Friday, September 26, 2014

Jeepney Press September - October 2014

Jeepney Press September - October 2014

by Dennis Sun


"Talks Like An American,
Works Like A Japanese
But Sings Like A Pinoy"

by: Edith Bautista
September - October 2015

Strange. Yes, because sometimes, there are people who are not supposed to be there. Are they invited? Or are they party crashers? Are they pure? Half-blooded or mixed? Strange, yes, but strange with and for a good reason.

We sometimes see a stranger in an event. A gaijin? An alien? Then, you hear the whispers. Who is that person? Why is he there? What’s he doing in the group?  And then, in so many events of Filipino communities in Tokyo, there is this strange white gaijin. Or alien, as we are all referred to by our host people, the Japanese.  His name is Tom Clark.

Tom Clark is neither a Pinoy nor a Japanese. He doesn’t have brown skin and slanted narrowed eyes. He may speak a few Tagalog words but he can definitely argue and win in Japanese considering how tall he is and loud as a megaphone. He has visited the Philippines a couple of times and considers Japan his second home having resided for an “uncountable” number of years. Tom Clark’s face and voice have been a familiar character on Japanese TV programs and commercials. He is also an active volunteer for several Filipino community events around Tokyo area. Tom is a quick-witted American possessing the warm heart of a Pinoy and the indefatigable energy of the Japanese.

In this issue, we cornered Tom to know more about him and find out why he has this soft spot for Filipinos in Japan.
Please tell something about yourself. When did you first come to Japan? What’s your work? And activities you are doing?
Wow! So many questions. You sound a little like the folks at Immigration when I come back after visiting the States.  Um…when did I first come to Japan, eh?  Well, I usually answer that question by telling the person who asked:  Well, it was in the early 60s, the war wasn’t going so well, and then the President was killed, and the southerner who was Vice President, Johnson, took over, and I thought, you know, maybe it’s time to make a change.  
And the person who asked says:  ah, President Kennedy.  
And then I say:  Kennedy? No way. I’m talking about Lincoln.

As you can tell, you have to be careful about asking me questions. I like to have fun with the answers.
Let’s see, what were your other questions? Ah, ok, well, my work. I wish I had more work these days, but to be serious for a second, almost all of my work is in areas where I use English. I can speak some Japanese (sorry, I don’t read a whole lot), but as an ESL/EFL teacher, it’s my job to be using English all the time.  So…I teach, I sing, I record, I’m a voice actor, I edit, I rewrite, I proofread, I act in plays all in English.  And I have to warn you, I’m a very strict grammarian, just so you’ll know. heh, heh.
Ah, ok, one more, my activities. Well, what I don’t do so much anymore is golf or run. Since I was diagnosed with having a couple herniated discs.  But I do still teach, travel, act, edit, proofread…and sing. 
Oh, and don’t you have to tell people that the reason you said “tender loving care” is because that’s my initials?  tlc.   Thomas Leslie Clark.   (hazukashii wa.)  (heh, heh)

Sorry to interrupt, but what do you mean ESL/EFL?  
Well, ESL means English as a Second Language, EFL mean s English as a Foreign Language. You see, there is a difference between the two. With ESL…

When did you start working with Filipinos?
Never.  I’ve never “worked” with the “Filipinos”.  I’ve had fun with Filipino people, I’ve acted with Filipino people, I’ve sung (yaay!!) with Filipino people, but I have to say, it was never “work”. It was joy, not work.
As for when, well, that’s a theatre thing. You see, my MA degree is in theatre, but I got out of theatre for a kind of longish time after I got into ESL/EFL, but I did get back into theatre here in Japan by working with TIP (Tokyo International Players) and TTFC (Tokyo Theatre for Children). In TTFC, I had the pleasure of working with a couple of folks who were connected with Filipinos, and that led me to Teatro Kanto (TK). TK is a Filipino theatre group here in Tokyo and I had the pleasure of acting with them a number of years ago.  That led to more involvement with TK (I’ve done lights for them, I’ve run acting workshops, etc., etc.) and that led to my connection with Utawit.  Utawit has been my “home away from home,” in a sense, for a number of years now.

What made you interested with Filipinos here in Japan?
I think, I just covered that, but it’s all connected.  The acting, the friendship, the music… Things just seemed to flow along until now, so that I’ve had the pleasure and honor of meeting, working with, spending time with some really great Filipino people.

Have you been to the Philippines? Where?  What can you say about the Philippines?
Wow, multiple questions again.  To the first one:  Yes.  I’ve been to the Philippines a couple of times now.  Where?  Well, of course, Manila. It seems like all things Philippine go through Manila, like all things Hawaiian go through Honolulu, Hawaii.  That’s a lot like the Philippines but without the typhoons.  (Please laugh)  Sorry, like I said, I do like a bit of levity now and then.
But once you get out of Manila, say to Clark (no connection with any relative of mine, sad to say), you can find open air, great golf courses and excellent restaurants.  And Tagaytay, don’t get me started. Looking out the window on the drive from Manila to Tagaytay  makes you think of Michigan (well, except for Detroit) greenery, agriculture, blue skies. The little volcano at Taal is super, the church where my friend got married was just lovely, and…
…and before I get too carried away, in Manila, and when you get closer to Tagaytay, the crowded traffic makes you think, not of Hawaii, but of Los Angeles. Or New York City.  

But still, it’s a green country. I’m not a fan of deserts.

Oh, right. What can I say about the Philippines?  To get a little serious for a second, it’s not the country, it’s the people. It’s the only Christian country in Asia, and maybe more amazing than that, is the fact the almost 10% of the Philippine GNP is accounted for by the OFW flow of funds back to the Philippines. There are Filipinos working all around the world, and so many of them are sending their earnings back to the Philippines that it amounts to nearly 10% of GNP.  That is fantastic!
Oh…uh…I may not have mentioned that my BA is in Economics.  It’s my MA that’s in theatre.  So occasionally, rarely, the “economic me” sneaks ahead of the ”performing me.”

What’s your first impression of them? Filipino leaders and friends as well?
First impression? Filipino leaders?  OK, first things first.  First impression of Filipinos:  nice people, always have pleasant faces, they can all sing.  No, no, really, I mean they all (well, almost all) are really musical.  (The ones who may not be great singers turn out to be terrific dancers.) 

Filipino leaders?  Funny you should ask.  I’m American. But…I have never seen, met, talked, with, whatever, anyone in the upper levels of the US Embassy in Tokyo.  The Philippines?  I have sung for GMA, I have met Ambassador Siazon, I’m on a “Hi, how are you?” basis with Ambassador Lopez, I have met and shook hands with President Aquino. The Filipino leaders make us ordinary people feel special. How I wish leaders around the world would do the same thing.

Is there any Filipino food that  you can eat?
OK, that’s an easy one.  Almost any Filipino food:  adobo, tokwat baboy, garlic rice. My favorite?  Probably sinigang from Ipo-Ipo! in Kinshicho.  (Yes, that’s a plug. But it’s true. Ipo-Ipo! sinigang is better than any I’ve had anywhere, in Japan or the Philippines.)  One observation though:  I was surprised that Filipino food Is not so spicy. My impression is that food from hot countries (Mexico, Thailand) is spicy, but not so much so in the Philippines.

What is the Filipino group that you are active helping with? Why ?
Ah, an even easier  one.  Thank you.  That would be Utawit.  For background, Utawit is a word that comes from the Japanese word for “song”, “uta,” combined with the Tagalog word for song “awit.” The combination becomes “Utawit.” Utawit is now celebrating its 10th anniversary and is the oldest, all Japan, singing contest for Filipinos (and now Japanese folks) in Japan. Some years ago, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Japan/Philippine relations, the competition was opened to Japanese as well.  So that, now, Filipinos, Japanese, and any combination thereof, may enter the competition.

Thank you, but I asked “why”?
Right.  That would have to be connected to my own background as a singer. I have sung solo (the first time, at age 7, singing “I Wonder As I Wander”), duo (with my brother, the doctor, in high school and college), quartet (again, in high school), choir, men’s glee club (tenor soloist at Michigan State University), musical comedy (more than I can count), from Freddy Eynsford-Hill in “My Fair Lady,” to the Padre in “Man of La Mancha.” I do vocal music, I live vocal music, I love vocal music.
When I began to realize how fantastic the Filipino singers were, I was determined to try to do all that I could do to make their dreams come true, to make their talents be known, by helping in any way I could in Utawit. I have done voiceovers for Utawit, I have done lights for Utawit, I have been a judge for Utawit, but even more important, selfishly, to me, I have been blessed with the many chances to hear the great voices of the Filipino singers here in Japan.  

Do you have any plan of staying  in the Philippines someday?
Hmmm.  What a great idea!  We’ll have to see, eh?

Any message that you would like to share with the Filipinos?
I probably don’t have to say it, they won’t stop  anyway, but, please, please, never stop singing, never stop the music. It doesn’t  have to be singing, rondalla is fine; it doesn’t have to be the voice, the banduria is fine. There is no better, no purer, way to bring joy to the human heart than through music.

That’s the Tom Clark, inside and out. He is a man full of wits. There were actually no dull moments talking to him. Very Pinoy! I think I have learned so much from him. His positive energies are so infectious and I hope it spreads all throughout the Filipino community in Japan.


