Tribute Video:
Kenjiro Ogata Sensei Celebrates 65th Birthday and 25th Year at NCF & PIJLC


On March 6, NCF and PIJLC Academic Adviser, Kenjiro Ogata sensei celebrated his 65th birthday. Coincidentally, this year also marks his 25th year of unwavering commitment to Japanese language education in the Philippines. To celebrate the two joyous and momentous occasions, teachers, students, and staff of the schools presented a surprise tribute video to Ogata Sensei during the recently concluded Faculty Development Program (FDP) at the NCF Makati campus last March 19, 2017.

Before the video presentation, staff brought out a birthday cake and started singing “Happy Birthday” to Ogata Sensei to his surprise. After the greetings, FDP manager, Keli Biscarra Sensei, engaged the teachers in a short trivia game, which included fun questions and facts about the birthday celebrant.

In the tribute video, colleagues and students thanked Ogata Sensei not only for his invaluable contributions to the schools, but also for his support and guidance in their Nihongo studies and training. There were heartwarming anecdotes from students who are now also Nihongo teachers of how Ogata sensei taught them and helped them pass their Japanese proficiency test.

Moreover, staff and school administrators shared their stories about sensei that reflected the long history of his career as a Nihongo teacher in the Philippines. Throughout the 8-minute long video, Ogata sensei quietly watched with a big smile as everyone wished him good health and more birthdays to come.

In addition, The Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation (PJFF), which established and oversees NCF and PIJLC, tendered a separate dinner for Ogata Sensei on March 6. PJFF board members who were present included Amb. Joey Laurel, Mr. Francis Laurel, Ms. Marilen Laurel-Loinaz, Ms. Ditas Laurel-Marquez, Mr. Toti Torres, Mr. Bobby Castillo, and Mr. JJ Soriano. NCF and PIJLC President, Philip Sanvictores, together with other school officials and faculty, also attended the intimate dinner where everyone offered a toast to congratulate Ogata sensei and wish him more years at NCF and PIJLC.


Related Resources:

Ogata Sensei 65th Birthday Photos

Nikki Gevaña Bags Top Prize at 6th Kake Gakuen Speech Contest

An admirer of Japanese food and culture, Nikki Gevaña, emerged as top winner in this year’s 6th Kake Trophy Nihongo Speech Contest held last September 10 at the Nihongo Center Foundation (NCF), Makati Campus. Besting four other contestants, Gevaña also received the honor to represent the Philippines in the international round of the speech competition to be held on November 25, 2016 at the Okayama University of Science in Okayama, Japan.

Gevaña, who started studying Japanese last year, delivered her speech on the common theme “私にとって一番大切な物” (Watashi ni totte, ichiban taisetsuna mono/The Most Important Thing for Me). The speech, which won her an educational trip to Japan, cash prize, and tuition incentives, highlighted the importance of education and how it can be an impetus for improving one’s life and achieving success. Moving into the international competition, Gevaña also has a chance to grab a 2-year scholarship at any of the three universities under the Kake Educational Institution.

Other winners in the contest include Leah Uychiongco who came in at 2nd place and Maria Roldan at 3rd place. Uychiongco’s speech expressed how human life is the most important thing for her while Roldan talked about love and how it helped her get through life’s struggles.  

Tatsuo Kitagawa, director of the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC), together with Yoshiya Yoshimi, director of Kake Educational Institution, and Kenjiro Ogata, academic advisor of The Philippine Institute of Japanese Language and Culture (PIJLC) and NCF made up the prestigious panel of judges. PILJC and NCF president, Philip Sanvictores welcomed the guests and participants with his opening remarks, while faculty member, Josef Carlo Orillo took on the emcee’s role during the event.

The Kake Trophy Speech Contest is an annual competition showcasing the Japanese Language skills of PIJLC and NCF students. Winners get scholarships and tuition fee waivers from its main sponsor, Kake Educational Institution based in Okayama, Japan, and co-sponsor, PIJLC and NCF. The event is also supported by JICC representing the Embassy of Japan.



6th Kake Trophy Speech Contest Program
Nikki Gevaña, speech: 私にとって一番大切な物
6th Kake Tropy Speech Contest Winner Announcement
Leah Uychiongco, speech: 私にとって一番大切な物
Maria Roldan, speech: 私にとって一番大切な物
6th Kake Trophy Speech Contest Photo Album