Philippine Embassy in Tokyo holds week-long celebration of the 114th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence
Observing the theme “Kalayaan: Pananagutan ng Bayan para sa Matuwid na Daan“, the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo commemorated the 114th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence with a series of activities from 11-16 June 2012.
Adorned with sinamay flowers and piña drapings, the diplomatic reception on 11 June 2012 at the Imperial Hotel was well-attended with almost 500 guests from the diplomatic community and top Japanese government and business officials. Two former Prime Ministers, namely Hon. Yasuo Fukuda, Chairman Emeritus of the Japan-Philippines Parliamentarians Friendship League (JPPFL) and Hon. Yukio Hatoyama, Sen. Hajime Ishii, Chairman of the JPPFL, and Hon. Tatsuo Kawabata, Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications were among the important guests who graced the reception.
The guests were treated to a variety of Filipino cuisine such as caldereta, lumpia, adobo, ensaladang talong, turon, brazo de mercedes and other continental fare. Videos and promotional posters of the latest “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign of the Department of Tourism were also showcased at the reception.
Near the entrance of the reception hall, the Embassy also organized a Philippine Trade and Tourism Fair with the support of the ASEAN-Japan Centre. The Fair featured companies which promote a variety of Philippine products such as fresh and preserved fruits, beverages, fashion accessories, and travel services.
Special supplements featuring the 114th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence were also carried by leading Japanese dailies such as The Japan Times and Daily Yomiuri on 12 June 2012.
Ambassador and Madame Lopez also hosted a reception for the members of the Filipino community on 16 June 2012 at the Chancery. The reception was opened by a presentation of Prof. Ambeth Ocampo titled “Tomodachi: Filipino Heroes in Meiji Japan.” He is currently a visiting professor at Sophia University in Tokyo.
Consul General Marian Jocelyn Tirol-Ignacio delivered the welcome remarks and the national day message of the Secretary Albert F. del Rosario while Philippine Assistance Group (PAG) Chairman Joyce Villanueva Ogawa gave a message on behalf of the Filipino community.
Ambassador Lopez delivered the national day message of President Benigno S. Aquino III and informed the Filipino community of the recent successes of the Philippines in good governance and inclusive growth. He also exhorted the Filipino community to actively participate in the numerous activities of the Embassy, including the ongoing Overseas Absentee Voting for the upcoming 2013 national elections.
The reception also featured the regional awarding ceremony for the Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Filipino sponsored by the ABS-CBN Foundation, The Filipino Channel, and Ugat Foundation. The award focuses on institutions and services that have contributed significantly to the well-being of the Filipino community globally. Along with Ambassador Lopez, Fr. Nilo Tanalega, S.J. of the Ugat Foundation conferred the Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Filipino award to Sagip Migrante Japan and the Network of Filipino Social Development Workers for Migrants in Japan (NETFIL). These two organizations fulfilled the following criteria: creating measurable impact, valuing unity, actively pursuing issues that affect our fellowmen, transcending regionalism, and pursuing participatory or people-oriented leadership.
Like most traditional Filipino gatherings, the reception was filled with much camaraderie and musical performances, planned and impromptu, among the guests from the Filipino community. A motley of guests attended the reception which included different Filipino community leaders, Filipino students, businessmen, and professionals.