Renaliza Rogers


Sept - Oct 2015

nakakakilig!" Alam kong kinanta mo yun, ako din nga, eh. Pag-ibig. Sino nga kaya ang hindi pa nakakaranas nito? Bawat isa sa atin ay may kanyakanyang sariling kwento tungkol sa kanyang first love, puppy love, childhood sweetheart, true love, secret love, dreamboy, dreamgirl, the one that got away, the one na gusto kong ipasalvage, at kung anu-ano pa. May ibang masaya sa kanilang lovelife at mayroon din namang mga bitter dahil nasaktan. Merong iba na sa sobrang saya ay halos lahat ng ikinukwento ay laging isinisingit ang tungkol sa jowa. At meron din namang mga bigo na pasikretong nagwiwish na "sana mag break kayo" dahil sa sobrang inis. 

Una akong naka experience ng "puppy love" noong ako ay nasa grade 2. May kaklase akong si Farid at palagi kaming seatmates. Si Farid ay half Arabo kaya't napakagwapo niyang batamatangos ang ilong, makapal ang mga pilikmata at mapulapula ang mga labi. Gumawa kami ng Valentine's Day Card at dapat itong iaddress sa aming katabi. Naexcite akong magbigay ng card kay Farid kaya't nagdrawing ako ng heart na may lace sa borders nito sa cover ng card. Sa loob isinulat ko ang, "Dear Farid, You are my friend. You are nice. You are my seatmate. Happy Valentine's Day. Love, Renaliza" sa pinakamaganda at pinaka straight na handwriting na kayang isulat ng mga kamay ko noon at ibinigay ito kay Farid. Nakatanggap din ako ng card mula kay Farid at tuwangtuwa ako. Ngunit nang akin itong binasa, ang nakasulat sa loob ay, "Dear Renaliza. You are very fat and ugly like piglet. Happy Valentine's Day. From Farid."  

Naglaho bigla ang mundo ko. Ito yata ang pinaka-una kong heartbreak. Ni wala man lang nakasulat na "Love" sa dulo at "from" pa ang isinulat. Kinabukasan, sinadya kong magbaon ng chocolates. Pinaglaway ko si Farid. Humingi siya ngunit hindi ko siya binigyan. Magdusa ka.  

Nung ako'y tumungtong ng high school, mayroon akong naging ultimate crush, si Patrick. Napakabait niya, gwapo, friendly at maalaga-in. Ikinukwento ko siya lagi sa dalawa kong pinakamatalik na mga kaibigan, kesyo nag "hi" siya sa akin, kesyo nagusap kami sa canteen. Binigyan ako ni Patrick ng isang maliit na papel nung kami'y nag retreat, isang goodluck note na ang tanging nakalagay ay, "Good luck, Ren!" Abot tainga ang mga ngiti ko. Ipinagmalaki ko ito sa aking mga kaibigan at hindi ko maitago ang tuwa at kilig na naramdaman ngunit wala silang kibo. Paulit-ulit ko itong binasa at kinilatis pati ang handwriting niya, at inamoy-amoy pa. Noong kami'y nasa retreat house ay bigla na namang naglaho ang aking mundo nang ipagtapat ng aking kaibigan na sila na pala ni Patrick. Ipinakita niya pa sa akin ang isang malaking card na ibinigay sa kanya ni Patrick para sa retreat. Gusto kong umiyak dahil sa sobrang hiya ngunit nagkunwaring ok. Itinapon ko ang good luck note ni Patrick sa fountain.   

Fourth year na ako nang nakatanggap ako nga totoong love letter. Paguwi ko galing eskwela, may natagpuan akong sobre sa sahig ng kwarto ko. Binuksan ko ito at laman nito ang mahabang sulat sa yellow paper at postcard na may dalawang pusa. Napakahaba at napaka sweet ng sulat at sadyang nagbubuhos ng saloobin. Napakabait ko raw at matulungin kaya't napa-ibig siya sa akin. Sana daw maibalik ang dati naming pagsasamahan tulad ng dalawang pusa sa postcard na nagmamahalan at pag nagkataon ay dadalhin niya ako sa sayawan at isasayaw ng sweet. Ito ang pinakauna kong love letter at kahit sinong babae ay kikiligin at titili sa binasa ko...maliban sa akin. Wala akong nadama ni konting kilig, puro pagkadiri lang at awa ang aking naramdaman dahil ang sulat na ito ay galing sa pinsan kong may deperensya sa utak.   

Andami kong naranasang pagkabigo sa aking lovelife, lalo lang itong tumindi habang ako'y nagkaedad. Noong elementary years puro pambubully ang nakukuha ko sa mga "crushes" ko dahil ako'y mataba. Noong ako'y nasa high school, lahat ng nagugustohan ko ay napupunta sa aking mga kaibigan dahil sila'y magaganda at ako'y mataba. Noong college ako, mataba pa rin ako at medyo may kabobohan. Ang aking lovelife noon ay walang kwenta at walang silbi dahil padalos-dalos. Ang nangyari kasi noong college ako ay....di bale na, masyadong mahaba kung ikukwento ko pa.   

Lahat naman siguro tayo may mga naranasang pagkabigo, bibihira ang hindi nakaranas nito. Sila siguro yung first love=true love na kaagad. Sila na yata yung mga pinagpala ng Diyos. At tayo namang nakaranas ng kabigu- an, tayo ang may iku- kwento, tayo ang may mga matatag na kara nasan. At kung sakali mang dumating ang taong masasabi nating "the one" ay mas maaappreciate natin. Ika nga nila, mas masarap kumain ng kanin at ulam kapag nakatikim ka nang magdildil ng asin.  

Sabi nila, okay lang ang madapa basta matuto ka lang bumangon. Ako, dalawang beses na yata akong nadapa ngunit awa ng Diyos ay nakabangon naman. Bata pa ako, marami pa akong mararanasan sa buhay. Pero tama na ang dala- wang beses akong nadapa at sana huwag na akong mapangatluhan pa at baka ako'y magpa- gulong-gulong na sa putikan. Sa ngayon, heto ako masaya naman sa buhay. Merong napapasaya at may nagpapasaya. Ang aking mga pagkabigo ay itinuturing kong valuable life lessons at ang aking katabaan ngayon ay isa nang very valuable asset. Nasa huli ang pagsisisi, Farid.

Dr. JB & Nelly Alinsod


Sept - Oct 2015

Diyos ng kalikasan nagbubunyi kami sa iyong pangako: “Habang ang mundo ay nananatili, ang pagtatanim at pag-aani, ang lamig at ang init, ang tag-init at tag-yelo, ang araw at ang gabi ay hindi  magwawakas [Gen.8:22].” Ikaw ang aming pag-asa sa pabago-bagong panahon. 

Pinupuri ka namin, O Diyos ng Tag-ani! Nagdiriwang kami sa kasaganaan hatid ng iyong nilikha. Nasisiyahan kami sa ganda ng mundo na puno ng iba’t ibang kulay ng kalikasan. Nagsasaya kami sa pag-ibig na lumikha ng aming mundo at sa biyayang dulot ng Krus ni Hesus upang kami ay maging pagpapala sa marami.

Salamat po, Diyos ng Buhay, sa kapahingahan iyong bigay sa pagpanaw ng tag-init, sa pag-igsi ng araw at paghaba ng gabi, at sa malamlam na sinag ng buwan. Mga dahong kulay luntian nagiging kulay ginto, hamog sa umaga, sariwang bungang kahoy at malamig na samyo ng hangin  kagandahang pamalas ng tag lagas!

Sa pagdating ng ani, kamalig namin ay puno at ang aming panlasa ay nasisiyahan lubos sa kasaganaang dulot. Sa bawat panahon ang iyong katapatan ay hayag sa bawat tag-lagas. Sa paghahanda ng mundo sa panahon ng tag lamig, tinutustusan mo ang aming panga-ngailangan upang kami rin ay makapaghanda.  

Panginoon, dalangin namin ang mga tao na nasa panahon ng tag lagas ng buhay ang aming mga magulang at mga matatanda. Sila na buong tapang na nagsikap upang bigyan kami ng matibay na puhunan. Salamat po, O Diyos, sa kanila na aming inspirasyon ng kadakilaan. Mga matiyagang kamay, mga tuyong balat, mga noo sunog sa araw at mga malalim na mata ay mga bakas ng kanilang katapangan. Sinuong nila ang bagyo at pagsubok ng buhay ngunit sila’y nakatayong matayog at matibay. Salamat po, O Diyos, sa bigay nilang lilim na aming naging kanlungan.

Sa kasaganaan ng tag lagas, nagpapakumbaba kami, O Diyos. Utang na loob namin sa Iyo ang walang tigil na pagdating ng pagkain sa aming hapag kainan. Sa aming mga ani, maalala ka nawa namin na Ikaw ang nagbigay ng init, ulan, hamog at buhay. Kapag kaunti ang aming ani at ang pagsisikap namin ay hindi nagtagumpay, tulungan mo kami na magtiwala sa Iyo. O Dakilang Tagapagtustos, hindi ka magkukulang kahit na ang aming pananim ay hindi magbunga. 

Makapangyarihang Diyos, hayaan mo magpahinga ang puso namin sa iyo upang hindi kami mabalisa tungkol sa aming buhay. Hayaan mong makintal sa aming isip ang kabutihan at kayamanan ng iyong nilikha upang hindi kami matakot sa kawalan. Ikaw ang lumikha ng lahat ng mula sa kawalan at ibinigay mo ito sa tao. Nangako ka na ang tag-tanim at tag ani ay hindi magwawakas habang ang mundo ay nananatili!

