by Sally Cristobal-Takashima
Magandang pagbati! Na miss ko po ang unang pasada ng Jeepney Press Year 2011, maligaya pong pagniniig at sumainyo po ang masaganang panahon ng tagsibol. Could there be a much more meaningful season than the time of life’s rebirth. Mga usbong sa “jardin” sa wari ko’y
sumusungaw at inaasam ang tala at init ng araw. Mga bulaklak tunay na nagagalak. After the gloom of a cold and harsh winter, garden enthusiasts look forward to plant their chosen seeds knowing not all will live. So, city folks living and working in heated and insulated houses and offices, enjoy a walk in the nearest park. Relax to commune with nature upang ating masilayan ang kagandahan ng kalikasan.
Our family’s winter trip to Manila was a summer wonderland. In just a little more than 3 hours, we stopped shivering and the next day was a bright sun shiny day. It was a record breaking trip - the longest time we’ve spent in Manila without any side trips to Hong Kong, Cebu, Palawan or Bohol. The first week was spent showing my eldest daughter, Lisa, and first grand daughter, Rinachan, around. Maingat kami para enjoy sila at siempre pa para maging memorable ang every moment. Toki wa nagarete mo kansha suru, desho? Wala kaming sinayang na panahon at nilista namin ang mga lugar na puedeng laruan ng mga bata at siempre pleasant and clean ang mga amusement areas na ito. Karamihan naman ng mga malls ay may mga play area for kids para makapag-enjoy ang mga hardworking moms sa shopping sprees nila. Ang gusto natin sa Pilipinas ay madaling kumuha ng katulong or caretaker ng mga bata while dito sa Land of the Rising Sun, goodness gracious, ikaw lahat unless ka vibes mo ang mom-in-law mo. The children’s amusement center in Alabang Town Center has a colorfully lighted merry-go-round and the Rustan’s Department Store has its own well appointed Doll House for all the kids to enjoy. It is so attractive that any grown woman who sees it would want to be a child once more.
Mayroon din outdoor play area para sa mga bata sa Alabang Town Center which is located in Muntinglupa City. In this area, you will find Italianni’s Restaurant, Bread Talk, Border Book Store, Starbuck, Via Mare as well as Tony Roma’s Spareribs, Friday’s Restaurant and Ralph Lauren. The Cinema area shows 5 different films with various skeds is just nearby. My husband never misses going to Figaro Coffee where we always have our brunch. Tunay na maipagmamalaki ng mga Filipino ang sarap ng native barako coffee. By the way Figaro Coffee Corporation is the biggest Filipino-owned chain of coffee shops. It has a network of 52 local branches and 3 branches overseas. Figaro’s CEO Pacita Juan, a graduate of the University of the Philippines’ College of Home Economics initially wanted to boost and promote the Barako coffee industry to help thousands of coffee farmers and their families. Pacita also wanted to make coffee an export revenue generating product for the Philippines. Let’s hope that Figaro coffee shops will open in Japan for the pleasure of all coffee enthusiasts.
Patuloy pa din ang pamamasyal namin ni Lisa, Rinachan, my hubby and I. Daughter Lisa decided to go swimming at the Shangrila Hotel as Rinaru loves to swim and has already been taking lessons back in Japan. So while the mother and child were in Shangrila, kami naman ng hubby ko went shopping for a sofa bed for my condo unit na easier to rent daw, if at least partially furnished. We headed to the Home Zone in Makati’s Glorietta but there were not many pieces to choose from. Sobra talaga ang lakas ng aircon sa loob ng Glorietta Shopping Mall. Para bang nasa loob ka ng subway sa Osaka na almost naka ski wear ka na. The sudden drop and rise of temperature can throw one’s balance off. Mahirap ng magkasakit at bakasyon pa naman. So we went outdoors to briefly get some healthy and wholesome sunshine and fresh air. I observed na mabilis na yatang maglakad ang mga Filipino at wala na yata ang seemingly walking under the moon-light kind of walk unaware of the time. Maganda na maging alisto
at gising sa pagtakbo ng oras. On time and never late tayo siempre.
Talagang naghahanap ako ng Romaji Japanese-English Dictionary prefe-rably published by Tuttle Publishing at dahil I did not find it sa Kinokuniya, magbakasakali ako this time sa Manila. I settled for the best one sa National Book Store.
Almost merienda time na. Before my eyes were all sorts of mouth watering kakanin. Graduate na yata ako sa mga kakanin so nag take-out na lang ako ng bibingka and did not know that later my stomach will not mildly tolerate the freshly grated coconut. But the serving each of buko pandan and the fruit salad for that brief moment was refreshingly delicious. Before long it was time to meet up with Lisa and Rinachan sa Makati Shangrila Hotel. Double step na kami to avoid traffic congestion. Our car speeded through the Skyway at maginhawa ang aming pag-uwi ng bahay. Later, I was even able to attend treat various illnesses. Sa itaas ng simbahan ng San Agustin ay nakahilera ang mga maraming lumang upuan gawa sa matibay na kahoy at may mga dibuhong inukit ng mga may kakayahang sa larangan ng paggawa ng mamahaling muwebles para sa simbahan. Marami tayong mga kababayan sa parte ng Ilocos region na dalubhasa sa wood carving.
Sa Intramuros ay na enganyo kami na sumakay sa isang karetela upang makita at madaanan ang iba’t ibang lugar na naglalahad ng mga pangyayari ng mga nagdaang panahon. Masigla naman ang “tsuper” ng karetela at bigay na bigay na nagpaliwanag sa mga nadadaanang lugar. Nalibang at nasiyahan kaming lahat.
Magmula sa Intramuros ay unang pagkakataon namin pumunta sa kinagigiliwan ng marami: ang Manila Ocean Park. Kung susukatin ang enjoyment ng tao from 1 to 100 ay 95% ang aming ibibigay na score sa lugar na ito. Surely, we will consider visiting again. Manila Ocean Park opened in March 2008. It is not really a park but an oceanarium where visitors can enjoy an impressive display of marine habitat. The oceanarium has 7 sections. Among them are: rainforest, reef, karagatan, kalaliman and sharks. The regular entrance fee cost 400 pesos. The 4 star H2O Hotel is in the Manila Ocean Park Complex. There are lots of restos to choose from.
Even on weekdays, there are waves of student groups on field trips so come early. I will recommend this place to anyone visiting Manila. It is located behind the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta.
The Philippine Community Coordinating Council of Western Japan has scheduled the Election of Officers for the term April 2011 to March 2013 at the Philippine Consulate General in Osaka. The PCCC serves as a de facto umbrella organization of the Filipino communities in Kansai. Kung mayroon po kayong organisasyon o grupo ng mga Filipino na naninirahan sa Kansai at nais ninyong iparehistro ang inyong organisasyon, makipag-ugnay po kayo sa Philippine Consulate General Osaka-Kobe, Twin 21 MID Tower 24F, 2-1-61 Shiromi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 540-6124
Fax No. 06-6910-8750
Sa lahat ng Jeepney Press readers, salamat po and take care.