The Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni, Inc. (PHILFEJA) held its annual Shinnenkai last 28 January 2023 after having been put on hold for three (3) years due to the pandemic. The event took place at the Manila Pianos, Makati City, with Past President Raquel Nakayama of the Association of Philippine Private Alumni of Japanese Universities (APPAJU) as the Master of Ceremonies.
Introduced by the master of ceremonies, PHILFEJA President Domingo Go delivered his welcome remarks. In his remarks, he warmly welcomed Economic Minister Daisuke Nihei of the Embassy of Japan, Dr. Jaime Laya, Chairman of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Chief Representative Takema Sakamoto of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Director Shigehiro Matsuda of the Japan Information and Cultural Center (JICC), Director Tsutomu Suzuki of the Japan Foundation, First Secretary and Labor Attaché Chihiro Kanno of the Embassy of Japan, PHILFEJA trustees, and all the guests attending the concert.
President Go talked about the many diverse backgrounds and experiences of those in PHILFEJA. He pointed out how each one of its members is different from the other but blossoming in his/her own field.
“ …Although we have diverse trainings and backgrounds, we come together to be one as PHILFEJA as we are united by the common thread of our bond with Japan through our encounter with Japanese colleges, universities, and institutions that have significantly influenced our lives.”
To celebrate this bond, the new year, and its 47th year, PHILFEJA decided to hold its first concert as music unites diverse people, transcends language barriers, and makes the world a more harmonious place.
Following the welcoming remarks, PHILFEJA Vice President Philip Sanvictores introduced the performers: Anna Migallos (soprano), Marvin Bautista (tenor), and Mariel Ilusorio (piano). After which, the concert proper began.
After the opening song “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific, Ms. Ilusorio introduced the collection of music to be performed. The first half featured songs from famous musicals while the second half featured songs from operas and popular Filipino folk songs such as Leron Leron Sinta and Pakiusap by Francisco Santiago.
At the end of the program’s repertoire, the artists performed an encore. Once the first encore piece had finished, President Go delivered a toast and the performers serenaded the audience through a toast song. The performers were given flowers in gratitude for the enchanted evening and the stage was opened for a photo opportunity. Though the program had ended, participants continued to talk with one another over food and drinks, thereby strengthening the bond we have with one another.