Ang ganda ng tag lagas ay hayag sa amin. Ang kapaligiran ay kulay ginto. Ang malamig na samyo ng hangin ay nakikipaglaro sa malamlam na init ng araw. Ang matigas na hamog na nakasabit sa mga dahon ay parang mga diamante. Ito at marami pa ay awit ng kalikasan na patunay ng iyong pagmamahal, aming Ama sa langit!

Request for prayers and other inquiries may 
be sent to or 
Dr. JB & Nelly Alinsod serves the Filipino Community at Shalom Christian Fellowship, Shinjuku Ku, Tokyo, Japan. 

Abie Principe

Shoganai: Gaijin Life

Sept - Oct 2015

Ever wonder why people started posting Throwback Thursday (TBT) pictures online? Anywhere from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter, parami ng parami ang #TBT. Isang mabilis na internet check ang nagbigay liwanag sa pinagmulan ng TBT. Ayon sa ilang sites, ang pinagmulan ng TBT ay mga litrato ng lumang cartoons, uploaded by a site in 2006. Mula noon, naipasok na sa Urban Dictionary ang salitang Throwback Thursday. Ang basic definition nito ay ang pag-upload ng pictures online, in any of the available social media sites, at ang picture na ito ay dapat lumang picture, or a picture from the past. At, ideally, dapat i-upload on a Thursday. Mula ng nauso ito, nagkaroon na rin ng mga variations, tulad ng Flashback Friday and Sentimental Sunday. 

Talagang popular ang pag-upload ng mga #TBT pictures. Bakit kaya? Kayo ba, dear readers, nakapag-upload na ba kayo ng throwback picture? Ano ang reason ng pag-upload ninyo ng picture? At anong klaseng litrato ang inap-load ninyo? Nung kayo’y nasa elementary school? High school? College? Nung nasa beach kayo noong 19xx at super bagay pa ang bathing suit? 
Karamihan ng nagthrothrowback pictures, ang nilalagay ay mga group pictures noong nasa eskwelahan pa sila. Malamang nauso ito sa ating mga Pilipino dahil sa naglipanan na mga class reunions. Sa totoo lang, taon taon halos meron mga nag po-post ng throwback pictures in commemoration of their school days. Isa yan sa pinaka-popular na klase ng #TBT pictures. Ang pumapangalawa naman ay pictures ng kasal, lalo na kung mahigit sampung taon na lumipas mula noong ikinasal. At pangatlo naman, dahil sa totoo lang, ang internet yt talagang pinangungunahan ng mga kabataan, ang mga throwback pictures nila ay yung noon baby pa sila, para sa akin, ito ang mga pinakacute na #TBT pictures.

Ayon sa uri ng mga litratong madalas i-upload, nakikita natin na ang nangungunang rason kung bakit nauso ang Throwback Thursday, sa isang salita ay, sentimentality. Looking at the pictures from our past makes us quite emotional, and because of social media, we can now share that emotion to the whole world. Perhaps old pictures show a side of us that most people haven’t seen or have forgotten, and posting them online, we show the world that what we used to be, what we are now, and how we have come a long way. Kaya, dear readers, post lang ng post ng #TBT, who knows, baka tayo mismo, maalala natin ang ating nakaraan, at dahil dito, mas makikita natin ang maari nating maging kinabukasan. Ika nga ni Ka Jose Rizal, “Ang hindi marunong tumingin sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan.”

Jeff Plantilla


Sept - Oct 2015

Dekada na ang nakaraan nung makita ko sa Maynila ang ilang taong lumalapit upang manghingi ng tulong. Meron silang ipinakikitang papel na maaaring permiso mula sa gobyerno para sa kanilang paghingi ng tulong na pera. Sa mga taong ito, mahalaga na makuha ang simpatiya ng mga taong nilalapitan upang makahingi ng abuloy. Ang ipinakikitang papel ay paraan upang isiping ligal ang ginagawa nila. 

Nguni’t alam din natin na maaaring panloloko ang mga gawaing ito. Maaaring peke ang papel na ipinakikita, at maaaring hindi talaga pupunta sa mga taong nangangailangan ang tulong na makukuha.

Kahit nga ang mga nagpapalimos ay maaaring biktima ng mga sindikato. Sa mga taong may duda, mahirap maniwala sa mga humihingi ng tulong sa kalye.

Batas sa 

Panahon pa ng mga Amerikano nung ilabas ang batas tungkol sa solicitation o paghingi ng tulong. Ito ang Solicitation Permit Law na naging batas nung 1933. Binago ito nung 1978, panahon ng martial law, sa pamamagitan ng Presidential Decree No. 1564 (PD 1564). Iisa ang layunin nung batas nung 1933 at yung pagbabago nung 1978. Kailangang may permit mula sa gobyerno ang anumang paghingi ng tulong para sa gawain pang-charity o sa ikabubuti ng bayan. 

Ang batas na ito ay kailangang sundin ng sinumang tao, o “corporation, organization, or association desiring to solicit or receive contributions for charitable or public welfare purposes.” Ang mga ito ay kailangang kumuha ng permit mula sa opisina ng Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD) na ngayon ay Department of Social Welfare and Deve-lopment o DSWD. 

Katungkulan ng mga taga-DSWD na alamin kung lehitimo ang humihingi ng permit at ang proyektong kanilang itinataguyod. Kaya maaaring manghingi ng impormasyon ang taga DSWD ng report sa pagpapatupad ng proyekto ano ang mga gawaing nagawa, magkano ang nakolekta, ano ang pinagkagastusan, sino ang hiningan at tinulungan. At ang impormasyong ito ay dapat bukas sa pagsisiyasat ng publiko. Malinaw na kailangang walang taguan ng impormasyon tungkol sa proyekto lalong-lalo na doon sa nakolektang pera at ang binigyan ng tulong.

Ang PD 1564 pa rin ang batas tungkol sa pagsosolicit sa ngayon. Nguni’t may panukalang batas na sa ating Congress para lalo palakasin ang batas para sa solicitation. Ito ay ang House Bill 4650 na sinasabi kung sino ng mga “poor, vulnerable, marginalized and disadvantaged sectors or entities” na matutulungan tulad ng mga bata, matanda,  mga taong may kapansanan, kababaihan, out of school youth, mga taong lumikas dahil sa labanan ng militar at rebelde at sa mga natural disasters. Sakop ng bill ang lahat (gobyerno at hindi gobyernong upisina o samahan), ang iba’t ibang uri ng tulong (pera, gamit o iba pang tulong) at paraan ng solicitation. Pero yung carolling o iba pang paghingi ng tulong para sa pistahan at ang paghingi ng tulong sa pagpapatayo ng simbahan/sambahan/mosque ay hindi kasama.

Mas maraming hinihinging requirements para makakuha ng permit sa bill na ito. At may panukalang parusa ang solicitation na walang permit. Nguni’t bill pa lang ito, panukalang batas pa lang.

Malinis na Hangarin

Tulad sa Pilipinas, may batas din ang Japan na nagreregulate ng solicitation. May permit ding kailangang kunin sa gobyerno ng Japan para makahingi ng tulong sa mga tao. 

Ito ang dahilan kung bakit naglabas ng abiso ang Philippine Embassy nung 10 July 2014 na “all fundraising activities should be done in accordance with Japanese law and the relevant regulations of the Prefectures.”

Sinabi din sa abiso na ang mga tao ay hinihinging maging maingat “when approached by certain people who request donations for some charity organization or activity.”

Kinailangang ilabas ang abisong ito dahil sa napabalita sa TV sa Japan na mga Pilipinong nanghihingi ng pera sa mga tao sa ilang train stations sa Tokyo. May dudang walang permit ang pagsosolicit na ito na para daw sa mga bata sa Pilipinas, at mukhang ito ang tinutukoy ng  Philippine Embassy na solicitation na labag sa batas ng Japan.

Kung talagang maayos ang proyektong ito, dapat ay maayos ang solicitation may nakadisplay na poster na nagpapaliwanag ng solicitation, at may ipinakikitang permit. Mukhang isa isang nilalapitan ang mga tao at palihim ang pagkuha ng pera. Dahil dito, maaaring tama na illegal ang kanilang solicitation.

Pagtingin sa Sarili

Nakakahiya na may mga Pilipino ay nairereport sa TV sa Japan na pinagdududahan na lumalabag sa batas. Masakit sa loob na may mga kababayan tayo na lumalabas na nanloloko ng mga Hapones.

Ang anumang masamang ginagawa ng ilan sa ating kababayan ay nagiging masamang bahid na sa kabuuan ng mga Pilipino dito sa Japan.

Ang bawa’t Yen na makukuha sa masamang paraan tulad ng illegal solicitation o tahasang pangloloko sa paghingi ng tulong ay may katumbas na pagbaba ng tingin sa atin ng bayang Hapones. 

Pahalagahan sana natin ang ating pangalan bilang Pilipino at bilang tao.

Warren Sun


Sept - Oct 2015

Pinoy Scholars To Be Deployed To Japan In September

Ang unang batch ng Pinoy student scholars sa ilalim ng Japan-East Asia Network Exchange Students and Youths (JENESYS 2.0) ay ipapadala sa Japan nitong Setyembre 8 to 16 at ang second batch sa Nobyembre 3 to 11.
Inilahad din ng DepEd na ang layunin ng programang ito ay mabigyan ng pang-unawa ang kultura ng Japan at kabuluhan sa pamamagitan ng mga youth exchange programs. Ito ang magbubukas oportunidad para mabigyan ng 21st century skills ang mga public school students.
Bago ipapadala ang first batch,  sasa ilalim sila sa isang national formation program na gagawin ng DepEd sa Setyembre 4.

