26 May 2017

365 QOTD

Where do you wish you were?

I wish at the end of every day, I were home. Having dinner with family. Getting upset about Papa nagging me about my work-life-faith balance. With my mom, silently listening. And my sibs, internally giggling as I stare at them and ask for rescue. Haha.

I wish I were anywhere surrounded by love and secured by warmth. I really wish......

25 May 2017

365 QOTD

Did you have a dream last night? Describe it.

Hmmm... it was a dreamless sleep.

I didn't attend the Japanese class today. I just stayed home and prepared breakfast slowly and ate it more slowly.

I played my guitar and did one straight recording of my current favourite song, O Pag-Ibig. It was an entry to the PhilPop Music Awards 2016. But I didn't know if it got any award. After recording, I posted it on Youtube. LOL.

Work went smoothly today. Not really smoothly.

I sent an email to my siblings and my dad about the details of this month's remittance and it made me smile when my youngest sister acknowledge a line to be "Jollibee budget". I have always been bad at managing my own finances so I made it a point to do a breakdown of every bills to pay and a list of to-buys and daily expenses. So far, so good. Having an accountant father and a bookkeeper brother plus my own background in Accounts Receivables, made me a little bit more aware on how I should manage my finances, or at least try to really manage it. It is still a struggle, but I am getting there.

After work, I changed clothes and went out again to pay my bills. Then, I thought of peanut butter. So, I went to the nearest grocery store to look for peanut butter, but there was none. I ended up buying a pair of black shoes for work, sunscreen and a lipstick. Whatever happened to the peanut butter.

Dinner was fried fish, miso soup, rice and banana. The banana would have been perfect with peanut butter. Ugh.

Martial has been declared in the southern part of the Philippines. Reading posts on facebook has always been toxic on days like this one. As things start to get out of hand, I can only pray for the safety of my own family back home and hope that the current government would really deliver it's promise of peace and order.

Frustrated 24.05.2017

I want to write every day. And every day, I struggle where to start with what to write, since there's just so many uninteresting things happening in my life, I'd rather not write.

Coz, if I write every day:

.....it will just be all about being lonely. How I long for company, someone I can share stories with, instead of writing it down. 

.....it will just be about how I am struggling to blend in where I am at. How frustrating it can be to talk to someone and even ask for someone. 

.....it will just be about my frustration why I can't speak the language. That pressure I put into myself and unrealistic expectations upon things surrounding me.

......it will be just be about that news I've read and how valid it is. How I complain that I will not read the news anymore but I still kept reading it.

Today, I watched Beauty and the Beast again. I will never get tired of fairy tales. I hope, I really don't get tired of it and the feeling it brings. The faith, the hope, the romance and the music that comes with it. It is just so beautiful.

I wonder how my own fairy tale will be....

365 QOTD
Did you use your time wisely today?

I think so.
Hmmm.. I bought that guitar. A secondhand Yamaha C 60A model. I had already played two cover songs ;)

I did the laundry and ironed the clothes.

Also, the grocery.

Capped the day by going to the onsen with my dear Tita G.


At home, I would always find you in front of your sewing machine, inside your mini sari-sari store, squatting down doing the laundry, or busy in the kitchen. Never an idle time except for the designated time for siesta or bedtime.

I can still remember that day after the surgery. From the recovery room, they put me back to my patient bed, all weak and dizzy. You were there. I was motionless, I couldn't open my mouth, I couldn't utter a word, I just could't move at all. Your fingers move to brush my hair and to touch my cheeks. Tears started falling down from my eyes and you wiped then away. I cried because I wanted to say "Thank You" but I couldn't. Even until now, even if I say the words "Thank You and I love you" it will never be enough to let you know how grateful I am for having you as my Mother.

I can still remember that moment back when I was a child, I was asking for something but you were not able to give it to me, so I said, "Ang sama mo!" and then, you asked me, "Masama ba talaga kong ina?"

If only I can go back to that time and take back everything I had said and all the pain I had caused you, I would definitely do so. I regretted that day and all the days and actions I had caused you pain. Nothing I do today will ever suffice for all the sacrifices you've done in the past for me and my siblings.

Two thousand miles away from you every day is torture. I can't hug you. I can't kiss you. I can't sleep beside you. All I can say is "Labyu.Labyu." That will never be enough. No words can ever be enough.

But I want you to know that whatever good of a person I am today, I owe a piece of it to you. To you and to Papa. How blessed I am for having such Godly parents.

Blessed. What a wonderful word to describe myself.

Blessed because I have such an amazing Mom just like you.
Blessing, what a wonderful adjective to use for you, Mama.
You are a Blessing.
With you as my Mom, every day is a Blessed Day.
Happy Mother's Day Mama!

Lost in Translation

09 May 2017

365 QOTD

Today I lost _______________.

Today I lost buckets of tears again after completing the Second Season of Code Blue.

Code Blue is a Japanese medical drama series featuring one of the hottest Japanese actors, Tomohisa Yamashita aka Yama Pi.

Completing the series made me want to learn Nihonggo more. The entire series is just full of deep philosophical thoughts about oneself, relationships and personal values. I wonder what more if I can understand it from the first language like I understand English and Filipino.

Kudos to the translators and subtitle makers for the series as they were able to convey the emotions and thoughts, in my opinion.

I look forward to watching Season 3 soon!

First Solo Trip 02-05 May 2017

May 2, 2017
First stop: Tenjin, Fukuoka

Second Stop: Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture.
This is the southmost part of the Honshu Island closest to Kyushu Region. The two islands are connected by the famous Kanmon Suspension Bridge. I was planning to go back to Kyushu Region via Kitakyushu City by walking thru the Kanmon Tunnel from Shimonoseki to Kitakyushu, but due to time constraints, I decided to do that some other time.

Mobile phones Charging Ports. