Friday, September 24, 2010

Jeepney Press 2010 September-October Issue Cover

Cover art and design by Dennis Sun

Jeepney Press 2010 September-October Issue Centerfold

Rosemarie Aritaka: Unfolding Fukuoka’s Pinoy Pride
by Dennis Sun

I had three days to get to know this woman --- the woman I would later come to realize as the Iron Rose in Fukuoka. Iron… because her personality exudes a strength of character. Rose… because it’s a fraction of the identity handle given to her that unfolds her feminine facet. It’s not only about her name but her personality, as a whole, that radiates this fragrance of a strong woman.

Popularly known to Japanese as Mari-san, to fellow Filipinos however, she is mostly known as Rose or Rosemarie. Rosemarie Aritaka has spent more than two decades of her life as a resident of Fukuoka. She spent several years working at both the Fukuoka International and Domestic Airport. Afterwards, she became an English-Tagalog interpreter and was eventually certified by a congregation of groups such as the Fukuoka Bar Association, Interpreter’s Association, Fukuoka District Prosecutor Office, Immigration Control Center, and other NPO Legal Assistance Center in the Kyushu area. Presently, she is more vigorous working as an event producer reaching out not only to fellow Filipinos but to the international community of Fukuoka.

Born in Mandaluyong City and raised by a father who happens to be a lawyer, she was reared to focus on her studies and sharpened to be active and alert in life. Rosemarie is the eldest among one sister and one brother. Being the eldest one, she was already trained to become a natural leader. She was active in sports and would later become the school’s corp commander. She would later join the Arnis Judo Karate Kendo Martial Arts in the Philippines (ARJUKEN). She joined the tournament for Asian’s Women Martial Arts in (PICC) Philippine International Convention Center for two years consecutive winning 3rd placer in position. By the age of twenty, she received a certification from Philippine Martial Arts Federation under Fidel Ramos as the first black belter Asian woman during that time. Even at this budding age, her dreams encompass from working for the military, becoming a flight attendant to leading the country as the president of the Philippines.

Rose pursued her studies at the Lyceum of the Philippines in Intramuros, Manila where she graduated cum laude with a degree in Foreign Service, and major in
International Law for Political Science. Before taking up law proper, she was trained in a law firm for half a year. Fate would decide later that her life would land across the seas far away from the Philippines. While working at the law firm, she met her future Japanese husband. He was a client in their company getting legal advice from a labor accident that happened in a project they were handling. They became good friends and he became very dear to her family. After his work in the Philippines was finished, he had to go back home to Japan. Thinking he left the woman of her life, he went back to the Philippines and married Rose. That was more than 20 years passed already.

Like most Filipinos, Rosemarie had a very difficult start in Japan. This is the reason why after two decades, she would devote much of her precious time in helping the less fortunate Filipinos and foreigners. Working as a teacher, a radio announcer, a legal interpreter, and an event producer, she barely has time to enjoy the remaining spare time she has. However, it is in doing charity work that she gets to unwind.

This year, she handled UTAWIT in Fukuoka with her group, Global Filipino Japanese Friendship Association in Fukuoka. Rose is an indefatigable lady. She works non-stop and would prefer doing everything herself rather than asking people to do the work just so the job could be done immediately. She loves to work. Work for her is like air that people breathe. A week later, she would do another international event.

Several years ago, she worked as an ALT, an assistant language teacher. Aspiring to go higher, she attended training courses in English teaching. Eventually, she created her own English Center where she now employs English teachers.

Every Monday from 8:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Love FM 76.1 The Daily Tips Tagalog, you can hear Rosemarie as she transforms herself into a radio air jockey. Her half an hour Tagalog program airs Filipino music and plugs community activities for the Filipinos in Fukuoka. She has a warm style of connecting to her listeners as she gives them nuggets of wisdom she herself have learned from life.

Eight years ago, she started the Global Filipino Japanese Association in Fukuoka to add reinforcement in helping Filipinos with legal problems, give support to battered housewives, and offer emergency help when needed.

Now, let us find out more about this so called Rose of Fukuoka. As Jeepney Press digs deeper into her life, let’s learn more from her life as she says it in her own words.

Can you tell us more about life in Japan when you arrived here more than 23 years ago?
Because of my husband’s job, we first resided in Takeo City in Saga Prefecture. It was really a countryside. All that I expected of Japan was totally different from what I was living. It was hard for me because I couldn’t communicate. Nobody spoke English. I was getting depressed so my husband decided we moved to a place where there is an existing and active Filipino community. That was when we moved to Fukuoka. I got excited when I learned that there was an English Mass offered at the church. From thereon, I found that there is hope.
You didn’t study Japanese in the Philippines. How did you cope up with learning Japanese and adjusting to the Japanese culture?
It was a total shock for me in the beginning. I didn’t understand the language. I was homesick. I didn’t have any friends. The words of my father kept echoing in my mind: “Never give up. Just learn and study their culture.” Watching Japanese TV helped a lot. I was also fortunate to have a loving mother-in-law who would help me learn their culture and language. I kept a dictionary with me always and searched words one by one. It is indeed difficult, but one must really start from the bottom and gradually go up.

How did you end up with your work as a radio announcer for Love FM?
Nothing was actually planned. I was offered to give a speech at a high school in Kita Kyushu about education in the Philippines and the Filipino youth as compared to the Japanese youth. Then one thing led to another. One Japanese teacher introduced me to the radio station and I was lucky enough they were looking for a Filipino announcer.
Where do you draw your energy from?
I think I am naturally energetic. I love to be busy so I control and schedule my daily work. But of course, I also give time to meet friends, be with my family, and most of all, get a good night sleep to refurbish my body fuel for the next day.
How would you like to describe yourself? Who is the real Rosemarie Aritaka? What aspects of yourself do you want to tell other Filipinos?
It is really very hard to describe oneself. I am just like any woman who wants to have many friends whom I can share love and happiness. I want to connect with more Filipinos, share our experiences and learn from each other. I would like to encourage the Filipinos to bond together and help one another.
What is your most precious possession?
The wisdom I have learned from all the struggles I have endured in life.
Aside from all the projects you have been doing, what are your future plans?
I want to go abroad more and visit my relatives in U.S.A. Of course, I want to do more charity projects like UTAWIT as project like this helps unite Filipinos in the community.

Can you tell the other Pinoys about Fukuoka? What’s so good about Fukuoka?
There are a lot of Filipino groups in Fukuoka itself and are very active with the community. Fukuoka is located in Kyushu and is the fourth largest city in Japan. It has lots of beautiful scenery and tourist spots. The people in Kyushu are very warm and very welcoming like Pinoys! Fukuoka is famous for its hakata ramen and mentaiko, tiny red fish eggs. Please come to Fukuoka and feel the breeze of this wonderful city. “Kon ne” means to come.
What do you think Filipinos should do to become better and successful in Japan?
Be true to yourself. Be hardworking and never do bad things against others.
Finally, what message can you give to all the Pinoys living in Japan?
As this is Japan and not the Philippines, we really need to adjust. The Japanese should not adjust to us. We should learn more about them by studying their language. This would take time but we need to start somewhere.

Jeepney Press 2010 September-October Issue Page 3

KITAKITZ by Elena Sakai

Bakal Boys: The Docu-Drama of Metal Divers

Have you heard of the “metal divers”? In the Baseco area of Manila, there are many children who dive for metal scraps and sell them to earn money. Many people may have heard about the scavengers in the smoky mountains, but even the people, the ‘adults’ that live in the area were not aware that their own children did this. It is a very dangerous job, and many children die drowning every day.

The film, “Bakal Boys” is a docudrama aiming to put an end on this issue, won the Best Script Award in the SKIP City International Digital Film Festival held in Saitama this July, after winning over 20 awards all over the world, including the Best Film Award in 2010 Cinemalaya.

The director of Bakal Boys, Ralston Jover says that he started working with 15 boys of Baseco, who were the ones that actually appeared on the film, 2 years before starting to shoot. Although all of those 15 boys were brilliant, the main character, “Utoy” was very special. Being 11 when they started to shoot, Utoy was illiterate. However, with the help of the acting coach and social workers, in a year’s time he memorized all the entire script, including all of other’s line, by heart.

Bessie Badilla, the producer, says that by the time that they finished shooting, all 15 boys were no more ‘metal divers’, and were all back in school. The film continues to win many awards, and every time the money is sent to the Bakal Boys foundation, to support the education of the children in Baseco, and to support the vocation of the parents as well. Now, over 70 children are back to school, and there are almost no more metal divers in the Baseco area.

What made this film special was how natural the actors seemed to be. Ralston would let the 15 boys lead the film, and let them “be”, show what they would usually do, and the crew would just follow them. This film is a true story, an issue that needs to be solved, and yet, has ‘drama’ to touch the viewer’s heart.

The Bakal Boys will continue to appear in more international film festival, to stop metal divers, and to help them stay in school. For more information about the film, please visit

Jeepney Press 2010 September-October Issue Page 5

TRAFFIC! by Alma R. H. Reyes

Romancing Kyoto

“Even in Kyoto
hearing the cuckoo's cry
I long for Kyoto. ---by Matsuo Bashō

The summer heat had really invaded Japan in the last months that all we can hope for is that it will soon be replaced by cool days and the early reds and yellows of maple leaves. In Japan, when we speak of autumn, I imagine the Tateyama Alps, Nikko, Okutama or Karuizawa, among others, but for me, the most beautiful Japanese autumn is found in Kyoto. Though I have experienced the Kyoto “koyo” (autumn leaves) season many times in November, this year, I had a nostalgic glimpse of summer Kyoto instead last July.

Of course, it was hot and humid! But, unlike Tokyo’s congested highways and tall, concrete buildings, Kyoto’s surrounding mountains and rivers made the summer ambience somehow more relaxing and peaceful. Maybe because Kansai was my first home in Japan, and I lived in Kyoto for five years before coming to Tokyo, that returning to Kyoto each time feels like romancing a memory. The first place I always want to stop at is the Kamogawa River between Shijo and Sanjo Dori. I am always awed by the restaurants with yuka wooden verandas on stilts and their hanging orange-lit lanterns, flanking the river bank. In fact, I never experienced eating in any of these restaurants, and always wonder when that chance will ever come. Kamogawa River looked prettier and better maintained. There are still no benches around so that people can sit directly on the bank and look out to the river. You can see people reading, writing, chatting, sleeping, or lovers cooing. Someone may be playing a drum, saxophone or guitar. Last time in July, there was a girl in ballet attire practicing her pirouettes without hesitance. I also noticed there were more gaijins now—in every corner, every minute—which, probably made me feel more at home. During my student days, I spent many days along this river reading and writing. Sitting by this river always gave me peace, a certain calmness, and a rare moment to connect with the natural surroundings.

