Thursday, May 13, 2010
SA TABI LANG PO by Renaliza Rogers
Namasyal ako sa mall noong isang araw. Brownout nanaman kasi sa bahay, palibhasa’y may power shortage daw. Kaya’t araw gabi ang brownout sa bahay at halos magsebo na ang katawan ko sa sobrang init. Kaya hayun, nagpasya akong pumunta ng mall dahil aircon doon.
Paakyat sana ako ng escalator nang makita ko ang nauna sa aking isang dalagang mukhang nag-aalangang umakyat sa escalator. Nahalata kong parang galing siyang bukid at first time niya sa mall at first time din niyang makakita ng escalator. Nakatayo lamang siya sa paanan ng paakyat na hagdan at mistulang kumukuha ng saktong timing upang sumakay sa escalator. Nagkamali siya ng desisyon at humawak sa paakyat na hawakan, siguro ba’y babalanse siya’t sasakay. Ngunit sa kasamaang palad ay nahila siya ng hawakan pataas at hindi siya bumitaw kaya’t lamagapak siyang paluhod sa bakal na hagdan. Ang kanyang step-in na sandal ay lumipad sa kung saan.
Sus ko po, buti na lang at hindi siya napaano’t napaluhod lang. Kaya’t hindi ko mapigil ang sarili ko’t napahagikhik, lalo na nung dali-dali siyang tumakbo pababa ng pataas na escalator upang i-salvage ang step-in niyang lumipad at natisod ng umabot siya sa dulo ng escalator sa taas.
First time marahil nitong dalagang sumakay ng escalator, kung hindi man ay lulang-lula lamang talaga siya sa gumagalaw na hagdang ito. Tataya ako sa first time dahil kung hindi naman ito ang unang beses na sumakay siya sa escalator at nalulula lamang siya, bakit hindi niya naisip na madidisgrasya siya kapag humawak siya sa hawakan? Napaluhod man siya at nangamatis ang mukha sa sobrang kahihiyan ayos lang yun dahil lahat ng bagay naman eh may first time.
Naalala ko ang aming bisitang dayuhan sa bahay, isang matalik na kaibigan ng aking tiyahin sa Australia at first time niya noong pumunta ng Pilipinas upang mamasyal, at syempre upang makatagpo ng isang magandang dalagang mapapangasawa niya. First time niyang maligo sa aming banyo at first time niya ring makakita ng ordinaryong gripong pinipihit upang umandar. Pindot siya ng pindot ngunit walang tubig na lumalabas. Pinukpok pa niya ngunit wala pa rin. Ayaw siguro niyang pahalata kaya’t kunwari’y nagbago ang isip niya’t hindi na lang siya maliligo na kung tutuusin nama’y rinig hanggang taas ang pagpupukpok niya sa gripo.
Dinala rin siya ng aking kapatid sa isang mumurahing beerhouse. Papunta pa lang ay pumara sila ng traysikel na masasakyan. Isang double-seater na traysikel na di tulad sa Maynila, meron itong upuan sa likod at kayang sumakay ng anim na tao, pwera sa driver. Ang traysikel na pinara nila eh nagkataong may isang pasaherong dalaga na nakasakay sa harapan kaya’t ang sabi ng kapatid ko sa bisitang dayuhan ay “You go ride at the back” habang ang kapatid ko naman eh nag back-ride sa likod ng driver. Hindi siguro naintindihan ng dayuhang bisita at umakyat sa likuran ng traysikel upang sumabit sa hawakan sa labas. Nagmukha siyang bagahe at para akong mapapaihi sa kakatawa ng ikwento ito ng aking kapatid dahil sino ba namang tanga ang sasabit sa likod ng traysikel kung nakita naman niyang may upuan para sa pasahero sa likod?
So noong sila’y nakarating na sa beerhouse, umupo sila’t umorder ng inumin at nilagang mani sa isang batang naglalako sapagkat gusto raw nitong bisitang kumain ng mani. Ngunit nagtaka ang aking kapatid na kung bakit sa tinagal-tagal na ng kakakain nila ng mani ay wala pa ring basurang bao ng mani itong bisita habang ang kapatid ko naman ay may bulubunduking tumpok ng bao ng mani sa kanyang harapan. Yun pala ay kinakain nitong bisita na buo pa ang nilagang mani at hindi pa nababalatan. Kaya pala daw ang sama ng lasa at masyadong crunchy. Ewan ko ba kung bakit hindi man lang niya naisip balatan o magtanong man lang kung paano ito kinakain. Anong nakuha niya? Hayun, sumama ang tiyan kinabukasan.
Noong umuwi naman ang aking ina mula Japan upang mamasko kasama ang pamilya, marami siyang dalang mga pasalubong, kabilang na ang mga pambahay na tsinelas. Excited ang aking lola makakuha ng tsinelas kaya’t ang sabi niya sa mama kong nagpapahinga ay pipili na daw siya sa kwarto ng tsinelas upang hindi na reject o pinagpilian ang makuha niya. Paglabas niya eh meron siyang suot-suot na itim na tsinelas sa kanyang kanang paa. Minomodel model pa nga niya sa harapan namin. Yun daw ang napili niya dahil napakalambot at hindi dumihin pero hindi daw niya makita ang kapares. Nung tinitigan ko ay napatawa ako dahil maliit na bag pala ng camera ang suot-suot ni lola sa kanyang paa.
Lahat naman ng bagay eh may first time o unang pagkakataon. Minsan nakakatawa ang mga karanasan, minsan nama’y nakakainis. Ngunit marami sa atin na sa halip ay magpatulong o magtanong kung paano ginagawa ang isang bagay eh lulunukin na lamang ang pride at magkukunwaring sanay habang nagdadasal na sana’y tama ang ginagawa niya upang hindi mapahiya o umulit sa umpisa.
Tulad ko noon na tinuruang sumakay ng tren ng aking ina mula Shibuya pauwi sa bahay namin noon sa Ishikawa-dai. Syempre ayokong mapahiya sa aking bunsong kapatid at nagmarunong kaysa magtanong. Nakarating nga naman kami sa bahay ngunit madilim na at hindi ako tinantanan ng sisi ng aking kapatid, lalo na nung malamang lumamig na ang aming hapunan.
Nag-exam ang mga 254 na nurses mula sa Indonesia at Pilipinas sa national nursing exam ng Japan. Tatlo lang daw ang nakapasa. Galing siguro ng tatlong iyon. Imagine, they have to take the exam in Japanese. Siguradong puro mga technical and medical Japanese terms in kanji ang nasa exam. Hindi yung mga conversational and grammatical Japanese language exam. Congrats sa tatlo!
Mas hihigpit ang pag-search sa Narita Airport starting July this year. The Transport Ministry will start testing full-body scanners capable of detecting explosives and chemicals which conventional metal detectors would miss. Para raw silang radar for meat capable of creating 3-dimensional images of people and objects. Because they are effective in seeing through clothing, may mga human rights group na nag-complain about violations of passenger privacy. Ito ngayon ay pinag-aaralan dito sa Japan.
Sa mga Mac computer fans, did you know that the term "iPad" was registered way back 2003 by Fujitsu? Mukhang nagkasundo ang Fujitsu and Apple companies para magamit ang pangalan na "iPad" in exchange for an undisclosed amount. Magkano kaya?
Sa mga smokers naman, the Japanese government says it will raise taxes on tabacco by 3.5 yen per cigarette sa darating na Oktubre. This will be the first price increase in four years.
Pinatalsik ng CEO ng Prada Japan ang mga 15 shop managers and assistants nila dahil sila ay matanda, pangit, mataba at hindi kanais-nais ang hitsura at walang karapatan maging Prada representatives. Aray ko po nanay!
Have you seen the yellow shinkansen passed by? Doctor Yellow is the nickname for the high-speed test trains that are used on the shinkansen routes. The trains have special equipment on board to monitor the condition of the track. Dr. Yellow runs about once every 10 days and is supposed to bring good luck to all who see it. Good luck!
Naging napakalamig ng buwan na Abril dito sa Japan. Sa Tokyo, it was 7 degrees. Osaka recorded 6.3 degrees. This is the coldest mid-April temperature in 100 years. In some places like Nagano, there is still wintery snow. For some commuters in Tokyo, OK lang raw kahit malamig especially when they have to squeeze into a crowded train or bus like they are heated inside an oven.
TRAFFIC by Alma R. H. Reyes
Beauty and the Beast
“Young girl, get out of my mind
My love for you is way out of line
Better run, girl, you're much too young, girl
With all the charms of a woman
You've kept the secret of your youth
You led me to believe you're old enough
…'Cause I'm afraid we'll go too far, Oh,
With the start of the fiscal year in April, many Japanese move to new beginnings: new schools, new jobs, new homes, new husbands and wives (Ha!), and new looks—new fashion, new make-up or new hairstyle. Having lived in five different countries, I can say that the attention given to beauty is never as evident and age widespread as in Japan. I don’t just refer to beauty of the gardens, temples, food presentation, kimono or the four seasons, but physical beauty, which, by the way, does not necessarily relate to whether Japanese are beautiful or not. (I think we, gaijins, know what this means….)
During the 70s and the 80s, even if Japan had already boasted of prime fashion leaders, like Issey Miyake or Hanae Mori, fashion as seen in everyday life, was not as visible to the public eye as it is today. During those times, it was even rare to see a Japanese woman wearing jeans. At the height of the bubble economy, when more Japanese started to learn the joys of traveling, they brought back with them their Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Lancômbe omiyage. Magazines about fashion and beauty (“este” as they call it) escalated in the last five to ten years, and even Japanese television shows more cosmetics commercials than any other product.
Takeshita Dori in Harajuku has become the icon of youthful Japanese fashion, and I bet no Japanese girl above twelve years old has never strolled around this area. My hairdresser once told me that fashion does not begin in Paris, but in Harajuku. Honto? A survey also said that the average Japanese female spends most on cosmetics than any other foreign female. It used to be the common thought that the world of fashion, facials and cosmetics only belonged to women in their 20’s to 50’s. But in today’s modern Japan, teenage girls starting from junior high school level and above make cosme-tics and nail shops their next stops after fashion boutiques. In fact, I’m a bit lost why teenage girls today, as young as thirteen years old, have become so conscious of their body and physical appearance more than they were twenty years ago. Adding to my confusion is why Japanese men pay so much attention to them as though they have become modern targets of their sexual fantasies.