Pinoys In Japan Warned Against Illegal Solicitations 

Nabigyan ng paalala ang mga Pinoy sa Japan laban sa illegal solicitations kung saan humihingi silang pera bilang tulong para sa mga bata sa Pilipinas. Ang Philippine Embassy sa Tokyo ang nagbigay ng babala magmula nang natanggap nila ang balitang racket na ito. 
Ayon sa Philippine Embassy, lahat ng fundraising activities ay dapat sumunod sa ilalim ng batas ng Japan. Dahil dito, pinapaalala ulit ang publiko na “exercise caution and judgement” kapag may taong lalapit sa kanila na nagre-request ng donation para sa isang charity or organization.

Japanese Allegedly Commits Suicide In Cebu

Isang Japanese national ang nakitang patay sa kanyang boarding house sa Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu noong Agosto 18. Ayon sa tagapagsiyasat, pinaniniwalaan nila na suicide ang dahilan sa pagkamatay.
Masaki Hashimoto, 31 na taga Osaka, ay nakitang patay ng kanyang roommate na nakabigti sa tabi ng kanyang pinto. Ayon sa kanyang landlady, nag-aaral siya ng English as a Second Language (ESL). 
Iniimbestiga ng mga pulis kung ano ang naghudyat sa kanyang pagtangkang suicide. Makikipag ugnay din sila sa kanyang pamilya sa pamamagitan ng Japanese Embassy dito sa Pilipinas.

Karen Sanchez


Sept - Oct 2015

Isang kalugud lugod na naman na panahon ang ating masisilayan sa kasalukuyan.  Ang panahon ng paghahanda para sa taglamig at ito ay ang panahon nang  taglagas. Ngunit hindi ang paglalagas  ang dapat nating inaabanagan kundi ang panahon kung saan nagpapalit ang kulay ng mga dahon sa buong kapaligiran ng halos lahat ng lugar dito sa Japan. At ito ay ang kaayaaya at nakakamanghang ganda ng mga dahon na dating berde o luntian ay nagkululay dilaw, ginto, kahel o pula. Magandang eksena o panahon muling makapamasyal at magpicture taking sabay uploads na naman sa ating mga facebook, instagram, line at  twitter kung saan tayo ay updated palagi, kung hindi man lahat ay halos lahat na nandirito ngayong naninirahan dito sa Japan ay ito na ang naging libangan pag may oras lamang.kabuuan ng Japan ang katagang ito dahil sa araw araw halos ay maririnig mo sa telebisyon sa mga balita maging sa komersiyal dahil ito ang naging katagang pambato upang mapasa ng Japan ang 2020 olympics na ngayon pa lamang ay lubos nang pinaghahandaan ng pamahalaan. Naging daan ito upang ipursigi ng mga Hapong matuto o makaintindi o makaunawa ng salitang Ingles. Hinihikayat ang lahat lalo na ang mga kabataan pag-aralan ito  ngayon. At makikita ang naglipanang eskwelahan at mga dayuhang kabataan sa mga istasyon ng tren o mga kalsadang malapit sa eskwelahan o paaralan upang mamigay ng kani-kanilang flyers para sa English lessons o tutorials.

OMOTENASHI ay may iba’t-ibang kahulugan kung ita-translate natin sa salitang Ingles. OMOTE means surface at NASHI means less or none. Pwede ring ibig sabihing “single hearted.” Ibig sabihin nito ay ang pag-kaka-isa ng layunin o dedikasyon. OMOTE could also mean “to carry” or dalhin. NASHI could also mean “to accomplish.” Kaya dito, masasabi natin na ibig ipahiwatig ang magiliw na pagtanggap ng serbisyo. 

Sa ibang pananaw naman, ito daw ay ang  ibat-ibang relasyong walang pangingibabaw o pantay-pantay. Isang relasyon sa pamamagitan ng nagbibigay at ang tumatanggap ng serbisyo at nagmumula sa kahit sino maging ikaw ay isang sikat na tao, mayaman o ordinaryong tao. At para po lubos nating maintindihan, isang magandang halimbawa ay nakaugalian at nakalakihan na nating mga Pinoy ang pagtanggap ng bisita sa ating bahay.  Kilala tayong mga Pinoy na maasikaso sa bisita, yung pag-hahandaan natin sila ng mga espesyal na luto  at  pag-aasikasong hindi inaasam ng mga bisitang ating maibibigay sa kanila.  Nakatatak na sa ating mga Pinoy ang pagiging pala-kaibigan at matulungin sa kapwa. Likas din sa ating mga Pinoy ang kusangpalo o walang pag-aatubiling pagpasyang tumulong sa mga nangangailangan sa abot ng ating makakaya. Sa pagpasok natin sa restaurant o sa simpleng mga kainan o mga lugar aliwan at ito ay ang pagbibigay ng oshibori o puting maligamgam o malamig na tuwalyeta o towel at kasabay nito ay ang pagbibigay ng tubig  o kaya ay tsaa nang walang bayad o libre. Ito ay isang paraan ng mga Hapon sa pag welcome o pagpatuloy ng mga bisita sa bahay man o sa kanikanilang mga tindahan. At sa panahon ngayon may mangilan-ngilan na rin mga establisyemento sa atin sa Pinas na nagpapraktis ng ganitong kaugalian lalo na kapag sa isang Japanese restaurant  tayo pumasok. 

Nakakatuwang isipin na unti-unti ay naaadapt o nakukuha o naiaaplay na rin natin ang ibang techniques o diskarte ng mga Hapon sa kung papano sila umasenso at nakilala sa buong mundo. At kung ating mapapansin lalong dumaraming mga Hapon ang nagpuntahan sa ating bansa upang magtayo ng kanilang negosyo. At kung ating maaalala, ilang buwan lang ang nakakaraan ay nagkaroon ng pagpupulong ang ating Presidenting Noynoy Aquino at Prime Minister Shinso Abe na nagbabalak o nagpaplanong magtayo ng mga pagawaan o pabrika para sa mga produktong papasok dito sa Japan na kung saan malaking porsiyento sa ngayon ay hawak ng Tsina. Sa pagpupulong ding ito, binibigyan tayo ng pag-asang mga Pinoy dito sa Japan at sa mga nasa bansa na darating din ang araw ay magkakaroon na rin ng malawakang pagtatanggap ng mga trabahador o mga empleyado mula sa atin dito kagaya ng kasambahay, caregivers o care takers, at maaaring lumuwag ang pagtanggap dito ng mga guro, nars o doktor mula sa ating bansa.  Ipinapakita lang dito na kapag ang lahat ng ito ay nagkatotoo, marami sa ating bansa ang mabibigyan ng maayos na trabaho at malaki ang tsansang makapagparito ang mga Pilipino.

Mga kababayan, malapit-lapit na rin ang 2020 Olympic na gaganapin dito at hinihikayat ang bawat isa sa ating mag-aral pa ng Nihonggo dahil siguradong marami-raming trabaho ang nakaabang sa lahat at siyempre mas malaki ang tsansa nating nandirito lalo na kung bihasa na rin tayo sa Ingles. Isa ring karanga- lan o alaalang mananatili sa atin kung tayo ay makadalo sa ganitong uri ng pangyayari sa mundo. At dapat din nating ipagmalaki na nanana-laytay na sa ating mga dugong  Pinoy ang salitang “OMOTENASHI.”

Arlene Dinglasan

Ang Pumanaw sa
Sariling mga Kamay 

Sept - Oct 2015

Kamatayan. Napakalawak na konsepto ang kamatayan. Lawak na nagpapaudlot sa atin upang magkaroon ng maraming katanungan. Mga katanungang tungkol sa paniniwala sa kabilang buhay, pagkakaroon o kawalan ng katarungan, tama o maling paraan ng paglisan. Mga katanungang kung iisa-isahin natin ay magbubunga sa walang katapusang diskusyon, palitan ng magkakaibang kurokuro, o maging hindi pagkakaunawaan ng opinyon. Ngunit sa lawak ng konsepto ng kamatayan…sa dami ng katanungan o elementong tila mas kumportableng pagusapan, tila maraming umiiwas sa isang elementong may katugmang "social stigma" o anumang itinuturing na hindi tanggap ng lipunan ang pagpapatiwakal o pagkitil sa sariling buhay.

Bakit nga ba may mga taong pinipiling sadyain ang sariling kamatayan? Habang may mga may sakit na gumagastos nang lampas sa kaya ng bulsa makasilip lamang ng kahit maigsing dagdag-buhay. Bakit may iba namang gumugugol ng mahabang pagpaplano matiyak lamang na wala na silang haharaping bukas?

Bakit? Sa kasamaang palad, mahirap sagutin ang tanong na ito. Oo nga't kaya nating malaman na kulang 30,000 ang "successful suicide attempts" sa Japan noong 2013 (source:…nasasapantaha natin na ang sinumang nagpapakamatay ay yumayaong nag-iisa (at malamang ay malung- kot)…nababalitaan nating kahit tila- masayahing mga tao ay natatagpuan na lamang na walang-buhay… pero napakahirap sagutin ang tanong na "bakit?".  Kaya sa halip na tangkaing sagutin ito, ibahin na lamang natin ang mga tanong. 
• Ano ang maaari nating gawin kung sakaling sumagi sa ating isip ang pagkitil ng sariling buhay?; 
• Paano natin malalaman kung may mga tao sa ating paligid na nag-iisip magpakamatay?; at 
• Paano natin sila maaaring matulungan?