From Kamogawa River, I usually walk down Sanjo Dori and Kiyamachi Dori, and amuse myself with the sight of small traditional shops selling old-fashioned o-sembe crackers, bamboo combs, old brushes, kimonos, pottery, pink-white-green o-dango (skewered small mochi balls), o-tsukemono (Japanese pickles), mizu-yokan (thick, jellied dessert), and lots and lots of cafés displaying matcha (green tea)-flavored parfaits, ice cream, pastries, etc. Yumm...There are also modern outdoor cafés now, including their Starbucks that boasts of a huge veranda overlooking Kamogawa River. Nice!

I never miss Pontocho-Dori, the unique narrow alley stretching from Sanjo Dori to Shijo Dori. This alley was flanked by many ochaya teahouses and was a prominent Geisha district since the 1500s. Now, you find bars, jazz clubs, restaurants and exclusive dining places serving kaiseki ryori (traditional multi-course Japanese dinner), known for riverside dining. I am always happy to see that the inu yarai bamboo screens against the walls of bars and restaurants are still intact since the 17th century. These are protective structures against mud and dirt and dogs peeing on the walls. The ochaya may not necessarily mean a teahouse but an exclusive private dinner-Geisha entertainment-dining place usually by invitation. Maybe because I am not a man that I do not recall having the privilege of experiencing such a culture, but if you are lucky enough to enter an ochaya, be prepared to cash out 500,000-800,000 yen for a night. And, since I cannot afford such pleasure, I just appreciate its architecture of bengara goshi wooden latticed windows, sudare reed screens, and the noren curtains on the doors that keep these ochaya very private and hidden, that you cannot see the inside. You can also see many more ochaya in the Gion district.

I always treasure the fact that Kyoto is such a pleasant walking city, where you can move from one area to another with ease and leisure—such contrast from the buzz and rush of hurrying Tokyoites on subways. The mix of old and new does not come as close as in Kyoto, and it is in seeing the old that makes me feel relieved that I am truly in Japan. The sight of temples, shrines, narrow alleys and traditional houses refresh my memory of why I came to Japan in the first place, and what I had loved most about its culture and sights. I could only wish we could have more of that traditional flavor in Tokyo…but, that is another topic to write about.

As signs of a modernizing Kyoto are becoming more visible through the years (take the modern Kyoto Station, for example), I sometimes wonder if the city can maintain its antiquated roots and rustic qualities amidst a growing generation of fashion queens, otaku kings and liberalized ideas. How would Kyoto appear after 20-30 years?

This autumn, treat yourself to the best array of crimson reds and elegant yellows of Kyoto’s koyo. Everywhere temples and shrines are lit at night so the maple leaves glitter against the dark skies. Do not miss a trip to Arashiyama, Ohara and Hiei-san. And, after a tiring day of picture-taking and walking, stop by a traditional Kyoto udon-ya, have a sip of shochu (Japanese distilled spirit) in one of the bars facing the river, then return to your ryokan, slip into your yukata and feel the fine tatami mat while your dreams take you away to your next Kyoto adventure.

Have a romantic autumn!

Jeepney Press 2010 September-October Issue Page 6

DAISUKI! by Dennis Sun

“Aray ko po!” iyan ang hirit ng aking limang taon na Paul Smith wallet na gusto ng mag-retiro. “Ittai yo!” dagdag iyak pa na malapit ng mabutas na bulsa sa bigat ng natitirang mga barya.

Madugo talaga kapag umuuwi. Gusto mo man makita ang mga mahal sa buhay, may kapalit naman ito. Hindi basta-basta simple lang kung umuwi sa bansang tinubuan. Kailangan pinag-iisipan ito. Kaya ba ng bulsa mo? May budget ka bang pang- gastos kung uuwi ka? Hindi sapat na meron kang round-trip air ticket lang. Mag-mu-mukmok na lang ba kayo sa loob ng bahay at manood ng programang kapuso o kapamilya?

Siempre, kailangan, ilabas mo naman ang mga pamilya mo. Once a year ka lang nga nilang nakikita, dapat handa ka sa mga happenings at gimikan. Ipasyal sa swimming pool ang mga chikiting. I-shopping si misis at biyenan sa SM. Inuman naman sa gabi kasama ang mga dating barkada. Tandaan mo, ikaw ang taya! Aray ko po!

Umuwi ako sa Pinas last June sa taong ito. Birthday kasi ng tatay ko. Pero this year, extra special celebration kasi 75th birthday na niya. Pitong taon na rin siyang nag-da-dialysis kaya puro itim na pekas na lang ang makikita sa kanyang braso. Dating mataba ang dad ko. Ngunit ngayon, buto’t balat na lamang. Hindi siya masyadong kumakain. Isa na lang ang nakikitang nangingibabaw sa kanya sa kabila ng kanyang malubhang sakit. Ito ay ang lakas loob niyang manatiling buhay. Kahit alam niyang mahirap at masakit ang dinaranas niya, gusto pa rin niyang manatili dito sa piling ng kanyang mga anak at apo. Makita ko lang ang braso ng tatay ko, para ko na rin nadadama ang bawat sakit ng kanyang dinaranas sa mga dialysis session niya. Aray ko tatay!

Tell me, “Bakit nga ba tuwing umuuwi ako, laging pinag-pi-piyesta ang katawan ko ng mga lamok? Aray ko po!” Kung sanang parang Piolo Pascual at Dingdong Dantes ang katawan ko, I can understand why the mosquitoes are crazy for me. Pero hindi naman, eh.

Sa loob man at labas ng bahay, puro ako kagat ng mga lamok. Every time na umuuwi ako, isang katerbang katol at vape mat from Japan ang laman ng maleta ko. Wala pa rin epekto. Ano ba ang ginagawa ninyo?

Pagbalik ko sa Japan, omiyage ko from the Pilipins ay ang mahigit na 20 mosquito bites. After a few days, para akong nilagnat at sumakit ang tiyan ko. Nanghina ang pakiramdam. Parang nanlalamig kahit mainit naman ang panahon. Sabi ni Rey Ian, baka may possibility na meron akong DENGUE. Aray ko po! Ano naman yon? Mamamatay na ba ako? Dahil lang sa isang kagat ng lamok? Excuse me, este, twenty pa la.

Dito sa Japan, hindi nila alam gamutin ang dengue fever. I went to three hospitals and clinics and they all rejected me. Parang visa application, denied agad! One doctor had to get one of his thick medical books and researched about dengue fever right on the spot. Isang ospital lang ang pwedeng mag-treat ng dengue sa Tokyo at iyon ay nasa Komagome pa. Napakalayo. It’s a hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases. Kaya kung nagka-dengue ka dear, doon ka na! Kung nakatira ka sa inaka, magtanong agad sa city hall or provincial offices ninyo.

Siempre, I had to make most of what information I could get. Nag-google ako sa dengue. I found out that there are 2 types of dengue. Yung hindi malubha, na parang meron kang influenza which I had. Total rest lang ang kailangan. Kaya hindi na ako pumunta sa ospital. The other type is the dangerous one. Meron lalabas na dugo sa nose, ears and mouth mo. Aray ko po! This one needs hospital attention. Kung hindi, pwede kang matepok.

Sa balita galing Pilipinas naman, tumaas daw ang porsiyento ng mga taong nagka-dengue sa Maynila. Marami na rin ang namatay. Kaya kung kayo ay uuwi ng Pilipinas, mag-ingat lang kayo. Be sure na dumaan muna kayo sa kusuriya at bumili ng insect repellent spray. Iba’t-ibang klase ang meron nila. Yung popular ingredient na DEET ay hindi raw maganda sa katawan. Maghanap na meron mga natural and herbal ingredient like citronella. Bili na rin kayo ng katol at vape map na di-koryente. Payo ni lola, kumain ng maraming bawang. Pwede rin mag-take ng garlic pills or capsules if you hate eating garlic. Garlic is also very good for the health. Kaya go na and eat garlic!

According to my American friend, he uses listerine or any mouth wash after taking a shower. “The smell itself repels the insects,” says Donald. “ I put listerine in a spray bottle and spray the bed and furnitures to shoo away the mosquitoes.” Wow! Galing talaga ni Donald. Smelling good breath all over! Great!

E, paano naman kung nakagat ka na? What do we have to do with the mosquito bites? If you’re at home, hugasan agad ito with soap and water. Let it dry and try to avoid scratching. Although a mosquito bite should itch for only a few days, continual scratching will increase your discomfort and may prolong the itching.

E kung talagang makati, ano ang dapat gawin? Enter agad si lola to the rescue: “Pumunta sa ref at kumuha ng yelo. Rub the ice all over the bites. Nasa kitchen ka na rin, make a paste of baking soda and water. Make the paste really sticky and spread all over the bites.”

I also remember during our boy scout days, we used the tooth paste on the bites. The menthol in the toothpaste will relieve the itch temporarily.

If you have access to a drug store, calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream are best to alleviate the itching. Use an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce any accompanying swelling or redness. Take an anti-histamine like benadryl to help with any swelling or itching. Maganda rin itong pampatulog.

Si Kiko, ayaw na raw umuwi pansamantala. Natatakot daw ma-dengue. Kasi yung isang friend niya, umuwi galing Pampanga. Pagbalik sa Tokyo, tumawag sa work para mag-absent because of illness. After 2 weeks of no communication from him, the office staff went to his apartment, asked the land lord to open the door and found him already dead. According to reports, na dengue raw siya.

Kahit tayong mga Pilipino na sanay na sa mga kagat ng lamok, kailangan pa rin maging maingat. Sanay naman tayo sa mga krises. Mapa bagyo, lindol, baha o pagsabog man ng bulkan, we, Filipinos, are survivors. Masakit man, we just do our best and say, “ARAY KO PO!”

Yun na iyon!

Nag-e-mail sa akin ang Japanese friend ko who just came from Manila and Cebu. Well, sad news, he didn’t like his stay in Manila. “Kowaii!” Nagka-culture shock siguro: sa heavy traffic, sa takbo ng mga sasakyan sa daan, sa pollution, sa init, at sa ingay ng mga tao. Ewan ko lang kung nakagat din siya ng lamok. At sana, hindi naman siya nadukutan or ninakawan. Aray ko po!

