Gov. Nakamura shows respect for Filipinos
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - December 4, 2018 - 12:00am

We planed in back from Fukuoka, Japan last Saturday afternoon. Last Friday, we were hosted a sumptuous dinner in the Huis Ten Bosch (it’s like Amsterdam inside this theme park in Nagasaki) by Nagasaki Prefecture Governor Hodo Nakamura. Last March 2017, Gov. Nakamura bestowed Robert “Bobby” Joseph the honorary title of Magistrate of Nagasaki Prefecture or Bugyou.

In 1592 Nagasaki was placed under the direct rule of the central government of the Warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Terazawa Hirotaka was appointed as the Nagasaki Bugyou or Magistrate. A total of 124 Magistrates were appointed by the central government from 1592 all the way to the Meiji Restoration. These Bugyou had a wide range of authority that included the town administration, the judiciary, trade, maritime security and the appointment of town executives.

Governor Nakamura said when he appointed Bobby Joseph as Magistrate, “The time has passed and we are now in an era of internationalization and regional competition. The time has come to reinvent the position of Magistrate of Nagasaki with our sincere hope that you will continue to serve as a goodwill ambassador by sending information about Nagasaki to the rest of the World.” Bobby Joseph is not only honorary consul of Latvia; he is the commodore of the Manila Yacht Club and Bugyou of Nagasaki! He is now responsible to promote tourism, trade, cultural and scientific exchange. Based on the deep historical connections particularly in terms of Christianity which Nagasaki enjoys sharing with the Philippines.

While we thought that such an honorary title was of no consequence for the Governor of Nagasaki, he showed us full respect when he invited the whole group to a very sumptuous feast of Japanese food in Hotel Europa that you just can’t find in any Japanese restaurant except in Nagasaki. More important, last Friday was of paramount importance to Gov. Nakamura as it was his 68th birthday! We would have understood if Gov. Nakamura didn’t show up because it is his birthday, but he and his delegation showed us Filipinos utmost respect that few people can even think of.

Incidentally, while we were in Nagasaki, Bobby Joseph and I attended the Rotary Club of Nagasaki at the New Nagasaki Hotel… after all Bobby belongs to the Rotary Club of Manila, while I belong to the Rotary Club of Cebu. It was my first time ever to join a Japanese Rotary Club and they were all so serious in their meeting and gave Bobby Joseph a time to speak, although only about three people could understand English. But the Rotary Spirit was very much alive in that Rotary meeting.

Again I’d like to emphasize that Nagasaki is the only place in Japan that has a strong Christian history and recently the movie by Director Martin Scorsese entitled “Silence” showed in graphic video how Christians suffered when Christianity was banned in Japan. The Japanese has so many martyrs who died for Jesus Christ than us in the Philippines, perhaps the reason why this has happened was simply, we Filipinos embraced Christianity like our own, and in fact just today, the Philippine Star headlined “The Philippines is one of the greatest Catholic nations in the world” Pope Francis said, “Indeed, the noble church in the Philippines now stands among the great Catholic nations in the entire world. Hence, no wonder, she continuously sends missionaries to other regions.”

The Pope apparently told Osaka Archbishop Thomas Manyo Cardinal Maeda in a letter to be his envoy to the upcoming 60th anniversary celebration of the post-war Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila, that his predecessor Gregory XIII would not have thought how prosperous the Catholic Church would be in the entire archipelago.

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Here’s a letter from my Nagasaki visit. “Dear Bobit, I am Fr. Efren C. Jimenez, OFM of Santuario de San Antonio Parish, Forbes Park, Makati City. I’m glad to have read your article about Fukuoka-Nagasaki trip. Our pilgrimage trip (Feb. 1-5, 2019) to  Nagasaki is precisely to promote the Martyrdom of San Pedro Bautista and 25 companions. Who is San Pedro Bautista? With the brief information that I will send you – shows only that our knowledge of him is lacking. St. Paul Miki was only one of the martyrs. San Pedro Bautista was their leader, a Franciscan Missionary from Spain. It was corrected by the Church Calendar who for decades the name of Paul Miki appeared on Feb. 5 (or 6) in the ORDO. Now, it is Pedro Bautista, Paul Miki and companions. Thank you for your kind attention. The Shrine of San Pedro Baustista is in the Parish Church of San Francisco Del Monte, Quezon City. Where the Saint lived for three years before he left for Japan in 1593.

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