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Philippine Day held in Fushimi (Nicolle Comafay)

KAPS GA Assembly 2007 and New Officers (Nicolle Comafay)
Open Day Celebration of the Kyoto City International Community House (Michael Delmo)
Selling Polvoron, Banana Cake and Barbeque Changes a Child’s Life (Benedict San Jose)

Pistahan sa Kyoto


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.

KAPS GA Assembly 2007 and New Officers by Nicolle Comafay

KAPS General Assembly 2007 The 2nd General Assembly (GA) of KAPS was held from July 28 to 29, 2007 at Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, at the residence of Fr. Tino Gallo. Nineteen KAPS members attended the 2-day affair, along with special guests Father Tino, Dr. Salvador Catelo and University of the Philippines professor Jorge Tigno; who gave inspirational talks and advice to the group.

The 2-day assembly started in the afternoon of July 28, 2007 with the accomplishment and financial reports for years 2006 and 2007 presented by former KAPS president Jose Camacho. This was followed by talks from the special guests and then a dinner buffet of Filipino dishes prepared by the members. After dinner, everyone went for a walk along Biwa Lake, Japan's largest, and enjoyed a game of charades. The evening ended with karaoke singing sponsored by the Con-con and Rhoda Namoco.

The next morning began with group planning sessions for new KAPS programs. These were later presented to the assembly. The 2007 GA then culminated with the election of new officers for 2007-2008.



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Open Day Celebration of the Kyoto City International Community House by Michael Delmo

KICH 2007 KAPS did it again! KAPS, with its commitment to the promotion of international understanding and cooperation, successfully initiated its first ever participation in the annual Open House event of the Kyoto International Community House held last November 11, 2007 in Sakyo-ku, Kyoto. KAPS participation in the event was spearheaded by organization president Nicolle Comafay and with the overwhelming support of KAPS members.

The organization's involvement in the international fair included a showcase and sale of some Philippine cuisine like chicken barbeque, polvoron, and banana cake. The one day event drew in many Japanese and foreign visitors, many of them experiencing Philippine culture through its cuisine for the first time. The earnings from the event went to the KAPS fund to support its various activities and charity projects. KAPS is hoping that it can continue to get involved with this kind of international event more often to promote crosscultural communication among Filipinos, Japanese, and people from other countries.

The Kyoto City International Foundation holds the Open House Day of the Kyoto International Community House annually to promote cross-cultural communication between the people of Kyoto City and those of other cultures. It is held every November.

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Selling Polvoron, Banana Cake and Barbeque Changes a Child’s Life by Benedict San Jose

Indeed! Last year, KAPS' participation in Kyoto International Community House's annual Open House and sales of polvoron, chicken barbeque and banana cake; KAPS was able to raise funds to send a child in the Philippines to school. Aside from exposing the existence of KAPS to the Kyoto community, the said activity was organized as a fundraiser for the KAPS social outreach project through World Vision Philippines.

KAPS adopted a grade 3 school girl named Wenica, from Puerto Princesa, Palawan. She was born on September 19, 1996, likes to play badminton and her favorite subject is foreign language. Through World Vision Philippines, Wenica was given the chance to continue her studies despite the hardships her family is experiencing right now. The scholarship provides for Wenica’s tuition fees, school supplies, uniform and health care. World Vision Philippines provided KAPS a picture profile of Wenica and will also send annual progress reports on her studies as well as updates on the community where she lives.

World Vision Philippines recently celebrated its 50 years of mission work in the Philippines. The organization was founded when World Vision International started its mission in the Philippines in 1957 when they opened the Good Shepherd Orphanage in Guimaras Island.

With 450 Pesos a month, KAPS will be able to change a child’s life. Imagine sharing just 40 yen a day can give someone the opportunity to have a better life. We can only imagine the smile on Wenica’s face as she receives her first set of crayons, notebooks and uniform as she goes to school this year knowing that she has Kuya’s and Ate’s here in Kyoto. With the success of this activity, KAPS is looking at sponsoring another child for the following school year.

Sponsoring is easy even if one is outside of the Philippines since monthly donations can be made through bank fund transfer or credit card. If you want to know more or if you wish to sponsor a child through World Vision, you may visit their website for more details.

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Pistahan sa Kyoto

Kyoto Association of Pinoy Scholars (KAPS) was one of the sponsors of Pistahan sa Kyoto 2006, an event to further develop cross-cultural exchange between Japanese and Filipino communities, which was held last November 3, 2006.

KAPS organized two forums: one is a timely topic on Japan ODA and its contribution to Philippines, and the other is a sharing of experiences of Filipino students and professionals based in Japan. Both forums were well attended.

Three panelists shared their perspectives on the issues based on their experiences and evaluation of the past ODA of Japan to the Philippines. They are Jose V. Camacho Jr., a Filipino doing a research on Japan’s ODA to the Philippines; Hozue Hatae, a Japanese NGO activist from Friends of the Earth Japan; and Nestor Puno, a Filipino working for a Japan-based NGO, the Nagoya Center for Philippine Concerns.

The forum on Filipino students and professionals was conducted in an informal and pleasant atmosphere. The panelists include students, Rhoda Agdeppa (Kyoto), Ivy Pascua (Osaka), professor, Casilda Luzares (Kyoto), lawyer, Jeff Plantilla (Osaka), and engineer, Carlo Abalos (Kobe). As the speakers share their experiences of adjusting, stress, homesickness, pressure from their work and studies, members of the audience kept nodding and smiling, as if they are remembering their own difficulties in living in a new country.

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© 2006 - 2009 Kyoto Association of Pinoy Scholars