Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jeepney Press May-June 2010 issue page 16

K! by Amelia Iriarte Kohno

Ka-chan (used by children for calling their moms) or okaasan, meaning "mother" in Japanese, will again be specially honored this month, the 2nd Sunday of May. Flower shops are busy making different kinds of flower arrangements, and unique mother's day gift items sold at establishments expecting countless orders from the yearly influx of mother-loving customers are all over, even at the neighborhood post office.

I've always believed that mothers should not only be remembered one day in a year but should be thanked, loved, cherished and given importance everyday of our lives if possible. How can we just take for granted a person who has a great influence in our lives? Why not give them a special place in your hearts... whoever and wherever they are. God must have given us our mothers for us to emulate, love and treasure. Perhaps, some mothers' behavior may differ from others, or vary from the traditional definition of mother, yet mothering is really a part of humankind. And as children, we may not have choices until we realize the grace of self-awareness and start to understand why things are happening in our lives.

At times, it is not always easy to express the right beautiful thoughts or sentiments we feel for them, yet for most of us, the mere mention of Mother, will show a special glow in our faces because they are a part of us, of our very being. A brief, passing thought will at once give us a glimpse into past remembrances with them - and it goes for fathers, too. Oftentimes, we may not be aware of the importance of such memories when we try to recall them, but it is only natural that in sharing our lives with our parents, they have implanted many or some of the characteristics we are now. The "goodness" which we share with others must be from them. And we have to be grateful to them.

My mother died five years ago. A week before she died, I visited her at the hospital. But I had to be back in Japan at the week-end for my chemotherapy. I could not tell her I was undergoing such treatment knowing she was seriously sick. I just told her I was going to church while she waved goodbye. That was our last meeting, as she passed away the next day. Only then did I realize how much I missed her. If only I had known that she was joining our Lord, I would have stayed longer with her. What is one day if we can wait forever... for our loved ones, for people who meant so much in our lives!

Love is difficult to describe, but now I can relate with persons feeling deeply for mothers - an Olympic skater offering her medal, a bride visiting her parents’ grave on her wedding day, or the ancient story of Ruth in the Bible.

For people who still have mothers, love them as much as you can!


Short-Cuts by Farah Trofeo-Ishizawa

Bread In Japan

One of the simple pleasures I enjoy in Japan is the bread.
There are many bread shops all over the country.

One thing they have in common, the bread they bake are delicious.
We say, “yaki-tatte” or “fresh from the oven” - “yaki-tatte bread” is what many people usually wait for. Most bake shops post the schedules of their popular breads and the time they will be out from the oven. Many people line up for this at the major bread shops at the department store basements specially in Tokyo.

Feast your eyes on these bread - the regular breads, the French bread, the bread with various flavors and tastes, the healthy bread, the sweet bread, the bread with various themes depending on the seasons…

Hope you love bread as much as I do !!


STOPOVER by Frances Saligumba

What is your definition of a cool person? For me a cool person is someone who is bubbly and could make you always feel comfortable whenever you hang around with him/her. Yun bang magaan kasama at relaxed ka to be with that person. Pwede ring isa siyang fashionista at alam niya ang latest trend at good places to hang out on a week-end to unwind.

But, I am not referring to that “cool” type of person. A cool person that I am referring to is someone who is not easily provoked to anger. Some people may find a cool person as a good mannered individual. Ito yung mga taong marunong maging kalmante because they can perceive the situation in a bigger picture.

Just recently, I have a friend who got hurt and was angry with someone at her part-time job over a perceived injustice. She told me that she really got upset and could not even think of how to get even with those accusations thrown on her. I have sensed that her temper was still high and was about to flare. But I told her that keeping her head cool would be much better than bursting out her sentiments. I told her also not to confront the person who provoked her while she is on flame because it might only result in a more chaotic situation. And she is wise enough to listen and deal with her own emotions and has shown more of wisdom rather than igniting further conflicts and made herself looked like as fool as her detractors.

My friend’s predicament is not new to me as a customer service representative. A lot of people will foolishly provoke you to anger just because they simply do not want to listen to what you are telling them to do. Dealing with people from various walks of life is like saving a ¥500 in a coin bank until you have reached the goal amount of ¥300,000. People will try to put you down, push you to the limits, throw baseless accusations on you, they will hate you for nothing or simply “just because” they would like to do things and follow their selfish intents without conforming to the norms of moral standards.

If only you have all of these qualities: self control, self reservations, bigger perspective, patience, understanding, long suffering, forbearance, tolerance, etc. and equate those into ¥500 coins, then you wouldn’t know that you have actually accumulated an investment with a very high rate of returns. Little did you know that the more you open your mouth for senseless blathering and pointless badmouthing, the more you would become poor - poor in spirit and with zero investment. I have just realized that keeping your cool towards these difficult people is definitely not a sign of cowardice, but more of character strength because you have the ability to discern your own heart. For what is in our hearts would be spilled out by our mouths.

Interacting with people is a fixed scenario in our daily lives, and so with disagreements, is inevitable. But a person who displays wisdom will think before speaking, and is ready to share insights that are helpful. A mature person promotes understanding by keeping cool in conflict and is of a calm spirit. And a man of good demeanor spares his words wisely.

So the next time you get mad on someone, take a deep breath, think twice before you open your mouth, ask for wisdom and tranquility and definitely, you will become a good investor in heaven.

Proverbs 21:23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tounge keepeth his soul from troubles.

Proverbs 14:3 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.

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