The Words of the Obuchi Family
First National Reunion for all Filipino Brothers and Sisters in Japan
Fe Miranda Obuchi
April 19, 2008
With the theme "One Family Under God" a hundred and fifty Filipino members in Japan and their families gathered together for a very successful National Reunion last April 13, 2008 at Seiyaku Bldg., Shinjuku Tokyo. They also celebrated the birth of "The Filipino-Japanese Movement for Global Peace (FJMGP)" a newly founded peace movement which will support the activities of both Philippines and Japan. The event started at 10 o'clock in the morning until 4 o' clock in the afternoon. The venue is filled with love and hope by the unexpected attendance of our brothers and sisters coming from other prefectures like Osaka, Mie, Toyama, Ishikawa, Niigata, elders of Unification Movement including our dear Nanay Murotani, one of the pioneer missionaries in the Philippines and others. Each had the opportunity to introduce their family and the chance to talk to their old friends who haven't met for decades.
The registration started before 9 am. Mrs. Nora Hasegawa headed the Registration with the help of Mr. Ben Perono and Mr. Jun Granada. The community started to gather and sing in preparation for the program proper with Mrs Mona Nenita Cueme Iwano leading. The opening prayer was lead by Mrs. Remia Martin Watanabe and the event was officially opened by Mr. Reuben Cruz, the Commando National Leader in Japan, also one of the Advisers of the FJMGP.He gave a very remarkable speech reminiscing the past and connecting the present providence in the Philippines.
Mr. Takanori Todate, the head of the International Affairs Department of the Youth Federation for World Peace -Japan gave a short talk. A part of his speech explained about the "One Child, One Peace" (OCOP) Project of YFWP to the Philippines. OCOP Project supports the educational need of some Filipino Children in Butuan and Manila for almost 6 years now. Through the FJMGP, he hoped that this project will get more attention, attract more staff, supporters and sponsors.
Mrs. Lina Obara, the President of the FJMGP explained the mission and enumerated the goals and purposes of the group during the meeting. She also shared practical ideas on how to accomplish the goals of the movement.
Mrs. Nora Hasegawa, the VP for Internal Affairs presented the appointed officers and coordinators of FJMGP and suggested a referendum thereafter. All members present voted YES - that is to keep the officers in their post until the next year's election. It was a standing ovation!
Mrs. Socorro Hashimoto, one of the advisers explained the Membership in the FJMGP. Everyone can join -- any nationality, male or female, blessed or non blessed members. She also explained that the membership fee is a symbolic offering- a condition for us to connect to the new providence. Membership fee goes to the Philippine GPF Fund. During the meeting it was agreed by the community to offer 100 yen per month as membership fee.
Greetings from Philippine Leaders Mr. Michael Zablan and Mr. Federico Niduasa and Adviser Prof. Rafael Ablong were read. Although they are not present physically in the affair, their heartfelt greetings moved some to tears.
During the meeting, the blessed children had their own special activities. Mrs. Lorie Shiokawa, VP for External Affairs lead the 21 elementary age children in an English Program. She was assisted by Mrs. Eriko Vasquez, Mrs. Itoko Granada, and Erika Shiokawa. Their activities includes singing English songs, picture bingo, Mr. Wolf game, fruits basket game, hanky dropping game, and finding a leader game.
Mrs. Priscila Akahori, the Secretary General led the 24 preschoolers in a Song and Craft Program. She was assisted by Mrs. Maritess Takahashi and Mrs. Lollie Yamada. Their activities include making flowers and paper necklaces, coloring, cutting, pasting, reading books and singing action songs. Mr. Jimmy Garbanzos, presented a puppet show to the kids and later gave them each a puppet. The kids enjoyed playing with it.
Performers include the TIMD headed by Master Takamitsu Hoshiko, president of TIMD Japan and officers of TIMD J-P namely, Mr. Robert Alcamfor, Mr. Arnold Heramis, and Mr. Alexander Baguio with the participation of Mr. Jameson Hangalay. The Officers, coordinators and other members sung the GPF 2007 Theme Song entitled "Where Peace Begins".
Rei Nakano daughter of Lalaine Gaje Nakano and Iwao Nakano. played the piano beautifully and Sarah Hangalay, daughter of Jameson and Tsuyako Hangalay, was very graceful during her Korean dance. The talented 2nd generation kids performed a surprisingly wonderful song and dance presentation which they have just learned during the day. The preschoolers presented the flowers and necklaces they made earlier to their parents right after their presentation.
The FJMGP also cited 3 awards for the family members who were (1) "early bird", (2) who came from the farthest place and (3) most number of complete family member attended. The following families received the monetary awards respectively; Mila Yanai's family, who arrived Saturday morning from Sendai, Annabelle Sosogi and family who drove all the way from Osaka, and Wilma Kondo and family who brought her husband and 3 sons.
Before lunch the official photo was taken by Mr. Jess Juliano and Mr. Gilbert Juliano.
At lunch, everyone enjoyed the bountiful food (majority of which are Philippine dishes) prepared by each family. Amazingly, some families generously brought food enough for everybody. To all members who cooked their specialty for brothers and sisters, prepared and served the food, headed by Liza Nakazaki and assisted by Lalaine Nakano we thank you greatly!
This reunion is the first step in fulfilling our goals for this year of helping Japan and Philippines for Global Peace Festival 2008. Now that Philippines and Japan is one, let us show our love and devotion to God and True Parents by uniting our hearts together in every undertaking we have. May the unity of Filipino brothers and sisters in Japan continue as we accomplish our dream of becoming one family under God. Hosted by the handsome Brian Dirige (PRO) and the energetic Fe Obuchi (the Assistant Secretary) the program ended up at 3 o' clock in the afternoon after the 3 Cheers of Eog Mansei by Mr. Jesus Juliano. (But people stayed until after 5 pm!)
Reported by Fe Miranda Obuchi