Mas gusto pa raw niyang mag-stay sa Bangkok. Sabi lang niya sa akin, mas safe daw siya doon. I can understand him. Kahit third world country ang Thailand, mas feeling secured ang mga tao doon lalung-lalo na sa mga turista. Sa isang araw lang, mahigit na 20,000 turista ang bumibisita sa Bangkok. Kaya napakaunlad ng kanilang tourism industry. Once you visit Bangkok, you want to go back again and again. Ako nga, I see to it I visit Thailand every year. Pero sabi ng mga Hapon kong kakilala, ayaw na nilang bumalik sa Manila. Siempre, meron silang iba’t-ibang rason. Hindi ko na lang isusulat dito. Bilang Pinoy, alam na natin kung anuman ang mga pagkukulang natin.

Sana mag-improve ang ating bansa in all aspects para lalung gumanda at guminhawa ang bawat buhay ng isang Pilipino. Para hindi natin ikahiya sa mundo na Pilipino nga tayo.

Pag-uwi niyo sa atin, ipakita ninyo ang mga magagandang asal na napulot ninyo dito sa Japan para tularan kayo ng mga kaibigan ninyo sa Pilipinas.

Sa darating na Sabado, uuwi na naman ako sa Pinas. This time though, I’m extra ready for the mosquitoes! Come and get me! Lola, ihanda na ang kulambo!


Shoganai: Gaijin Life By Abie Principe

Very Benry Vending Machines

Living in Japan exposes one to a lot of conveniences, that in other countries would be quite difficult to meet.

One very good example is the 自動販売機 or the vending machines. Everywhere you go in Japan, and I mean EVERYWHERE, there will always be the vending machine.
For people who live in the big cities, like Tokyo or Nagoya, vending machines are totally common, one does not think twice about it. But did you know that vending machines are about as ubiquitous in the provinces of Japan, as they are in the cities?

I have had the chance of hiking and cycling around the provinces, and one of the most surprising, yet most welcome, thing that I have noticed is the vending machines! I can be cycling in the middle of nowhere, sun beating down on my head, wondering why I didn't bring water, and up ahead, right beside a rice field, will be a lone vending machine. Stocked with ice cold drinks in summer (and if it happens to be winter, it will be hot drinks, even canned soup!). This small oasis in the middle of the desert, is such a welcome sight whenever we spend time outdoors. I even saw one, nearly on top of a mountain. And anyone who has ever climbed Mt. Fuji, will know and love the vending machines that can be found at the various stations up the mountain.

And vending machines, though not as comprehensively stocked as the average combini, are more commonly available, specially in out of the way places. And there's no need to fall in line, just cycle or walk up, put in your coins, and out comes the drink of your choice.
And vending machines in Japan are always well maintained. People aren't concerned that they may put their money in it and the drink won't come out. I think in other countries, money-eating vending machines abound. But in Japan, vending machines are trustworthy! So, even if I don't have an idea how a vending machine in the middle of nowhere, is being powered, (I actually tried to find the plug of one vending machine once, I couldn't find it!) I won't stop being thankful for their existence.

Jeepney Press 2010 September-October Issue Page 7

Pagmumuni-muni sa Dyipni by Fr. Bob Zarate


Nakasakay ako sa tren. Walang maupuan. Siksikan. At sa tabi ko ay may apat na babaeng nasa high school. Paano ko nalamang high school na sila? Obvious ba. Sa pinaikling mga palda at mga pina-manyikang mga mukha (na halos para na silang mga clown sa kapal ng make-up nila), alam na alam mong high school na sila!

Anyway, nakakairita talagang makipagsiksikan sa tren after a long day. At mas nakakairita pa ang mga boses ng mga high school girls na ito na tila daig pa ang bingi -- dahil kung mag-usap sila, pagkalalakas ng mga boses! Eh hindi naman isang kilometro ang layo sa isa't-isa! Halos magka-kadikit na nga ang mga mukha!

Pero, come to think of it, hindi ba ganyan din tayong mga Pinoy? Sa totoo lang, minsan kapag naiim- bitahan akong umupo sa meeting ng mga Filipinos, nagpapalusot na lang akong kailangan na akong umuwi, or may lakad pa ako. Bakit? Kasi naman, wala ka nang maririnig sa meeting kundi palakasan ng boses. Daig pa ang United Nations kung mag-meeting. Nakakarindi. Nakaka-stress. Di bale na lang sana kung ang source of stress ay dahil sa problemang pinag-uusapan. Hindi eh. Nagiging source of stress pa tuloy ang paraan ng pag-uusap, o yung lakas ng boses, o yung pananalitang kanto, palengke, siga o maton.

Bakit nga ba ganyan tayong mga Pilipino? May pagkukulang kaya ang ating mga pamilya sa pag- tuturo sa atin ng good manners? Malaki kaya ang kulang sa quality ng ating mga teachers at ganoon din silang kagaspang magsalita? May impluwensya kaya ang ating lechon, chicharon at bopis kaya lagi tayong parang high-blood magsalita? Na over-emphasize nga kaya ang mga "Be yourself!" na slogan, kaya lagi mo na lang maririnig ang mabilis at mataray na "Eh wala akong magagawa, ganito talaga akong magsalita!!!" na sinasabi sa isang tonong parang bakal na kinakaladkad ng isang kakarag-karag na trak? O baka naman hindi tayo naturuang huminga nang malalim kaya hindi natin kayang maging kalma sa pananalita?

Kaya naman nating i-tama ito. Ang mahalaga ay isa-isip natin ang mga sumusunod:

1. Pag gusto mo laging itaas at palakasin ang boses mo, baka kasi --
a. Mahina ang pandinig mo, o di kaya'y
b. Feeling mo mas magagaling at matataas ang katayuan o pinag- aralan ng mga kasama mo kaya insecure ka, or
c. Mayabang ka lang talaga.
Well, walang relasyon ang dahilang "May ipagyayabang naman kasi" kumpara sa kalakasan ng boses.

2. Hindi lahat ng games sa olympics dinadaan sa lakas at bilis para magka-gold medal. Ang women's gymnastics kailangan ng grace and beauty. Ang archery at shooting, kailangan ng silence and concentration. Ang gold medalist sa diving ay yung may pinakakaunting splash pagpasok sa tubig.
Ganoon din ang usapan. Hindi sa komo malakas ang boses mo, ikaw na ang tama. Tandaan, hindi lahat ng bumibirit sa pagkanta ay magaling kumanta. Mas mabuti pang huwag nang bumirit sa mga debate, kung malulusutan ka rin lang naman ng mas magagandang solusyon. Tandaan, mas marami sa mga kilala sa history na malalakas ang boses ay gumawa ng giyera o naging diktador, katulad nina Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler, Marcos o kaya ang present-day Chavez ng Venezuela o si Ahmadinejad ng Iran. Tandaan, marami rin DAW sa mga malalakas ang boses ay natataguriang may sira sa utak!

3. Practical Solution for our meetings: para maiwasan ang walang hanggang daldalan, you may try the following:
a. Unahin muna ang presentation of a certain topic, problem man ito, or upcoming activity, or announcement by the person assigned. Ang lahat ay makikinig lang. Bawal ang sumabat during the presentation.
b. Magbukas ng isang round for questions kung may hindi naintindihan. I-take note ng nag-present ang mga questions. Hindi kaagad sasagot ang nag-present, hihintayin nyang matapos ang lahat ng questions.
c. Sasagutin ng nag-present ang lahat ng mga tanong. Bawal magpahabol ng tanong from others.
d. Isang round ng suggestions from anybody para sa change or improvement ng presentation. Bawal sumingit, sumabat o mangontra.
e. Dito natatapos ang isang topic. Pagkatapos nito, ang in-charge ng presentation ang magsa-summarize ng mga suggestions at ia-apply ito to make a renewed form ng presentation.

Mga kailangang alalahanin sa ganitong klaseng meeting:
* Kailangang may isang Moderator. Ang trabaho niya ay ang mag-control ng oras at panatilihing nasa topic ang usapan.
* Walang personalan. Walang sagutan. Walang tsismisan. Walang magtataas ng boses.
* As much as possible, walang botohan. At kung ang majority ay nag-decide laban sa opinion mo, obligado ka pa ring sundin ito.

Let's grow up. Let's be adults. Tama na ang pataasan ng ihi. Huwag nating gawing bunganga ang bibig. Tandaan sana lagi natin na iisa lamang ang bibig at dadalawa ang tenga at mas malaki pa ang utak kaysa sa buka ng ating bibig.


Shitte-iru? by Marty Manalastas-Timbol

ALAM NYO BA…na ang malunggay, sajina in the Indian subcontinent and moringa in English is known as a tree of life – it is an excellent source of nutrition and a natural energy booster, loaded with nutrients, vitamins and amino acids. Ang dahon at bunga ng malunggay ay parehong masustansya na puno ng bitamina c at iba pang minerals. Ang malunggay ay considered din as a herbal food. Karamihan sa atin mga Filipino ay nakalimutan na ang malunggay. Di ba ang mga matatanda noon, sabi nila ito ay magaling para sa mga buntis and for lactating mothers. Gusto kong ibahagi sa inyo ang sumusunod na isunulat ni Ginoong Mark Fritz ng Los Angeles Times: “Specifically speaking, moringa sounds like magic. It can rebuild weak bones, enrich anemic blood and enable a malnourished mother to nurse her starving baby. Ounce for ounce, it has the calcium of four glasses of milk, the vitamin C of seven oranges and the potassium of three bananas.” Sabi din ni Mr. Fritz na ang ibang doctors sa West Africa and in India uses malunggay to treat diabetes and high blood pressure, respectively. Ang malunggay ay may tripling iron of spinach, quadruple the beta carotene, na maganda para sa mga mata and effective against cancer. I drink citrus malunggay juice na nabibili sa Manila ng aking good friend na si Melba Ong. You see, malunggay or moringa is a common tree with rare power.

