The Saizen Summer Workshop 2010, held on April 24-25 at Saizen Robinsons Galleria branch, was a joint project between Saizen, a Japanese novelty store and UP Tomo-Kai. It was a venue for young children to explore the Japanese culture. In this 2-day activity, members got the chance to act as ‘sensei’ to children as young as 5 years, to almost-teenagers. In turn, we were also able to spread the Japanese culture outside of the University as well.
The first day was hosted energetically by Lee Serafico, with opening remarks from Ms. Josette Salac, Saizen’s Sales Marketing Manager and Noe Rivera,Tomo- Kai’s vice-president. To get the event starting, a game of ‘Stop Dance’ was played, along to the tune of a Japanese song.
The very first workshop was facilitated by our member L Concepcion. Acting as ‘Origami Sensei’, she taught the children how to make yukata and kabuto (samurai hat) designs. Loads of origami paper were crumpled and folded alongside the helpful Tomo-Kai senseis who assisted the children with the design.
After the origami, Noe Rivera, Edrick Nasol and Bim Canoza danced ‘Yosakoi’, teaching the children along the way how to dance its steps. With a loud shout, Noe encouraged the children to stand up and jump, wave the traditional naruko clappers with such a loud clatter.
The last workshop for the first day was clay molding, headed by the artistic Clio Tantoco. With her strict supervision, the children were able to come up with shapes of snails, roses and dinosaurs. Compared with the noise of the yosakoi dancing, the whole workshop became hushed as children concentrated on getting their dinosaurs look the right kind of ferocious.
Arvin Sangalan, the host for the second day, started off the workshop by asking the kids left and right how excited they were about the event.After some remarks by Aura Carbonilla, Tomo-Kai’s representative for the day and Mr. Bobby Go, Saizen’s General Manager, it seemed that the children were really excited for the workshop, as the children played a hyperactive game of ‘pass the ball’.
After the rather difficult task of settling the kids down, the workshops finally started. The first activity was origami making, again headed by TK mem L Concepcion, but this time with different designs: the kabuto (samurai helmet) and uchiwa (Japanese fan). After the first activity, children once again danced the native Yosakoi.
After the dance, they wrote their names in katakana for the calligraphy activity. Children with dripping brushes were a chaos that were an even match with the ate- and kuya- powers of the TK members. The same could be said for the activity which followed it: fan painting. Under Clio Tantoco’s guidance and tips, children were encouraged to be artistic. Though some patterns were suggested (the sakura, wind, bamboo) the kids revealed their truly unique personalities by creating new themes and by being creative with their works of art. It was almost pandemonium with each member being outnumbered by children 5 to one, but seeing them, proudly holding their creations, it was very much worth it.
The event was successful but – more than that, it was greatly fulfilling. Tomo-Kai members did not just teach the kids, they themselves were able to unleash the inner child in them.