Manila Tomonkai

About the Manila Tomonkai

At present, our Manila Tomonkai has more than 130 members, and is one of the largest university alumni associations in the Philippines. As it was established a very long time ago, the details of its establishment are not known. It is clear, however, that it was established in the pre-war period, and has a long history.

Our activities include Waseda-Keio golf competitions, Tomonkai golf competitions and social gatherings held twice a year, as well as social gatherings for younger generations, and high school reunions. Furthermore, we also often meet informally and hold mini-golf competitions and parties. The members are all friendly and we get along very well regardless of age or generation, and we are actively networking. Most of the members are employees of prestigious companies or running their own business, and we can get to create a wide range of people connections. As it seems that there are still unknown alumni who have not yet come before us, we are making efforts to find them.

If you are ever planning to come to the Philippines, please feel free to contact us at the Manila Tomonkai.
Kazuma Nakagomi (Graduated in 1999, School of Science and Engineering)


Waseda-Keio golf competition in November 2019. Waseda won twice in a row!

The attractive points of Manila

Dangerous, poverty, dirty. Manila tends to have such negative images, however, recently the city has developed significantly and its redeveloped district is like Singapore. High-rise buildings stand side by side, and the area where we can walk around safely has been expanding. On the other hand, there are still places where we can feel the local color often observed in the cities of Southeast Asian countries. Although there are issues such as the existence of slums and piles of garbage, if we take a step outside the city, the gap between our image and what we actually see surprises us.

The most attractive point of the Philippines is the character of Filipinos. They love Facebook, taking selfies (their own pictures), and themselves! They are positive, friendly, and people-loving, which make Japanese people very attracted to them. In addition, the Philippines is a very pro-Japanese country. The number of Filipinos traveling to Japan topped 500 thousand in 2018, the second-largest in the Southeast Asian countries. I believe the distance between Japan and the Philippines will shrink as a result of further increase in the interest in Japan by Filipinos.
Kyohei Shinmura(Graduated in 2006, School of Education)


The night view of Makati City, the financial and economic center.

A slum area. The gap between rich and poor is one of the social problems.

Message from the Chairman

I came to Manila from Tokyo on April 1, 2017 as I was assigned to a new post in Manila, and was appointed Chairman of the Manila Tomonkai in April 2019, taking over the post from previous Chairman Mitsuhiko Shimizu. When I first heard that I was to be transferred to the Philippines, to be honest, my impression of the country was not very good. Contrary to such an expectation, after actually having lived here, I found that it was not as unsafe as people say, and I am leading a fulfilling life surrounded by cheerful Filipinos and Japanese people (most Japanese people here seem to become more cheerful, having been influenced by cheerful Filipinos and the climate here).

About 90% of the population here are Christian, and the Christmas season starts with September, the beginning of the “-ber months.” Decorated Christmas trees and illuminations found everywhere around the city remain as they are until January the following year, and Filipinos seem to spend all the money they have during this season. We Japanese similarly enjoy ourselves. In such an environment, we, the Manila Tomonkai, are deepening our friendships regardless of age or gender.
Keiichi Matsunaga (Graduated in 1988, School of Law)

Messages from the Members

Thirty-seven years have passed since I graduated from Waseda. When I was a student, I rarely went to university, and used to spend time going skiing and going out at night. Therefore, I was not at all interested in alumni associations. Since 2018, I have been quite busy preparing to set up a joint venture with a local company in Manila. However, I began to feel frustrated as it was taking a lot of time, as I had expected. It was then when I heard that the team Waseda was having a hard time winning the Waseda-Keio golf competitions. As a golf lover, I suddenly decided to become a member of the Manila Tomonkai. I participated in Tomonkai golf competitions, preparing a new uniform, two Waseda-Keio golf competitions (we won twice in a row), and parties, and I am enjoying the Tomonkai as if I were making up for the lost time with Waseda. Thanks to the Tomonkai, I am not frustrated any more, and my joint venture is successfully developing. Many of the members of the Manila Tomonkai are nice people, and the best thing about it is that it provides opportunities for us to get together quite easily.
Hiroyasu Kato (Graduated in 1982, School of Social Sciences)

