This fiscal year’s induction and turnover ceremonies held on May 18, 2019, at the Elks Club in Makati, formally started the term of Ms. Lavi Penaverde, our first president from the MEXT Young Leaders Program. Mr. Henry T. Co, a former governor of the Board of Investments and former chairman of Ford Motor Company Philippines, gave the keynote speech highlighting our members’ contributions in the field of industry.
Mr. Toshiyuki Taguchi of JICC inducted new directors and members, and gave an inspirational message. He spoke partly about his early volunteer work experiences in the Philippines, and partly about working with PHILAJAMES, then said this is his final year with JICC. Since he has come to know us as much as we’ve gotten to know him, I’m sure we all will miss each other. Thank you for all your assistance and advice, Taguchi-san!
Outgoing 1st VP Marloe Sundo spoke in behalf of outgoing president Dr. Resty Collado, who was in Japan, and extended best wishes to the new officers.
Ms. Cecile Tolentino briefly reminisced about her Japan schooldays, then introduced the lighter side of each executive officer. Ms. Penaverde expounded on the meaning of our Association’s theme for the year, which is “Breaking Through.” She said members can expect familiar activities and new undertakings in slightly upgraded forms.
She started by citing the brillant concept presentation of Dr. Neil Tan Gana that will serve as the development guide for the ASJA-ASCOJA-PHILFEJA Symposium to be held next year. This is a joint initiative for which PHILAJAMES will serve as the lead organization for symposium management. Dr. Tan Gana is our new secretary.
Each of the other Execom officers have their own commitments too. 1st VP Dr. Lalet Tsuchiya will strive to deliver an electronic directory, and indeed our usual registration before the event was done by keying in rather than by writing personal info. Members who recently provided updated personal information had their data already on file. (Note: Electronic devices are not allowed in JICC so we can not register electronically when we hold events there.)
Dr. Nappy Navarra, our 2nd VP, is planning a “Tsaahan at Tsika” knowledge-sharing session at UP Diliman to spread awareness of Japanese culture and Japanese government scholarships among its students. Finally, Ms. Belinda Perez, who is serving as our treasurer this year, will continue managing our website, which continues to draw more and more visitors from within and outside our association.
At the start of his keynote speech, Mr. Henry Co said he looked for familiar faces as soon as he arrived. He said he was glad to see Ma’am Cecile, then kidded, “I paid for lifetime membership.” He humbly said he’ll try to say something worthy of the stature of the members in attendance, then went through a few points of his career. He probably could have done more had he not stayed too long with any one company but, “I always enjoyed my work,” he said. “Perhaps it makes more career sense to move to something else once you feel too comfortable with your job.”
Mr. Co concluded by suggesting work experience-sharing sessions might be interesting and helpful to have. We may just take up his suggestion in this breaking through year.