By Jerome S. Galunan, Jr.
In compliance with Bacolod-Japan Friendship Day Ordinance and City Tourism Week, the Bacolod-Japan Friendship Day Cultural Presentation was recently held in Bacolod City.
Bacolod City Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr., who authored the said ordinance, delivered the keynote address during the event.
“As early as the 12th Century, Japanese merchants were already trading with Filipinos,” he recalled. “Let us not forget, there was a Japanese samurai, who lived during the Sengoku period in the 1500s, who was converted to the Roman Catholicism and was exiled to Manila.”
He also quoted a letter written by Jose Rizal during a visit to Japan in 1888, where he marveled at the overall safety and cleanliness of the country.
“The values of cleanliness/sanitation and orderliness, courtesy, hard work, industriousness, honor, and respect, which are practiced daily by the Japanese, must be adopted by the Filipinos,” Gamboa stressed.
The event also paid homage to the Obon Matsuri, or the annual Japanese lantern festival and one of the country’s more important religious celebrations./WDJ