In recent years, did you not notice the rise of crimes involving young schoolgirls? No one forgets the gruesome incident of an elementary schoolgirl who was kidnapped, killed, then dumped in a creek, and a picture of her broken teeth sent to the parents by mobile phone (and, there were more than one such incident); schoolgirls kidnapped and assaulted while walking on their way home from school; schoolgirls abused in karaoke boxes or clubs where some go to work illegally; schoolgirls harassed inside trains or while standing on escalators (with the men secretly taking mobile phone pictures of the girls’ underskirts); and schoolgirls harassed by teachers. News reports of hidden cameras found inside toilets of girls’ schools and set up by teachers themselves were totally appalling! Kadiri! And, all these incidents may have one thing in common: the girls wear school uniforms. In case you haven’t noticed, the schoolgirl uniform (blazer, white blouse with ribbon, and plain or checkered skirt) has become a piece of provocation for many Japanese men, which goes beyond the “kawaii” look. Maybe if these Japanese girls stop pulling up their skirts, revealing hence, their innocent thighs and legs, men would not feel as teased as they are willing to admit. You can also see these perverted tendencies in Japanese TV dramas, commercials, magazines, and Japanese manga.
You must know of AKB48. It’s a VERY popular group of about 47 or so teenage girl singers from 14 years old and up, known for their “kawaii” look as they sing and dance wearing schoolgirls’ uniforms. They published their own photography book that shows them wearing skin-tight, high V-cut, low-necklined Playboy bunny-looking outfits in sexy poses, and individual close-up shots of their lips in a kissing mode. Yes, 13-, 14-year olds. That may sound offensive to all women, but just watch how they are so loved by the Japanese showbiz crowd, thousands of fans, and many Japanese men who cannot stop being amused by their “cuteness”—probably, among them, the same men who harass schoolgirls in trains and escalators.
One can only make a psychoanalysis of what drives many Japanese men to have such fetish for young schoolgirls, especially when they are wearing those “kawaii” girls’ uniforms. Is it Daddy complex? Or, just the lure for the young and innocent? And, please don’t assume that “Women Only” coaches in trains prevent chikans from groping girls. Believe me, it still happens. Well, go to bookshops and stop by the magazine section. There, you can see a whole array of young girls magazines featuring young teenagers in grotesque make-up, hairstyle, and mini-mini skirt fashion. Their poses are not just telling you to buy their clothes or dress up and look like them; they are really calling you to come to them. It’s a kind of marketing strategy that uses minors to entice sales. Naturally, interested men fall for it. But, worse, the teenage girls love it, too. The line that should draw a limit to physical exposure is now invisible.
Indeed, we do pay a lot to be beautiful, and feeling beautiful often makes us happy, not realizing that somewhere out there, there will always be a beast admiring our beauty in ways more degrading than we can imagine. And, if that attraction happens between a 14-year old schoolgirl and a 40-year old man, who can say who teased whom?
I don’t know about you, but Japanese men smiling at schoolgirls in their uniforms just gives me the creeps. Ewww…or maybe that’s because I also own a similar checkered skirt…
DAISUKI! by Dennis Sun
What's so golden about Golden Week? Kumikinang ba itong linggo na tulad ng isang ginto?
At first, I thought they used the word gold to mean “precious.” Pero sabi ni oji san, during the late 1940's in the radio industry, they used the lingo “golden time” to denote a period of the highest ratings in air time. And during this week, mataas daw ang benta ng ticket sales for travel kaya naging "golden week" and tawag. Naru hodo!
Golden Week is a conglomeration of different holidays. April 29 is the Showa (Emperor) Day. May 1 is Labor Thanksgiving Day (though not an official Japan public holiday). In Japan, when a public holiday lands on a Sunday, the next day that is not a holiday automatically becomes a holiday for that year. May 3 is Constitution Memorial Day. May 4 is Greenery Day. May 5 is Children's Day. Parang armalite of holidays!
Golden Week is also known as Oogata Renkyuu or Oogon Shuukan. Many companies in Japan during this time close down completely to give their employees time off. Golden Week is perhaps the longest vacation period of the year that spans from a week to 10 days. Other long vacations are Oshogatsu in January and Obon in August.
So you want to travel? Be prepared with the ticket prices. Skyrocketing! Golden Week, Obon and Oshogatsu are the most expensive seasons in Japan for traveling whether domestic or international. If you want to save money, do it before or after these seasons are over. You can avoid not only the expensive tickets but the crowd, as well! I notice that in Tokyo during these seasons, it's so quiet because most people are either abroad or in the countryside. You will notice that the trains are 90% empty. Kung ang feeling mo during the normal days ay parang sardinas sa loob ng train, this time, parang pwede kang matulog sa couch at pag-gising mo, mag- bowling pa sa loob!
After Golden Week, we prepare for the wet season they call TSUYU (or BAIYU), which literally means "plum rain" because it coincides with the ripening of the plums. Actually, in Okinawa, tsuyu starts early May. In Kanto and Kansai, around early June.
Ewan ko ba kung bakit ang mga Pilipino, takot sa ulan. Every time we have an appointment to meet for casual meetings, I am definite I would receive calls from several Pinoy friends about canceling or postponing the meeting altogether. Ayaw mabasa? Hindi ba tayo sanay sa ulan at bagyo sa Pinas? Si Arnold, either late siya sa work o kaya tatawag sa kumpanya para sabihin meron siyang sakit… dahil lang sa ulan.
I used to hate going out in the rain. I guess even now, I don't like walking under the rain from work and especially going to work. The feeling that you are wet especially on your shoes and socks can't let me concentrate on whatever I am doing at work. And when it has been raining non-stop for several days, the laundry clothes are left to dry inside the rooms and get smelly when they dry. I suggest you bring your laundry to the coin laundry if your neighborhood has one nearby. For 300 yen, totally dry lahat ng one-week clothes ninyo!
One good thing about the rainy season is the less crowd in the streets, tourist places, and almost everywhere. You go visit an onsen, a spa and dip in the pool outside. Sarap ng feeling! It's like you rented the whole place to yourself. Nice time to relax and ponder about life. This is what I call a golden time.
They say rain gives you the blues. True. But rain teaches us to stop and be still. Ayaw mong lumabas ng bahay? Ok lang. Then, anong gagawin mo sa loob ng bahay? Watch a good movie or read a nice book. Clean your room and cook a healthy delicious meal. Ang daming pwedeng gawin during the rain kahit na-stuck ka sa loob ng bahay. Siguro, you like to sleep longer when it’s raining. Yan ang gawi natin sa Pinas. Kasi malamig kapag umuulan. But in winter Japan, whether it’s raining or not, malamig. Super lamig! Kung pwede ngang mag-hibernate at matulog na lang buong winter season at magising pagdating ng spring...
Anyway, when we take advantage of our time and use it wisely, it becomes a golden time for us. Pinapahalagaan natin ang bawat oras natin sa mundo. Ayaw kong sabihin, pero sasabihin ko na. Gasgas na kasi, eh. “Time is gold.” Aray ko po! Hayan, nasabi ko na! Tanong ko sa yo ngayon: Anong klaseng gold ang time mo? I am not talking about your watch.
Are you a fake gold? Ang dami sa atin ang nag-papanggap maging ginto. Paano ba maging ginto ang isang tao? It takes time for gold to become gold. And it also takes a long time to polish gold to make it shine brightly. Compared to people, we become golden as years pass by. Kaya nga sinasabing we turn gold when we reach the age of 50. Kasi, by that time, we assume that we have already grown matured and wise. By that time, most of us have reached our dreams. We are on the top of the ladder of success. We are real gold! Because through our experiences and accomplishments, we shine like gold. We don’t have to brag about who we are. Our deeds tell everyone how golden we are already.
However, if you are a fake gold, you really have to try hard to tell everyone stories of what you have done and who your great friends are. Ok, you achieved this and that. You know this and that person. Kailangan png sabihin? Kailangan pang ibunyag? Sabi ni Nanay, “When your star is twinkling in the sky, you don’t need to tell. Everyone can see you up there already.” Mother knows best!
If you are not yet a gold, don’t try to be. If you are a silver or bronze, accept who you are and don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t. Kahit isa kang bato sa buhangin, basta’t masaya ka at ginagampanan mo ang iyong tungkulin, you are golden in your own way already. Hindi ka gold-plated...as in gold sa labas pero sa loob, mababang klaseng metal. Tandaan: Hindi lahat ng kumikinang ay ginto!
Kaya po habang tayo ay bata pa at genki, we should make use of our time in doing our work and achieving our dreams. Huwag magbulakbol. Huwag sayangin ang oras sa walang kwenta. Sabi nga ng mga Intsik, “An inch of time is an inch of gold, but you can't buy that inch of time with an inch of gold.” Ibig sabihin nito, time is more precious than gold. Once you wasted time and let it pass away, you will regret it for the rest of your life. Not even money nor gold can buy what you have wasted yesterday!
Lahat po tayo ay tumatanda. We all grow old but we should always remember to go for gold!
Shoganai: Gaijin Life by Abie Prinsipe
The Convenience of the Combini
We bid goodbye again to another spring. This means everyone and anyone would be lauding the beauty of the cherry blossoms. Ethereal and passing, the sakura is always the central point of the spring season anywhere in Japan.
But, let me take a path less trodden in this article. Although, not to belittle the beauty of the sakura, let me be more bland and talk about something else that can't be avoided when living in Japan. I am talking about the ubiquitous combini, or in proper English, convenience stores. There is absolutely no escaping combinis in Japan. These are the little stores that save you the trip of going to the supermarket, if all you need is a carton of milk or juice. Anywhere you go in Japan, you will run into a combini, and although the prices in these little shops are not at par with the local supermarket, their location and ease of shopping sometimes makes up for the price difference.
