CEBU CITY, Philippines — Promising opportunities in Japan prompted 26-year-old Cherry Cagasan to learn Nihonggo or Japanese.
A native of Duero, Bohol, Cagasan graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering and currently works as a project engineer in one of the companies at the Cebu IT Park.
When the Cebu City Public Library (CCPL) announced in February that it is offering a free 180-hour Japanese Language course, Cagasan wasted no time and enlisted herself in the program.
Luck seems to be on her side as she was immediately accepted in the first batch of 70 students to benefit from the program. The library logged at that time a total of over 5,000 applicants for the Japanese Language course.
“My motivation nga ni-enroll is the opportunity to work in Japan unya kinahanglan man gyud nga makahibaw ka sa language. Dako kaayo nga stepping stone nga nag-offer ang library ani nga free Japanese language training,” Cagasan said.
(My motivation to enroll is the opportunity to work in Japan because it is necessary to learn the language. The free Japanese Language training offered for free by the library is a big stepping stone for me.)
On Sunday, June 23, Cagasan and 45 other students received their Certificates of Completion for the Japanese Language program at the CCPL. Clad in their white top and black skirts and pants, the graduates were all smiles as they marched to get their certificates.
Aside from getting a certificate of completion, Cagasan is also one of the batch’s 10 excellence awardee to be recognized for their outstanding performance in learning the Japanese Language.
The Japanese Language course started on March 2, 2019, and was held during Saturdays and Sundays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
While the batch started with 70 students, CCPL Chief Librarian Rosario Chua said only 45 graduated because others dropped out from the program.
“There were many reasons like they transferred their residences or they changed work so they can no longer come here,” said Chua.
Equipped with a 180-hour training on Basic Nihonggo and the Japanese Culture, the graduates are now eligible to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test which is a requirement of most Japanese employers when they hire foreign workers.
Chua, in an interview, said that while it was not a custom that libraries offer services other than browsing reading materials, they tried to innovate so that the people would still find the library relevant and fitting to the “evolving world.”
Aside from the 180-hour program, Chua said they had started to offer short term or 24-hour courses for conversational Japanese for those who wanted to learn the language for leisure or those who do not have time for the length of the whole program.
Outgoing Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña and wife, outgoing Councilor Margarita Osmeña were the guests during the first completion ceremony on Sunday./dbs