My first overseas assignment was in the Philippines, which has one of the highest crime rates in the world. As such, I was living under a strain, when one of my acquaintances asked me to participate in a social gathering of the Manila Tomonkai. I do not know why, but soon I became friends with everyone there and eventually I became one of the regular members. I wanted to contribute to the victory in the Waseda-Keio golf competition which is one of our main activities, and started practicing golf with some of the members. The Manila Tomonkai is a comfortable group. It is like clubs at Waseda (for adults), where seniors and juniors who graduated from Waseda gather. The connections with the members are a treasure that lasts throughout our lives. It seems that the following saying is true: “People cry over the fear of going to dangerous Manila when they are assigned there. People cry over the sadness of leaving fun-to-live Manila when they are returning to their home country.”
Teru Matsumura(Graduated in 1995, School of Political Science and Economics)

I was almost forced by some of the seniors to join the Manila Tomonkai in 2015 when I was assigned here, and reluctantly, to be honest, I accepted the offer to assume the post of Secretary of Manilla Tomonkai. Almost five years have passed since then. As it turned out, it was good that I accepted the offer. Privately, I have deepened friendships with the members through Waseda-Keio golf competitions, social gatherings, and mah-jong games which are truly Waseda-like, and professionally, I have developed connections which are useful at work. I think I will get together again with the people I have met here no matter where I am assigned. The Tomonkais are a truly cool organization.
Hiroshi Ishikawa (Graduated in 2004, School of Education)

I became a member of the Manila Tomonkai in 2016, after I was assigned here. I am deepening friendships with the members of various industries and age groups through regular golf competitions and parties. Summer never ends in Manila, but many members are more energetic than the heat of summer and we become excited singing the alma mater together at each golf competition. This is the first time I have become a member of a Tomonkai, but many members of the Manila Tomonkai are friendly and the time I spend with them has become very meaningful in my life as an expat.
Atsushi Hasegawa(Graduated in 2013, School of Human Sciences)


The New Year Party held at Chairman Matsunaga’s home in January 2020.

List of Overseas Branches/
Overseas Tomonkai/
Overseas Tomonkai
Japanese Branches

Overseas Branches
Alumni Association in China / Alumni Association in Korea / Alumni Association in Taiwan
Overseas Tomonkai
Asia
Bangalore Tomonkai / Bangkok Tomonkai / Beijing Tomonkai / Cambodia Tomonkai /
Dalian Tomonkai / Hanoi Tomonkai / Hong Kong Tomonkai / India Tomonkai /
Jakarta Tomonkai / Kanan (South China) Tomonkai / Malaysia Tomonkai / Manila Tomonkai / Mumbai Tomonkai / Myanmar Tomonkai / Saigon Tomonkai / Seoul Tomonkai / Shanghai Tomonkai / Singapore Tomonkai / Suzhou Tomonkai / Taipei Tomonkai / Ulan Bator Tomonkai
Oceania
Brisbane Tomonkai / Melbourne Tomonkai / Perth Tomonkai / Sydney Tomonkai
North America
Boston Tomonkai / Chicago Tomonkai / Georgia Tomonkai / Hawaii Tomonkai / Los Angeles Tomonkai / Michigan Tomonkai / New York Tomonkai / San Francisco Tomonkai / Seattle Tomonkai / Toronto Tomonkai / Vancouver Tomonkai / Greater Washington Tomonkai
Central and South America
Brazil Tomonkai / Chile Tomonkai / Lima Tomonkai / Mexico Tomonkai
Europe
Belgium Tomonkai / Berlin Tomonkai / Denmark Tomonkai / Dusseldorf Tomonkai /
Frankfurt Tomonkai / Geneva Tomonkai / Moscow Tomonkai / Netherlands Tomonkai / Paris Tomonkai / Stockholm Tomonkai / UK Tomonkai
Middle East
Abu Dhabi Tomonkai / Qatar Tomonkai / Tehran Tomonkai
Africa
Egypt Tomonkai / Johannesburg Tomonkai / Kenya Tomonkai
Overseas Tomonkai Japanese Branches
Bangkok Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Beijing Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Dusseldorf Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Gaoxiong Tomonkai Alumni Association / Hanoi Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Jakarta Tomonkai Alumni Association / Los Angeles Tomonkai Japan / New York Tomonkai Tokyo Branch /
Paris Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Saigon Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Shanghai Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Singapore Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Tokyo Brazil Tomonkai / Tokyo Hong Kong Tomonkai / Tokyo Melbourne Tomonkai / UK Tomonkai Tokyo Branch