I had a friend who was literally saved by the combini. These were the days when we were dependent on scholarship money, which was sometimes delayed in coming, and being the students that we were, having no head at all for budgeting, we often ended up not knowing where to get food, when we didn't have cash on hand. At that time, most of the supermarkets around the dormitory and university didn't accept credit cards, which was all my friend had by the time the scholarship money has run out. He then discovered that the combini near his university accepted credit cards! He was so surprised and elated, that he went a little bit crazy with his grocery shopping. Viva la combini!
Another unavoidable thing regarding combinis is that they sometimes have items sold only at a specific combini. There are a slew of different combinis all around Japan. In Nagoya, we have 7-11, which has a senbei snack that can't be found anywhere else; there is FamilyMart, which sells yummy ice cream; Lawson, which sells really good milk, and MiniStop, which sells a soft ice cream called “halo-halo!” So, if you happen to have developed a taste for a certain snack, and this snack is only available at a particular combini, it becomes part of your daily routine to pass by this particular combini, just to buy your snack. This kind of defeats the “convenience” in combini, but... shoganai!
SHITTE IRU? by Marty Manalastas-Timbol
ALAM NYO BA…na according to Symantec’s report on 2010 security trends, one in five online consumers is a victim of cyber crime. Marami ang mga naloloko ng mga online thieves lalo na when you give out your personal information then gagamitin nila ito for their own benefit. Kaya medyo mag-ingat when using your computer. Kadalasan kasi pag ginagamit or when surfing the web, the computer pops up deceitful messages of fear na ang computer mo ay infected, thus luring you to buy protection. Para mas sigurado, you can visit or check the following website: http://safeweb.norton.com/
Ang mga sumusunod ay mga paraan para ma safeguard ang intong identity sa emails, etc.
Create a strong alphanumeric combination of characters and numbers – password. Huwag gagamit ng isang character na madaling i-break or breach na passwords like for example: 123456 or 987654, or the like. Siguraduhin na ang mga security questions ay hindi common at hindi madaling sagutin. Kasi if a person wants to hack somebody’s Yahoo! or Gmail email account, hindi nila kailangan malaman ang password, kasi they simply go to the following URL: http://edit.yahoo.com/forgotroot/ and answering two common security questions, madali na nila ma-access and inyong account. Magpalit ng inyong password at least once a month. Pag di ninyo ma-access ang inyong e-mail, immediately contact your bank to suspend your account o di kaya, suspend whatever important transactions you have in your email. Do not just click. Pag may natanggap kayong e-mail na parang similar from your e-mail provider na may sub-domain name (i.e., @yahoo.co.jp) and requires you to update personal information, huwag na huwag sagutin at mag-isip muna to spam it. E-mail providers will never ask their users to update personal information when an account is used actively.
When shopping online, i-check ninyo yung site bago ibigay ang credit card details ninyo. I-check muna yung web site kung may Hypertext Transfer Protocol with secured socket layer (https) and the padlock symbol. Yung mga internet criminals can create similar web sites like the ones trusted by users. When accessing the Internet using a wireless network, secure the connection with a password. Kung accessing openly or for free, huwag i-allow sites to remember your password. Procure security software that can detect malicious attacks. Password encryption, anti-phising toolbars and regular updates should be added to antivirus protection and two-way firewall to better protect you from offenders. (Source: DTI Dataline)
ALAM NYO BA…na according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), that the Philippine economy will strongly recover this year. IMF projected the Philippines gross domestic product (GDP) to expand 3.2% itong taon na ito kumpara sa last year’s 0.9% growth. Ang sabi pa ng IMF, “The recovery will likely be led by private consumption as confidence strengthens and remittances pick up further.”
ALAM NYO BA…na marami tayong mga successful Pinoys kahit saang bansa? Totoo po iyan na napakaraming Pinoys na very successful, either here in Japan, sa Amerika, sa Europe or in any part of the world. Isang example ay ang aking high school batch mate and a very good friend na si Dra. Maria Divina Soriano-Peralta. Pag kayo ay nasa Arizona, U.S.A, you will see her beautiful face displayed in bus exteriors and billboards sa dalawang cities of Phoenix buses with ads of John C. Lincoln Hospital. Yung buong bus ay wrapped with artwork using Vinette’s (her nickname) photo in one side and the other side by another doctor. Vinette says that she is very happy and honored that she was chosen as the face of the hospital, lalo na being a Filipino by birth. Siya ay laking Pampanga, graduated High School at Angeles City’s Holy Family Academy and a medical graduate at the University of Santo Tomas. She is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and a board member of John C. Lincoln Hospital. She was honored as Physician of the Year in 2007.
Despite all these achievements, she remains to be very humble and down to earth. Sana ganoon din sa ibang kababayan natin na kahit marami na kayong achievement o naging very successful at super rich na kayo, sana you should remain to be humble at huwag sanang maging mayabang and don’t forget to proudly say that you are a Filipino.
ALAM NYO BA…na ang Office of the Consular Affairs (OCA) ng Department of Foreign Affairs ay lumipat na sa Aseana Business Park, located at corner Bradco St. and Macapagal Avenue (near Mall of Asia). Alam nyo rin ba na ang applications of new and renewal of passports are now on an appointment basis. Please note po that this is only applicable for applicants who are in Manila. Kailangan na rin ng mga individual applicants to log in at www.passport.com.ph or call (632)737-1000 para ma-assure kayo of the appointed day and time.
Para sa mga iba pang impormasyon, lalo na for emergency cases, puede rin kayong tumawag sa mga sumusunod na numero: 831-8971; 551-4437; 551-4402; 834-4424; 836-7760; 836-7748; 836-7750 or 834-4835. Yung iba pang mga impormasyon ay mababasa sa www.dfa.gov.ph Kung kayo ay mag-renew o mag-apply ng pasaporte sa Pilipinas, below are the passport fees:
Regular processing-20 days-Php950.00
Express processing-10 days-Php1,200.00
Lost Passport (Additional fee)-Php 200.00
Para sa karagdagang impormasyon, there is no need for a photo to be submitted as that will be taken by machines during the enrolment and data capturing process. At paalala lang po na dapat nasa OCA kayo at least thirty (30) minutes before your appointed time. Note too that there will be no processing without an appointment schedule.
(Source: Department of Foreign Affairs)
KITAKITZ by Elena Sakai
April, 2010, a charity event “HALOHALO Link – 1 Step for the World” was held by AKAY YOUTH JAPAN, an NGO of young Japanese students that supports the East River Side in Manila. All profits of the event will be utilized for running an elementary education facility, Abakadang Kayumanggi Community Development Foundation (AKCDF).
The venue was filled with young Japanese who supported AKAY YOUTH JAPAN, and 3 artists were invited to perform. Each artist had a theme that linked to the theme of the event, love, life, living with difficulties. The main performer of the evening was Paul Galang, representative of AKCDF, and his son, Sole Galang.
Paul and Sole came from Manila to attend this event, and many other events held all over Japan to spread his message to young Japanese people. Paul told the crowd the meaning of the 6 songs before he performed that night.
Haranain Ang Mundo (Serenade of the World): Serenade for justice and hope -- to thank those who supported the Filipino youth.
Heiwa na Sekai (Mapayapang Daidig): A beautiful waltz, like a lullaby that was half sung in Japanese. It was a song that prays for a rich world without poverty, with understanding, and peace for children.
Reflections: A song about street children, Filipinos fighting for poverty and overseas Filipino Workers fighting for social justice.
Kumusta: In 1990, Paul himself became an OFW in Europe. This song was written for his children and his wife. A song for workers who have to leave their loved ones home. This was sung in Tagalog and Japanese.
Bow and Arrow: This is about victims of Ministerial Violence. When people complain about poverty, the government sends a very violent way of hiding the truth. This is a song for struggle against global capitalization.
The Mission: In 1988, Mommy Galang founded AKCDF with the slogan, “Every child is my child,” to help children living in Malabon Riverside.
AKCDF is an institution that supports education and the nurturing of 225 children, most of which who live in the slums, before entering elementary school. The AKCDF educate, feed them nutritious food and provide religious guidance for free or for a very low rate. Paul Galang and his family take after Mommy Galang’s will to support the lives of small children, and also the social rights and vocational rights of those living in the slum areas.
Paul’s new album, “The Mission” sold to support the 225 children of AKCDF, for their scholarship project and their vocational rights. In the end, Paul highly raised his right hand, and sent out the message, “International Solidarity, and world peace to all”.
Paul says, “Many Filipinos are victims of poverty and material society, while Japanese suffer from human confidence. If we work together and share, we can uplift the power and become a better world”.
After returning to Manila, he will hold a session in October with his friend musicians, such as Freddie Aguilar, to deliver live music to children in the riverside area.
PAGMUMUNI-MUNI sa DYIPNI ni Fr. Bob Zarate
Paano ko kaya maipapakitang PROUD
ako bilang PINOY dito sa Japan?
1. Pinahahalagahan ko ang pagdarasal, takot sa Diyos at pagpunta sa simbahan.
2. Nilalabanan ko ang gulangan.
3. Pinapakita kong kaya kong pantayan o daigin pa ang level ng mga Hapon sa larangan ng aking trabaho at kaalaman.
4. Binabalanse ko ang oras ko para hindi ako puro trabaho at hindi rin puro pasarap.
5. “Tao ako. Hindi ako makina.” Malakas ang loob kong sabihin at ipakita ito.
6. Flexible ako. Hindi ako nakapako sa pag-iisip na, “Eh Pinoy ako eh, hindi naman ako Hapon.”
7. Kaya kong matuto ng salita ng ibang bansa at sinisikap kong mag-improve pa sa language na iyon.
8. Seryoso ako sa trabaho ko pero hindi ako mukhang pera.
9. May hiya ako. Mahalaga sa akin ang tao at hindi ko sila gagamitin.
10. Hinahanap ko ang pagkakataong maging praktikal pero hindi maging switik sa iba.
PASAHERO by Elena Sakai
Koji Ishikawa: In Love with Filipino Music
A producer and musician, Koji works both in Japan and in the Philippines.
Born in Sendai, Japan on 1978, Koji Ishikawa spent his youth in Munich, Germany.
