KANSAI CRUSADE by Sally Takashima
Viewing the Autumn foliage is such a great delight but the sight of hibernating leafless trees is a sober sight. Panahon na ng taglagas. Maraming naniniwala na hindi angkop na magbukas ng bagong negosyo sa panahong ito dahil malayong suertehen ang taong nagbukas ng negosyo. Kapag naman daw ikaw ay tumayo sa ilalim ng puno sa panahon ng taglagas at maghintay na sumalo ng dahon, ikaw daw ay hindi sisipunin at malalayo ka sa trankaso. Okay ito diba dahil hindi ka na gagastos sa pagbili ng gamot. So, kumusta na kayong lahat diyan? May natira pa ba kayong suntan? Marami naman siguro kayong mga litratong nakuha ng inyong pagbabakasyon, ng nakaraang undokai, side trips during the long weekend (renkyu) at ng mga paggagala ninyo sa iba ibang lugar.
So it’s already autumn and what have you done? Soon another year will be over pero hindi pa nagtatapon ng mga bagay na hindi na kailangan. Isang artikulo ang dinala ng dati kong Nihonggo sensei tungkol sa 10 bagay na para sa mga babaeng Hapones ay mahirap itapon. Kasama na dito and mga lumang litrato, mga magandang paper shopping bags, mga sulat ng kaibigan, mga mahal na damit na hindi isinusuot.
Panahon din ng pag-liligpit at pag-uumpisa ng pag-lilinis upang salubungin ang darating na bagong taon. Starting to declutter would be a wise move otherwise gahol ka sa pag- aayos ng bahay. Isa na ako at talagang dadalhin ko na ang mga disposables ko sa shotengai where there is a non profit recycle shop whose sale proceeds are donated to a charity organization educating handicapped youths.
Hubby and I had a great time in Puerto Princesa, our first time ever to visit Palawan. Looking at the map it seemed so far away- like an entirely different country. Typhoon hardly ever passes by Palawan nor has there been any earthquakes. The Palawenos in Puerto Princesa speak Tagalog with hardly no accent. Malumanay ang mga tao at mura at masarap ang gulay, prutas at seafoods. Nakakaenganyong magbakasyon dito ng pangmatagalan. Matamis ang simoy ng hanggin, nakakatawag pansin at nakakaakit ang paligid. Our island hopping tour of Honda Bay took us to Snake Island, Starfish Island, and Luli Island. They have shallow reefs where children can feed fishes or gather sea shells while others can go snorkeling, exploring dive sites, after picnics organized by travel agencies. The paradise that is Puerto Princesa also prides itself in offering all kinds of jungle eco tours and the visit to the Crocodile Farm is one unforgettable site where endangered crocodiles are bred, raised until they are ready to be returned to their natural habitat. The Japanese Government is funding this eco site which also has a nearby eco park where endangered birds are protected and raised. The highlight of our trip was the tour of the Subterranean River National Park, a short hike from the town of Sabang which is about 2 hours from the city of Puerto Princesa. The underground river can be reached by boat after wearing an orange and colorful helmets. Limestone mountains surround the entrance of the river which cuts through a cave of stalagmites, stalactites in all kinds of formation. As the boat moved quietly, birds and bats swooped here and there. Our friendly, efficient, entertaining
well informed guide answered our questions as he propelled the boat that carried 7 passengers. Touring the underground river is like going back in time when earth has not been explored yet. It seemed like a portal to the interior portion of the earth.
Palawan will remain to be one the premium tourist destination that will continue to draw tourists, divers, adventu-rers, eco researchers from all over the world. Inspite of Puerto Princesa’s natural attractions, it has kept commercialism at bay and hopefully whatever development in infrastructures Mayor Edward Hagedorn may have in mind, will be environmental-friendly.
Recently talagang mataas ang presyo ng mga bilihin at dito malalaman ang galing ng mga kababaihan sa pamimili at pagtitipid. Like the wise and persevering workaholic ants, have we stored enough for the rainy days? Nakapagtabi at nakapagtipid ba tayo para sa panahon ng pangangailangan o o-share (fad) na lang at puro bili dito at bili doon, na addict na sa Starbucks, panay ang alak, gaishoku at good time. Para sa nalalapit na bagong taon, sana naman magkabati na ang mga Pinoy na may mga complicated relationships, makakuha na ng trabaho ang mga jobless, makakita na ang mga “bulag” at makarinig na ang “bingi” at ano pa ba? O tama ka diyan- na magkaroon ng masayang pagsasalo-salo ang mga Japan based Pinoys na magdadaos ng Pasko at Bagong Taon sa ating bayang Pilipinas.
Oops, allow me to mention about cases that has been happening in airports in other countries. Mayroon daw pumupunit ng importanteng pages sa passport pag hindi nakatingin ang pasaherong may-ari at pagkatapos ay dadalhin ka sa isang office for interrogation and mas grabe pa- a stiff penalty is imposed. Nabasa ko ito sa Internet and just for your info, mag-ingat po tayo at pay attention pag nag-check-in. Pagbalik ninyo sa Japan at kung NAIA 3 ang lalabasan ninyong airport, take care po sa mga locks ng bagahe and suit cases ninyo. Ayaw ko sabihin na baka may mga sindikato na nagbubukas ng suit cases at naghahanap ng mga valuables na makukuha. Nawala ang lock ng suitcase ng isa kung kakilala ng dumating kami sa Palawan. Whether this is just an occurrence in domestic flights - pero the point to remember is sa NAIA 3 kami nag check-in．Paalala lang po.
