Stay Sane and Stress Less
10 Rules for Making O-bento (School Lunches) for your Kindergartener or Even your High School Kid
By April, Mommy or Daddy is excited to make the o-bento and creativity runs high. But perhaps, by the second or third month, you start running out of ideas and start getting stressed even by just simply listing the food you need to buy in the supermarket. Here are some tried and tested tips so you will be able to turn this school year into an enjoyable o-bento making 2010.
1. Keep it simple.
100-yen/1-dollar shop goodies do wonders and leave some money for buying more important things.
2. Make it quick in 15 to 20 minutes.
A quickly-made obento in the morning leaves more quality time with your kid during breakfast time.
3. Create cute/fancy obento only when you can.
Save your sanity and use the same designs over and over again as long as your little (or big high school) client likes it.
4. Go for a variety of colors to make it look yummy.
For instrance, brocolli and tomato go well with sausages. If the food still looks bland, use colored picks.
5. Repeat to yourself: It is my child who I am trying to please not another child's mother.
Your o-bento is for your child's eye to see and for your child's mouth to taste expecting to be appreciated by your child's teacher or another mother.
For winter time, make huge dinner stews and use the same food for school obento, either by disguising it as an omelette or baking it with cheese topping.
10. Write your weekly o-bento planning in a noteboook.
Keep your menu list and recycle o-bento menu plans during those times when you hate to think of what to prepare.
by Sally Cristobal-Takashima
by Sally Cristobal-Takashima
Suma-atin na ang tag-init. Ready na ba kayo na magsuot ng swimwear? Sa nakita kong swimwear collection sa mga depatos ay marami na din bumibili ng fitness wear na ideal din for swimming. The better ones sell from 7,000 yen up and with good care will last for a couple of years. I have been postponing buying a new swim suit and it's not easy to find a flattering style with a reasonable price tag. At long last, I got an Ellesse black stretch shorts with pink piping and a silver/
gray top. The price was a bit stiff considering I don't really swim that often but more of aquabics and walking pa.
Manila beckons and the great time we had in Panglao, Bohol last year comes to mind. Beautiful shoreline, marine clear blue water, palm trees, wide hammocks, white sands makes me believe there is still Paradise not in Maldive or Hawaii or Guam but in our very own Philippines, the Pearl of the Orient Seas. For those who have plans to visit Cebu, splurge for once in your life, and stay at the Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa. It's a Philippine's premier 5 star resort. Ganda talaga so enjoy naman tayo once in a while. We got confirmed booking as of this writing sa Hilton Cebu Resort and Spa, a Mediterranean inspired enclave and siempre pa enjoy din mag relax sa Spa. Paminsan- minsan lang naman.
The other highlight of our vacation is the reunion of the members and friends of the Philippine Community in Shanghai which I co-founded with other Pinay expats in 1995. We lived in Shanghai for 3 years when my husband was posted there. By the way, the Shanghai International Expo 2010 in Pudong will run until November. To those of you who can make it, there are many exciting places to visit like the Silk Market, Fish, Bird and Cricket Market, French Concession area. Tourist nowadays hang around in the Old Shanghai district where one can hang around in traditional Chinese Tea Shops, buy Chinese dresses, discover a wide array of heavenly silk fabrics, nado nado (etc). This summer, I say make it Shanghai from Manila because it's cheaper. By the way, you need a Chinese tourist visa to enter China but visa free travel between Chinese and the Philippine government is currently being worked out. Maybe I should organize a Shanghai trip for Filipinos based in Japan.
And now for our Kansai news. The International Day of the St Mary's Catholic Church was held recently. It was a well attended event at talagang dinayo ng mga members of the Philippine commuinity pati na rin ng community members ng Korea, China, Brazil, Portuguese, Bolivia, Spain at iba pa. Among the many kababayans we run into were Lorly Cruz, Lety Konishi, Teresita Okada, Katrina Fujikawa, Tessie Hosaka, Susan Yamamoto, Violy Mizuno, Beth Onodera, Beth Kan, Marie Hashizuka and Yowie Tsuda with some of her students in tow. The mass was conducted in, if I remember correctly, simultaneously in Japanese, English, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese. With the continual decline in the number of Japanese compared with the number of Japan based foreigners attending Sunday, it can be said that the foreign community church goers are literally helping to keep Christianity stay alive in Japan. I cannot but agree and if you have attended a Sunday mass in, for example, St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Hong Kong. How easily will you be moved by the sheer number of Filipinos going to church on Sundays be it rain or shine. There was even a queue to enter the church just like the queue the tourist have to make when you visit the Vatican. Once lang na naka attend ako ng Sunday mass when we visited Hongkong. Nakaka-iyak nga when we started to sing and pray. It was a moving experience so I suggest when you visit Hong Kong or any other foreign country, attend a Sunday Worship Mass.