After returning to Japan at the age of 7, his first turning point was during his junior high school days. Koji was not exactly a straight-A student. He was not so good in sports either. Life was not interesting to him at all until he met with an artist’s music. He was so moved, and found out that music has the power to move people’s emotions, and even change one’s life. He found out that one can make music with just a computer and keyboard. After entering senior high school, he started learning and composing his original songs. He poured over manuals all the time, to learn more about using the software. Since then, music was the most important thing in his life.
Koji couldn’t find the importance of attending classes, yet he was somehow able to graduate, and stayed home to work on his music. He participated in auditions and live shows, and brushed up his music.
When he turned 20, Koji started to travel around the world to expand his borders. He first went to Europe, the place where he spent his childhood days, and then continued to travel to USA and all parts of Asia.
His first encounter with the Philippines was in year 2000, when he was traveling from Singapore to Bangkok by land. At the 2nd month of his travel, short of money, he decides to return to Japan using the cheapest airline available, which was bound for Tokyo via Manila.
Until then, Koji did not know the Philippines much, but when he first stepped on to the grounds of Manila, and heard the music, he was shocked. This was his second turning point. Koji then listened to Side A’s album, “Will I Ever.” Until then, his image of the Philippines was “poverty,” but with this CD, all images changed. The music quality, and the linguistic ability of the Filipinos were much higher than that of Japan.
After returning to Japan, Koji found out that Joey Benin was the producer of the album. Even while he was studying in a college in L.A., Koji listened to Side A’s music at a Filipino record shop, and even went to their concert with many other Filipinos.
In 2004, Koji gathered his courage to go to the Phili-ppines again, and visited Joey Benin, to ask him to let him work with him. Joey Benin gladly accepted this, and ever since then, Koji started working as a recording engineer in Manila, and worked with various artists such as South Border. He also worked on his own pieces, and produced enough songs to make 2 full albums.
Koji devoted to his work in the Philippines until 2008, when he was 29 years old. He then started to think of returning to Japan, to build his base in his home country. He was confident of the knowledge and know-how he earned in the Philippines.
After returning to Japan in 2009, Koji met with a music label producer, and together they released his first mini album, “HEARTWARMING” on May 27, 2009. HEARTWARMING is composed of the 25 songs Koji produced while he was in the Philippines, and although 5 of the 6 songs were in Japanese, Koji included one English song, “I Guess This Is Love,” that maximizes the Filipino taste in his music.
As a result, “I Guess This Is Love” has become a big hit. Koji then earned the confidence that Filipino music quality could be understood in Japan. He was also being focused by the media, as the only Japanese musician that works both in Japan and in the Philippines.
Looking back, Koji says, he does not like how the Japanese media focuses on the Philippines as a poor country. “The Philippines has been chosen as the ‘Happiest’ country in Asia by recent studies” says, Koji. He also mentions, “Japan may be a developed country, and although we are so materialized, there are many people ailing. Philippines may be suffering economically, but the people there can care for their family, and know how to live happily. There is much we can learn from their mentality.”
What is it, of Filipino music, that keeps Koji so attracted? Koji says that the most important thing in music is the respect to the language. Respect of culture should be through respect of the language. Filipinos are capable of doing that. Koji values “words” more than anything when making his music.
Koji will continue to be based in Japan, and continue to record in the Philippines. His style, made in the Philippines, sold in Japan will not change. By continuing this style, he aims to bring opportunities to musicians in the Philippines to appeal their work to Japan, and for the Japanese market to know how high the quality of Filipino music is.
This year, Koji plans a live show in the Philippines with Side A, and is now producing his second album.
Participating musicians are those who recorded with Sarah Geronimo, Gary Valenciano, Regine Velasques and Nino Regalardo and so on.
Koji Ishikawa’s CDs, “HEARTWARMING” and “SPIRAL” can be bought through Amazon.co.jp.
More information can be found at www.myspace.com/ishikawakoji
Jeep Trips by Jade Pangilinan
As we experience the scalding effects of climate change here in the Philippines, while it is the beginning of spring in Japan, Pinoys and tourists alike have little choice except to head to the nearest beach and soak in cooling waters. One of the best and most popular summer destinations is Puerto Galera in the province of Mindoro, Philippines. Puerto Galera means “Port of Galleons,” a testament to its strategic geographic location and its rich natural resources.
There are several ways to get to Puerto Galera. Most prefer to board the fast crafts at the Port of Batangas in Batangas City that take you straight to the white sand beaches of Puerto Galera town. For those who would like to bring their own vehicles, they could try the RORO (roll on, roll off) options of the nautical highway from Batangas City port to Calapan City port or from Batangas City port to Balatero port. From Calapan City it will be another 65 kilometers to Puerto Galera or about one and a half hour drive. This route is also scenic as you could make a side trip to Calapan City proper or Tamaraw falls on the way to the beach.
Puerto Galera is a top choice for many beachcombers for several reasons. For one, accommodations and services are reasonably priced. There are amenities for discriminating tourists and budget backpackers alike. Souvenirs all over the white beach stretch are not expensive, short dresses go for about 120 to 150 pesos, t-shirts for 80 to 150 pesos. You could choose to get your hair braided for 150 to 200 pesos or have a great massage while sunbathing along the shore for the same price.
Puerto Galera is also home to one of the best bays in the world with a thriving marine life. Snorkeling and scuba diving are two must-do activities. I personally enjoyed snorkeling in the marine protected areas where I experienced feeding colorful fishes. Side trips to San Antonio Island to see limestone rock formations and a swimming hole or Boquete Island, with its pristine white sand, are also suggested.
Just a reminder for beach combers to refrain from taking home sand or sea shells since these acts are punishable by local laws and ordinances. Puerto Galerans are protective of their environment. Volunteer clean up brigades are very active in keeping the shore clean and it is not unusual to see women vendors or other groups picking up litter as they go about peddling their wares.
While the beach and island hopping offers so much for nature lovers, entertainment abound at the White Beach when the sun goes down. There are a lot of bars that offer the famous Mindoro sling, made of rhum, sprite, mango juice and grenadine, and yummy kebabs or grilled seafoods. One of my favorite places along the White Beach is Hiyas Angelina’s, a watering hole that offers wonderful fire dance/ poi dance performances every night.
Summer or not, I would definitely love to go back to Puerto Galera again. It is one shining example of what good things our country could offer to its citizens and foreign tourists alike.
Philippine Pickles Power in Yamagata
by Chika Hyodo
The perfect Yamagata dialect, a plate-ful of home-made kabu tsukemono (pickled radish) and traditional farmer’s clothes just overwhelmed me in Yamagata. They are so much more ‘traditional’ than Japanese women like me. These women from the Philippines who married farmers in Yamagata about twenty five years ago warmly welcomed me and talked about their lives. Their life stories seemed to be a bit different from the images of ‘victims of shortage of brides for Japanese
farmers’ created by the media. Despite the hardships of survival in such a freezing environment for someone from the tropics, these Filipinas have also been the moving force in breaking the stereotypes of Yome (bride of the eldest son) in the local villages of Japan. They earned money by themselves and they were the first women who dared tried to go into a public bath, however still keeping their Filipina’s
sense of modesty by wearing their panties in the hot bath!
I realized that the tide of globalization had already been sweeping the villages of Yamagata more than twenty years ago. The elementary school teachers started to put Yomigana (hiragana) with Kanji characters in the class newsletter for the Filipino mothers. It is indeed called “advocacy.” They have the political power to change Japanese society. Of course, on the domestic end of things, the usual conflicts happen within their families. Despite these matters, one of them said “Mother-in-law is very old. She has to rely on me anyway.”
Wow, I am sure that one of these Filipinas will be a mayor of the village someday soon!
What about the men in the village? What have they been feeling about Filipina Yome? Well, being farmers, they do not talk much as you can imagine. But some of them told me quietly that “I might go to the Philippines in the future and retire near the beach with my wife.” It said a lot about what has been happening with them for the last twenty years. They were the men who had never seen foreigners for more than thirty years until they met their prospective wives in the
Philippines. To be precise, they were sort of trained in Philippine pubs in Japan before going to the Philippines to find their prospects. Anyway, globalization is not just a theory and we can not live together just by reading books and papers on this phenomenon.
I am very interested in what is happening within that area in
Yamagata. Many women from the Philippines have been following the pioneers and the community has been growing. Their children have grown up as bi-cultural children. I really hope that they are the ones who would transform this place into a global community, so that the number of Japanese women who are into the farming and can make a traditional tsukemono might be increase in the future. I, for example, have already decided to go there next year again with my students and to be a volunteer to listen to their life stories and learn how to make delicious tsukemono from them.
Chika Hyodo is an assistant professor in Waseda University. She went to Yamagata to look for possible fields of study on local globalization in Japan for students.
JEEPNEY PRESS CENTERFOLD
Carmina Mancenon: A Ray Of Hope
by Christopher Santos
Teenagers. They act as if time is running out but behave as if they have forever. Parties, gadgets, fads. They have evolved through lifestyles and activities unimaginable when I was young(er), sometimes bringing their folks to the brink of enrolling for modern psychology and giving a brand new appreciated meaning to single blessedness. But once in a rare while, there comes someone who makes us believe in the future, someone who defies the limits of age and makes us respect it instead, and someone who can see the bigger picture.
Carmina Mancenon. This 12th grader at K International School in Tokyo is a normal teen. Cute, charming, cheerful. At 16 years of age, she’s in that age group that usually make people’s eyes roll. Except, she makes their jaws drop in awe.
I’m sure that she, being just like any student, is a member of some clubs. Only, one of her group participations last November was with a 60 young activists, volunteers, and social entrepreneurs who were invited out of 1200 applicants from 44 countries who gathered in UK and took part in the Global Changemakers discussions.
I’m certain that she has a following but Carmina’s recent admirer is the British Council which handpicked her to be one of the final 6 youths to present at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
It’s safe to assume that youngsters enjoy summer fun and nonchalantly talking with friends about casual stuff. Nor is it surprising for them to appear these days in YouTube or be Googled. However, there is a life-changing difference when one appears in the internet with her previous speaking engagement carrying a topic geared towards establishing a micro-financed platform that links solutions for climate change, global bridging, and youth development. Her audience? This time, it’s the global leaders.