ALAM NYO BA…na when you sneeze, or someone sneezes, di ba you would hear someone say “Bless you.” Bakit kaya when only you sneeze and not when you cough o di kaya’y pag nag-burp ka. According to Discovery Health na sneeze responses daw originated from ancient superstitions. Bakit nga ba we say ‘Bless you’ or ‘God bless you’ when someone sneezes? Sabi nila and in other parts of the world din that saying ‘God bless you’ after someone sneezes kasi daw kadalasan a sneeze precedes illness, like cold and flu. Alamin natin kung ano ang sinasabi sa iba’t ibang bansa when someone sneezes.
Germany - gesundheit
Romans - salve means “good health to you”
Arabic countries-Alhamdulillah means “praise be to God”
Hindus - live well
Russia - bud zdorov means “be healthy” (this is oftenly said to children after they sneeze) or rosti Bolshoi means “grow big”
China - bai sui means “may you live 100 years”
(Source: Discovery Health)

ALAM NYO BA…kung ang everlasting love is for real or not? How would you know? Mahirap ito masagot lalo na sa mga hindi pa naka-experience ng real love. Yung mga in-love diyan, kadalasan ang iniisip ninyo sa boyfriend or girlfriend ninyo na siya na nga - the one, my real love. Pero paano nga ba malalaman na siya na nga? Well sabi ni Dr. Dennis Neder, isang author ng being a man in a woman’s world, na ang love ay may tatlong stages: infatuation stage; bonding stage and the familiar stage. Infatuation love, alam na ng karamihan ito – this is the stage na gusto mo to be with the person you love, na akala ng iba ito na yung real thing called real love. Yung ikalawang stage, ito yung getting to know the person well. Ang third stage is called the familiar phase ika nga ni Dr. Neder. Sa familiar stage, yung buhay ninyo ng partner mo become intertwined – alam mo na halos lahat how your partner feels about everything. Ito rin yung time you refocused sa sarili mong buhay – so there must be real love. When asked how to define love or true love, ang sagot depends on the person because love can have different meanings para sa iba’t ibang tao. When do you know that true love na pala. Ang pag-ibig o ang love comes from an open heart – a heart that is willing to love. Note that when you love someone or your partner, it does not necessarily mean na siya na yung life partner mo…IT IS STILL WHAT WE BELIEVE, DESTINY and FATE.

ALAM NYO BA…na may blog na ang JEEPNEY PRESS. You can check the following url: sa mga ka-jeepney press volunteer writers, share this blog sa mga friends ninyo. Di ba, marami silang mapupulot na inpormasyon sa Jeepney Press, hindi tsismis artista, kundi something to learn about life, about health, about places to visit in japan and in the Philippines, about our kababayans in Japan. So mga kababayan, read Jeepney Press and you’ll find it worth reading kasi talagang very interesting.
God Bless you all and enjoy life.

Jeepney Press 2010 September-October Issue Page 8

Hopeless Romantiks! by Jackie Murphy

My true love... miles away from me... A TRUE STORY

Can you honestly tell someone that you were NOT SO in love with your husband or your wife when you married them?

Can you honestly admit to yourself that you married the most responsible, the most available and the most eligible person but NOT SO in love with them?

Ilan na kaya sa ating mga readers ang NA IN LOVE NA NANG HUSTO? Yung totoong totoong love, ha???

I always thought love always come and go! “We’re NOT really meant for each other.’’ Yung mga ganung common excuses na lang ang iniisip ko para mas madaling maka-move on everytime I fall out of love. ’Ok lang’ sabi ko sa sarili ko. Hanap ka ulit’!

Sa totoo lang, in all my life, ang lovelife ko na lang yata ang hindi masyadong sinusu-werte. Parang I took the cliff, fell from it and gave up. Once and for all, I simply thought of getting married JUST for the heck of it.

Isang simpleng araw, dumating ang isang tunay na pag-ibig!!! Sa hinding- hindi ko inaasahang pagkakataon!!! Bigla na lang bumulaga right in front of my eyes, on my computer screen, one bright morning at the middle of a busy work. I was shocked, speechless, turned white. Feeling ko tumalon ang puso ko sa tuwa at nerbiyos! Pinagpapawisan na hindi ko mawari! Ano ‘to?

Mabilis ang mga sumunod na mga pangyayari pero bago ang lahat, FACEBOOK, a million thanks to you!

Chat lang ng konti noong una, palitan ng mga ‘hi’s and ‘hello’s. Sunod na araw, bumili na ako ng telephone cards to place a call. Mainit pa ang ulo ko pag busy ang line!!! Makalimutan na ang kain makatawag lang. Tawag-tawag. Kamustahan! Sunod na araw naman, kamustahan na ng lovelife, past relationships, kids, etc. Finally, ‘Are you dating someone?’ and ‘Are you currently in a relationship’?’ na ang mga sunod na mga tanong namin sa isa’t isa.

Dito na nagsimula ang halos gabi-gabing puyatan sa kaka-chat. Mag-madaling mama lantsa bago pumasok sa work. Isang tasang kape na lang ang almusal. Hindi nakapagpa-gasolina kahapon sa pagmamadaling umuwi ng bahay o kaya’y may kailangan bilhin along the way pero hindi na nakabili dahil naghihintay ang iniirog na ka-chat. Sayang ang oras! Hindi magawang isampay ang tatlong araw nang natapos at tumigas ng labahin sa washing machine at tambak na hugasin sa lababo. When we finally say our ‘sweet dreams’ and ‘endless goodbyes’ at wee hours in the morning tsaka ko pa lang maramdaman na kumakalam na ang sikmura ko and that I forgot to have dinner pala. Tsaka ko pa lang maramdaman ang nginig ng tuhod ko sa gutom and my time to take a shower na before going to bed. SUGOKU TSUKA-REMASHITA! (I was very, very tired!)

I’m NOT complaining (seriously, I don’t but honestly, sige na nga. I sometimes do. ’Sensiya na po. Tao lang’ - jejeje)!!! A week passed, we enjoyed talking to each other very much, everyday, as in!!! Paulit-ulit, paikot-ikot na kuwentong walang katapusan ! We both realized naman na yun at yun din ang pinag- uusapan namin but no one seemed to complain about it! There were times, we call at the middle of our paid per hour work (not deliberately done though, hmmm. NOT TRUE. We often excused ourselves from the middle of a friends’ conversation pero sige lang, wala lang!!! Sometimes, during coffee or lunch break or at the middle of the road often times beating the red light (Huwag pong tutularan! Abunai desu! It’s dangerous!!)

But one summer night, I initiated a more serious talk. We eventually came to know that we are both single (again???) and take note: BOTH AVAILABLE, ha!! Wow…!!!!! Eh, di nag-umpisa na sa mas nakakagulantang na tanong like: “Ano ba ang hinahanap mo sa….” I’m not a poet but I just need to recall every superlatives I can think of at that time. Kailangan ko siyang ma-impress that very moment and those ‘kinakalawang kong’ adjectives should coincide sa personality and attitudes niya otherwise baka magdalawang-isip siya na nanghuhula lang ako. Buti naman tumama ‘yung iba. Yung iba hindi tumama. Ginawan ko na lang din ng palusot.

(to be continued…)

Jeepney Press 2010 September-October Issue Page 10

CONNECTIONS by Richard Diaz Alorro

Beery Summer
The summer of 2010 holds the record of the hottest, most humid, and wettest summer experience I have in Sapporo. For an almost 5 years of stay in this northern Japanese city, never had I heard electric fans selling like hotcakes in a city known for its cool and refreshing summer characterized by less rainfall. This year’s summer in Sapporo defied the usual and the conventional. Sapporo bathed in a summer comparable to that in the mainland and the southern islands.

In this very hot season, nothing beats a glass of thirst quenching ice-cold beer of your choice with friends or colleagues after a hard-day work! Thanks to the Sapporo Beer Festival, Sapporo locals still have a great reason to enjoy and celebrate summer. Sapporo claims to be the first city to brew domestic beer in Japan and the city where the best beers are found due to its cold climate and the use of homegrown materials for beer production. Whether this declaration is true or not, undeniably Sapporo Beer Festival is a must-do during summer and has become one of the most-looked forward events among Sapporo locals.

The Sapporo Beer Festival or Sapporo Beer Garden happens at Odori Park, the famous location of the Sapporo Snow Festival in winter. During summer, 6 blocks of the park are converted into a big open-air area where beer and food are served. In each block, different brewery is selling their products and some local delicacies. Each block is a showcase of various flavors not only of beer but also of entertainment and ambiance. The shops are open from around 11 am until 9 pm. The beer festival lasts for about 4 weeks starting from mid-July until mid-August. According to Sapporo City website, as much as 574,842 liters of beer was consumed by 523,00 people for about 20 days during last year’s Sapporo Beer Festival. This statistics is a proof that citizens of Sapporo drink huge amount of beer!

What I really love about the Sapporo Beer Festival is the opportunity to mingle and have great time with friends or other locals under the heat of the afternoon sun or the shy mid-summer evening. People from all walks of life convene in these blocks of beer extravaganza to get relief from stressful work at least for a while, chat with friends or colleagues, and enjoy different beer flavors and beer accompaniments. The summer beer festival is an amazing idea that fits very well in Japan’s context of enjoyment, social interaction, and festivity. By western or even Philippine standards, the beer festival might be an absurd concept considering the chaos that might occur when people get drunk and become crazy. Most Japanese remain very calm and peaceful, crazy at times yet enjoyable, even when they are drunk. Indeed, this makes Japan, particularly Sapporo, an ideal setting for beer festivals and the best venue to truly enjoy a glass or a barrel of a cool amber beverage.

If you plan to visit Sapporo in summer, never forget to include in your must do list the Sapporo Beer Garden experience. As for me, for 5 years now, the beer festival has always been a part of my Sapporo summer. It feels good to be connected … always!




The GeGeGe Boom
普通なのに直通。これは何だ。 Yes, the jeepney, no less. This space will take you to different destinations and discuss current events or commonplace themes by focusing on the local scene—discussing people, events and places. Today’s spotlight is on the GeGeGe boom caused by GeGeGe no Nyoubo (GeGeGe’s wife) the NHK drama (airs from March 29 to September 30, Mon-Fri 8:00-8:15AM and Sat 9:30-11:00 on BS) which has been enjoying immense popularity with average ratings of over 20% over the past few months, surpassing all other shows this season. The man of the hour is Shigeru Mizuki (friends called him GeGeGe at school). He is a prolific manga artist considered by many as master of the yokai or supernatural beings. His characters like Hakaba Kitaro, Medama Oyaji, Ittan-momen Nezumi Otoko and Akuma-kun are very popular with children and adults alike.

Shigeru Mizuki ’s works on the yokai are currently on exhibit at the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art (July 30-Oct 3, 2010). I went during the Obon season when the crowds were rather thick but it was a joy to see whole families queuing. The pictures showed yokai in various settings from bamboo fields to the tokonoma, or sticking out from mirrors and pots which rendered the yokai as amusing rather than scary creatures. The parents and art enthusiasts enjoyed the masterful art of Mizuki-san with his attention to detail and ability to tell the history of a specter in one frame. The children’s eyes were sparkling with curiosity as their parents read out the place of origin, powers, quirks, and watering holes of each yokai. From Hokkaido to Okinawa, there were close to a hundred creatures (several of them are lurking in Kyoto!) chronicled in drawings and paintings.

