The Words of the Kobayashi Family

Mini- GPF Shizuoka 2008

Rowena Dait Kobayashi
October 19, 2008

"In Glory Shared with Sacred Peak, Mt. Fuji, an Auspicious Start"

The wave of the success of mini-GPF in the different parts of Japan reached the City lying on the foot of Mt. Fuji. The city that was been nurtured and guarded by the sacred peak for a long time... The City of Fujinomiya, Shizuoka.

Accepting the challenge to hold a Mini-GPF in our prefecture posed numerous responsibilities to tackle. But doing what we can, with what we have and where we are paved way to start something that can bring three families (Cernardo, Shijo and Kobayashi) together, to work for a common goal. Not for Shizuoka to be left behind, to be part of this timely crusade for peaceful endeavor and to be able to catch GPF fever that is infectious so that it can be passed from one person to another, one place to another.

Series of meeting were held planning for the venue, target date, target number of guest, speakers and other human resources, whose potentials and talents are required to make this event a great success.

We have chosen Forest Hill, Guest House the venue for the event. The place is overlooking Mt. Fuji. The symbol of Japan's formidable spirit. The ambiance and the amenities are suitable for an initial activity such as this. First impression will last as they say, and we wanted to captivate a good impression from our guest and participants. This place can accommodate 120 guests but the actual number of participants attended reached 134.

The most awaited day has come. On October 19, 2008 guests coming from different walks of life, religious, educators, politicians, friends and associates filled the hall. While waiting for the incoming guests, a video presentation of the successful Phil. GPF 2007 and Phil. GPF2008 were shown to the guest as a starter for them to have an overview of what the gathering all about.

The program proper was formally opened with a doxology. Ms. Hiroko Ito played Okarina, accompanied by Ms. Remiko Sano on Keyboards in their melodious rendition of Amazing Grace. Ms. Aya Watai, a grade five elementary student shared her skillful ability as she played her violin.

Guest, friends and participants were warmly welcomed by Ms. Rowena D. Kobayashi, FJMGP-Shizuoka Coordinator. She posed the following challenge to the audience..."If we don't have a clear vision...WHAT then? If we will not be counted...WHO? If we will not start within us, within our family… WHERE? If we will not start now… WHEN?

Ms. Prescila Akahori-FJMGP Executive Secretary gave a detailed introduction of what FJMGP (Filipino- Japanese Movement for Global Peace) all about. Through the PowerPoint presentation, she explained what the logo symbolizes, enumerated the goals and the different groups that serve as co-partners for peace. She too informed the audience about the different activities conducted and updated them with the Mini-GPF in the different prefectures of Japan. Her speech was spontaneous that the needed information about FJMGP was clearly explained.

Hawaiian Dance number was spearheaded by Hirose Sensie. A hula dance instructor together with her friends. Their gentle and synchronized movements were awesome. They have proven that as one grown in years, the more graceful one should be.

Hon. Yoshihisa Okamura - Fuji City Councilor started his speech greeting the audience in Tagalog." Magandang Hapon Po, Kumusta kayo?" For a Japanese City Councilor to speak even a bit of Tagalog is something. He delivered his speech in bilingual, English and Japanese. The center of his speech was his appreciation to the goals GPF and he expressed his willingness to take part in this notable endeavor.

A vocal solo by Jay V. Cartasano energized the participants in his breathtaking rendition of Sen No Kase ne Natte. A famous Japanese ballad sang by a famous Japanese tenor. Followed by a Filipino folkdance in the tune of "Itik-Itik" was performed by Saki and Miki Shijo.

FJMGP- President Ms. Angelita Obara delivered her PowerPoint presentation on the Visions of GPF. She talked about the sad realities of present Japan and linked it to the 4 Themes of GPF. She gave her updates on the calendar of activities of the different GPF International and explained about 1,000,000 family volunteer and the importance of 1 coin project. Her enthusiastic and dynamic presentation impressed the audience, much more to the delight of the Japanese members who need more enlightenment of what GPF is all about.

Mr. Kazuyoshi Kobayashi with his artistic expertise in the field of calligraphy wrote in a long calligraphic paper "Jenrui Ichi Kazuko", "One Family" in English. People from the audience moved forward to witness his skillful use of brush.

The President of FJCA-J (Filipino Japanese Couples Association in Japan) Mr. Ruben Cruz emphasized that we shouldn't be a mere spectator but a participant in such a historical peaceful endeavor. He also encouraged the audience to be part of Nov. 15 GPF Japan to held in Tokyo.

Ms. Lourdes Lee, in her golden voice joined by the audience in singing the Theme Song, "Where Peace Begin". She came all the way from Nagoya. In closing, Ms. Yasue Cernardo expressed her gratitude to all the guest and participants who in spite of their busy schedule made it for the event. She too announced the upcoming activity which is a volunteer activity at Ofuji Elementary School.

To make this event a memorable one, we had an outdoor picture taking overlooking Mt. Fuji. As the participants returned to the hall, they were welcomed with a song rendered by Ms. Elsie Fukasawa entitled "Biyahe Tayo". The main speaker surprised everybody when she joined Mr. Arnold Hiramis in a Martial Arts Ballet, in the tuned of "Eye of the Tiger". Mr. Arnold Hiramis was joined by his two energetic daughters as they performed another WHD ballet. How awesome to watch father - daughters tandem. Songs, dances and lively conversations filled the hall as the guest and participants enjoyed their sumptuous refreshments. The Masters of Ceremonies were Mr. Hiroyuki and Mrs. Elnes Shijo.

Our appreciation to all brothers and sisters who in one way or another extended their assistance in making this event a great success. To Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Hiramis and Family, Mr. and Mrs. Rommel Tayag, Mr. and Mrs. Bong Jarap and Family, Mr. and Mrs. Yukio Lee, Mr. Jun Flores, Mr. Ruben Cruz, Ms. Nora Magpantay, Ms. Angelita Obara, Ms. Prescila Akahori, Ms. Nakako Ito and Ms. Yoshimi, Mr. Joseph Cernardo who serve as an official cameraman.

Since this was our initial Mini-GPF activity, we experienced slight difficulties, but I'm optimistic that this will be an opportunity to learn, to grow and develop...Generally, Mini-GPF in Shizuoka 2008 was an AUSPICIOUS START. 

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