Kung naiisip nating magpatiwakal
Hindi porke't sumasagi sa isip nating kitilin ang sariling buhay, ang ibig sabihin agad nito ay dahil masamang tao na tayo. Sa halip, ipinapakita lamang nito na sa kasalukuyan, nararamdaman nating mas mabigat ang "sakit" ng ating kalooban kumpara sa nararamdaman nating "kaya pa" na tiisin ito. Walang makakasukat ng pakiramdam mong bigat kundi ikaw lamang. Ang mabigat sa akin ay maaaring simple lamang para sa iyo, ngunit ang "kaya pa" para sa iyo ay maaaring labis nang pasanin para sa kaibigan mo. Ang mahalaga ay maunawaan natin ang sarili na may kanya-kanya tayong "kaya pa" at kung nakakaisip man tayong magpakamatay, ito ay dahil sa pakiramdam na sa kasalukuyan ay tila hindi na natin kayang tiisin ang sakit ng damdamin.

Ngayong nauunawaan na natin kung bakit gusto nating magpakamatay, gawing layunin ang mapagpantay ang timbangan ng "sakit" at ng "kaya pa". Narito ang maaari nating gawin para sa sarili: 
• una, maghanap ng ikagagaan ng nararamdamang "sakit" ng damdamin; o
• pangalawa, maghanap ng paraan upang madagdagan ang pakiramdam na "kaya pa" nating dalhin ang "sakit".  
(Source: http://www.

Napakalaking tulong ang makakita ng kausap na mapagkakatiwalaan at lubos na makikinig nang walang paghatol. Kung ang unang taong malalapitan ay hindi makakatugon sa pangangailangan ito, piliting maghanap ng pangalawa o pangatlong makakausap. Pag-isipan ding tumawag sa lifelines gaya ng Kapatiran (03-3432-3055) o TELL Lifeline (03-5774-0992). Upang mas lubusang maunawaan ang sarili, maaaring kumuha ng WB-DAT (Web Based Depression and Anxiety Test) sa o magbasa ng mga kasulatan sa 

Paano natin malalaman kung may mga tao sa ating paligid na nag-iisip magpakamatay? 
Dahil sa "social stigma" na kaakibat ng pagpapatiwakal, marami tuloy ang kathang isip tungkol dito. Sa kasamaang palad, kathang-isip lamang ang marami dito at malayo sa katotohanan. Paano natin mapag-iiba ang kathang-isip at katotohanan?
Tingnan ang talahanayan sa gawing kanan.

Paano tayo makakatulong sa mga taong nag-iisip magpatiwakal?
Kung mayroon kang kakilala, kaanak, o kaibigang maaaring nag-iisip magpakamatay, huwag itong isawalang bahala. Bigyan sila ng atensyon, pang unawa, at pagkakataong makapagbahagi ng saloobin nang walang paghusga. Tandaan ang mga kathang-isip at katotohonan ukol sa pagpapatiwakal at tulungan ang mga nag-iisip nito na humingi ng tulong sa kinauukulan kung kinakailangan.

Maaaring nakakaramdam tayo ng pag-iisa sa kabila ng maraming tao at kasiyahang nakapaligid sa atin, at dahil dito ay mahikayat tayong bigyang katapusan ang ating buhay sa tulong ng sariling mga kamay. Kaya kailangan natin ng labis na pagsisikap: unawain natin ang sarili; makinig nang walang paghusga sa may problema; at huwag mag-atubiling humingi ng tulong kung ang timbang ng "sakit" ay tila mas mabigat sa "kaya pa". Sabi nga ni Phil Donahue, "Ang pagpapatiwakal ay isang pangmatagalang solusyon sa pansamantalang suliranin."

Isabelita Manalastas-Watanabe


Sept - Oct 2015

Dear Tita Lits,
55 taong gulang na po ako, biyuda at may dalawang anak. Yung isa, nasa kolehiyo sa Pinas at yung isa, nandito sa Tokyo at may asawa na at isang anak. Sampung taon na po akong biyuda. Akala ko, hindi na po ako mag-aasawa muli. Ngunit nitong nakaraang taon, meron po akong nakilalang lalaki sa probinsiya namin sa Bacolod. Pagkatapos ng isang taong magkaibigan, dalawang taon na rin kami ngayon na mag syota. Problema lang po, kasing edad siya ng bunso kong babae na 25 taong gulang. Mahigit kalahati po ng taong gulang ko. Mahal ko po siya at alam ko rin na mahal din niya ako. Gusto po namin magpakasal ngunit hindi sang-ayon ang aking mga anak, mga kapatid sa Pinas, ang aking nanay at ibang mga kaibigan. Ginagamit lang po raw ako ng lalaki. Tita Lits, ngayon ko lang sa buhay ko nakaranas ng langit simula natagpuan ko siya. Parang naging bata ako muli. Hindi nanay ang turing niya sa akin. Para lang kaming magkasing edad. Matured po siya. Kahit sabihin na ginagamit lang niya ako, maligaya naman ako sa piling niya. At hindi rin niya ako sinasaktan. Yun nga lang, wala siyang trabaho sa Pinas kaya pinapadalhan ko siya ng pera buwan buwan sa aking kagustuhan. Opo, hindi alam ng mga anak ko iyon. Pero nalaman ng aking nanay at sapagkat nabawasan ang bigay ko sa kanya, kaya lalo siyang nagalit. Wala naman po akong problema sa mga magulang ng lalaki. Feeling ko, kapag pinakasalan ko siya at dinala ko siya sa Japan, mas magi- ging maligaya kaming dalawa at makakapagtrabaho rin siya. Ilan taon na lang, hindi na siguro nanay ang turing niya sa akin. Lola na! Pero para sa akin, at least nakatulong din ako sa kapwa tao. Iwanan man niya ako bukas sa ibang mas batang babae, masakit man pero OK lang po siguro sa akin. Ano po ang maipapayo ninyo?


Dear Laura:

“Love is lovelier, the second time around.” – lyrics iyan ng isang kanta.  Siguro nga… Damang-dama ko ang happiness mo with this second love of your life.
Isa pang saying:  “Age is just a matter of the mind.  If you don’t mind, it does not matter”.

O hayan, mukhang magkakampi tayo. 

Pero kuwidaw may nagsabing isang close friend ko, in a jokingly manner lang naman, “Huwag bumili ng pagmamahal, dahil madali kang mauubusan (ng kwarta).”

Gusto ko sanang malaman, kung from the start pa lang ng relationship ninyo ay inumpisahan mo na siyang padalhan ng pera.  Kasi kung hindi, at mabait pa rin siya noon sa iyo kahit wala kang ipinapadala sa kanya, baka talagang mabait na tao at mahal ka talaga niya.  

Wala akong nakita sa sulat mo na he demands or he expects that you send him money.  At kung maligaya kang padalhan siya, so be it.  

Si Nanay mo naman natural reaction siguro ng isang magulang na magalit kung malamang sinusuportahan mo ang iyong boyfriend.  Kasi normally, ang lalaki ang expected magsupport sa isang babae, at least sa kultura natin, diba.  Pero si Nanay naman, dapat sana, kahit magkano lang ang makayanan mong ipadala sa kanya, ay maging masaya siya at magpasalamat. 

Ang pinakaimportanteng parte ng iyong sulat ay iyong sinabi mong “Iwanan niya man ako bukas sa ibang babae, masakit man pero OK lang po siguro sa akin”.

So sige, para ka na lang nagsugal.  Kunin mo siya. At sana’y manalo ka, at maging maligaya kayo sa inyong magiging married life sa Japan.

Dear Tita Lits,
Naaawa po ako sa anak ng isang Pinay na nakatira malapit sa aming bahay. Bugbog sarado po lagi ang kanyang anak na lalaki na 9 na taong gulang. Lasinggero ang asawang Hapon at yung babaeng Pinay, tulog sa araw sapagkat sa omise pang gabi nagta-trabaho. Minsan, nag o-onegai siya sa akin at pinapabantay niya ang anak niya dahil minsan, superlasing ang asawa o hindi ito umuuwi ng bahay. Ako naman, naaawa sa anak niya kaya, sabi ko, kahit anong oras, dalhin lang niya ang anak niya sa amin. Maganda rin kasi meron kalaro ang aking anak. Minsan, ilang linggo rin niyang hindi kinukuha ng anak sa bahay. Minsan, ayoko rin ibigay yung anak sa magulang dahil bugbog na naman ang makukuha nito. Gusto ko man i-report sa mga pulis o city hall pero kawawa naman ang nanay. Ano kaya ang magandang gawin?


Dear Mely:

Ang posible mo lang maging problema ay kung baka may mangyari sa bata. Suppose, maaksidente iyan habang nasa poder mo?  O kaya’y biglang magkasakit  habang nasa bahay mo.  Ano ang iyong magiging responsibilidad?  Tatanaw kaya ng utang na loob iyong Pinay o kaya iyong asawa, at hindi ka sisihin?  Baka naman maging salbahe sila, at ikaw pa ang maging masama?

Isipin mong mabuti ito.   Siyempre, kung walang masamang mangyayari, e di maligaya kayong lahat – ikaw, dahil may makakalaro anak mo;  iyong bata, dahil maiiwasan niyang mabugbog; ang Pinay na nanay, dahil nakatipid ng oras sa pag-aalaga ng sariling anak (pero ang sama naman ng ganito!).

Desisyon mo, Mely.  Pero I hope hindi ka mapahamak din.

