Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sally Cristobal-Takashima

by Sally Cristobal-Takashima

Summer seems to have just started and now thunder with rain comes every other day to usher in the arrival of Autumn 2012.  By the time the JP Autumn Issue comes out, we would be having cool crispy comfortable evenings enjoying moon viewing and going to Harvest and Thanks-giving Festivals. 

To celebrate the changing of the seasons, to commune with nature is a valued part of Japanese culture. Rites observed in Japan in autumn include Higan which is 3 days before and after Autumnal Equinox. Spirits of the departed are honored with incense, candles, spirits (sake) flowers and water is poured on the ohaka. Memories of departed loved ones may fade and so celebrations were held by the living to help them remember and honor their lives.

Sports Day, a national holiday, is celebrated in mid September usually on a weekend. Elementary school children learn the value of sportsmanship, fairplay,
competitiveness, the value and joy of excellence as well as health and fitness. This event is also called Field Day and children spend time to learn their moves so as to present a good show to their parents during the special day. It is also a day to eat a lunch box  with friends and families.
Keiro no Hi or Respect for the Aged Day is another Autumn National Holiday to honor the elderly citizens and acknow-ledge their services to the community. In the church where I attend, the elderly citizens are asked to stand up and be recognized. To call attention to oneself is something a Japanese stay away from, they all feel hesitant to be recognized.

Taking the JR Shinkaisoku train to Kyoto is a breeze. After all it is the best place to take memorable pictures of the autumn foliage. It is also swarming with tourists who come for attractions like the Jidai Matsuri and to savor special  lunch boxes with chestnuts and matsutake (wild mushrooms).

A short express train ride to Osaka gives one a chance to see the famous Kishiwada Danjiri Shinto Harvest Festival. Actually there are two fests: one in September and the other in October. Did you know that most Japanese festivals have Chinese roots in them but has changed as they merged with local customs?

On a more personal note, I had the experience of being confined in a hospital for 6 days because of a minor knee surgery. I am up and about- okagesama de, arukeru yo ni narimashita. So part of Summer 2012 was spent doing rehabilitation exercises.  It has been a learning experience being confined in a Japanese hospital as a recipient of health care. The other patients in my room were mostly elderly women in their 70’s and 80’s with high level of tolerance for pain. They did not verbalize their true feelings to the nurses and other care givers but nevertheless were able to convey what and how they felt. 

The patients were court-eous and friendly enough with the nurses. If you ask me about the food and I thought you will never ask me about the food…. Yoku gambarimashita otherwise I won’t be able to sleep with an empty stomach. I had visions of my fave kaiten sushi, yaki niku, tabehodai meals, crispy pata, Serye’s tasty Kare Kare. Lahat na yata. Parang kyushoku sa shogako- maraming left overs sa food cart.

Being held captive in a hospital needs patience and a sense of humor otherwise one will go crazy.  Women visitors tend to hang around and run out their visiting hour privileges. They talk louder, cheer up the patients who most often need to rest. The men visitors are awkward in their conversations with the patient. It is the gentle, nurturing, assuring words and attitude that the male visitor fail to emote- engi demo to a female patient. These, however are the very qualities that a male when he himself becomes a patient look for. I have noticed that comfy pastel colored sports wear is the choice of the majority of patients for hospital wear.

Another summer has come and gone. Yearly pa din ang dakok ng bagyo taon-taon sa Pilipinas. Sana naman ay tunay na bigyan ng sapat na pansin ang isyu na better flood management at kung hindi ay baka maging Venice of Asia ang ilang parte ng Pilipinas. Mawawala na ang mga jeep- mga motor boats na lang or banca at gondolas. Ay! Huwag naman dahil pihadong late sa trabaho ang mga tao. Nabasa ba ninyo na mabilis daw ang pagtunaw ng yelo sa bandang Alaska at may posibilidad daw na lumubog ang ilang islas sa Asya. Dios mio salve Regina. Saklolo at Socorro. Huwag ninyong ipahintulot. Peace to men of goodwill.

Mga developers na nagpapatayo ng condos and buildings sa mga lugar na ipinag-babawal ngunit dahil sa fake building permits na nakuha sa suhol… alam ninyo kung
sino kayo.

Maari natin sigurong sabihin na kahit papaano ay umaangat naman ang buhay ng mga Pilipino sa Japan. Election year po next year.Please register for the Overseas Absentee Voting. Huwag po ninyong sayangin ang inyong karapatan na bumoto.

The much awaited Sports Fest 2012 of the Philippine Community Coordinating Council in Kansai will be held on Sunday, October 7, 2012 at the Higashi Yodogawa Park. Everyone is welcome to participate. Lots of sports activities, fun games, exciting prizes, delicious Philippine foods and various drinks waiting for you. FREE entrance. Raffle tickets for sale at 300 yen each. Get your tickets now. For details, kindly call Malou Sato at 0908-985-6635.

We wish one and all a happy, healthy Autumn. To all faithful Jeepney Press readers until next issue. Salamat po.

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