On 28 May 2023, officials of the Philippine Embassy led by Ambassador Mylene J. Garcia-Albano attended the Santacruzan 2023 event of the Joso Catholic Church Filipino Community.
In her message to attendees, Ambassador Garcia-Albano thanked the organizers and participants of the Santacruzan 2023 for opening a window to which their community in Ibaraki can witness and get to know more about Philippine celebrations this time of the year. The Ambassador added that “these programs provide avenues to improve the understanding of Philippine tradition and culture.”
The Philippines also celebrates National Heritage Month in May. In line with this, the “Flores de Mayo” (Flowers of May) and “Santacruzan” have formed part of the heritage of Filipino Catholics such that it is even being held by the Filipino community abroad, including in Japan. The Santacruzan is the grand procession to re-enact the quest of St. Helena to find the sacred cross.
The Philippine Embassy was also given the opportunity to bring its services closer to the members of the Filipino community that attended the Santacruzan 2023 event. There were overseas voter registration services onsite during the event. A total of 53 registrations were processed that day. The Migrant Workers Office – Tokyo also had a booth to provide guidance and answer queries of Filipino workers who attended the festivities.
The Joso Catholic Church Filipino Community – Santacruzan 2023 had the theme – “Mary Arose and Went with Haste.” Among the organizers of the event include Rev. Fr. Brian Malnegro, Rev. Fr. Rusni Belalawe, Deacon-in-Charge Masataka Nagasawa, and leaders of the Filipino Community – Mr. Edgardo Olea, Ms. Gingging Sekiguchi, Ms. Susan Furaya, Mr. Geferd Pinto, Ms. Marites Gonzales, Mr. Joel Castillo, Ms. Lovely Castillo and Mr. Jas Brie Aguilon Yoshida.