Dear Tita Lits,
Gusto ko pong malaman kung ano ang opinyon ninyo sa plastic surgery kasi po, may balak po akong magparetoke ng ilong.  31 years old na po ako, asawang Hapon at may isang anak na babae. Bata pa po ako, kamatis na ilong ang tawag ng nanay ko sa akin at mga class- mates. Buti po at may bulag na Hapon na nagkagusto sa akin. May konting ipon ako para sa aking sarili at ito po sana ang gusto kong gawin. Pero nagiguilty ako kung gagawin ko ito dahil baka sabihin ng aking mga kapatid na mas maganda kung gamitin ang pera sa ibang bagay. Lagi naman po akong nagbibigay sa aking mga magulang. Parang dream ko lang naman maging maganda kahit nasa 30 years old na. Kasalanan po ba sa Diyos ang magpaganda?


Dear Diana:

Nakabasa ako ng isang analysis tungkol sa mga nagpapa-plastic surgery. Addictive daw.  Kapag inumpisahan mo, hindi ka na makakatigil.  Either dahil ang resulta ng iyong first retoke is not to your satisfaction, at uulit ka na naman.  Or akala mo, gumanda ka, at gusto mo pang gumanda pa, so sige, isang surgery na naman. And so on…

Ikaw mismo ang nagsabi na nagustuhan ka ng iyong asawang Hapon, for what you are, for the way you currently look. E bakit ka pa magpaparetoke?  Baka hindi tumama ang gawa, or hindi maganda maging resulta, o baka pagawayan pa ninyong mag-asawa iyang gagawin mo.

Pero kung gusto mo talaga, sabihan mo kaya ang asawa mo, na gusto mong ipaayos ang iyong ilong.  Kasi kung OK sa kanya, e di sige, magpa nose lift ka.  But be prepared din sa posibleng hindi maging magandang resulta ng iyong nose lift.  O kaya ang stares ng iyong mga kakilala, na mabibigla sa change ng iyong hitsura.

At siguro, hindi naman magagalit sa iyo si Lord, kasi wala ka namang masamang intensiyon, at wala ka namang sasaktang ibang tao sa iyong pagpapa-planong pagpapanose lift.

Nariza Sarmiento Saito

On The Road To:
with Dr. Lilia Francisco Antonio

Sept - Oct 2015

Kung maglaho ang isipan
Ano pa ang matitira
Wala, wala ni ala-ala
kaya nga ba nakakatakot
Ang tinatawag na pagtanda
Baka di na maangkin
Maging ang mga pangarap
Na malayang maaapuhap
Tula ni Lilia F. Antonio,
From the book Sanaysay at Tula)

As Japan observed "Respect for the Aged Day" on Sept. 15, I started to think about how I can cope with the issue of "Aging." Inspite of including ampalaya, tomatoes and avocado in my regular diet and patronizing anything with green tea, it seems like I am on the road to the gray zone !!

I am visibly affected when I see old people struggling to get off trains or buses, while impatient salaried workers look at them with disdain, whenever conversations of my younger co-workers seem incomprehensible, or when I see seniors wandering in a daze as they face a flood of people at promenades!

Thank goodness, a card from DR. LILIA F. ANTONIO who gave me a different view of aging! She retired after 43 years of teaching at the University of the Philippines in Diliman last July 27. She wrote:
  " ...parang manhid pa ang utak at damdamin ko sa bagong yugto ng
aking buhay ngayon parang IBA na ang kahulugan ng pagiging

In shark contrast to how Japan's senior citizens view retirement, majority of Filipinos feel more energized with the newly acquired freedom especially for those who led socially active lifestyles! Most Japanese retirees face the dilemma of living alone without family nor friends or hobbies to pursue. And perhaps the most tragic of all as Dr. Antonio mentions in her poem is:

"Kung maglaho na ang isipan, ano pa ang matitira… Wala na… Wala na pati alaala!

Families with members suffering from senile dementia and Alzheimers will understand the terms "sundown" and  "twilighting" when the elderly's memory flutters into different periods of their life, or when they can't even figure out which is left or right, entrance or exit, or why they keep on wrapping and folding things, imagining people coming in and out of the house or even forgetting if they had a meal or not and, worst of all, toilet woes!

So before it happens, as soon as one reaches the age of 40, one has to plan activities to be productive and most important is to save for expenses to be incurred after retirement.
Poet, writer and, most of all, professor of Filipino,  Lilia Francisco Antonio, knew early in life that good health is priority, being the daughter of a doctor. Next, she knows that keeping herself active and productive in writing will be good for her mental health.
One of her early translation works is Antoine St. Exupery's " The Little Prince" in 1969, a copy of which will be exhibited at the National Museum of Ethnology in Suita City in Osaka alongside other translation in various languages. It was received warmly by the museum staff, Prof. Yoshioka and Ms. Matsugami last July 24 (see picture). She also translated plays of William Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen, Pirandello and Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero.
While teaching in Japan, first at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and then at the Osaka University of Foreign Studies in the 1990's, she produced translations in Filipino of great Japanese Literature like " Botchan" by Natsume Soseki, Amae no Kozo by Takeo Doi, and " Sikolohiya ng mga Hapones" by Hiroshi Minami. Upon her return to her teaching job at UP, she finished her translation of "The Tales of Genji" by Murasaki Shikibu.
In 2001, she was awarded poet of the year. Although, already in her fifties at that time, Lilia began writing poetry. Jimmuel C. Naval described her as "may Edad na nang magdalaga" and also went on to describe her as a teacher "sistematiko ang lapit, pulido ang hapit at kontrolado ang peace and order sa loob ng klase!”

Last Aug. 27, she launched another book to mark her retirement and start of a new chapter in her life and inspire senior citizens to do what they can to be useful in society.
Japan is under pressure to keep a population of 100 million to maintain its economy and with a slow birth rate, the country might need to employ people over 65 years old. With one if the highest longevity in the world, Japan's senior citizens are still capable.
Our friend Ninomiya San 's mother lives alone in their hometown and has just celebrated her 100th birthday. Another 86 year old lady still operates a shop selling her homemade meringue, while in Britain's Got Talent’s "Paddy and Nico" were finalists. Paddy is 84 but she danced like a 30 year old lady!

ATTRAVERSIAMO... Let's all cross over to the gray zone with grace and dignity !

Marilyn Abellana Suico


Sept - Oct 2015

I went to bed hungry one evening
Too tired and weary, not amazing
My empty stomach is yearning to be filled up
But my body and mind just seemed to drop.

With the lights on I snored lazily
After a few moments of watching tv
Then some kind of interesting figures
started to creep
Into my sight while I was in deep sleep.

I saw lettuce, broccoli and tomatoes
Followed by spare ribs, crabs and embotidos
The bowl of mushroom soup
was gaily dancing
With the cup of green tea so hot and steaming.

I also caught the smell of grilled fish
My favorite and always a centerpiece
Sided with an assortment of fresh seaweeds
Watering to the mouth, I never want to miss.

Somewhere in one corner,
I heard some clicking
The glass of wine was glowing and sparkling
I paused for a while and listened carefully
The bowl of cold fruit salad
was waiting patiently.

So these foods paraded before my eyes
They were here and gone, not really nice
A dream I wish I can have and see
Only if I do something
when I wake up the next day.

Rey Ian Corpuz

Escape to Izu-Shimoda

Sept - Oct 2015

Just a few hours away from Tokyo, roughly 100 kilometers from the capital, is the majestic beachfront city of Shimoda City. Shimoda City is famous for its pristine white sand shores, fresh seafood cuisines and rich cultural heritage. Shimoda City was one of the cities first opened to the west, including Hakodate in Hokkaido, to the ships of Captain Perry, the famous explorer who navigated the black painted colored ships in the shores of Shimoda in Shizuoka Prefecture. Shimoda is not as far as Okinawa, where you can enjoy the beach and hot springs and not as expensive as the sprawling hotels and resorts of Okinawa. A three-hour train ride welcomes you to a new exciting adventure.

Arriving at the station, the vicinity is surrounded with traditional and modern shops. Shimoda is known for kinmedai (金目鯛) or a kind of red snapper fish. Numerous shops serve it grilled, fried, raw like sashimi and their specialty simmered in Japanese sauces.

Before going to the hotel, a short side trip to Nesugatayama Park, which is accessible through a ropeway/ gondola was breathtaking. A meager amount of 850 yen per head takes you to the highest peak in Shimoda City. From the top you can see the entire cityscape, the Pacific shore of Shimoda which is surrounded with small islets and that cruising black ship resembling of Captain Perry’s is clearly visible from the summit. You can also visit the historic Renjo Photo Memorial Hall of Shimooka Renjo, Japan’s first renowned photographer. On top of the mountain was a clear vantage point of all the ships that crossed the peninsula. And an old canon was installed to protect the shores of Japan during the Bakufu Era. And there is also a Buddhist temple especially dedicated for lovers. Several stones engraved with wa (和) must be thrown into the circle and hitting the stone would prove a long lasting love. Four stones cost 200 yen.