Shigeru Mizuki is also well-known for his war memoirs narrated by Nezumi Otoko with progressive anti-war themes depicted in a manga series for young readers detailing the atrocities of the Japanese Army in China and Korea. He was sent to a South Pacific island (now a part of Papua New Guinea) in 1943 during the war where he experienced beatings, hunger, contracted malaria, etc. His left arm was seriously injured in an explosion such that it had to be amputated without any anesthesia. He was befriended by the tribesmen who helped him recover from his injuries and continued to live with the villagers until 1946 before returning to Japan.

Shigeru Mizuki (Shigeru Mura in real life) who hails from Sakaiminato, Tottori is considered an icon and town’s flag-bearer. Museums and even yokai qualification exams are credited to his name. Town office workers who flesh out strategies to attract tourists to visit Tottori expressed their gratefulness for having “Mizuki-sensei” as their kababayan. Whenever they ask Mizuki-sensei for advice, they cannot help but address him not just with one but with double keigo showing deference to this living icon.

But much of the charm of Mizuki-san comes from his hardworking, down-to-earth yet straightforward manner. He is known not to mince words but is very considerate of others and never fails to say “thank you.” In a 2006 NHK documentary (rerun shown last August 14) entitled “Yokai Mizuki Shigeru no GeGeGe Koufuku-ron” (Shigeru Mizuki’s GeGeGe Theory of Happiness) he said those who has had two or three near-death experiences become strong leaders or good businessmen.「死にかけたって経験を2、3回もってじゃないとだめ。死にかけたっては、強いですね。死なないから。」 Especially in these hard times, people should not give up easily, people should learn to improvise. 「一工夫こらす必要ある。」

In another interview, he was asked (rather insensitively by an overly-curious journalist) about what he felt having only one arm, Mizuki-san answered “With just one arm, I have been able to do thrice as much work as any able-bodied person. If I had lost both arms, I would have worked six times more than anyone who have both.” Asked if he had ever wallowed in self-pity for losing his left (writing) arm, he replied “Never. Being alive without an arm is a lot better than dying.” 「思ったことはない。命を失うより片腕をなくしても生きている方が価値がある」

Mizuki-san’s life depicted in GeGeGe no Nyoubou (based on the autobiography of his wife, Nunoe Mura) inspires the average salary man wearied by bleak prospects for the future in these very uncertain times. A struggling one-armed manga artist in his late 30s, with neither a stable income nor job; and the only two things that were constant in his life were his passion for drawing and the unwavering support of his wife. One episode showed his wife troubled as she did not have any money left to buy supper. Mizuki-san disappears and comes back with a bunch of blackened bananas which he said was the only thing he could buy with the money he got for pawning some of his drawings. The couple now in their eighties is alive and well and in a TV interview last spring, they said those bananas were a feast. The wife said “The bananas looked hideous but they were not rotten-- just a little overripe.”

The positive, bright attitude of this amazing couple in the most trying situations is a beacon for modern-day young families. The GeGeGe fever seems to be catching on overseas as well. If you failed to watch the TV series, don’t fret: GeGeGe no Nyoubo, the movie will hit local theaters on Nov 20, 2010.

Jeepney Press 2010 September-October Issue Page 14

PASAHERO by by Maria Concepcion Pidelo-Ona

Unknown Filipino Greats in Nagoya
Erwin Ona: The Recycling Specialist

How do you write about someone whom you've known for more than a decade and shared a home and a child with but has achieved something big for Filipinos in Japan to be proud of? As I usually do for my personality profiles, I just go ahead and ask my questions but this time, my interviewee is my husband, my other half, the president of our household. So it can be quite difficult to be objective, to put a limit to what I will write and reveal so I will just write what I think will help inspire Filipino students and workers in Japan about how my husband survived his student life here and slowly rise to be recognized for his research efforts in environment protection through energy and material resource recycling.

As a child

Erwin Ona was born and raised in Los Banos, Laguna by parents Silveria and Benjamin Ona who both worked as administrative and research staff of the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB). He is the second child among four siblings. As a child, he wasn't as studious and as academic as his sisters but he was a typical boy who loved to watch television and helped his parents around the house. He loved to watch Macgyver best and TV science programs. He also remembers that he loves to take apart old machines like fans, radios and clocks and see how they work. Diligence and hard work were important values for the Ona family that his household duties were helping his mother carry her heavy basket from the market filled to the brim with their weekly food supply and helping his father plant vegetables at their backyard or at a neighboring vacant plot. He was also his father's willing assistant when his father repairs bits and pieces of small machinery.

His mother had only one rule for her children during weekends: either they study or help in the household tasks. Erwin, not being the studious type would opt to help instead.

As a mother too, I observed that my husband's early childhood training contributed so much to his interests and the values and work ethic he developed later in his life. His parents have been a big influence in his development and career choice as a researcher in the field of recycling technology.

As a young academic

Young Erwin wanted so much to major in computer science which at that time was one of the more popular curricular offerings in UPLB but since his older sister was taking this as her major, his mother advised him to choose another field. He wanted to study electrical engineering but this will mean going all the way to UP Diliman to study which his parents didn't quite agree to. Being obedient to his parents, he took the UPCAT exams, passed and opted to major in chemical engineering instead at UPLB. He was a scholar grantee of the Department Science and Technology which helped fund his education in college. He finished his engineering studies in four and a half years instead of the usual five and showed a strong interest in environment protection research when he studied the recovery of chitin, a material that can recovered from prawn shell waste which has potential use in the medical industry.

Up to this time, Erwin still maintains a strong interest in computers and studying programming languages. He tries to find time during weekends to dabble in his lifelong interest when he is at home. He repairs our PCs using old computer parts and he has been successful almost all the time.

As a Japanese government scholar

Erwin first came to Japan in 1997 to be a part of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Program. At that time, he was also one of the youngest-looking engineering teachers at the university and was working on his masteral degree in the environmental sciences. But, Erwin wanted to more than just study and teach, he would like to experience studying abroad and learning new things in a new learning environment which he got when he joined the Program. Luckily, he got two scholarships: the Australian Development Scholarship at Melbourne University and the Monbusho Scholarship at Nagoya University. He chose Nagoya University because there was a higher chance for him to continue with his doctoral studies.

Those six long years doing research in Japan were periods in his life which he would never forget as it was also the time when he and his wife decided to start a family and had a son. He worked hard to balance his studies and his family life.

My husband had a strong sense of focus on his research and he was dedicated and committed to finish his studies. As his wife, I also gave him the encouragement and support he needed when he got frustrated and when he almost felt like giving up.

As an R and D staff of a Japanese company

Before he graduated with his PhD studies, Erwin was offered by his academic adviser to work at a company specializing in water filtration and treatment, Sanshin Manufacturing Co, Ltd. . He was the first foreigner to be employed at Sanshin. He initially wanted to try working for a year and ended up, working until now, his fifth year.

Compared to university lab work, his hours at the Japanese company are shorter yet the demands of the work place are harder since there are more superiors who need to be satisfied time and again with his work outputs and there are colleagues from all levels whom he is expected to have a cordial relationship with. The company is far from our residence too, about an hour's train ride as compared to his university lab which was just 10-minutes away on foot from our home.

The first year was very difficult with all the major adjustments he had to do but after that, Erwin has been coming and going everyday to work and treats it as not a big deal anymore. He says the keys to surviving the Japanese workplace are: working hard, doing more than what they expect you to do, knowing your place in the team and trying to communicate in Japanese. Of course, he believes that the usual values of patience and perseverance are as equally important too specially when confronted with very challenging work issues and concerns.

The challenges were many but he was able to weather them all slowly and successfully. For the last five years, Erwin's research contributions have been recognized by his company and also by a Japanese group of engineering intellectuals. In his second year at his job, his company gave him the Innovation Award and two years later, in 2009 he was again given the same recognition. In 2009 also, he received the Technology Award from The Japan Society of Separation Process Engineers. Erwin, along with his Japanese R and D teammates designed and developed a closed-loop evaporator which is important in recovering chemicals from solutions used in the plating industry.

The simple boy from Los Banos has indeed travelled far, has achieved a slice of greatness in a foreign country with a culture and a language so very different from his own. With his achievements, he has made his parents, family members and also his countrymen proud. But, no matter how big his accomplishments are, he opts to remain an unknown Filipino giant in Nagoya. For that my son and I are proud and all the more make him more endearing to us -- that he is just our dear hardworking Papa who plays with us, eats with us and disagrees with us at the end of every work day.

But in the end, I believe that his story is an inspiration to many that talent, patience and perseverance still remain to be the secret formula for success of many Filipinos working abroad.

Jeepney Press 2010 September-October Issue Page 15

by Neriza Sarmiento-Saito

Summer 2010: one of the most sizzling summers in Japan is officially over. All that are left of it are vivid moments captured on digital cameras and I-phones of “Hanabi” (Fireworks Festivals), barbecue parties by the beach, dolphin nights shows, a day at Universal Studios Japan or simply relaxing in the countryside with your folks. Whether the memories are pleasant or unpleasant, it makes summer another season to look forward to.
My students at the Osaka University are still halfway with their summer break so their interview will not be appearing in this issue. This gave me the chance to get updated on what the rest of the world is doing as much as what the rest of my friends are doing in this world. No better way than FB… Henry and Shirlene in Texas are expecting a baby girl in mid-November, Pia in Honolulu finally found a ZAIZU (Japanese legless chairs to fit into their Japanese-inspired living room, Susan in Dubai sent her 16 year-old daughter Catherine to a culinary arts school in the Philippines to master intricate Philippine cuisine so that she can help manage their Philippine restaurant in the Emirate nation. My niece Sandy in Australia, went on a 40-hour fasting to generate donations for famine-stricken children around the globe, one of their projects at school.

