PHILFEJA joins Ambassador Kazuya Endo’s first official Dinner at his Residence

The Trustees of the Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni, Inc. (PHILFEJA) had the honor of being hosted by Ambassador Kazuya and Madame Akiko ENDO of Japan for the first official dinner held at their residence last 12 April 2024.

The Trustees present were President Domingo C. Go (APPAJU), Vice-President Rommel G. Roque (SAPILNIP), Treasurer Dr. Neil H. Tan Gana (PHILJAMES), Atty. Marites Barrios-Taran (JAAP), and Ms. Cynthia M. Reyes (PHILCULTAROS).  The other attendees were JICA Philippines Chief Representative, Mr. Takema Sakamoto, and (from the Embassy of Japan) Minister & Consul-General Takahiro Hanada, First Secretary & Labor Attache Chihiro Kanno, and JICC Research Adviser, Ms. Yurie Mukaigawa. 

The event provided an opportunity for the new Ambassador to meet the officers of the Philippines-Japan alumni community and to introduce the various component organizations under PHILFEJA to him.

In his Twitter post, the Ambassador expressed confidence in furthering this partnership towards shaping a brighter future.

PHILFEJA Attends the 50th ASJA International Board Meeting and ASCOJA Board Meeting in Tokyo

PHILFEJA, represented by President Domingo C. Go, participated in the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA) and Asia Japan Alumni (ASJA) meetings and several events in Tokyo from March 6 to 9, 2024.

ASJA Director Philip B. Sanvictores represented the Philippines at the ASJA Board Meeting on March 8th.  For his part, Mr. Go attended the ASCOJA Governors’ Meeting which was held on the same day as well as several ancillary activities that were held:  A joint meeting of the ASCOJA Governors with the alumni representatives from twenty-five (25) other countries, followed by a reception hosted by the State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yoshifumi Tsuge, which was likewise attended by Mrs. Akie Abe, widow of the late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Mr. Tatsuo Fukuda, Chairman of the General Council of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).  In addition, separate courtesy calls were held on Toshiko Abe, State Minister for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and on Yoshifumi Tsuge, State Minister for Foreign Affairs.  ASJA hosted a farewell reception which was attended, among others, by Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki of Japan.


The Embassy of Japan and the Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA) held its annual Shinnenkai on 02 February 2024 at the official residence of Japan’s Ambassador to the Philippines, with Ms. Jalenie Chua of the Embassy of Japan as the Master of Ceremonies.

Distinguished guests graced the event including, among others, Cultural Center of the Philippines Chairman and Former Minister of Education, Culture, and Sports of the Philippines Jaime C. Laya, Philippine Competition Commission Chairman Atty. Michael G. Aguinaldo, JICC Director Shigehiro Matsuda, JICA Philippines Chief Representative Takema Sakamoto, Marubeni Corporation Philippines President (and The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines President) Shigeru Shimoda, and Asst. Sec. Mario Zinampan of the Department of Migrant Workers.

The evening started with cocktails, with the attendees exchanging warm greetings, sharing experiences of the past year and expressing hopes and aspirations for the year ahead.

Following the cocktails, the program proper started.  Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa, delivered a message, citing the friendship and cooperation between the two countries.  He spoke fondly of the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA) as PHILFEJA President Domingo Go was one of the people who attended “Study in Japan Forum ASEAN” in Tokyo last November 2023 and how ASCOJA has been a pivotal support for strengthening the bilateral relations between Japan and ASEAN as a whole.  Moreover, he described how the relationship of Japan and the Philippines evolved throughout the years and pointed out that it has now resulted in security cooperation and close economic ties.

“In receiving this recognition, I cannot help but recall our student days – a common experience I am certain many of us present tonight share: the difficulties and challenges we faced as we labored through our studies in a foreign land… In facing the challenges together, we developed a certain camaraderie and kinship amongst ourselves and with them that would last a lifetime.” (Read more)

In his remarks that followed, Mr. Go expressed PHILFEJA’s gratitude to Ambassador Koshikawa for allowing the Embassy of Japan to co-host the event at his elegant residence, and for presenting to PHILFEJA, as a founding member of ASCOJA, the Certificate of Recognition given by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ASCOJA.  Mr. Go then recalled the common experiences faced by students who studied in Japan – and how these have led to friendships with students from Japan and other countries.  He pointed out that this spirit of kindship and camaraderie is widespread throughout all of the Japan alumni organizations in ASEAN, as all members of ASCOJA share a common thread with Japan, giving impetus to these friendships and spirit of collaboration.  While emphasizing that these experiences have significantly influenced the lives of the alumni and have served to shape their bond with Japan – a bond that needed to be nurtured and sustained – he then called on all alumni to ensure that the future generations will appreciate and understand the importance of sustaining this bond.

He ended his remarks by inviting everyone to join him in a toast to the further deepening of this friendship and camaraderie and to the continued success of PHILFEJA.

After the toast, Pianist Mariel Ilusorio and Soprano Anna Migallos regaled the audience with Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal, If I Loved You, All the Things You Are, Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Hana wa Saku.  She also sang Quando M’en Vo from Puccini’s La Bohème as the encore number.

Finally, a photo session was also held commemorating the joyous occasion.

It was a truly memorable event, a first in the 47-year history of PHILFEJA.


Ambassador Koshikawa’s Speech
Mr. Domingo Go’s Speech

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PHILFEJA holds hybrid General Assembly meeting after pandemic

The Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA) held its first Hybrid General Assembly Meeting on the 19th of August 2023 at the PJFF Office at Electra House Makati. 

Representatives from the five (5) affiliate Associations attended. Special guests were Mr. Shigehiro Matsuda, Director and First Secretary of the Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan who was also the Inducting Officer and Dr. Lydia Tansinsin, who at ninety-years old, is still active in her profession, representing the early batch of Monbusho scholars and one of the living Founders of PHILAJAMES.

After the Annual Report of the President, the Officers and Trustees for 2023-2024 were elected: Mr. Domingo Go (APPAJU) as President, Mr. Rommel Roque (SAPILNIP) as Vice-President, Dr. Neil Tan Gana (PHILAJAMES) as Treasurer and as Trustees: Ms. Junelyn Pangunsan (JAAP) and Ms. Cynthia Reyes (PHILCULTAROS).  Ms. Cecilia Tolentino remained as Secretary-General.  Mr. Rommel Roque, President of SAPILNIP and elected Vice-President of PHILFEJA was in Los Angeles, USA at that time but he attended the Meeting and was inducted by Zoom.  The Accounting Firm of Diaz, Murillo, Dalupan and Company was also re-appointed as external auditor of PHILFEJA for fiscal year 2023. 

After the Oath-taking, Director Matsuda gave his congratulatory speech with some phrases in the Filipino language.  Other guests who were requested to give remarks were former Trustee and PHILFEJA Director for ASJA, Mr. Philip Sanvictores, and Dr. Lydia Tansinsin.

The guests enjoyed the sumptuous lunch and the fellowship afterwards.

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