It’s normal for everyone today to make their social presence known in the internet through various networking and online marketing sites. Carmina is on board with that as well. Yet, Carmina’s collaborative work for “Stitch Tomorrow” (http://www.stitchtomorrow.org/
http://www.twitter.com/StitchTomorrow) serves a higher purpose as a realized and ongoing initiative to bring together privileged and underprivileged teenagers while tapping her very own interest in fashion.
Jeepney Press’ centerfold features uphold its legacy of covering personalities who inspire through their ideals and motivate through their contributions. But at a crucial time that clamors for much fundamental change, on a season for Filipinos to soon welcome a new mandate and leadership, and on a global stage that demands synchronized transformation, it is very fitting that we present to you someone who embodies true hope.
We initially wanted to present our featured guest in Jeepney Press as a regular teenager. True, but that would have been denying her of justice. We could have stated that she is different from the other teens. True, but that would have been such a cliché. To stick to the basic but truest sense of it all, Carmina is special. They say that greatness is really about simple individuals doing great things. To abide in this principle, Carmina, then, is simply great. As her own person, as a visionary, as a symbol.
And, proudly, as a Filipina.
Jeepney Press (JP): Tell us how your participation in the Global Changemakers program all started?
Carmina Mancenon (CM): I heard about Global Changemakers after receiving an informational letter from an admin member at my school about an Annual Global Youth Summit the British Council was to hold in London. International development and social service are both passions of mine as I have been involved in extracurricular activities focusing on these such as co-leading a Habitat for Humanity team and co-founding the Kanto Plains Science and Humanities Essay Competition, so I decided to apply and was ecstatic to be accepted. There, I learned from and with 60 passionate social entrepreneurs aged 16-19 as we collaborated in skill-building workshops organized by the British Council, that were designed to prepare us take action on pressing world issues and voice our opinions on world stages. We were ultimately initiated to be part of the Global Changemakers family.
JP: How did you learn about your being a selected presenter at the World Economic Forum?
CM: It was after the Global Youth Summit, actually. In London, I had been interviewed by a panel after making the shortlist, but we weren’t told who had been chosen. I found out when I got back to Tokyo on the Global Changemakers website.
JP: How did you feel? What was the first thing that came in your mind?
CM: I couldn’t believe it!! I had to check the website multiple times, just to make sure it wasn’t a glitch- hahaha! I jumped around a few times, screamed (I have to, I’m a girl) and called my parents. The first thing that came to mind though were the 60 people in the network of 600 Changemakers I was going to represent. I knew it was going to be a huge challenge, but I did my best to use it as motivation for me not to let them down.
JP: What’s the reaction of your folks? Your school? Your peers?
CM: I’m so blessed to be around absolutely wonderful people. I found my Facebook wall flooded with heart-warming comments, my cellphone kept ringing, but of course, no one could compare with how excited my parents were!
JP: I saw in YouTube how magnificent you were when you were pitching your innovation/
proposal. Aside from the presentation itself, what was going on inside you during that exact moment?
CM: We were instructed to give the presentation with a maximum time of 5 minutes—an incredibly short time when you’re trying to propose an idea. To spice things even more, the World Economic Forum said that we could only have 15 slides which would transition automatically after 20 seconds. So I was really, really trying my best to get as much information about Stitch Tomorrow as I could out there while making it interesting at the same time.
JP: What did you gain out of the experience?
CM: It was an absolutely inspiring experience. The best part about it was being able to talk to the most amazing people from literally every field. Since it was basically the mirror image of our world, it allowed me to delve into any part and made me realize that our world has so much potential.
You can read a blogpost I wrote for the program here:
JP: How did the experience change you?
CM: As a young person, I’m inherently a dreamer. By going to the Forum, I’m learning to bridge a gap between idealism and realism—something I definitely needed beforehand!
Also, as a teenager amidst all these people who are immensely successful in their own way, I was surprised by how readily world leaders would genuinely listen to my take on situations, have deep conversations and get involved with our projects. It really showed me that no matter who you are- whether you're 16 or 50- there is always a way for whatever vision you have to become a reality.
JP: How do you balance your life and your time?
CM: I do things one step at a time! It makes things seem a lot funner, so I’m more eager to do things. I make a list of things I want to accomplish then tick them off as I go along.
JP: What part of your personal discipline and regimen will you never compromise?
CM: I pray every night with my family. I was brought up like that, so it’s not something I can see myself ever forgetting.
JP: What was your biggest challenge during the duration of the program?
CM: I realized that was precisely why we were at the World Economic Forum: to break through the outer shell of these leaders and touch their core. After all, these M&Ms are all shiny and varied at the exterior, but inside they’re all the same brown, soft chocolate. This was the ultimate microphone for us teenagers to voice our dreams for the world through passion and excitement.
Instead of choosing to conform or rebel, you learn to gear conversations into a two-way exchange. Soon, their reactions to your radical, young ideas shifted from raised eyebrows to warm smiles as you compromised for a viewpoint that combined idealism and realism. You learned from their wisdom, while they gained a new dimension from your excitement.
JP: How did you come up with Stitch Tomorrow – the concept, the name, etc?
CM: I think the key to getting youth motivated to get involved in social service and entrepreneurship is by merging it with what they are already passionate about. For instance, one of my fellow Global Changemakers
breakdances to eliminate criminality in his neighborhood. My co-founder and I thought to adapt this model to Stitch Tomorrow. A lot of teenagers today (myself included) love fashion, creativity and meeting people. Stitch Tomorrow allows teenagers to explore their passion, but do so for an amazing cause- eradicating poverty.
JP: What can we expect from Stitch Tomorrow, especially when it achieves its reach to the Philippines?
CM: You can definitely expect a lot of pretty clothes going around. On a more serious note, one of the core objectives of Stitch Tomorrow is to get privileged youth interested in volunteering to help underprivileged youth, so I’m hoping for a more collaborative atmosphere between the different classes in our country—maybe helping to bridge that gap.
JP: What can we expect from Ms. Carmina Mancenon in the next 5 years?
CM: I’m heading to Princeton University this fall, so for the next 4 years that I’m there, I’m hoping to soak in as much information and experience as possible to make use of that in my future endeavors. Stitch Tomorrow is also definitely a top priority on my list.
JP: What did you initially want to become when you were a child?
CM: I wanted to become a doctor or an engineer.
JP: What is your ultimate dream now?
CM: I want to involve myself in international economic development, or maybe medical engineering. I’m an open book at this point, really, but I definitely want to go into a field where I am given a platform to ultimately influence the lives of a lot of people.
JP: It’s sheer genius that you were able to combine your personal interest, entrepreneurship, social values and support. If you were to choose a dedicated field, how will you prioritize?
CM: Oh no! I don’t think I can. Every single one of them is important to me and I wouldn’t be happy doing one without the other. It would be an incomplete puzzle.
JP: Although poverty in the Philippines is common knowledge, how do you feel your presentation affected the image of the country?
CM: My intention was to get people to get involved in helping our country and supporting the ideas of youth social entrepreneurs like myself—I hope that’s what they see.
JP: At such a young age, who or what do you give credit to for the profound and mature awareness you have right now?
CM: My parents! They both center our family relationships around God, reminding me of my blessings and responsibility to care for those around me. I was also brought up to value education, and I think that helped give me a better approach to the world. And when they disciplined me, I could tell they did it with love.
JP: How is it like growing up and living in Japan as a young Filipina? What kinds of struggles do you have regarding culture and identity?
CM: I love it - I wouldn't have it any other way. Contrary to "struggling", I think it has actually given me a stronger sense of identity. I've attended an international school here since grade school, so I've been exposed to many different cultures, from British to Indian. Yet my parents always made it a point to never let me forget where I come from. We speak in Tagalog everyday and my mom cooks (the best!) Filipino food. This made me really want to learn about my own country, the Philippines.
Being part of a Japanese-Filipino Youth community at my church really helped me satiate that curiosity, and beyond that create bonds with Filipino teens that share my culture. When I hear someone say to me "This is what they do in the Philippines", I really take every word in. It's like a pixel of a picture of the country I never got to fully experience. I think I'm getting closer to completing that picture.
I have been given the chance to get the best of both worlds- internationalism and nationalism.
JP: Do you have any other hobbies/interests?
CM: I enjoy travelling, singing, shopping, eating, tennis, and laughing.
JP: Who are you a fan of?
CM: I don’t have one public figure that I really look up to, since I admire certain qualities in different people. But Queen Rania comes very close! She’s outspoken, smart, caring and pretty. I had the opportunity to sit in one of her sessions and meet her at the WEF. She’s definitely amazing.
JP: When’s your next trip to the Philippines? What’s your agenda then?
CM: I’m going to the Philippines December this year!! I’m so ready to visit! I haven’t been to the Philippines for quite some time- around three years now, so I just want to take in all the culture and spend time with my gorgeous family. Hopefully my experiences themselves would naturally guide me to make Stitch Tomorrow most effective for its end user—the Philippine people.
JP: Given the chance, what system in Japan will you strive to implement in the Philippines?
CM: I adore how refined the Japanese are in handling situations, and it reflects on the state of the country as a whole. It would be great to see that more in the Philippines.
Also I would implement the IB curriculum that my school goes by into the public Philippine education system. Two years as an IB student really served as a solid ground for me to grow as a truly international student, open to new ideas.
JP: What kind and level of support do you expect from specific organizations, including the Philippine government?
CM: I expect open-mindedness. I expect them to listen. I expect them to give us a platform, advice and resources. After going the World Economic Forum, and reflecting on how the support of world leaders in my (a teenager’s!) project shaped my determination and ability to get Stitch Tomorrow in action, I’m convinced that not only is the sincere support of these institutions beneficial—it’s needed.
JP: How do you see the Philippines in the future? What do you think is/will be the greatest strength and resource of the country?
CM: At this point, I think the strongest resource of the country would be the people themselves. Hopefully there would be strong political or entrepreneurial leaders willing to give the populace the resources, especially education, to thrive career and business-wise, developing our economy, and in turn our country.
JP: What’s the most fun part in all of these (media coverage)?