Then there was one interesting update from my adventurous friend Joey… “Just 15 minutes ago, dinukot cp sa bag ko. Kitang-kita ko kamay niya. Biglang pumara, tangay CP. Hinila ko damit niya at saka sinigawan na ibalik CP ko. Nagambala lahat pasahero. Natakot at ibinalik CP ko. WOWSKI… GRABE ...” He was on holiday in one of the most beautiful cities in the Visayan Island and was enjoying the sights and sounds of the place along with local delights like taho and halu-halo. He took a sentimental ride on a jeepney when the incident happened. Many commented that he was tough enough to get even with the thief although such a reaction could have endangered his life. Although the quick-thinking driver drove quickly to the nearest police station the guy slipped away and disappeared in the crowd.
Filipinos who are accustomed to the peaceful living conditions and conveniences in Japan could be at a loss if faced with similar situations. But whatever happened, he got the CP back and his journey continues on Facebook. 

A poem for “Respect for the Aged Day“ written by my late grandfather, Dalmacio C. Ramos (Excerpt)



Jeepney Press 2010 September-October Issue Page 16

K by Amelia Iriarte Kohno

"Class Reunion"
Our friend Dennis is always kind enough to remind JP contributing writers of deadlines. As I just came back from Tacloban, Leyte, my hometown, I told him I already had an interesting material to write, thinking it would be easy after attending to the work that piled up during my absence.

Although, I consider myself a self-retiree, mainly for health reasons, volunteer work keeps me busy. First, was to prepare a short talk about my 10-year battle with cancer for the September International Health Seminar in Kyoto, attend formation meetings of our church-based group, and finalize matters for this year's UTAWIT Singing Contest, among others.

And just when I was settled to write my humorous story, the unexpected happens. My doctors told me that the CA cells had metastasized to my thyroid gland, after consulting them for recent changes in my voice, difficulty swallowing food, even fluid intake. And if I was not used to my oncologists' statements of CA recurrences in my breast, skin, salivary gland and lymph nodes, all these years, I would have been shocked.

Well, let me share my funny experience. After all, laughter is still the best medicine! The visit was really memorable for me and and surely for my OFW (over fifty worker) classmates. We had our Reunion- High School Class of 1962, after 48 years!

On the evening of the much-awaited day, as my brother was driving me to the venue, and seeing a couple of white-haired men walk by, commented, "Sis, if those guys belong to your class, they're old." Perhaps, he was just flattering me, although I often pride myself thinking that my gray hair is due to my treatments. Some more elderly women passed by, but I did not recognize any of them.

Arriving at the buffet-dinner room, atop the hotel, I could hardly believe what I was seeing. Some of my classmates were gracefully dancing the "swing" to the tune of Sha-la-la-la, Dancing Queen and doing the other fast and back-bending dances, with the younger DI. But for us, who had all sorts of pains, we opted to sit, take pictures or just mingle even if most of us had trouble connecting names to faces... It was a wonderful night!

K, in the alphabet-seniors version is for "knees" that crack when they bend.


KANSAI CRUSADE by Sally Cristobal-Takashima

Everyone knew that typhoon Basyang was on her way but not that soon. We have already eaten dinner and quite ready to call it a night when it started to continously rain then it became rain and hollering wind and a power failure that lasted till dawn. We were also visiting Manila after Ondoy unleashed its fury but this time at least dumaan lang ang Basyang. Nabinat yata ako at pumayat sa paglilinis sa harap at paligid ng bahay namin. Nagkalat ang mga dahon, mga nabaling sanga ng puno ng mangga at abokado. At hindi lang mga sanga, mga isang dosenang abokado ang nahulog at nagkalat sa lupa. Dahil sa hindi dadating ang katulong namin sa araw ng bagyo ay inumpisahan ko ng magwalis. Kahit na walisin ay dumidikit ang mga basang dahon sa semento kaya kailangan gamitin ang water hose para umagos ang mga dumi sa labas. Si Mister naman ay bumabawi ng tulog to gain strength and energy for our 7:30 am PAL flight to Cebu which was cancelled.
Honto ni osawagi deshita! Napudpud na yata ang mga daliri ko sa pagdial sa Philippine Air Lines to check the next available flights to Cebu pero hindi ko sila makontak. Okay at relax ka lang, sabi ko sa sarili ko. Ala eh talagang hindi makapaniwala si Mister sa sistema ng telefono sa Pinas compared with Japan. Ayaw siyang maniwala na I could not get through any of the PAL phone numbers. Sabi ko na lang sarili ko... Just u wait Manny Pangilinan for a piece of my mind when I get the chance. Mid adrenalin rush mode pa ako when we decided to go straight to NAIA 2. We were lucky there were taxis because my brother who was suppose to drive us to the airport was having palpitations and fighting a cold.
So it was my sister, myself and Mister who had a non stop animated conversation with the taxi driver all the way to NAIA 2. Madaldal ang driver. He talked about kolorum, donation sa pulis, pakikisama para mabuhay, ingat para hindi pag-initan, condominium gifts in exchange for favors and signatures at iba pa. Sa palagay ko ay malinaw naman ang pag-iisip ng taxi driver at hindi isang baliw ng nagla-lathala ng mga impormasyon. In short isa siyang whistleblower. I hope someday there will be a TV program featuring whistleblowers even if they don't give their names nor show their faces.
At NAIA 2, it seemed like Beyonce will be having a concert looking at the sea of people, halos wala ng madaanan. Pagod na ako talaga at long due for my tapsilog. Ewan ko ba pero palagi ako ang ulo pag labas ng Japan. Finally reached the Chance Passenger Counter and holding on to the belief that my wish has already been granted - we were Number 1 in the list of chance passsengers for the 1:30 pm flight to Cebu here we come. Naglaho yata ang galit at stress ko after having lunch and Buko Pandan for dessert.
As you guessed, na late ang PAL flight namin ng 30 minutes but as sure as the light of dawn, we landed at Mactan International Airport and the we were met by the Cebu Hilton Resort and Spa uniformed attendant and rode their pink car to the resort. Happy ending din and we had a superb Buffet Dinner with our Japanese scuba diving buddies (hoy… sa boat lang ako watching out for sharks lol).
When we returned to Osaka, daughters Lisa and Rie and we agreed as well, to visit Awajishima. We stayed in a Log House in the compound of Wellness Park Goshiki located in Sumoto City.Yes, I would recommend this place to for a weekend escape. The Log House accommodates 6-8 persons, has a well equipped kitchen with pots, pans, dishes, hot plate for yaki niku, toaster, microwave oven, toaster, fridge and a TV. It costs 20,000 yen per night and it is just a short walk to their famous hot spring. For those who like to camp, there is an area designated for Auto Campers. The onsen is FREE for Log House guests.
For those living in the Kanto area, please visit Kansai to marvel at the beauty of Kyoto's Autumn foliage and immerse yourselves in the healing hot springs of Arima in Hyogo Prefecture. Then you can tell all your neighbors and friends that you have been to Arima Hot Springs, the oldest in Japan where Emperors of olden days use to travel for days and nights to leisurely soak themselves for health, relaxation and rejuvenation.
People in Kansai are talking about how difficult it has become to get promo flight bookings of Cebu Pacific Air. Suwertehan at sanayan lang daw. Meanwhile, Philippine Air Lines is campaigning to let people know of their Palakbayan flights. Let's hope more people can travel and avail themselves of reasonably priced flights as we approach this year's holiday season.
Those on board Facebook, huwag naman sana maging FB addict at sayang ang oras. Time is gold di po ba. Kung simply chikahan lang puede na yong paminsan minsan. Ala eh, mga kikoy at kikay- magsunog tayo ng kilay. Magpost din tayo ng informative news to share, kuro kuro, o di kaya'y mga reklamos na may suggested solutions at iba pa.
Hanggang dito na lamang po. Hanggang sa susunod nating pagniniig. Ja ne!

Jeepney Press 2010 September-October Issue Page 17


Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Tanong: Dear Doc Gino, Good Day! Nag research po ako ng mga website na maaaring makatulong sa sitwasyon ko. Last October po, napansin ko na sobrang lakas po ng regla ko. As in umaabot sya ng 2 weeks and may kasamang cramps. November naulit na nmn po yung gnun, malakas pa din pero hndi ko nlng po bingyang pansin its because akala ko po wala lang yun. December, gnun pa din po umabot na po ng almost 1 month yung regla ko, nilagnat na din po ako so i decided then to go oby-gyne para magpa check up.

Sabi ng Doktor, kailngan ko daw po mag pa ultrasound, after ultrasound they found out na thickened daw po yung endometrial lining ko, and may bukol daw po na nakita which is they consider as uterine myomata. Binigyan po muna ako ng gamot nordette pero as i observed dok, nagpapalpitate po yung heart ko everytime na nagte-take ako ng nordette. Tinigil ko po pag inom dok, then after 3 days bumalik yung bleeding and may kasamang pananakit na po sa gilid ko. Pinabayaan ko na lang po yun, hanggang sa nawala ang regla ko at pananakit na yun sa gilid.
Now, tanong ko po sa yo dok, ano po ba tlaga pwede kong inumin para mawala na yung fibroid ko? And anong mga foods ang kailngan iwasan? Magkaka anak pa po ba kaya ako? Maraming salamat. Inaasahan ko po ang iyong pagtugon.

Doc Gino: Sa aking palagay, ang dahilan ng iyong abnormal bleeding ay ang makapal na endometrial lining ng bahay-bata na kung saan nagmumula ang buwanang dalaw. Depende sa laki at lokasyon ng myoma, maaari rin itong maging sanhi ng sobrang pagdurugo. Ang pahintu-hintong pag-inom ng iyong gamut na Nordette ay nagresulta sa withdrawal bleeding kung kaya’t naging irregular lalo ang daloy ng iyong regla.
Kung ano ang dapat kainin o iwasan upang mawala ang bukol sa matris ay wala pang natutuklasan sa panahong ito. Mas mainam kung ipagbibigay-alam mo sa iyong doktor ang sintomas na nararamdaman makatapos inumin ang gamot upang mapalitan ng nababagay para sa iyo. Kung mako-kontrol ng maaga ang lubhang pagdurugo, sa tingin ko naman ay hindi hadlang sa pagdadalang-tao.


