice President- Evelyn Pastor
Secretary - Marie Bueno Yagi
Treasurer - Rosemarie Fujiwara
Auditor – Lovelina Torigoe
PRO - Anna Linda Kumeta

Committee Chairpersons:
Finance - Jennifer Sano
Welfare - Desmond Segovia
External Affairs - Juvy Oliva Subere
Membership - Morella Estioca
Cultural Affairs -Teresa Nishizawa

Immediate Past President – Gigi Itoh
Adviser – Susan de Ono-Laset