CM: Getting to see first-hand a lot more teens start to care about social issues in a different light, or at least get involved.
JP: As a youth, what challenges are you facing with Stitch Tomorrow?
CM: A challenge for me, especially right now that I'm in the middle of revising for my upcoming IB exams, is trying to achieve a balance between Stitch Tomorrow and schoolwork. Social entrepreneurship and service is addictive since you really get to see results right away. When I read applications blooming with passion, it makes me want to keep working on Stitch Tomorrow because I know how many more people we can reach if I do. I'm getting better at this whole time management thing, though I'm still excited for summer when I can focus on Stitch Tomorrow without feeling guilty about procrastinating on schoolwork.
A bigger challenge for me in terms of the nature of Stitch Tomorrow is trying to manage the team. Since the whole concept of Stitch Tomorrow is focused on making it as international as possible, that also means having a team from different countries- we have members from Switzerland to Indonesia to Australia. I'm looking forward to having an executive team though since I'm sure they would be able to regulate this a lot better as a group.
JP: How much Tagalog do you speak?
CM: I wish I could say I’m fluent. I do my best to speak Tagalog at home, so I can understand it well, but I have an accent when I speak, which sort of sucks.
JP: What’s your personal resolution for 2010?
CM: Learn Japanese before I leave for university. Language is not my strong point.
JP: What’s your message to the Filipinos, its youth, and the Filipinos here in Japan?
CM: Try something new everyday, act with passion, and know that anything is possible.
On The Road to: by Neriza Sarmiento-Saito
TO EXPLORING PHILIPPINE LITERATURE IN JAPAN
With PROF. GALILEO SANTOS ZAFRA
As interviwed by: Ayana Iwasaki and Kanako Higashi
Saan nagkakatulad at nagkakaiba ang Pilipinas at ang Japan sa ilang mga pagdiriwang sa buwan ng Mayo? Ayon sa aklat na ‘Sanaysay at mga Tula’ ni Dr. Lilia F. Antonio, “Positibo ang damdamin at karanasang nilalasap ng mga Hapones sa mga araw ng buwan ng Mayo. SATUKIBARE ang tawag nila sa maaliwalas na kalangitan, hindi napakainit o napakalamig at madalang ang patak ng ulan. “ Bagama’t may pasok na sa mga paaralan sa Japan, bakasyon naman ng mga estudyante sa Pilipinas. Mahaba ang Golden Week sa taong ito na magsisimula sa May 1 (May Day sa Japan at Araw ng Manggagawa sa Pilipinas), at May 3 (Constitution Day), May 4 (Vacation Day) at May 5 (Children’s Day).
Habang patuloy ang bakasyon ng mga estudyanteng Pinoy, simula na naman ng dibdibang pag-aaral ng mga estudyante sa Japan. Nasa ikatlong-taon na ang nagsagawa ang interbyung ito… sina Ayana at Kanako. Isang propesor ang naging inspirasyon nila sa pag-aaral ng Panitikang Filipino… si PROP. GALILEO SANTOS ZAFRA, kasalukuyang “VISITING PROFESSOR” sa Philippine Studies Program ng Osaka University mula pa noong Marso 2009. Siya ang dating Direktor ng Sentro ng Wikang Pilipino sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas sa Diliman, Quezon City at Propesor sa
Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas.
Ilan sa mga sinulat niya ay ang BALAGTASAN, (Kasaysayan at Antolohiya), at BANGON (Katipunan ng mga Dulang Mapanghimagsik at naging kasama niya ritong sumulat ang R.M. Awardee na si Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera at si Dr. Glecy Atienza). Editor rin siya at tagasalin ng mga journal sa Filipino gaya ng DALUYAN, SAWIKAIN at PHILIPPINE HUMANITIES’ REVIEW. May mga aklat rin siyang naisulat tungkol sa wika at komunikasyon.
Inaasahan ni Prop. GALILEO na mabasa ng mga estudyante ng Philippine Studies Program ang mga maraming magagandang nobela sa Panitikan ng Pilipinas.
About AYANA AND KANAKO
Ayana is a third year student at Osaka University in Minoo and lives in Kyoto. She is fond of movies and also plays tennis whenever she is free from her part-time job. Pink is her favorite color.
Kanako is from Kobe but lives in Osaka now so that she can commute easily to the university. She also studies other Philippine dialects in the hope of working someday in the Philippines.
INTERVIEW IN FILIPINO:
Taga-saan po kayo sa Pilipinas?
Angat, Bulacan pero sa Manila ako ipinanganak.
Ilan po kayong magkakapatid?
Apat kami at pangalawa ako. Lahat sila ay nasa Amerika at Canada kasama ng aming ina. Ako na lamang ang nakatira sa Pilipinas.
Ano po ang libangan ninyo?
Panonood ng sine sa weekends at pagbabasa ng nobela.
Sino po ang inyong palagay ang importanteng manunulat sa Panitikang Filipino?
Si Francisco Baltazar na mas kilala sa tawag na Balagtas na sumulat ng “Florante at Laura,” isang kalipunan ng mga tulang nagbukas sa mata ng mga Pilipino sa tunay na kalagayan ng bansa sa ilalim ng administrasyon ng mga mananakop.
Paano po kayo naging guro ng panitikan?
Dahil siguro sa inspirasyong naibigay ng mga guro ko sa high school. Bukod sa mababait, mahuhusay pa silang magturo kaya nakahiligan ko ang pagbabasa ng mga nobela nina Jose Rizal (Noli Me Tangere at El Filibusterismo) at Francisco Baltazar.
Ano naman po ang nami-miss ninyo sa Pilipinas?
Sisig at crispy pata, pero ngayon mahilig na akong kumain ng ebi tempura, udon at miso soup. Mas mainam sa kalusugan. Ngayon di ako masyadong naiinip sa bahay dahil may TFC na rin ako.
Siyanga po pala, may mga paborito ba kayong nobelang Hapon?
Oo. Pinakagusto ko ang Genji Monogatari (Tales of Genji) na sana ay maisalin sa wikang Filipino.
Maraming salamat po Leo Sensei!
NEWS FROM OSAKA:
The Philippine Studies Program of Osaka University, Minoo Campus awarded special plaques to some graduates of the department during the graduation party held in Osaka last March 23. The recipients were:
Best Student Award - MS. HIROKA GOTO
Thesis: MGA BALITANG KRIMEN SA PILIPINAS.
Best Graduation Thesis -
MS. AYANO TAKASHIO
Thesis: PAGSUSURI SA MAGALANG NA PAGPAPAHAYAG SA TAGALOG : POKUS SA PAGGAMIT NG “PO” AT “OPO”
Special Award -
MS. SAYAKA KIYOSUE
Thesis: FILIPINO DIASPORA SA PANANAMIT
The professors who were at the appreciation party were Prof. Gyo Miyahara, Prof. Masanao Oue, Prof. Mamoru Tsuda, Prof. Galileo Zafra and Prof. Neriza Saito.
INFO SOUGHT FOR A T. V. PROGRAM
The whereabouts of a lady who assisted at the Philippine booth in the EXPO 70 in Suita about 40 years ago is sought by a popular T.V. Program. Her name is probably CHUCHI DE QUIROS. Please contact Neriza at 0903-624-0810 for information that will lead to her.
K! by Amelia Iriarte Kohno
Ka-chan (used by children for calling their moms) or okaasan, meaning "mother" in Japanese, will again be specially honored this month, the 2nd Sunday of May. Flower shops are busy making different kinds of flower arrangements, and unique mother's day gift items sold at establishments expecting countless orders from the yearly influx of mother-loving customers are all over, even at the neighborhood post office.
I've always believed that mothers should not only be remembered one day in a year but should be thanked, loved, cherished and given importance everyday of our lives if possible. How can we just take for granted a person who has a great influence in our lives? Why not give them a special place in your hearts... whoever and wherever they are. God must have given us our mothers for us to emulate, love and treasure. Perhaps, some mothers' behavior may differ from others, or vary from the traditional definition of mother, yet mothering is really a part of humankind. And as children, we may not have choices until we realize the grace of self-awareness and start to understand why things are happening in our lives.
At times, it is not always easy to express the right beautiful thoughts or sentiments we feel for them, yet for most of us, the mere mention of Mother, will show a special glow in our faces because they are a part of us, of our very being. A brief, passing thought will at once give us a glimpse into past remembrances with them - and it goes for fathers, too. Oftentimes, we may not be aware of the importance of such memories when we try to recall them, but it is only natural that in sharing our lives with our parents, they have implanted many or some of the characteristics we are now. The "goodness" which we share with others must be from them. And we have to be grateful to them.
My mother died five years ago. A week before she died, I visited her at the hospital. But I had to be back in Japan at the week-end for my chemotherapy. I could not tell her I was undergoing such treatment knowing she was seriously sick. I just told her I was going to church while she waved goodbye. That was our last meeting, as she passed away the next day. Only then did I realize how much I missed her. If only I had known that she was joining our Lord, I would have stayed longer with her. What is one day if we can wait forever... for our loved ones, for people who meant so much in our lives!
Love is difficult to describe, but now I can relate with persons feeling deeply for mothers - an Olympic skater offering her medal, a bride visiting her parents’ grave on her wedding day, or the ancient story of Ruth in the Bible.
For people who still have mothers, love them as much as you can!
Short-Cuts by Farah Trofeo-Ishizawa
Bread In Japan
One of the simple pleasures I enjoy in Japan is the bread.
There are many bread shops all over the country.
One thing they have in common, the bread they bake are delicious.
We say, “yaki-tatte” or “fresh from the oven” - “yaki-tatte bread” is what many people usually wait for. Most bake shops post the schedules of their popular breads and the time they will be out from the oven. Many people line up for this at the major bread shops at the department store basements specially in Tokyo.
Feast your eyes on these bread - the regular breads, the French bread, the bread with various flavors and tastes, the healthy bread, the sweet bread, the bread with various themes depending on the seasons…
Hope you love bread as much as I do !!
STOPOVER by Frances Saligumba
ARE YOU A COOL PERSON?
