Friday, September 24, 2010

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!

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