From July, 21 to August, 1 2018 – the two world councilors: Mr. Angel Gudiña (Vice-President of GEX) and Mr. Alberto Piedade (Councilor of GEX Asia-Oceania) visited four (4) provinces in East-Asia Oceania region. These provinces were: CIN, FIN, FIS and GIA. The objectives of our visit were to present and guide through the Strategic Plan of Past Pupils of Don Bosco (7 Strategies), GEX Programs: 1) School of Leaders, 2) Youth Exchange Program and 3) Job Voluntary Service, Business Platform, Networking (Database) and other worldwide initiatives. 

CIN Province – The visit started in CIN Province, where the two councilors went two of the three countries in this province on 21-23 July 2018. These two countries are Hong Kong and Macau and Taiwan was not able to be visited as the time was rather tight for a short visit only. In Hong Kong, the President of National, Mr. John Lau with members of Board and the past pupils from the five (5) of seven (7) DB schools and the Federation organized the meeting with 11 members (including 4 young past pupils). Whilst, in Macau, the Federation President presented the three associations active in the country and their new projects, with special emphasis on the young Past Pupils, very active in the Instituto Salesiano, and also their recent changes in their Statute. A tour to several of the Salesian Houses of Macau (Yeut Wah School and Colegio de Dom Bosco) and a gathering took place with many all the Presidents of Local Unions, but especially with a very active group of young Past Pupils, who are already organising activities for other youth in the Salesian Houses of Macau. 

FIN Province – On 24 July 2018 proceeded to the FIN Province (i.e. North Philippines). A very welcoming dinner upon their arrival organized by the Makati Chapter that were present the Provincial of FIN, Fr. Anthony Paul Bicomong, SDB and other Salesian Delegates. On Wednesday, July 25 the councilors visited the the Schools in Makati prior to visiting Mandaluyong, Tarlac where the Salesian Delegate, Fr. Ike Veloso, SDB on the Strategic Plan, SWOT Analysis and Ways Forward for the National Federation and all the chapters, whilst also video presentations and reports from each chapters of their activities and programs to the councilors. The last destination was Pampanga (Bacolor) and met with the past pupils of the school, which had a tragic natural disaster 21 years ago due to eruption of mount Pinatubo in 1991 then after 4 years the entire area of Don Bosco Academic Pampamga was buried. During that period, the school was moved to Mabalacat.

FIS Province – On 26 July, Mr. Alberto Piedade and Mr. Angel Gudiña travelled to Cebu to meet with all the local chapters in the South Philippines. It was a quite impressive meeting that was even becoming more meaningful with the presence of FIS Provincial, Fr. Godofredo, SDB and some SDB Delegates. Bro. Louie, SDB as the Delegate for the past pupils organized a  meeting with five (5) of seven (7) local chapters (i.e. Victorias, DB Cebu Inc., DB Ppol, DB Mati and Dumaguete and only recently established a local chapter in TVET for the young past pupils, whose president is a young lady who is also a GEX. It was also a great opportunity to meet directly with 12 young past pupils from DB Cebu Inc. and Victorias. Philippines in general is on the right track in terms of its management of the past pupils and they can be a champion and encouraging examples for the Asia-Oceania region. 

GIA Province – From the Philippines (FIN and FIS) visit, the councilors of World Confederation, Mr. Alberto Piedade and Mr. Angel Gudiña then travelled to GIA Province on 27 July 2018. At the Salesio House in Chofu, they paid a visit to Don Cimatti Museum, then travelled to Shin-Yokohama to meet with the National Federation and local associations presidents, vice-presidents and councilors. In the meeting with 4 important agendas: 1) Statistics of Graduates and Current Students in the four schools of Don Bosco, 2) Website Development & Budget Discussion for 2017 & 2018, 3) World Confederation Presentation and 4) 2020 Asia-Oceania Conference in Yokohama, Tokyo; was also participated by Fr. Suzuki, SDB as the Delegate to the past pupils and Fr. Shin, SDB – the SYM Delegate. On 29 July, the councilors went to a Sunday mass celebration at the Salesio parish in Meguro, to visit the Kindergarden and old building of junior high school, which is now used as office and SYM room for the youth to organize their activities. They councilors also spend a brief moment to speak to the young animators who are preparing for the summer camp in the coming week. The visit to two (2) schools were done on Monday, 30th July – where the councilors were taken to visit the Salesian Polytechnic (including the kindergarden) and were introduced firstly at the meeting with teachers during their Monday morning meeting. The facilities and education system really show high quality and is perceived to be one of the top polytechnic school of Don Bosco in Asia. Then, in the afternoon they went to the Salesio Gakuin School. Unfortunately, the students were on their summer vacation, the councilors met with the teachers and got the chance to see around the school’s facilities, music rooms, gym and the previous house for the seminarians (which is now utilized as private study room). 

Prior to finishing the visit on 31st July, the councilors were taken to visit some of the most ancient temples and shrines in Makamura area by Ms. Sakura Izumi and Mr. Mitsuhiro Tateishi. Prior to departing, there was brief discussion on the draft agenda for 2020 regional meeting between the councillors and Mr. Tateishi, the Secretary of National Federation regarding the number, activities and expenses for the conference and to keep in touch during these coming two to three months. 

May the mission of Don Bosco be fruitful even more and more in FIS and FIN that they may be the force of encouragement to Asia-Oceania region. Let’s pray also for the Japanese Federation that all the preparation is guided by St. John Bosco and Mary Help of Christian – Unity as a force and together we can achieve so many things. Let’s continue to be the Salt of the Earth and Light of the World.  

In Don Bosco,