What is your definition of a cool person? For me a cool person is someone who is bubbly and could make you always feel comfortable whenever you hang around with him/her. Yun bang magaan kasama at relaxed ka to be with that person. Pwede ring isa siyang fashionista at alam niya ang latest trend at good places to hang out on a week-end to unwind.
But, I am not referring to that “cool” type of person. A cool person that I am referring to is someone who is not easily provoked to anger. Some people may find a cool person as a good mannered individual. Ito yung mga taong marunong maging kalmante because they can perceive the situation in a bigger picture.
Just recently, I have a friend who got hurt and was angry with someone at her part-time job over a perceived injustice. She told me that she really got upset and could not even think of how to get even with those accusations thrown on her. I have sensed that her temper was still high and was about to flare. But I told her that keeping her head cool would be much better than bursting out her sentiments. I told her also not to confront the person who provoked her while she is on flame because it might only result in a more chaotic situation. And she is wise enough to listen and deal with her own emotions and has shown more of wisdom rather than igniting further conflicts and made herself looked like as fool as her detractors.
My friend’s predicament is not new to me as a customer service representative. A lot of people will foolishly provoke you to anger just because they simply do not want to listen to what you are telling them to do. Dealing with people from various walks of life is like saving a ¥500 in a coin bank until you have reached the goal amount of ¥300,000. People will try to put you down, push you to the limits, throw baseless accusations on you, they will hate you for nothing or simply “just because” they would like to do things and follow their selfish intents without conforming to the norms of moral standards.
If only you have all of these qualities: self control, self reservations, bigger perspective, patience, understanding, long suffering, forbearance, tolerance, etc. and equate those into ¥500 coins, then you wouldn’t know that you have actually accumulated an investment with a very high rate of returns. Little did you know that the more you open your mouth for senseless blathering and pointless badmouthing, the more you would become poor - poor in spirit and with zero investment. I have just realized that keeping your cool towards these difficult people is definitely not a sign of cowardice, but more of character strength because you have the ability to discern your own heart. For what is in our hearts would be spilled out by our mouths.
Interacting with people is a fixed scenario in our daily lives, and so with disagreements, is inevitable. But a person who displays wisdom will think before speaking, and is ready to share insights that are helpful. A mature person promotes understanding by keeping cool in conflict and is of a calm spirit. And a man of good demeanor spares his words wisely.
So the next time you get mad on someone, take a deep breath, think twice before you open your mouth, ask for wisdom and tranquility and definitely, you will become a good investor in heaven.
Proverbs 21:23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tounge keepeth his soul from troubles.
Proverbs 14:3 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
Pisngi Ng Langit ni Doc Gino
Buntis At May Bukol Sa Matres (Myoma and Pregnancy)
Tanong: Dear Doc, i am 40 yrs. of age, nagbuntis n ako before pero n miscarriage po at 6 weeks, 2 years ago. Ngayon po buntis ulit ako at 3 months n, high risk ang pregnancy ko bec. of age, may myoma ako at chronic hypertension. Nagkkaroon ako ng bleeding at sabi ng doctor its bec. of myoma. Nag ttrigger din po b ung aspirin ng pag cause ng bleeding ko kc nga nag ttake ako nito para naman s hypertension ko. Gusto ko n rin pong pumapasok s trabaho ko kc kulang n po ang budget namin. Nag bed rest po ako for 45 days. And now gusto ko n po mag resume s work, possible po b?
Doc Gino: Ang dosage ng aspirin na ibinibigay sa isang buntis ay mababa lamang kung kaya't sa aking palagay ay maliit ang porsiyento na ito ay magiging sanhi ng bleeding. Nguni't isa sa mga side effects ng gamot na ito ay ang pagdurugo. Ito ay ibinibigay kung high blood ang isang buntis sapagka't ito ay mabisa para sa pagkontrol ng presyon ng dugo. Kung kaya't mababa lamang ang dose na inirereseta.
Depende sa laki, uri at lokasyon ng bukol (myoma) sa matres ang dalas at dami ng pagdurugo. Kung wala namang ibang sintomas sa kasalukuyan, namo-monitor ng iyong doktor, mahusay ang iyong follow-up at maganda ang resulta ng ultrasound, sa palagay ko ay walang dahilan para hindi ka makabalik sa trabaho.
Ayaw Maging Buntis (Unwanted Pregnancy)
Tanong: gud evening,
gusto ko lng po mag-ask kasi po i think im preggy, aug 22 po me last nagka-mens and regular ako..so dapat sept 20 something is dapat may mens ako..but til now october 1..wala pa rin..and i tried na rin ang pregnancy test minute ago...mga 11pm...but its POSITVE..can i ask if totoo ba to???...sobrang depress me kc hindi tlaga pede..ayoko pa...im not ready to have a child...ano po ba gawin ko???anong pedeng inumin na gamot para hindi ito mabuo,?..natatakot po ako...plzzz help me po..thanks
Doc Gino: Ang nararapat mong gawin ay ulitin ang pregnancy test. Kung positibo pa rin ay totoo ang resulta at nabuo na ang pagbubuntis. Samakatwid, ang susunod na dapat gawin ay alagaan ang pagbubuntis. Magpacheck-up sa isang espesyalista tulad ng OBGYN at sumunod sa payo. Kung iniisip mo na putulin ang pagbubuntis, isipin ito nang maraming beses sapagka't baka manganib ang iyong buhay kung sakaling ituloy mo ang iyong balak sa dami ng magiging komplikasyon bukod pa sa hindi legal ito sa batas ng ating bansa.
Pedestrian Lane by Mylene Miyata
Kayo po ba? Kapag binigyan ng isang basong kalahati lamang ang nilalamang tubig... ano ang una nyong mapupuna dito:
a.) half-empty o kaya
Kumusta naman kaya ang sagot natin dito?
First impression is justified. However, there will always be something behind what the naked eyes can simply sense that which weighs more at times. Kaya naman minsan, we have to get rid of thinking whether the glass is half-filled or half-empty. Instead, we can try to learn to ask the questions like: What can I do with this? Or what is in it that may be of use? Panalo, diba?! I honestly laugh when I recalled having asked the same question by a friend taking up psychology during college days ko. Nakakatuwa talagang isipin.
Bakit nga ba first impulse na natin ang isipin kung kulang o kumpleto ang ilang bagay? Pwede nga naman palang mas productive o constructive ang maging reaction natin at some given situation. They say "Rich people think differently!" Malapit na akong maniwala sa kasabihang yan. Oo nga naman! Kasi people from the rich countries normally think out of the box, as they say. However, those people coming from not so rich countries think inside the box nga naman kadalasan. We can't blame them anyway. People from poor countries tend to confine themselves to their limitations and boundaries in life. Usually afraid to take some risks at hand. They are mostly unaware na minsan, nakakatulong din ang konting aggressiveness at some point na mag-explore ng new dimensions sa buhay na nakasanayan na. Yun bang kakaiba, di po ba? Higit sa nakikita ng naked eyes natin, yung makapag-isip tayo slightly beyond what is simply visible, halimbawa. Who knows? You may just uncover your hidden potentials out of nowhere? That could lead you to a sudden twist you've been dreaming for in life? Pero, things like that are only available for those brave people. Those who are willing to take the consequences of risks in life. Kailangan may konting tapang at apog para armado lage sa pagsubok ng buhay, di ba? Remember, hard work is the price we pay for success! Kaya, naman di ganon kasimple ang maging successful. They can make weird thoughts out of nothing. Plus hard work. Leading them to the top in one way or another.
We always get trapped with the notion of labeling whether the glass is full or empty, right? Because it is the most obvious thing we could judge on afterall. Besides, it is the simplest way to do whenever we encounter such scenario. In life, halos ganon din madalas ang pananaw ng karamihan, di po ba? Magaling tayong mag-troubleshoot kung may kulang o hindi sa buhay natin. When in fact, pwede nga naman nating isipin... Ano nga ba ang maari kong gawin sa mga bagay na meron ako sa buhay ko? O simpleng... Ano nga ba ang meron sa buhay ko na maaari kong pakinabangan? O paano nga ba ito makakatulong sa akin? It is very funny how could we relate simple things as such in real life. But this is the fact of life. Simple pero makahulugan. Kumusta naman ang point of view natin? This somehow traces our perception in life. Defining our future at some aspect. Uhmmm... Have you ever imagined that? Maybe not. Maybe now. Or maybe yes... It just probably starts to materialize somewhere somehow. A little bit more and there you go, hitting the goal of your life. Sooner or later, sudden twist could happen if we just allow it to... when a sudden move boils down your whole life from nowhere. Exciting!
Everybody has the good times and bad times in life. Just give yourself a tap at the back whenever you feel the need for it. It energizes you! Life is a continuous journey, let's make a great one. Nobody lives in full- comfort anyway. Just try to enjoy whatever is at hand. Hope all of you had fun last "hanami" season.
KWENTO NI NANAY ANITA SASAKI
Aking ibabahagi sa inyo ay isang napakagandang karanasan noong Pebrero 20 - 23 , 2010. Ito ay ang 2010 APEC Junior Conference na ginanap sa Hiroshima. Ito ay pagpupulong ng labing-siyam na APEC Member Economies at sa 19 na bansang ito ay dalawang kabataan ang mapalad na pinili upang kumatawan ang bansang Pilipinas.
Ang tema ng pagpupulong ay: “Our Future, the Earth's Future: Creating a Peaceful, Prosperous Society.” Ang kalalabasan sa kanilang mga diskusiyon ay ibabahagi bilang isang pangkalahatang mensahe sa buong mundo.
Ang pagpupulong na ito ay ginawa upang lumikha ng magandang pakikipag-kaibigan at pang-unawa sa bawat kabataan ng kasalukuyang generasyon na nakatira sa Asia-Pacific.
Sa Edukasyon at Interkultura kumakalahok ang isa kong apo at isang youth member ng Castle group na aking pinamamahalaan.
Bilang chaperon ng mga kalahok, ako ay may pagkakataon na mamasyal sa syudad ng Hiroshima.
Ngunit, mas minabuti ko na makinig sa pagpupulong at ito ay bilang pag-aaral narin para sa akin. Maraming magagandang solusyon ang binahagi ng mga kabataan.