And now for our news from Kansai. Our Consul Senen Mangalile has started his round of despedida parties as he is being recalled to Manila. He will be posted after 2 years to another country. We wish you all the best and we will always remember you. His 8 year posting at the Philippine Consulate General, Osaka-Kobe has grealy contributed to the success of many events and activities of the Philippine Community. His kind and friendly support brought the various Filipino community groups closer by emphasizing cultural cohesiveness and a common goal to succeed in Japan. Consul Senen Mangalile together with Consul General Lourdes Ramiro V. Lopez has reminded the Filipinos in Kansai time and time again to treasure our cultural heritage, draw strength from the virtues and wisdom of our Filipino heroes as it is in rediscovering our strength as a Filipino can we truly stand tall and be proud and honestly say “Kaya ko dahil ako ay Filipino.” Maraming salamat po, Sir Senen.
The Sports Fest organized by the Philippine Community Coordinating Council for this year was attended by various Filipino groups including Kyoto Filipino Pag-asa Community, Osaka Mabuhay Group, Suita San Lorenzo Filipino-Japanese Community, Nara Mabuhay Association, KAFFA, Kadoma Filipino Friendship Association, Himeji Filipino Community, Yagi Philippine Community, Nara Catholic Filipino Community, Kitano Filipino Christian Community and Knights of Rizal. Various Filipino dishes were prepared and offered for sale by Bessie Vicente assisted by Libye Suzuki. Among the sponsors were the Philippine Consulate General, Department of Tourism and Metro Bank, Osaka Branch. The lucky winner of the round trip ticket to the Philippines donated by ACT Tourist was Mila Mukai.
Congratulations to Dave Aguilar who topped the 13 grand finalist during the recent 2010 Utawit Grand Finals Singing Competition held recently at the Akasaka Kumin Center in Tokyo. His singing rendition of “Nais Ko” was his winning piece and he proved that walang talo ang isang Osaka based Pinoy sa paligsahan ng pag-awit. Again, omedeto Dave and wishing you more success in the near future. We are proud of you.
Famous Philippine historian from Ateneo, Ambeth Ocampo is currently in Kyoto University, Department of Southeast Asian Studies as a Guest Researcher. He has heard Sunday mass at the Kyoto Cathedral, enjoyed leisurely walks along the Kamo River and and has been taking photos of interesting sights in Kyoto to show his students who are all eager to have him back in Manila for the next school semester.
Do you know that we have many scholars from the Philippines doing their graduate studies in famous universities in Kansai. Many of them lend a helping hand during community cultural events and attend celebrations as well. Among them are KAPS (Kyoto Association of Philippine Scholars) members like Michael Delno, Nicole Comafay Heinrich, Jong Vasquez and Gennie Ramos and from Osaka University, we have Susan Aspera, Rafael Cabredo, Joaquin Moreno and Eric Donya.
The Amagasaki Philippine-Japanese Christian Community celebrated their anniversary with a mass and a party at the Amagasaki Catholic Church. Maritess Kita and her able staff organized the successful affair.
Some members of the Kyoto Pag-asa Christian Community prove that Filipinos can wear beautiful Japanese kimonos elegantly. By joining the Kyoto YWCA Japanese Cultural Experience, Vilma Furuzawa, Daisy Nozawa, Carisa Sugiyama Gloria Takahashi and Jay-r Toque had an opportunity to have pictures taken properly wearing a Japanese kimono as well as a pair of tabi and sandals. Enjoy sila!
Next time you take a (CEB) Cebu Pacific Air flight, you might still see the dance performance of the flight attendants as they show the safety features of the aircraft. One passenger video taped the performance and posted in You Tube - in case anyone want to watch it. CEB Vice President for Marketing and Distribution says in an interview of GMA News Philippines: “We were looking for something new and different to show that flight safety doesn’t have to be boring. Iyog adds that CEB even hired professional choreographers to help the (FA) flight attendants perfect their routine. However, the Flight Attendants‘ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippine says: “It might look like a harmless publicity stunt to attract passengers but it may have a negative and sexist impacts on the mind of the public” thus the FA association
is hoping CEB will reconsider the gimmick for the sake of gender sensitivity and professionalism.
Last but not least, may I mention that there is a 21 year old upcoming Filipino-Japanese Sumo wrestler. At such an early age and by watching his YouTube videos, makikita ninyo ang kakaibang gilas ni Akira Takayasu sa larangan ng Sumo. Taga-Davao ang kanyang ina at pinanganak siya sa Ibaraki Prefecture. After you watch his YouTube videos, maaaring masabi din ninyo na malayo ang mararating ng batang ito.
Ito po ay pang-anim na pasada ng Jeepney Press. Thank you to all our dear readers. To those traveling during the holiday season, let’s spend our hard earned yen wisely. Watch out for the glass doors. Ano pa ba? Don’t over-eat at hirap mag-diet. Most of all - to you and your loved ones, a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year from all of us here at Jeepney Press.