japan consul

Japan’s Consul General Hideki Yamaji thanked Architect Gloria Balili, the youngest child of the late industrialist Eladio Balili. The consul general was in awe of the grand Balili House. Built in 1934 by Eladio Balili, the Balili was occupied by the Japanese army in March of 1942. The house served as the command center of the Japanese Imperial Army. Now, the Balili House is opened as a budget hostel with minimal intervention respecting the historical fabric of the edifice, a perfect example of adaptive reuse under city ordinance C-256. Prior to the consul’s visit to the famed heritage house, Consul General Yamaji made a quick stop-over to the Dalareich Chocolate House where he was amazed at the fantastic chocolate concoctions, then a courtesy call to City Mayor Jane Yap followed. Discussions about possible partnership between Japan and Tagbilaran surfaced.

To date, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has assisted Tagbilaran City in various endeavors. The recent of which was the upcycling project manned by the marginalized women in the city. Souvenir items made from plastic sheets from waste are used. JICA provided the technology and even lend a hand in the creation and marketing of the products. Also, the machines were turned over to the City Livelihood and Community Development Unit (CLCDU). The unit trained out-of-school youth to make use of the technology. The skill could provide additional income and provide various opportunities to the OSYs. The consul-general was accompanied by City Tourism Officer May Hope Arcenal.