109 Filipino Nurses and Caregivers Complete Preparatory Japanese Language Program at NCF

On May 19, 2017, the 9th batch of Filipino nurses and certified care workers completed their preparatory Japanese language training at the Nihongo Center Foundation under the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). With a closing ceremony held at the President Jose P. Laurel Memorial Hall of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Center in Manila, the 6-month long program successfully produced 315 graduates. Other participants finished their training at TESDA and the Personal Ability Development Foundation (PAD), two other partner institutions for the training program organized together with the Japan Foundation Manila Office (JFMO).

In his opening remarks, JFMO Director, Mr. Hiroaki Uesugi not only gave his sincerest appreciation for the participants’ positive participation and determined efforts, but also thanked the energetic and ceaseless efforts and teamwork of the lecturers and staff members who made sure that the program was at its best. He also encouraged the trainees to think positively and hoped that they will overcome the challenges they may face once they start living, studying, and working in Japan.

Honorable guests Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores, NCF President; Mr. Roberto L. Larga, Director IV, Welfare and Employment Office, P.O.E.A; and Mr. Manabu Yasukawa, First Secretary, Labour Attaché, Embassy of Japan all gave their congratulatory remarks during the program.

This is probably the very first baby steps that you will be taking in your journey of learning Nihongo.” said Mr. Sanvictores. He continued:

When you start off in Japan, please remember that you have a role to play. First you have to be good workers. Secondly, you have to recognize that you are also representing our country, our people, and our soul as Filipinos and our reputations. Please be careful to make sure that the Japanese, your superiors, your patients, the people you work with – they will all be blessed through you because you are doing your job well and the fundamental foundation of that will be language. That is why this is a unique opportunity for each and every one of you to make that step in to a new environment where you are actually going to be a blessing.”

Mr. Manabu Yasukawa commended the participants for their hard work and dedication and echoed the message of the NCF President about the importance of language, specifically mentioning self-discipline and its role in language learning:

“I would like to emphasize the importance of self-discipline in learning the language. We may give you long and intensive training, but without self- discipline, retention might be difficult. You must continue to study everyday even after the training which you will have in the coming months in Japan.”

To address the apprehensions of the graduates about being away from loved ones and being in a different environment, Mr. Yasukawa encouraged them to look at it from another perspective.

“Take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy the sights, food, festivals, and the varied seasons of Japan. Learn about its culture, and build lasting friendships with the people you will meet there. I believe the Japanese are very kind, surely they will appreciate the friendship you will extend to them. I am also certain your respective employers, patients, and caregiving facility residents are looking forward to meeting you and experience the distinct care of Filipinos.”

After the congratulatory remarks, Mr. Uesugi presented the Certificate of Completion to the class representatives and was followed by a message from Ms. Mary Ann Borja, Representative of the Candidates.

To further give support and encouragement to the Japan-bound health workers, Head Leacturer, Josef Carlo Orillo-sensei recalled the first few months of their training:

“At the start of your training, I talked about how a common language becomes a bridge between people of different countries. It is a medium for the sharing of ideas and feelings, a method by which we can learn that despite our differences – the gap of cultures and nations – we all share the same basic needs and wants, thoughts and passions as people.”

For the next months to follow in Japan, he encouraged the trainees to keep on improving their Nihongo:

“Having completed your training, you now have this bridge, this tool for connecting with another person. When you go to Japan, use it, practice it, improve more and more, not only for your work and the eventual goal of passing the licensure exam, but also enrich your relationships with your co-workers and friends.”

The successful trainees will continue another six months of training at a Japanese language institute in Japan before finally getting assigned to hospitals and caregiving facilities all over the country.  After building up on their experiences, the nurse and care worker candidates will be required to take the Japanese national examination for nurses or certified care workers, based on which their work in Japan would continue.


Related Resources:

Speech by Mr. Manabu Yasukawa, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan
Speech by Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores, NCF President
Speech by Josef Orillo Sensei, Head Lecturer
Speech by Mary Ann E. Borja, EPA Candidate
Opening Remarks by Mr. Hiroaki Uesugi, JFMO Director
Photos – Closing Ceremony, 9th Batch of EPA Graduates

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