Heading back down to the city awaits our shuttle bus going to Shimoda Prince Hotel. Booking towards the end of summer is far cheaper than regular rates but the waters were a bit cool already. The hotel’s selling point is that it’s too close to the shore and of course the white sand that surrounds it. Plunging to the waters reminds me of my hometown, Davao, where most white sand beaches are common. My family surely enjoyed the beach making sand castles, dipping into the cool waters and traversing the shores of Shirahama area. The southern side of the shore shows you the historic limestone cliff formation of the area. Numerous huge rocks scatter the area where a constant sight of washed away seaweeds (kombu) and some small crabs and shells can be found. The area is quite littered with trash by the way. So it’s just so sad to see that area where irresponsible guests throw their stuff there. The hotel has a temporary store near the shore where they sell the standard Japanese curry, oden, yakisoba and the like, and all sorts of drinks for kids and adults. The hotel’s pool was quite small so we did not really enjoy it plus the fact that only few people dipped, so the water was a bit cold.

Food in the hotel was super expensive. Even the Japanese guests either dined outside or bought bento in the nearby stores. However, we chose to dine outside as to really experience the real local taste the place has to offer. A nearby Papas Italian restaurant just a few meters from the entrance gate of the hotel was a perfect destination. We ordered spaghetti, pizza and sautéed fish. The spaghetti was stuffed with unusual flavors. The seafood pizza was filled with sazae (a kind of shellfish) caught locally and the one I ordered was the sautéed red snapper, the town’s specialty.

A walk to the other side of the town brings you to another shrine temple with that red torii or red arc gate in shrines. Further to the temple is a huge white sand public beach resort open to travelers and other nearby hotel guests. Waves were, however, bigger unlike those of our hotel.

The hotel staff spoke good English but lacked the SMILE factor that we got used to have here in metropolitan Tokyo. For a short beach escapade closer to Tokyo that is not too expensive and exhausting, Shimoda is the best destination. We would definitely love to go back there and further explore the Izu Peninsula area as there are other interesting attractions along the way.

Warren Sun

Pumpin’ up with Pumpkin

Sept - Oct 2015

Madami sa atin lalo na ang kabataan na madaling ihambing ang pumpkin o かぼちゃ o kalabasa sa pagdating ng Halloween. Marahil ito ay mabenta sa pagdaraos ng Halloween, Thanksgiving at  sa Pasko. Ngunit sa mga Pinoy, ito ay ginagamit o kinakain sa buong taon, may okasyon man o wala. Mababa ito sa calories kumpara sa mga iba’t ibang gulay na makikita ninyo. Anu nga ba ang mga health benefits ng pumpkin?

Promotes healthy vision  Ito ay may Zeaxanthin na nagsisilbi bilang isang natural na anti-oxidant na may UV (ultraviolet) rays na tumutulong sa macula lutea sa bahaging retina ng ating mga mata. Ito ang dahilan na  nakakatulong sa “age related muscular disease” (ARMD) sa mga matatanda.

Low in calories 
Sinasabi nila na kalahating lata lang ng kalabasa ay nagbibigay nang 40 calories. Isang tasa ng kalabasa ay nagbibigay nang 3 grams of fiber at ito rin ay magandang substitusyon sa paggamit ng asukal, butter o oil.

Source of healthy fats 
Ayon sa mga health experts, kailangan isama ang mga buto ng kalabasa sa pagluto dahil ito daw ang pinaka-masustansyang parte ng kalabasa na may unsaturated fat, antioxidants at fiber. Natural source of protein daw ang mga pumpkin seeds na may kasama na ring vitamins, minerals and zinc.

Rich in Beta-Carotene 
Ang kulay na orange ng pumpkin ang nagbibigay nang beta-carotene na nagiging Vitamin A sa ating katawan para magkaroon ng healthy immune system at glowing skin.

High in Inflammatory Reducing Beta-Cryptoxanthin 
Ang Beta-Cryptoxanthin ay isang pro-vitamin A carotenoid. Nagbibigay ng madaming health benefits. Isa na rito ay pinapababa nito ang paglaganap ng inflammatory diseases tulad ng Arthritis. 

High source of potassium
Ang potassium ay isang essential mineral na kailangan natin para sa isang malusog na pangangatawan for the heart and muscles. Ayon sa mga health experts, subukan lagyan ng kalabasa ang inyong post-workout snack para sa isang malusog na muscle at electrolyte recovery.

Marahil sa mga nabanggit na mga health benefits na ito, mag iiba na ang paningin ninyo at mas sasarap pa ang panlasa ninyo sa kalabasa mapa lutong Pinakbet man o ginataang sitaw at kalabasa.

Alma R. H. Reyes


Sept - Oct 2015

"Guzen" is the Japanese word for coincidence. The character 偶 "gu" connotes accident or by chance, and the character 然 signifies approval, just or correct, which implies that more often than not, coincidences are positive closely woven concurring incidents that have taken place on the same plane, at the same time, or in a similar manner between two people, and for no apparent explanation. How often do we encounter intriguing coincidences in our lives that we often equate with fate? 

While running from one wake and funeral mass to another in Manila, like two rays of light crossing the same horizon, I came across a man or I should say, he came across me right before descending to the crypt of the church (where I was to visit a wake of a relative) to visit my departed aunt. He happened to overhear me mention my mother's name to a sacristan, and realized after catching my attention, that he and my mother worked in the same company that my mother served for 31 years. 

We gladly exchanged nostalgic notes, after which he bid goodbye with a thoughtful pack of 70% dark chocolates he himself has been producing a remarkable second coincidence as my mother specifically eats only 70%+ dark chocolates. 

Two days later, I discover that my niece knew this “mystery man.” The man’s wife was a classmate of her husband's mother who passed away that same week (the other wake I had been crisscrossing to). Alright, alright...all Filipinos are related to each other that's what everybody says. On top of it, marking the fourth coincidence, this man and I were attending the same wake without knowing it, and that he was at the wake the same afternoon I was but missed each other by half an hour.

As if the series of “guzen” were not enough, this sparkling encounter not only revived my aging mother's golden years of her Alma Mater company, further honing her memory, but also fed her the perfect source of 70% dark, organic chocolates that she has always been looking for, which, by the way, could be bought just in our village (!) another coincidence and, more importantly, provided her the spiritual channel to fight her loneliness and depression through the published books of the chocolate owner's wife who wrote books on healing for the sick. How many coincidences could there possibly be in a week! 

The mystery man is no other than the engineer Gerry Baron, brainchild of Magdalena’s CACAO BEAN and BEAN-to-BAR Chocolates, new artisanal chocolates made directly from natural cocoa beans, produced from a small cacao farm in Magdalena, Laguna. Magdalena takes pride in originally planting and fermenting its own beans, and designing and developing its own machines to produce chocolates from scratch in the Filipino way. The cacao bean chocolates comprise of 70% cacao bean content. Dark chocolates are proven to be rich in flavonoids that aid in lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow. There are only 33 countries in the world that can grow cacao a fact that should encourage further cacao planting in the Philippines to cultivate the local production industry without depending on imports. Not many chocolate enthusiasts realize, perhaps, that most chocolates are made with processed cocoa powder that contain reduced amounts of cocoa butter a good fat. However, Magdalena’s CACAO BEAN and BEAN-to-BAR Chocolates contain no milk and preservatives, ensuring a healthier diet. The popularity of dark chocolates is due to the larger quantity of (processed) cocoa mass and (added) cocoa butter.  Locally produced chocolates would then join the flank of dried mangoes, banana chips, ube, pili and other indigenous products brought out of the country for foreigners to enjoy. Magdalena’s CACAO BEAN and BEAN-to-BAR dark chocolates come in various delicious flavors: roasted cashew nuts, mango, guyabano, and assorted.

Enjoying Gerry’s company over a home cooked meal one Saturday, I arrived at the sixth coincidence that day when he revealed that he had lived in Canada before returning to the Philippines to start his chocolate business, in the very same town where my brother had migrated to, in Calgary, Alberta. Wow…it was probably an overloaded dark chocolate week! 

Enjoy the last bite of summer!

Roger Agustin

Musings of A Sarariman

Sept - Oct 2015

About two months ago, while I was writing my article for the summer issue, there was a trending topic that was about to be a major issue in the next few months and continue on, an issue that is challenging how to resolve the complex economic situation and the future state of the country due to the aging population and to sustain the country without ever having to rely on outside help. It is about promoting the need to hire foreign labor resources either by hiring them as contract workers on a short term basis or by welcoming them as immigrants for a long term solution. There was even a weekend special program to discuss the pros and cons of the topic and a real time online survey done on a public digital broadcast to assess the initial public reaction or acceptance. Obviously, the general answer was a big No at the moment.

This is not a new issue in Japan because there are already existing examples of communities where foreign labor is being used to the point where in a local town, foreigners occupy a big part of the population (take the example of Oizumi Town in Gunma Prefecture).
The choice to accept foreign labor or not will definitely be a growing concern in light of the imminent domestic labor shortage given the supposedly improving economy and the need to accelerate the infrastructures in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
But as we all know, Japan is one of the few countries, if not the only one, among developed economies that is not very open to the use of foreign talents in the domestic labor force. While corporations have struggled to promote foreign recruitment, there is still a huge barrier especially due to the very restrictive immigration laws and policies that hinder many corporations down to struggling farms and small enterprises from accessing foreign labor.  The stringent qualification requirements for local employment discourage efficient hiring of skilled foreign professionals. As a result, some companies resort to using ‘low cost’ labor from developing countries disguised as trainee programs and it is very prone to abuse since trainees could only receive reasonable allowances much lower than the regular salaries of regular employees. At the worst, some companies even resort to hiring of illegal immigrants, driving the government to impose stringent penalties to employers.

