The Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA) held its 2014 Shinnen Kai 新年会 on January 18,2014 at the Board Room, Dusit Thani Manila at the Ayala Center in Makati. It was hosted by the Association of Philippine Private Alumni of Japanese Universities (APPAJU) headed by its President, Mr. Domingo Go.
The 2014 Shinnen Kai was graced by PHILFEJA President Benjie C. Laurel and his wife Auring, Amb. and Mrs. Benjamin F. Sanvictores, Amb. Pete Firmalino, former PHILFEJA Presidents Atty. Ernie Martinez, Engr. Erni Abrenica and Mr. Ed Valencia. Officials of the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) of the Embassy of Japan in Manila likewise attended the affair. Other officers of PHILFEJA affiliated organizations joined the annual New Year party, i.e., PHiLAJAMES, PHILJAFA, PHILCULTAROS and APPAJU.
PHILFEJA President Benjie Laurel, though weakened by a lingering illness, bravely attended and made an impassioned speech, encouraging PHILFEJA to actively support the organization of the 21st ASCOJA Conference which is slated to be held in Manila in 2015. He said that in his capacity as the President PHILFEJA, he is now the Chairman of both ASCOJA and ASJA International. He sought the members’ all out support and cooperation as PHILFEJA performs its new responsibilities. He also noted that this will be the last time PHILFEJA can occupy this position of leadership in ASCOJA, since its chairmanship rotates around all member countries, which now include all 10-member states of ASEAN. The ASCOJA Chairman normally holds office for two years.