PEDESTRIAN LANE by Mylene Miyata

“WIRED” Ka Ba?
Nowadays, how does the technology growth affects your appreciation of the true essence of life?
Hindi naman masama ang walang patid na pag-unlad ng bawat bagay. Malaki po ang pakinabang nating lahat sa tulong ng technology wonders. Pero, aware ba tayo na yung sobrang convenience na nalalasap natin kung minsan ay nagdudulot din ng kakulangan sa ibang aspeto ng pamumuhay natin?
Of all the advancements sprouting like mushrooms everywhere, I personally still long for the "simple life" at times. Talagang hinahanap pa rin ng sistema ko. May pagka-sadista nga ako kase I literally deprive myself of some things para lang kumuha ng escape sa fast phase ng modern life minsan e. Lahat kase ng kilos natin sa panahon ngayon para bang dumedepende na lang lage karamihan sa teknolohiya. From 0 age to senior citizen po iyan. Playstations, Nintendo DS for the kids, iPod, iPhone and iPad for Ate and Kuya. High end, state of the art houses, luxury cars for those people who can afford. Being so "wired" sometimes paralyzes me. Say for instance, communication. Well, noong unang panahon, kapag meron tayong gustong ipadalang mensahe sa mahal natin sa buhay, kailangan pa natin ang "telegrama". Bagay na kailangan pang bumilang ng ilang araw bago dumating sa kinauukulan. And at the moment na matanggap ito ng taong kinauukulan, ay talaga nga namang hindi maikakaila na kalakip ng telegramang iyon ang tunay na saloobin at damdamin ng taong pinanggalingan nito, di po ba? May excitement factor both to the sender and the recipient. Okay! yun yung noon. E, yung sa panahon natin ngayon? Kumusta naman? Not to mention the true intention everytime we intend to convey a message, the means or the channel to do so is actually "too convenient" for all. And this "too much convenience" at hand is usually the main reason why the true emotion is being looked beyond its genuine purpose. Hindi na po natin maramdaman yung sincerity na napapaloob sa kada mensaheng natatanggap natin. Kung minsan pa, iba na din po ang nagiging interpretasyon natin sa ilang mensaheng natatanggap natin. Nakakahinayang din kung iisipin dahil malayo po ang naging kaibahan ng mga epektong ito sa "human relations". The excitement is having its twist when it comes to the true meaning. Mahirap na ma-distinguish kung tama ba na ma-excite ka kase di mo naman alam kung talaga bang mean ng tao yung intention nya sayo kase i-amail nya lang, i-text nya lang yung something, andyan na mabilis pa sa jet na makakarating sayo yung message, di ba?
If we take a little while to analyze what is really going on around us, we will come to realize na minsan, gaya ng computer, kailangan din nating mag re-start, mag-refresh o mag re-boot. We have to find ways para kumuha ng temporary escape sa busy world na ginagalawan natin. Why?! Oo nga naman convenient na nga e. Nagrereklamo pa! We are all thankful and happy for what technology has done for us. Masaya tayo na dahil sa Facebook madali nating nagagawan ng koneksyon ang mga natuldukang relasyon sa mga kakilala natin noong highschool pa tayo. Pero, we really have to know when to "pause", "stop" and "go" just a few moments away from the entrapment to the "wired" life for our own sake. Furthermore, para na rin sa mga taong mahalaga sa atin. We will need that magical feeling of living a simple life once in a while po talaga. Like anything else, we really have to "recharge" ourselves regularly. Depending on the need that will arise, we got to give corresponding rest to ourselves. Be it physical, mental or any depende sa pangangailangan. Hindi po natin kailangang masugid na subaybayan ang mabilis na agos ng pag-unlad ng teknolohiya. Having to be contented at times helps a lot. Hindi po natin kailangang magkaroon ng ipod, iphone at iPad ng sabay sabay. This is the best way to sincerely appreciate the true essence of each endeavour we have in life. This is the best way to also give importance to what we are actually experiencing. We can appreciate what we have in life only if we do not drown ourselves to the package luxury of it. Magiging fulfilled po tayo minus the technology wonders paminsan minsan.
May iPad ka na ba? :-)


Kwento ni Nanay Anita
By Anita Sasaki

Mayroon po akong ibabahaging karanasan na di ko po malimutan at kasama nito ang saya ng naidulot sa akin.

Madalas mayroong mga tumatawag sa akin na humihingi ng tulong ukol sa Immigration.

Araw-araw ay iba-ibang mga problema ang dinudulog at nanghihingi ng tulong at payo.
Kaya iba’t-ibang tao ang aking nakakausap sa telepono. Isang araw, isa sa aking mga kausap ay humiling na kung maaari ay madalaw ko siya at ililipat na siya sa Immigration sa probinsiya. Tawagin natin siyang si Mario. Pumunta ako doon. Nakita ko siya sabay ang tatlong preso sa isang kuwarto. Sabi ng isa sa akin, “Paano po kaya ninyo kami makikilala, Inay? Ngayon lang tayo nagkita.” Sagot ko naman, “sa mga boses ninyo, makikilala ko kung sino sino kayo.”
At naunang nagtanong ang isa, “Sino po ako Inay?” Sagot ko “Si Mario ka.” Nagulat siya. "Bakit po ninyo alam?” “Eh kasi nanay ninyo ako,” sagot ko. “Ikaw si Juan na nakipag-away di ba?” Sagot niya "Opo." “At ikaw naman si Kurt di ba?” Gulat sila. Sabi ko, “Ang popogi naman nang mga anak ko.” Yon po ay totoo. Dinalhan ko sila nang mga babasahin at rosaryo. Ngunit si Mario, Biblia ang kanyang request na dalhin ko. Si Mario din lang ang aking binigyan nang pambili nang telepone card dahil mayroon siyang asawa at mga anak na nasa Pilipinas. At ang bunso niya ay may karamdaman. Kaya kailangan niyang tawagan at subaybayan sila. Lalo nag-iisa ang asawa niyang nag- aalaga sa mga anak nila. Kaya sabi ko huwag kayong mag-seselos at siya lang ang may telepone card. Si Juan ala namang tatawagan at di na niya alam kung nasaan ang apat niyang anak at asawa. Kaya ganoon medyo “stressed” kaya napapaaway. Kaya ang masasabi ko sa iyo, walang kang nakikita, wala kang naririnig at wala kang sasabihin. Para walang gulo. Ang tanong ko, “Meron ka bang uuwian sa atin?” Ang sagot niya, “Wala na nga po. Ang papa ko sumakabilang buhay na at ang mama ko po ay nasa Amerika. Ang naiwan sa Pilipinas ay ang aking lola na 82 taong gulang na po. Kaya ayaw ko rin na si lola ay mabigatan sa aking pagbalik sa Pilipinas.”

Si Kurt naman ay mayroong asawa na mayroong visa nguni't malilit pa ang mga anak, tatlong taon at isang taong gulang. Nguni't bilib din ako sa kanyang asawa na si Janice at ginawa niya lahat nang mga dapat nilang gawin kagaya ng pagpaparehistro sa kanyang mga anak dahil ala pa silang report of birth. Naghanap kami nang maipapamasahe nilang mag anak. Dahil nakakulong nga ang kanyang asawa at si Janice naman ang liliit pa ng kanyang mga anak kaya di siya makapag-hanapbuhay. Si Janice sa maikling panahon ko siyang nakasama sa pag-hahanap nang kanilang pamasahe ng mag-anak. Nakita ko na masigasig din siya sa buhay . Gagawin niya ang lahat alang alang sa kanyang mga anak at asawa. Maski na mahirap gagawin niya para lang mabuo ang kaniyang pamilya. At nasabi niya kung bakit ganoon siya. Dahil daw sa kanyang relasyon sa kanyang ina kung saan noong kunin silang magkapatid ay 9 na taong gulang pa lamang siya. Kaya di siya malapit sa kanyang ina at para siyang nahihiya. Parang ibang tao siya sa kanyang ina.

Kaya ayaw niyang mawalay ang kanyang anak at para di maparis sa kanilang magkapatid na di sila malapit sa kanilang ina. Parang sa pakiwari niya ay ibang tao ang nanay niya. Kaya mahirap man daw ay ayaw niyang magkalayo silang mag-iina.

Jeepney Press 2010 September-October Issue Page 18

Arangkada Pinoy by Yellowbelle Duaqui

Diaspora: Zeitgeist ng Kasalukuyang Panahon
Sa ngayon, humigit-kumulang sa limang milyong Filipino ang matatagpuan sa 160 bansa sa iba’t ibang panig ng mundo. Ayon sa Department of Labor and Employment, kamakailan ay tinutungo na rin ng mga kababayan natin ang bansang Nepal.

Iba-iba ang pananaw tungkol sa Filipino diaspora gayundin ang damdamin ukol dito. May ibang ikinahihiya ito dahil samantalang “bagay” ang ipinapadala ng mga kapitbahay na bansang Asyano ay “tao” naman ang “top export” ng ating bansa sa pandaigdigang merkado. May iba namang nagsasabi na ito ay may kahulugang espiritwal, at kung gayon, ay mayroong higit na malalim na kahulugan.

Kahulugan ng “Diaspora”
Sa kasalukuyan, ayon sa iskolar na si Robin Cohen ng University of Oxford sa kanyang aklat na Global Diasporas, kadalasang ginagamit ngayon ang mga terminong may kinalaman sa pagtatanim upang ilarawan ang “diaspora” bilang isang konsepto. Halimbawa rito ang mga terminong “scattering,” “uprooting,” “transplanting,” at “hybridity.” Dagdag pa ni Cohen, ang salitang “diaspora” ay halaw mula sa speiro, isang salitang Griyego na nangangahulugan sa Ingles na “to sow” (magpunla) o “to disperse” (ikalat).

Kapag “diaspora” na ang pinag-usapan, ani Cohen, agad na nasasaisip ang Jewish diaspora bilang klasikong modelo ng diaspora. Ang pangunahing katangian ng diasporang ito ay ang pagkakaroon ng masamang karanasan sa pinagmulang bansa, na nagbunsod ng paglalakbay at pagkakawatak-watak.

Ngunit sa paglipas ng panahon, iba’t ibang uri ng diaspora ang umusbong sa kasaysayan.

“Global Diasporas”: Sari-saring Lahi
Ayon kay Cohen, bukod sa klasikal na nosyon ng diaspora, mayroon ding mga victim diasporas, labour diasporas, imperial diasporas, trade at business diasporas, at deterritorialized diasporas.

Ang pinaka-prominenteng halimbawa ng victim diaspora ay ang Jewish diaspora. Ngunit bukod dito, nariyan din ang African diaspora, Irish diaspora, Palestinian diaspora at Armenian diaspora. Ayon kay Cohen, ang mga lumilitaw na refugee group sa kasalukuyan ay maituturing na “incipient victim diasporas” ngunit panahon ang makapagsasabi kung sila ay lalago bilang isang “full-blown diaspora.” Ayon kay Sokefeld, na binanggit ni Cohen sa kanyang aklat, makakabuo lamang ng “diaspora” ang isang partikular na “migrant group” sa tulong ng “opportunity structures,” “mobilizing practices,” at “frames.”