Although Japan has struggled for years to adapt itself to internationalization or globalization, it seems to be more on an outward manner, that is, for the Japanese to be able to survive in a world of cultural diversity and to be a player in the international arena, the focus was placed more on mastering the English language. Although, I see it the very first step for the Japanese to be able to communicate effectively when they go to the outside world, there are more important things to be a major part of globalization. The topic here about integrating foreign talents into the Japanese local scene is somewhat opposite to the widely known concept of globalization, I kind of coined the term ‘Domestic Globalization’.

While this move is to address the need to replenish the aging work force, on the other hand, the labor market is also focusing on the need to support and care for the aging population. This is manifested in the continuing struggle to increase the number of foreign nurses and caregivers. The demand and supply still doesn’t balance. Success stories are published but it is at a dismal low rate compared to the target that needs to be reached. This will extend further into the construction business as companies rush to build new and renovate aging infrastructure systems. I am still wondering whether it would also reach the area of agriculture of which the younger generation is not keen to work in. Eventually, the idea of introducing foreign talents is in reality to fill the void of the domestic labor force especially in areas where the younger generation distance themselves from the so-called 3K (Kitsui-Kitanai-Kiken = Difficult-Dirty-Dangerous) related work. And while some Japanese companies have publicly announced that they will hire more foreign workers to accelerate globalization of their work forces, the foreign workers are still at a minority level.

In bringing and integrating the foreign labor resources into the local work force, there are two ideas of whether to take them as immigrants or take them on a short term contract basis. Both ideas already exist in different developing countries, although readily accepted but not without problems. But with Japan and the Japanese people always calling themselves as ‘shima-guni’ or an ‘island country’, it only suggests that they are not yet ready for a sudden influx of foreigners. I myself have not seen any in-depth discussions or considerations of how to resolve the integration between immigrants and the local communities where there is a divide and mixed sentiments on how to deal with a different culture. Japan’s immigration laws are set up and revised in a way that policy makers believed would keep the country’s ethnic homogeneity intact. So there was a higher priority to issue visas to foreigners of Japanese descent.

While the country is fighting for survival with the imminent shrinking population, I believe that the Japanese pride doesn’t allow itself yet to yield to the pressure of resorting to foreign ‘aid’, but would rather take a journey of long and exhaustive process of finding a local solution to an internal problem.

While Japan is very attractive to foreigners for its popularity in cutting-edge technologies, both traditional and pop culture, that attractiveness only applies for short-term visitors. Of course, the opportunity to work in Japan is still alluring for foreigners, but from a completely different point of view from the way the Japanese sees it. From my personal point of view, to work in Japan as a foreigner is only a passing point in one’s career. With the present cultural set up and mindset (that is, the working culture, language, etc.) in Japan, to stay here, be accepted and establish one’s career for a lifetime takes more than double the effort compared to working in other countries that are more open to diversity. So, when I saw the televised discussions on public TV, I don’t remember ever seeing a survey on how foreigners in general understand completely what it takes to work here, whether as immigrants or contract workers, and if ever they think they are willing to come here to answer or even be a part of Japan’s own internal problems. Let’s wait and see…

Sally Takashima


Sept - Oct 2015

The weather has finally cleared up. Images of the ravages of Typhoon #11 are flashed constantly on TV. There are extensive damages, people injured, lives lost, houses destroyed, properties washed away by strong river currents. Que horror. Que lastima. Salamat at ligtas tayo sa ating kinalalagyan. 

It is mid summer now and frequent daily showers offers respite to Japan's dry summer. Paano kaya pag Summer Olympic na? Surely, the outdoor sports athletes have to contend with the extreme high temperature while maxing their performance or will they be able to. 

It has been suggested that the venue be moved to Fukushima instead. OMG, isn't the safety of this area still questionable? Let' hope the Olympic Planning Committee will be endowed with good judgment for the success of this big event.

This summer, my fabric of choice is definitely and only cotton. Even with night wear because preferably white, un-dyed or organic cotton can do wonders to your health and comfort.

I have along thrown clothes with polyester and yucky rayon out of the window. Well, except for a few items. 

Well anyway, como esta na po kayong lahat mga avid Jeepney Press readers? Hindi po ba magastos ang summer vacation lalo na yun may mga energetic children? Hindi maaaring hindi lumabas ng bahay upang maging makabuluhan ang 2014 Natsu Yasumi. Ano nga ba ang masasabi na isang makabuluhang summer vacation? Kaila-ngan ba sun tanned ka para maipakita sa ibang tao na hindi ka lang tumigil ng bahay instead trendy ka at you visited the spots where your contemporaries are expected to go?

May ilan din akong kilalang mga Pilipina na masayang umaani ng mga tanim nilang gulay kagaya ng malunggay, patola, okra, kamatis at iba pa. Nagiging magandang tema ng usapan ang magkaroon ng organic veggie garden. At siempre pa the cooking and the sharing of the harvest with friends is what it makes it all worthwhile. Dito po naman sa Kansai ay marami din mga happenings and info sharing here and there. Fr. Mario Colina, Japan based for many years, and now staying in Cebu visited Osaka. He officiated a Sunday Mass in St. Mary's Cathedral in Tamatsukuri. Vice Consul Dax Imperial has left his Osaka posting at the Philippine Consulate, Kobe-Osaka to assumme his post at the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo. He will surely be missed by many Filipinos in Kansai.

The Philippine Community Coordinating Council is now in the midst of finalizing the much awaited annual Sports Festival. This is one of the main events of Kansai based Filipinos whose purpose is to renew and strengthen ties of various Philippinne Communities. This event will be held in Sep. 12th, Sunday in Higashi Yodogawa Sports Ground.

Meanwhile The Kyoto Pag-Asa Filipino is a usual busy with various civic, social and church related projects. One of which is the Tsunagaru Kai, a study group for children with foreign backgrounds, including returnees from abroad who are living in and around Kyoto. This is a study group which also offer socialization among children. The organizer of Tsunagari Kai is the Kyoto University of Education. Quite a number of Kyoto based Filipinas support this group as volunteers. Please contact Prof. Mari Hamada for more information.

Paalala lang po sa lahat. Para sa mga tao na may pagaari ng lumang passport. Minamabuti na mag-apply na kayo ng bagong E-passport bago ito mawalang bisa. Magmula sa October 15, 2015 Immigration Officers will only accept E-passport.

To one and all, enjoy what's left of summer 2014. Before you know it, autumn will be at your doorstep. The seasons move on. It’s the never ending waltz of the season.

Loleng Ramos


Sept - Oct 2015

Taon taon ay ipinag- diriwang dito sa Japan ang kani-kanilang kapistahan sa bawat lugar. Karaniwan, nagsisimula ito pagsapit ng Hulyo at Agosto at sa ilang lugar sa buwan ng Setyembre.  Sinisimulan muna ito sa pagsayaw sa o-matsuri at iba’t-ibang programa. At kapag natapos na iyon, may nakatakdang oras para masilayan ang nag gagandahan mga magagandang pasabog na tawag nila ay HANABI.

Paano nga ba nagsimula  ang ganitong tradisyon dito sa Japan?  

The history of fireworks of Japan started in 1549, when guns and gunpowder were introduced by Lusitanians. It was recorded that Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Shogun of the Edo Government saw fireworks from the Edo castle. As fireworks manufacturers had improved their skills during the Edo period (1604-1868), fireworks became summer entertainment for the public by the 18th century.
Ang Sumida River Fireworks Festival ang isa sa pinaka unang nagsagawa nito at naging taunan na nilang event ang naturang hanabi kapag sumasapit ang summer dito sa Japan.  Naniniwala sila na sa pamamagitan nito ay mapapaalis ang malas at masasamang espirito at magkaroon ng kapa-yapaan ang mga kalulu-wang milyong taong namatay sanhi ng epidemya at gutom.

Ilang taon ang lumipas ay sinubukang umangkat ng ibang chemical ang isang maker ng fireworks mula sa ibang bansa upang magkaroon ng panibagong techniques.  Bunga nito naging mas maganda, mas makulay at mas  makislap ang pagsasagawa ng naturang hanabi.

Taun-taon paganda ng paganda ang kani-kanilang technique sa pagsasagawa ng hanabi.  May mga bulaklak, star, cartoon character at kung minsan mayroon din animong parang isang mahabang ilog na may falls na umaagos na tubig. Napakagandang pagmasdan ang tubig lalo na kapag mismo sa harapan mo nakikita ng buong- buo ang hanabi.

Kapag sumasapit ang ganitong okasyon, karaniwan ang mga tao ay sumasakay lang sa densha o di kaya ay naglalakad na lamang upang masaksihan ang ganda ng hanabi.  Isinasara kasi nila ang mga daan upang magkaroon ng pwesto ang mga tao na makapanood. Yung iba ay nagdadala ng kanilang mauupuan,  inumin at makakain. Marami ring mga yatai o mga may tindang pagkain sa paligid at may mga tindang laruan para sa mga bata.  

Masasabi kong masaya ang bawat tao dito sa Japan kapag sumasapit ang ganitong panahon dahil naglalaan sila ng oras sa pamilya upang sabay-sabay nilang panoorin ang hanabi. Alam naman nating lahat na halos karamihan dito ay mga abala sa kanilang mga trabaho. Ngunit sa mga ganitong pagkakataon mayroon silang oras para sa pamilya.  

Isa lamang ito sa mga tradisyon ng bansang Hapon na binibigyang halaga ng mga tao. Katulad din ng cherry blossom viewing.  Isang napakaganda at makulay ang gabi habang nagkakasiyahan ang mga tao. May inuman, kainan at pagsasama sama ng mga tao upang sabay- sabay na ipagdiwang ang nasabing tradisyon.