The annual flag raising ceremony to celebrate the 112th Independence Day was held in the grounds of MID Towers. A Holy Mass officiated by Fr. Mario Colina and a Brunch of various Philippine foods followed. Ambassador Maria Lourdes Ramiro V. Lopez thanked everyone who attended the celebration.
Pistahan sa Osaka the event everyone was looking forward to, was held in the Hotel New Otani. It was also a well attended dinner dance. Thanks to the officers of the Philippine Community Council headed by Jun Silva and also to Inada, Miho san of the Hotel New Otani. Among those who helped in making it an event to remember were Aya Hongo, Susan Fuchizaki, Heidi Terada, Malou Sato, Belle Futatsugame, Nixon Cacao, Neriza Sarmiento, Olson Solon and last but not least the Philipine band who made sure there was dancing music all nite long. Among the guests were Jovy Ferrer (Finance Officer, Philippine Consulate General), Arcie Soriano (Attache and Tousim Director, Dept. of Tourism) Lorelei Cruz, Admistrative Officer, Dept. of Tourism, Katrina Fujikawa (Balikbayan Express), Joseph Eric Pelaez (Metro Bank), Zafrullah Masahud (Dept. of Trade) Delia Nakashima, Libye Suzuki, Linda Sakae, Lisa Kumai, Yuriko Hayashi and Annabelle Sosogi.
Ambassador Maria Lourdes V. Ramiro Lopez in her speech encourages eveyone to rediscover Jose P. Rizal's heroism as he is an extraordinary man of timeless virtues worth emulating. She also mentioned that each and everyone of us should search and give meaning to our lives. Ang buhay na may kabuluhan ay pamana sa ating kabataan. Leafing once again through the pages of Noli Mi Tangere and El Filibusterismo will inspire us to know Jose Rizal, his life, beliefs as well as the women who inspired him. Special thanks go to our Vice Consul Senen Mangalile and the Philippine Consulate General for making Pistahan sa Osaka a success.
To all our Jeepney Press readers, just like I always do, bring extra copies of JP newspaper to the Philippines. They may want to network with Japan based Filipinos by subscribing or advertising. It's the best community newspaper in Japan.
Have a great 2010 Summer vacation! Ja ne!
by Sally Cristobal-Takashima
by Sally Cristobal-Takashima
Biyernes ng umaga on the Osaka Loop Line train on my way to Kyobashi station. The early morning rush to board a train in big cities in Japan is something to contend with. One gets shoved and pushed. To be a part of this daily occurence is dehumanizing which remind most of us that we are just a cog in a wheel. Rush hour in Japan peaks at 8 to 9 a.m. Commuters are packed to double its capacity and the last passengers to get on have to be pushed by uniformed platform attendants. Yes, even prim looking OLs get to be pushed as well. Once inside the train, the commuters are pressed against each other, one can hardly breath and unable to move.
When the train reached Kyobashi station. Para bang mga lokang nag-unahan ang mga pasaheros na lumabas at sa oras na ito ay talagang naka Nike ka para hindi ka kulelat sa goal which is the kaisatsu guchi (exit). Oo, tama ka para talagang nasa marathon ang pakiramdam mo. One cannot do this in an empty stomach at talagang a smart well balanced breakfast is recommended.
Hindi pa man ako nakakalayo sa binabaan kong densha ay may isang malakas na hagulgol at tili ang narinig ng mga tao. Lumingon ako at dahil sa wala naman akong makita, pinilit kong malaman ang happening na nangyari. Isang naka unipormeng dalagita ang nakalupasay sa platform. Ang school bag niya ay halos nakasabog at natatapakan ng ibang pasaheros. Sa pagka usisera ko, tinanong ko sa katabi kong babae kung ano ang nangyari. Chikan (groper-pervert) daw! Naka cross ang dalawang bisig ng dalagita. Ang mga uniformed train attendants naman ay hindi mawari kung ano ang gagawin. Para bagang nagsikip ang dibdib ko sa awa at galit at hiniling ko na mahuli ang perpetrator sa madaling panahon. Habang ako ay naglalakad papunta sa aking yoji (scheduled errand) ay hindi ko mai-alis sa isip ang teenager na para sa akin ay isang outstanding youth. Bakit kamo? Well, inspite of the Japanese training in restraint and assertiveness, in her way, she contributed to raising awareness to the problem of train gropers. Many people are still not aware that calling it groping doesn’t make it anything lesser than Sexual Assault which caries a minimum sentence of 7 years vacation in prison or 500,000 - 1,000,000 yen penalty. Vast majority of cases are unreported because the victims are afraid to show their faces. This is a critical women's issue of seeking justice but humiliating and degrading at the same time.