From the get-go, we knew we were lucky – most guests came early and nobody was late. Good thing we finished our preparations, and the drinks were already served when most of them arrived. Maybe our plan to buy the train tickets in advance for them paid off, or maybe having someone to accompany them did, or maybe both. Anyway, it turned out great from the start.
We began the evening with a prayer from one of the FETP employees.
Our main host for the night, together with his co-host, started the night with a bang! With their jokes and their awesomeness, easily left everyone anticipating what will happen next.
With a very bright big-screen TV in our room, we were able to display all the videos and presentations very clearly, literally. Not only were we able to display in Nihongo what was being said or read that time, this allowed our guests to understand and relate better to what was happening, which then lead to further engagement of our guests to the activities we had in store for everyone that night.
The SDT4 Team Leader led the "Kampai" and read the message from our President. After hearing his message, there was a mixed feeling of sadness and joy; sadness because he is leaving, and joy because we will again receive the Christmas bonus this year.
We were honored to have the presence of high-ranking officials from FETEC, together with our Nihongo teachers and our FETEC-PSRMD Representative. She helped us introduce our Japanese guests: From FETEC, present were the FETEC President, Representative Director, 2 of our Directors, and Division Manager. All our Nihongo teachers attended too. They all gave brief introductions about themselves and expressed their joy and excitement for being able to be part of this year's Christmas Party. The FETEC President expressed that it was his first time to see our Nihongo teachers and he was delighted to finally get to know them.
By meeting our guests up close and personal, it further allowed us to get to know them better. From that moment, the sense of camaraderie was in the air, and everyone was hyped to see what was going to happen next. Thanks to the perfect size of our room, we got, close to one another, literally, as everyone was an arm's length away; that getting to know another is just as easy as 1-2-3.
In this Christmas party, we decided to have a free seating arrangement. Everyone, including our Japanese guests could seat wherever they want. This resulted to a very positive outcome, as it turned out, since there were Japanese guests in every table, and the members in each table were so diverse which lead everyone to further get to know one another even more, and to finally break the ice. As everyone started to talk and share their stories and experiences, the room was soon filled with laughter, some sounded hysterical, yet undeniably genuine. Everyone was so pumped up. In addition, our guests were very friendly, funny and full of energy, that further led to FETP members to engage with them freely, which soon produced a fun, natural and laid-back flow of interactions.
With our course dinner, the food came one at a time. They had no idea what will be served next, so the element of surprise was always there. Yet it never failed to disappoint us every time a new serving came, as these were really delicious and were in large servings. Also, who could forget the steak?! That steak alone was so sumptuous, it was enough to make anyone smile after having a taste of it. Together with the unlimited drinks and with incredibly filling dishes, everyone was really in a festive mood.
While eating, recently assigned members in Japan gave a surprise performance. At first, no one had an idea what they will do, or what they were trying to do, but as their performance progressed, everyone was amazed by their creativity in pulling such a stunt. They sang "Let It Go" from the movie "Frozen" but with a twist, they delivered it in Nihongo with matching choreography and choir-like vocals, no one was expecting it, everyone had a great time laughing and watching them. As the time passed, the room was filled with endless laughter and cheer. Good thing we brought curtains to further tone down the excitement emanating from our room.
Then, one of the most awaited parts of the event came. The excitement was further fanned, as our hosts wittingly teased everyone on what was next: the Presentations!
Before the event, we divided the FETP members into 3 teams, where each team was to submit a Christmas-themed Mannequin Challenge-inspired video. Everyone had a blast watching all the videos. The concept was simple yet promising. All the videos presented were unique, as all teams had different styles and were very creative in presenting their concept.
The judges were our Japanese guests. We asked them to rate the videos based on the following criteria:
Creativity: 30%, Difficulty: 30%, Video Quality: 20% and Audience Impact: 20%.
Here is the list of teams (names with * are the directors of the videos):
After watching the videos, there was no clear winner -- as the videos had a touch of humor, cuteness, thrill, suspense, action and drama. Since the videos did not have a lot of dialogue, our guests were able to understand what was being presented, and they too really enjoyed watching it.
We then started our Exchange Gift activity; participants had no idea who their Secret Santa nor Baby was, so it was to their delight when they finally found their identities. Everyone was so curious to know what others gave and received, and most wished that they had wished something much more expensive (banking on the possibility that their Secret Santa might be a very generous one), or hoped that their more expensive wish will be granted instead. Still others showed creativity in how they wrapped their gifts. Whatever the case, each person, as soon as their names were called, were either nervous or excited, or maybe both.., Each revelation was soon followed by a lot of cheers. There were no disappointments though, as everyone was in to the spirit, just positive vibes all night.
That night was really fun. Everyone’s energy and enthusiasm were so high that our hosts almost lost their voices, trying to get everyone's attention. Everyone was very busy talking with one another, and taking pictures at the same time. It turned out a whole lot better than we expected. EEC’s goal was to make the party fun and engaging, yet our games haven't started yet, but everyone was already hyped up, as they moved from table to table to take pictures and share stories together with our guests. Definitely, nobody was left out that night.
We also had two games. We started off with "Charades", where 2 members (one FETP member and one Japanese guest) from each team got in front of their teammates and acted out a word given to them by the hosts. Their teammates had to guess and say the answer in Nihongo. The team who got most of the right answers in a given time won. Then our second game called "Ungguy-ungguyan", or known as “ババ抜き” in Japan, was about having teams square off against each other using big trump cards, discarding pairs until 1 card without a pair was left. The fastest team who got to discard all their cards won.
Then came the awarding part of the night. For the Mannequin Challenge, it was Team Wild Card that won the hearts of the judges. However, it was Team Bankroll that was hailed as the Overall Winner because they dominated the games. Here's the overall standing:1st – Bank roll
With Royal Flush being the last, they were asked to dance to the tune of "PPAP" (Pen Pineapple Apple Pen) as punishment. But to everyone’s surprise, they gladly accepted and gave an energetic dance number, not to mention that their Japanese teammates were also so into it that they gave such a stellar performance. Everyone had so much fun that some felt that it was not a punishment at all since they, too, enjoyed it.
Then we had a surprise award for the King and Queen of the Night. Four finalists were picked, as they looked great, and confident in their outfits that perfectly matched the theme of the event. It was a tight match. But only two of them became the King and Queen of the Night.
Then, the guests gave closing speeches. We were really happy with the positive, and dare we say, perfect, turnout of the event, with the heartfelt thanks from everyone, especially from our guests. They expressed their gratitude for inviting them to the party, as they enjoyed it very much, and also congratulated us, too, for having spearheaded a successful event. The FETEC President mentioned that he had a great time, and he even said that he has a gift for everyone next year.
But the surprises did not stop there; we had so much fun, that almost everyone did not notice the time. Lucky for us, the venue allowed us to extend the use of the room for free, and even gave us complimentary desserts!!! That night was surely memorable because everyone went home a winner.