Last December, ICU graduate student Eleazar Puguon was awarded a JICUF student grant of ¥75,000 for his project, “Fiestas sa Pinas.” Together with fellow graduate student Jenni Fajardo, he planned a Filipino Night, an event to introduce Filipino culture, history and society to the ICU community. The event took place on May 16th and was attended by close to 70 people. Ten students were involved with organizing the event, and Professors Allen Kim and Paul Johnson acted as advisors. OYR Iana Tan coordinated undergraduate volunteers.
The first half of the event was held from 7:15pm in a classroom in Honkan, with ICU alumna and Associate Professor of sociology at Soka University, Dr. Johanna Zulueta giving a presentation. The second half was a festival in the Seabury Chapel with Filipino food and music.
Here are what Eleazar and Jenni had to say about the night.
“The ICU Filipino Night (a.k.a. “Fiesta Sa Pinas”) celebrated the uniqueness and diversity of the food, culture, and history of the Philippines. It aimed to promote participants’ awareness and acceptance of other cultures through presentations and interaction. Focused on educating both Japanese and international students at ICU on Filipino culture through Filipino food-tasting, a showcase of Filipino history, and socialization with Filipinos from different parts of the country, this event also aimed to hone the presenters’ and organizers’ skills in communication, organization, planning, and program management. We divided the activities into two parts. The first part was an educational presentation by Professor Johanna Zulueta on Filipino history, culture, and current issues and a traditional dance called “itik-itik” performed by Filipino students at ICU. In the second part, participants were treated to an assortment of Filipino dishes and sweets while listening to Filipino music and interacting and socializing with Filipinos. The event gave the participants a taste (literally!) of Filipino lifestyle in the celebratory “fiesta” atmosphere.
The event was not only well-participated by the Japanese and international students and professors from ICU. Some Filipino guests from the local community and students from other universities graciously attended the program. As part of the organizing team, it was inspiring for me to witness the excitement of the ICU students when we first announced the event, the anticipation of the participants for the cultural and gastronomic experience they were about to partake in, and the appreciation they had for the free yet meaningful program. The Filipino students at ICU were very encouraged by this turnout and our collaboration with JICUF, and hope that this will become an annual event. As a Filipino student, I take pride in promoting the international commitment of ICU by bringing the Filipino culture, history, and issues to the awareness of the students and the local community.”
“The Filipino Night, an academic and cultural event funded by JICUF, happened last May 16th. The event kicked off with a talk by former ICU exchange student and now Soka University faculty, Prof. Johanna Zulueta, entitled “Japan in the Philippines: Philippines in Japan.” Her talk highlighted the flow of migration of Japanese to the Philippines and vice versa. It was capped off by a dance performance by Filipino ICU students.
Soon after, the guests were whisked off to Seabury Chapel to help themselves to favorite Filipino dishes like adobo, pinakbet, menudo, sisig (partnered with onigiri/rice balls), Pinoy-style spaghetti, and homemade desserts leche flan and polvoron. As the people ate, they were serenaded with Filipino songs. Seabury Chapel was transformed to a Filipino festival, and the mini exhibit/photo booth area educated the guests about the Philippines
Indeed it was a fun night of fellowship, friendship, and food — truly a Filipino night. “
Congratulations on a successful event, Eleazar and Jenni!