Halimbawa naman ng labour diasporas ang mga “indentured Indians.” Ang “indentured labour” ay pagtatrabaho batay sa isang kontrata sa isang partikular na haba ng panahon, kapalit ng transportasyon, pagkain, damit at iba pang pangangailangan. Kaya ang isa pang terminong gamit kaugnay nito ay ang “proletarian diaspora.” Marami pang halimbawa ang labour diaspora
tulad ng mga Chinese, Japanese, Turks, Italians, at North Africans.

Mayroon ding tinatawag na “deterritorialized diasporas” na kadalasa’y iniuugnay sa mga “religious diasporas” at sa mga katawagang “post-colonial,” “hybrid,” at “cultural” diasporas. Makikita ito sa karanasan ng mga Carribeans, Sindhis, Parsis, Muslims, at iba pang religious diasporas.

Isa pang uri ng diaspora na masasabing iba sa victim, labour at deterritorialized diasporas ay ang “imperial diasporas” na tinatawag ding “settler” o “colonial” diasporas. Halimbawa ng ganitong uri ng diaspora ang British diaspora, Russian diaspora, at iba pang diaspora na may kinalaman sa colonial powers.

Panghuli, at isa ring natatanging uri ng diaspora, ay ang trade o business diasporas. Agad na matutukoy na halimbawa ang mga Chinese at Japanese lalo na sa kasalukuyan, ngunit nariyan din ang mga professional Indians, Lebanese traders at mga Venetian traders.

Katangian ng Filipino Diaspora
Batay sa iba’t ibang uri ng diaspora na naranasan ng ibang lahi’t lipunan, maaaring suriin ang uri ng Filipino diaspora. Batay sa aking mga nakalap na datos at pananaw mula sa iba’t ibang iskolar sa migration, masasabing ang Filipino diaspora ay kumbinasyon ng labour diaspora, deterritorialized diaspora/post-colonial diaspora, at dahil maaari ding ikumpara sa Jewish diaspora ang ilang aspeto ng mapapait na karanasan ng kolonisasyon noong araw – ay isa ring “victim diaspora.”

Pinakamadaling siyasatin sa pamamagitan ng datos ang pagiging “labour diaspora” nito. Batay sa pananaliksik ng mga iskolar sa Filipino migration, tatlong katangian ang lumilitaw mula sa mga datos ukol sa Filipino diaspora: contractualized labour, feminized at Asianized.

Ayon kay Stephen Castles sa kanyang aklat na Ethnicity and Globalization: From Migrant Worker to Transnational Citizen, ang Pilipinas ang siyang “labour-exporter par excellence of the modern age” katulad ng papel na ginampanan ng bansang Italya sa Europa isang henerasyon ang nakalilipas.

Ayon kay James Tyner sa Made in the Philippines: Gendered discourses and the making of migrants, nagpapadala ang Pilipinas ng 700,000 katao taun-taon sa higit-kumulang 160 bansa bilang mga trabahante. Sa kasalukuyan, ayon kay Tyner, ang Pilipinas ang pinakamalaking supplier ng “government-sponsored contract labor” sa buong mundo.

Makikita ang Asianization trend sa pamamagitan ng heyograpikal na konsentrasyon ng mga Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) sa iba’t ibang panig ng daigdig. Noong 1970s, ang konsentrasyon ng OFWs ay matatagpuan sa Middle East na binubuo ng mga bansang mayaman sa langis tulad ng Kuwait, Saudi Arabia at United Arab Emirates. Ngunit paglipas ng dalawang dekada o pagsapit ng 1990s, umusbong ang Asianization trend nang higit na nakararaming bilang ng OFWs ang tumungo sa higit na mauunlad na mga bansang Asyano tulad ng Hong Kong, Taiwan, at Japan.

Kilala rin ang Filipino diaspora sa pagiging feminized nito. Nong 2001, halimbawa, 72% ng land-based newly hired OFWs ay babae samantalang 28% lamang ang lalaki.

Masasabi ring deterritorialized diaspora ang Pilipinas dahil sa post-colonial na kalikasan nito. Makikita ito sa kasaysayan ng Philippine migration na humigit-kumulang sa apat na siglo nang tuloy-tuloy na nagaganap. Isa sa mga naunang migration flow ay may kinalaman sa anti-colonial migratory movements laban sa Spanish Occupation mula 1565 hanggang 1898. Sumunod dito ang student at labor migration flows sa pahanon ng American Occupation mula 1898 hanggang 1946.

Ilang Aral mula sa mga “Success Diasporas”
Ayon kay Peter Stalker ng International Labour Office sa kanyang aklat na The Work of Strangers: A survey of international labour migration, 90% ng OFWs ay nasa grupong “sub-professional”: mga manggagawa sa produksyon at transport, domestic helpers, entertainers, atbp. Ang mga manggagawang ito ay malamang na kumita nang higit na mas mababa, ayon kay Stalker, kung nanatili lamang sila sa Pilipinas.

Ang nakikita kong hamon sa Filipino diaspora, gamit hindi lamang ang perspektibang nasyonalismo ngunit gayundin ang perspektibang internasyunalismo o kosmopolitanismo, ay ang pag-tingin ng propesyunalisasyon (professionalization) sa hanay ng mga migranteng Filipino. Ito ang naging pormula ng tagumpay sa karanasan ng maraming lahi mula sa mga Chinese at Japanese hanggang sa mga Indians at Jews. Batay sa karanasan ng mga Chinese, binigyan nila ng napakataas na importansya ang edukasyon ng kanilang nakababatang henerasyon, lalo na sa larangan ng agham at matematika. Ang pag-unlad ng kaalaman ng kanilang nakababatang henerasyon ay naging “tool for social mobility.”

Ayon kay Kotkin, na binanggit ni Cohen sa kanyang aklat, hindi lahat ng diaspora ay nagkaroon ng pantay-pantay na tagumpay sa pangangalakal (entrepreneurship). Naniniwala si Kotkin na taglay ng mga “economically successful diasporas” ang tatlong katangian: (1) matibay na identidad o pagkakakilala sa sarili (strong identity); (2) mabentaheng posisyon sa trabaho (an advantageous occupational profile); at (3) pagpapahalaga sa edukasyon (a passion for knowledge).

Dahil sa pagkakaroon ng matibay na identidad, naniniwala si Kotkin na naging importanteng sangkap ito upang mabuo ang “support systems” sa mga Chinatowns sa mga dayuhang lipunan kung saan tumungo ang mga migranteng Chinese – at siya ring dahilan sa tagumpay ng kanilang mga business ventures at partnerships.

Ayon kay Kotkin, ang mga migranteng kabilang sa diaspora ay masasabing nasa isang mabentaheng posisyon kumpara sa mga migranteng hindi kasapi nito. Ito ay dahil sa mas higit silang nakakakuha ng pulitikal na representasyon sa industriyang kinabibilangan gayundin sa pagiging self-employed, at higit na protektado laban sa pabagu-bagong trends sa labour market.

Ang pagpapahalaga naman sa edukasyon ay masisipat sa pagkalap ng iba’t ibang propesyunal na sertipikasyon tulad ng diploma, degree certificate, vocational o professional qualification, na nagsisilbing pasaporte tungo sa professional growth ng mga matagumpay na miyembro ng isang diaspora. Makikita ito, ayon kay Kotkin, sa karanasan ng mga Chinese, Jews at Koreans. Halimbawa, sa mga Chinese families, madalas ay may “constant pressure and supervision” mula sa mga magulang na pahalagahan ng mga anak ang edukasyon gayundin ang pagkakaroon ng disiplina sa buhay kaya na-internalize ng mga batang Chinese ang values ng kanilang mga magulang bilang kanilang pansariling values. Ang pagkakaroon ng magandang grado sa eskuwelahan o kaya ang matagumpay na pagpasok sa magagandang eskuwelahan ay mga bagay na hinahangaan sa lahing ito.

Batay sa mga nabanggit na iba’t ibang diaspora, mapapagtanto natin na hindi naman pala tayo nag-iisa sa pagharap sa mga hamong kaakibat ng pangingibang-bayan. Bilang isang “recognized” na diaspora, may bentaheng nakukuha ang mga OFWs sa mga tinutungong lipunan dahil na rin sa pulitikal na representasyong bunga ng pagiging miyembro ng isang diaspora. Ngunit nananatiling hamon ang pag-angat ng antas ng propesyunalisasyon – dahil sa kasalukuyan ay nakararami pa rin sa OFWs ang napapabilang sa sub-professional groups kumpara sa mga grupong propesyunal. Ang pag-angat ng antas ng propesyunalismo ay magagawang posible kung mas lalong pahahalagahan ng mga magulang at anak sa mga OFW families ang papel na ginagampanan ng edukasyon sa kaunlaran ng pamilya.


Short-Cuts by Farah Trofeo-Ishizawa

First Cut –
After a day at the mall with my good friend Leslie and her daughter, I hopped on the bus, rushed to the station to catch my train to go home for dinner.

Second Cut –
To my surprise, I got home after an hour. Waited for the train for 30 minutes because someone committed suicide earlier in the afternoon, and all the train schedules just went “crazy”.

Third Cut -
Yes, this is Japan, the country where suicides are very common but I pray to our dear Lord to bless these people and to show them the right way.

Fourth Cut -
A large percentage of the causes I think has to do with having a different religion or no religion at all. Faith plays a very BIG role in this, right?

Fifth Cut -
Depression – the absence of hope is usually the reason for suicides. If they had hope, they would not even think of this – can you imagine yourself with no chance, or no hope – desperate and lost?

Sixth Cut -
This is so sad because this is part of the society we live in. This world needs people to help people. Sana matulungan natin sila.

Seventh Cut -
But with what I see around me, this world is sick. The way the young people carry themselves – just the simple act of sitting for a meal at the restaurants- they sit as if they are at home, with legs up on the chair…

Eighth Cut -
The world is sick, with so many parents killing their own children. Or family members killing one or all of their family; people missing; old people missing or not declared dead by their family for whatever reasons they may have financially related or not ; child abuse; men or women being maltreated; sexual exploitation; harassment and what have you…
Oh, what is the world coming to? People with no delicadesa, vulgar use of language and talking smart; or just the opposite of shutting themselves out from the world by being pre-occupied with their games, their mobile phones or whatever modern gadget hanging around their necks.

Just thinking about this, makes me really sad. I pray to God, for healing of the society we live in. Dear readers- please pray for the people of this world.
As Michael Jackson sang – “Heal the world, make it a better place.”

God Bless –Mama Mary loves us !