Halimbawa ay ang pataasin ang pamantayan sa kalidad ng pagtuturo ng mga guro para ito ay magdulot ng mga magagaling na estudyante.
At marami pang iba't ibang mga solusyon para maayos ang mga problema sa ating mundo.
Bilang isang Ina at tagapag gabay sa mga bata, aking naibahagi na ang pagsasabi ng mga katagang: "Thank you, I am sorry, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, excuse me," ay mga katagang di sa paaralan unang narinig o naituro kundi sa loob ng ating mga tahanan na itinuro sa atin nang ating mga mga magulang. Kaya kung ang tao ay di marunong magsabi nang mga katagang ito, marahil ang ibig sabihin ay di sila naturuan nang kanilang mga magulang.
At ang masisisi pa marahil ay ang ating mga magulang. Kaya sa mga kabataan, para di masisi ang ating mga magulang huwag nating kalimutan ang mga katagang nabanggit sapagka't ito ang mga katagang makapagsasabi kung ano ang ating pinagmulan. Hindi lang kung saang paaralan o unibersidad tayo pinag-aral o nakapagtapos ang matinding sukatan ng karakter kundi anong klaseng pamilya tayo galing.
Our attitudes will reflect what kind of upbringing we had.
KANSAI CRUSADE by Sally Cristobal-Takashima
It was almost seven o'clock in the evening. We had just finished having dinner and I was just finishing up tidying the kitchen when the phone rang. It was a woman's voice, someone I didn't know. She introduced herself as a volunteer of the City Office's Shakai Fukushi Kyogikai (Social Welfare Assistance Group) and said we have a common acquaintance. Kaneko San wants to know if I can talk to - let's call her Marcie, a Filipina who is in need of assistance about her daily life in Japan. I was given her phone number and I immediately called her. Sure enough, she returned my call. We agreed to meet and have coffee at McDo the following day. She came on time which shows she is a busy person and strictly keeps a schedule. That was fine with me and who doesn't!
Tunay na Philippine beauty si Marcie. Mataas with long black hair, quite slim, mahinahon at magalang. Madali siyang mapagkakamalang cultural dancer or even a fashion model. Bago kami nag-usap ay binigyan ko siya ng isang set ng colored pencils and chocolates for her 2 children and 3 most recent issues of Jeepney Press, of course, for her to connect with other Japan based Pinoys. Matutuwa raw at mayroon ng mababasa ang tatay niya na nasa Japan para tumingin sa mga anak niya. Her oldest son is 6 years old and the second who is 4 years old is the one who was born premature. He is also visually impaired and is attending a special school for handicapped children.
Marcie's husband stopped coming home and she doesn't know his whereabouts. The supplementary income she receives from the city is automatically deposited to her husband's account and never reaches her. Her request to the Bureau of Immigration to extend her father's stay in Japan was denied which means he must return to the Philippines in June. It also means she has to change jobs and adjust it to the schedule of an after school day care center if she is lucky to find one. Dahil tunay na walang kuwenta ang napangasawa niyang Hapon, iniisip na din niyang makipag-hiwalay. Alam ni Marcie na maari siyang kumuha ng long term Japanese visa as a mother of Japanese nationals.
Para bang napuno ang ulo ko sa dami ng problema ni Marcie. Not to waste any time, we went to the City Office. She was given a Special Day Care School to call and was advised to file a Missing Person Report at the Police Headquarters. For my part, I will introduce Marcie to other Filipinas I know for job infos and for her to have a ka-chikahan. I also was informed by the Osaka Prefecture Counselling Center for Foreigners that her father's visa may be extended as a special case. I will take Marcie and her children to our church so she may find solace and a quite place to pray. Suddenly I remember several passages from the Bible like the ones that follow:
Matthew 11:28 Come to me all who are burdened and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. I am gentle and humble of heart and I will give you rest.
The Bible has always been one of the best selling books in the world. Each time you read it, a new sparkling gem is discovered. A renewed understanding of the parables is reached and we feel energized ready to experience daily moments of resurrection as if everyday is Easter Sunday.
The Annual Cherry Blossom Viewing Party of the Kamogawa Kai was held on April 3rd at the traditional Japanese house of the Ogawa Family. As always, it was to welcome Spring and enjoy the Kamo River in Kyoto lined up with Sakura trees. Along the river is the Ogawa Family's house which accommodated many members of the Kyoto International Community including exchange students, scholars, professors as well as members of the Kamogawa Kai who continue to devote their time and effort to promote international relations as well as appreciation of Japanese culture and traditions. We all enjoyed the homemade Japanese delicacies, the Tea Ceremony and most of all, the English Rakugo perfomed by Ken San and Otono San who by the way won a prize in an English Speaking Contest in Alaska. Omedeto Gozaimasu!
All the guests enjoyed the English Rakugo performances about the Florist's Talking Flowers, Kurumaya San and the Samurai. Warai wa honto ni kenko no moto. I never laughed so much in a while and I have become a fan of English Rakugo. I am actually thinking of inviting Ken San and Otono San to one of the future Philippine Community events if it can be arranged.
More on Kansai events. A Study Meeting on Human Rights in the Philippines was recently at the Osaka University, Nakanoshima Campus with Undersecretary Severo S. Catura. It was sponsored by the HURIGHTS OSAKA and Osaka University's GLOCOL (Global Collaboration Center).
The Knights of Rizal and the Philippine Community Coordina-ting Council visited Shirahama and enjoyed the famous Tsubaki Onsen, as well the awesome view of the Pacific Ocean from their hotel rooms. It was almost a five hour drive from Osaka. Famous for umeboshi and oranges, needless to say, there was much shopping along the way. The 3 hour Karaoke Marathon was truly a time to remember for everyone. For those who missed the trip - sama kayo next time.
The Kyoto Pag-asa Community celebrated the 25th aniversary of its founding starting with a Thanksgiving Mass, lunch and a musical program. The Notre Dame Sister and the Fransican Fathers were present. The event was held at the Kyoto Cathedral.
The San Lorenzo Ruiz Filipino and Japanese Community and the Kitano Filipino Community had a Hanami BBQ in Sakuranomiya, Osaka. The church based Phili-ppine Community in Ibaraki continues to have Bible Study and encourages more people to join.
Meanwhile, plans are being made to hold an Independence Day party at the Hotel New Otani in June for Kansai based Filipinos. The organizers will be the Knights of Rizal and the Philippine Community Coordinating Council.
To all loyal Jeepney Press readers, enjoy your Golden Week. Till the next issue.
Arangkada Pinoy ni Yellowbelle Duaqui
The Story Behind the Sakuras in Yotsuya
"What we have done for ourselves
alone dies with us;
what we have done for others and the world remains,
and is immortal."
- Albert Pike, 19th-century Scottish Rite Freemason
Hearing a good story can make one light-hearted and inspired throughout the day. So here is one good story that deserves to be read.
Churchgoers in St. Ignatius Church in Yotsuya, Tokyo will surely not fail to notice the beauty of the sakura (cherry-blossoms) along Sophia dori during spring. The sakura-lined avenue is a pleasant sight to behold, a joy not only to the people who flock there for picnic but even to the fleeting passersby.
Hearing the story behind these beautiful sakuras is as heartwarming as its charming appearance. I am grateful to have heard about this story during my graduate entrance ceremony (nyuugakushiki) in Sophia University during the Fall Semester last year. The university president, in his welcome address, related the story behind the sakuras dotting the avenue just outside the main gate, generously giving shade to the picnic grounds.
The university president recalled that a Sophia University graduating student, a poor boy from one of the far-flung towns of Japan, was responsible for planting what we now see as full-grown sakuras decades ago. He did it, according to the president, to show his gratitude to the university for educating him. He sold his clothes and other living items shortly after graduation in order to buy the seeds he needed for planting. As captain of the Sophia rugby team, he then rounded up his team mates not for their usual agenda of strategizing their game plan, but to plan the planting of the sakuras. Now that we see the results as these seeds have grown, the comfortable distance between each tree reveals the careful planning that they did to plant the sakura trees.
Now, we see and enjoy the sakuras in their majestic splendor. It was something that people did not experience until such time that the noble feeling of gratitude that sprouted from the heart of the graduating student have achieved fruition.
When one looks at the graceful stretch of the branches that seemingly reach out to the people passing by or to those simply resting in the benches, the meaning might be invisible. But knowing the story behind it will make one realize that the sakura branches that sought to stretch their reach is essentially a gesture of generosity.
This story behind the sakuras in Sophia dori is a very simple story, yet profound. It was a story of selflessness borne out of a beautiful heart.
GENKI! by By: Dra. Miriam Sun-Arenas
PROBIOTICS and PREBIOTICS: What's In Them?
In this age of global warming and the move towards the greenhouse effect, PROBIOTICS are IN! Probiotics act as an alternative in the prevention and treatment of childhood diarrhea as in viral
gastroenteritis as well as in adult intestinal problems like irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance.
A closer look at probiotics bring us to a trend towards a natural approach to health.
Contents of probiotics may be partly or as a whole, the following: Lactobacillus acidophyllus, casei, lactis Bifidobacterium infantis, bifidum, longum Streptococcus thermophilus
Sources of probiotic agents are yogurt and cultured milk like Yakult. Other commercially available probiotics are available in capsule or in sachet form. Examples of which are Progut, Protexin, Robovites to name a few. Probiotics are also found in some commercially available milk preparation for kids.
As a whole, probiotics enhance vitality and restores health and balance. That’s why they are called "good bacteria." Moreover, probiotics also have anti-allergic properties and they increase the body’s defense against illnesses, hence they serve as immune system boosters.
What’s the difference between a probiotic and a prebiotic?
Probiotics are live non- harmful bacteria that when consumed in adequate amounts, give beneficial effects to the health of the host.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are non-digestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and activity of a number of bacterial species that can support the health of the host. Example of prebiotic fructo-oligosaccharide
(FOS) is the content of the enteric coated capsule of probiotics which is there to help stimulate the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria.
Synbiotics contain both probiotics and prebiotics. The survival of probiotics can be improved by providing them with prebiotics.
So what are you waiting for? Go grab the IN-thing these days! As they say, GO GREEN! Or GO PROBIOTIC!