We write in response to Ambassador Juan Jose P. Rocha’s letter which was published in the Inquirer last Jan. 28.
In his letter, Rocha said that the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is forgetful of the fact that 100,000 Filipinos died in February 1945, and that to hold the concerts of the Orchestra Nipponica Tokyo in February when we mark the anniversary of the Battle of Manila would be an insult to the memory of those who died.
The CCP has never been unmindful of history. It is not our intent to dishonor the memory of those who suffered and died during painful moments of our past, in particular the conflagration that was World War II.
The concerts of the Orchestra Nipponica Tokyo are borne from collaborative efforts of the Japanese and Philippine governments in the spirit of friendship, exchange and cooperation. These concerts are in line with the CCP’s advocacy to foster friendly relations with other countries through culture and the arts.
The concerts of the Orchestra Nipponica Tokyo were scheduled for February 2013, simply because of practical and logistical concerns. They are being conducted in the spirit of goodwill, not meant to spite the events of February 1945, and certainly not meant to perpetuate hatred between former enemies, as Japan and the Philippines once were.
The concerts of the Orchestra Nipponica Tokyo at the CCP have the official endorsements of both the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo and the Embassy of Japan.
—RAUL M. SUNICO, PhD, president,
Cultural Center of the Philippines