Monday, July 11, 2011

Jeepney Press July-August 2011 page 15

Neriza Sarmiento-Saito's
Triplicating Lyle

Where are you from?
Baguio in the Philippines
and Gifu in Japan.

What is your occupation?
A first year university student in Osaka University major in Philippine Studies.

How long have you lived in Japan? 6 years

What do you miss most about the Philippines?
Pinoy family ties and all my cousins and other relatives back home.

What was your weirdest experience in Japan?
So far none yet that I can call weird except one time, my sister and I were trying to be friendly to some Japanese highschool students, the moment they found out where we are from, they were suddenly quiet. My sister was furious. We thought that they only had preconceived images of our country.

What do you like best about Japan?
Not only because I am an art enthusiast, but I think Japan is one country that encourages the propagation of art works from an early age.

If you can change one thing about Japan, what would it be?
I hope families can take care of their elderly family members by themselves. And if their only option is to entrust them to nursing homes, maybe they should visit them more often, as I have seen many elderly citizens lead lonely lives away from their families to the point of depre-ssion.

If you can teach things about the Japanese to the Filipinos, what would they be?
Planning way ahead of time. It seems like many Japanese are of the A, or AB or O blood types, capable of tedious paperwork and detailed planning.

What is your recipe for a successful life in Japan?
By being simply ME.Triplicata is a rare orchid that thrives in the wildest of forests in the tropics. When it blooms, lovely shades of pink, yellow and purple is like a young lady's coming-of-age -- fragile, sweet and innocent yet determined to face the challenges about to come her way.

LYLE ESPERANZA MENECIO was only 12 years old when she came to Gifu with her elder sister Keene and younger brother Sean. Their parents, Gerald and Fe, were offered to work for Sony corporation when Lyle was 7, so, they were left behind with their grandmother.

Families of millions of overseas Filipino workers usually suffer the consequences of long periods of separation. In some cases, children display low academic achievement or turn to drugs or alcohol abuse. In cases where
children have to join their parents or relatives abroad, they are assimilated into a mainstream culture and thereby
loses their previous culture, because they have to learn first and foremost, the language of the host culture because they have to interact with nationals of their host country. Many studies have been focused on the importance of communicating in one's native code because it is a strong bond that connects people of the same cultural backgrounds.

Lyle excelled in almost all subjects and the medals she earned each year was her way of forcing her parents to come home to Baguio, their family home for decades since Fe's
grandfather, Shimotsu-San, a Japanese carpenter settled in the beautiful city of Pines. If he were alive, he would have been proud to see his great grandchild's achievements in Japan.

The Menecio children all went to public junior high schools and studied Japanese at the Nihonggo Kyoshitsu in the school along with other foreign students. They needed it very badly to cope up with lessons in other subjects. At home, the family spoke Ilocano.

They talk in Filipino and English with their Pinoy friends. Keene and Lyle can handle all languages fluently- English, Filipino and Japanese, plus
Ilocano but Sean can only speak Ilocano and Japanese. In the beginning, Lyle was lonely in school because she could not communicate in Japanese so she talked most of the time with her English teachers and their ALT in school. She also missed her friends and relatives in Baguio.
Her teachers were impressed with her art works and entered those in art competitions in Gifu, where she won top prizes.
It depicted vibrant images of flowers as seen during the Panagbenga Festival in Baguio where flower costumes and floral floats are the main attractions in this 16 year old event held on the last week of
February every year. In Lyle's Heart, this festival which happens to be her favorite, is where she can find her true identity as a Filipino. As Lyle start to get used to her new school environment, she noticed the detailed planning of school events and intense preparations for college entrance examinations.

As a young girl, Lyle wanted to be a doctor. Many relatives are nurses in America like her mom. She has watched her work as a caregiver at the Home for Senior Citizens. She was contemplating on enrolling in Gifu University, but when she
passed the "Center Shiken," her homeroom teacher suggested her to try Osaka University where she was accepted. “Sabi po ng marami ang suwerte ko raw dahil maraming Hapones ang may gustong makapagtapos sa isang "prestigious university," wika niya.

It has been 3 months since the opening of classes and Lyle seems to be more at ease with her new life in Osaka. She joined the university's dance group "Roots" and they will perform at the Summer Festival in Osaka University's MInoo Campus on July 9 and will also play the guitar. "Ninenerbiyos na nga po ako dahil ngayon lang ako sasayaw sa harap ng maraming tao," sabay dagdag niya.

Prof. Masanao Oue of the World Languages Department of Osaka University, who is also doing a research on Filipino language acquisition of the children of Filipino migrants
commented that Lyle is the first among children of migrant Filipinos to be proficient in 4 languages and the first in the
Philippine Studies Department.
Lyle is but the same as most Japanese teenagers fond of Japan Anime culture like One Piece, Naruto, and she idolizes Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and her kababayan, Charice!
As Osaka sizzles in summer, Lyle will be watching colorful fireworks in the sky
marking a new phase in her life!

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