Jamie Buenaventura Flores, Batch Yamato
Last September 5, 2014, UP Tomo-Kai held its very first Applicants’ Orientation for the Academic year 2014-2015. After a week-long of setting up booth, publicity stunts, chalk brigades and giving flyers from September 2 to 5, applicants who signed up online and at the booth were invited for the orientation held at PH 108-110 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
During the registration, the applicants and members were given nametags with their names written in katakana as well as their ro-maji counterpart below. The program opened with an individual introduction from everyone, then it was followed by an ice breaker, the jikoshoukai game, which required the group to be divided into two. At the count of three, all members of the group will have to sit except for one representative from each group. The goal of the game is for the representatives to guess each other’s name. Whoever says the correct name first will get a point. The purpose of the game was to familiarize everyone in the group with each other.
After that, the president of U.P. Tomo-Kai, Ina de Guzman, gave an overview about the organization and its previous events which promote both the Filipino and Japanese language and culture. The history of UP Tomo-kai and how it came to be was then told by membership committee member, Jun Fernandez.
The Senpai-Kouhai relationship tradition of the organization was explained by Stephen Adap and some members who performed a simple skit to demonstrate the practice. After which Academics and Research Committee Head, Erika Magueflor, taught the group the proper basic jikoshoukai or self-introduction in Japanese that is used when introducing one’s self to the members and alumni of Tomo-Kai. The important rules and regulations when staying in the tambayan was stated by Membership Committee Head, Ken Otsuka.
The last and best part of the program was the creative presentations from each standing committee: the Academics and Research Committee, Finance and Properties Committee, Membership Committee, Publicity and Publications Committee and Resource and Linkages Committee. Each committee prepared a performance to introduce the essence of each respective committee and what they do for the organization. The unique presentations certainly entertained the crowd and sent them into fits of laughter.
As a new member, the orientation was very significant for me because months ago, I was only also a part of that crowd. It was where my journey started before I could meet people with the same interests as myself, before bonds and friendships were created. And I do hope that for our applicants, they find a reason to continue and strive to be part of the UP Tomo-Kai family and in achieving the goals and objectives of the organization.