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by Mr. Ronaldo C. Taghap NSO Philippines • • • • Madam Davaasuren Chultemjamts, Director of United Nations Statistical Institute of Asia-Pacific (UN SIAP) Mr. Yukio Ishida, Deputy Director of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) – Tokyo International Center Mr. Koji Kainuma, Director-General for Policy Planning (Statistical Standards) of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC) of the Government of Japan Mr. Akihiro Kimoto, Director for International Statistical Affairs, Office of the Director General for Policy Planning (Statistical Standards), Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC) of the Government of Japan Mr. Shuicho Watanabe, - Deputy Director of United Nations Statistical Institute of Asia-Pacific (UN SIAP) Mr. Shuico Yasuda – the head of staff assigned from MIC and Director for International Training Cooperation Our dear lecturers and staff of SIAP, the distinguished guest from JICA and MIC, fellow participants, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant good morning and “Ohayo Gozaimasu” to all of us.
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You know there is an old proverb that says, “Blessed is he who has nothing to say and who refrains from saying it”, but I think on this occasion it does not apply to me. I have something of utmost importance to say. And I just hope that I can say it well. Today, it is my great honor and privilege to be given this opportunity to say a few words of impressions and appreciation in behalf of my fellow participants of this training course, the 3rd batch of the Group Training Course on the Application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Production and Dissemination of Official Statistics. I can still remember clearly/vividly, some weeks ago when we first come to UN-SIAP. I can still see the eager anticipation in the eyes of each participant. And in this same room, as we were formally introduced to the officials, the lecturers and staff of this institution, I can still recall the feeling of anxiety and anxiousness in waiting on what will be in store for us in the next few days. Of course, in that day I cannot forget the hearty welcome lunch – because that’s my very first big meal in my stay here. Then as the days progressed, we also progressed in terms of ICT knowledge and skills. We consistently learn new technologies and found out that we can now do things more easily than what we have been doing for all this years. Then there is Mr. Hasan, our enduring and persevering course convener who will always greet us with his “Ok, how are you this morning” question as he welcome us to his class. I can always remember when he ask us questions and nobody will dare to answer – and then he said “Why, is it because you don’t know what you don’t know”. Moreover, after a few days, we began to open up ourselves and began to try to ask questions. Now perhaps, you already know what you don’t know before. Then the feeling of anxiety and anticipation we had before has now been replaced by a sense of joyful accomplishment although there is also that equal measure of sadness and gloom.
We are happy because, we have just concluded our training, we will soon receive our certificates and soon we will be home with our respective families – whom we missed so much for this entire two months. But then we are also sad that now we have to say SAYONARA to this great country and its good people. My friends once told me - that in always in life – the saddest part of saying “hello” is the time comes when we say “good bye”. Yes, time really flies fast, and tomorrow, some of us we’ll be home. By Friday, some of us may even report to work. But that is what it is meant to be. Isn’t it wonderful that after the opening of a door for a new chapter of our lives – so suddenly the closing of doors came. Moreover, as one door closes another door will be open to us. Why, because when we will be home – there will be new opportunities, new challenges and new horizon of work is waiting for us. The time to shift our paradigms. Finally, according to my teacher before, there are three types of people in this world: first - there are people who watch things happen, second – there are people who wonder what happened and lastly there people who make things happen. You always choose where you belong. But for today I would like to say congratulations to all the people and stakeholder behind this program – you always belong to the third group – the one make things happen, the one who had make a difference of other people’s lives.. And so today allow me say our thanks to many people who made the difference in our two months journey and sojourn in this great country. First, to the Directorate of UN-SIAP led by Madam Davaasuren Chultemjamts, who have always nurtured us with her good words of encouragement, motivation and motherly advices. To the lecturers who had imparted us and equipped us with the new skills, knowledge and technology that will help us and our respective organization improve its services. We want you to know that you have been a great teachers, always a big brothers and sisters, great motivator and advisers to all of us. To Mr. MQ Hasan for his enduring guidance, patience and tutelage. To Ms. Pansy for always being there for us – sometimes giving us the needed assistance in solving some of our problems during practical exercises. To the administrative staff of SIAP – the invisible people behind the scene. We know that your contribution towards this program is beyond measure. Although we never had that much time to know and acquaint with each other but we know you are there for us. Anyway, its never too late, we still have one afternoon to know all of you. Of course to the kind people and the Government of this country who through JICA and MIC shared their resources in order for us to learn Japan now at the different angle and perspectives. We will forever be grateful and thankful to you and we hope you will continue to nurture that same culture and spirit – the spirit of sharing and assisting other nations in the world – the culture of lifting humanity from the challenges it is facing. Of course to everyone in TIC – from the frontdesk, cafeteria personnel to the utility workers for the job well done. Of course to our amiable, smiling and very lovely training coordinator – Ms. Noriko Fukuda for taking care of us and helping us know our way around here in Japan. Once again thank you for what you have added to our personal lives here. You’ve added thoughtfulness, fun and a whole lot. In exchange, we want you to take a little of us with you—our great dmiration and genuine goodwill/friendship. Lastly, to the participants. . . You know, that we came from different backgrounds and culture. Our diversity was always visible but for a short period of time, we come understand each other and come to work together as one – and at the same time learned also from each other experiences. I know you will surely miss each others company. Isn’t it amazing that how for very short period of time – we came to value international friendship and fellowship. And for sure we will value and treasure these experiences forever – even when we are at our respective homes. So guys – everyone is waiting for your e-mails.
Finally I want to share again to you some lines of a song I know. You knew about this songs last night. You know - I love music but its just that the music doesn’t love me so I hope you’ll be patient with me today. The title of these song is “Farewell” and please allow me to recite and sing a few of its lines. And it goes like this. . . . . We used to be frightened and scared to try Of things we don't really understand why We laugh for a moment and start to cry We were just crazy Now that the end is already here We began to reminisce 'bout the old times and the cheers Even if our last hurrahs were never clear Farewell to you my friends We'll see each other again Don't cry 'cause it's not the end of everything We may be miles away But here is where my heart will stay With you, my friends with you Yesterday's a treasure, today is here Tomorrows' on its way, the sky is clear Thank you for the mem'ries of all the laughters and tears And not to mention our doubts and our fears The problems we gave, to our lecturers It's will be funny to look back after all of these years Farewell to you my friends We'll see each other again Don't cry 'cause it's not the end of everything We may be miles away But here is where my heart will stay With you, my friends with you With you, my friends with you
We say farewell but not goodbye. Thank you and SAYONARA JAPAN.
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