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Philippine Day held in Fushimi (Nicolle Comafay)

Philippine Day held in Fushimi by Nicolle Comafay

With the objective of introducing and understanding different cultures of the world, the Fushimi Youth Center sponsors an annual event called 「世界に出会うプログラム」or “Meet the World Program.” Every year, the program showcases one country for one day and this year, the Fushimi Youth Center, in cooperation with Aspiring Citizens for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Kyoto Filipino Pag-asa Community (KFPC) and the Kyoto Association of Pinoy Scholars (KAPS) held “Philippine Day” on March 2, from 11am to 4pm on a Sunday. A mixture of Filipinos and Japanese, as well as other nationalities attended this event.

KAPS took on the responsibility of preparing a 3-hour long cultural program of songs, dances and games. Members Mike, Lenee, Sam and Eloi danced the Tinikling, with the help of the “taktak” boys, Jong, Bene, Jay Arre and Concon. A workshop was later held to teach the audience the basics of dancing the tinikling. To show both traditional and modern dances, KAPS also danced Boom Tarat, a song popularized in a noon time show in the Philippines. The morning program was ended with the song Kailangan Kita as rendered by Cerrone, accompanied on the guitar by Jay Arre. In the afternoon, the traditional game of patintero was introduced and very much enjoyed by both children and adults.

While the above program was ongoing, a flea market sponsored by ACCE was set-up in the next room of the second floor. Downstairs, posters and crafts from the Philippines were exhibited. Food, being an important part of Filipino culture, were sold by some members of the KFPC. Of course, KAPS did not let this event pass without selling their famous polvoron and the much enjoyed leche flan by Vince which, not surprisingly, sold out.

As with most of the events participated in by KAPS, the bonding that was developed during the preparations; a monthlong of weekly practices for the tinikling dancers, and a day of polvoron and leche flan making for everyone who helped. The karaoke-singing and dinners together after the event was time spent enriching with the camaraderie among KAPS members.

The Philippine Day was special in a way because we were also able to bond with the Japanese and Chinese student volunteers who not only helped us prepare the polvoron but was also responsible for overall the organization of the event. We want to extend a very special “Arigathanks” to Itoh-san for giving us the opportunity to be involved in this event. It was truly memorable.

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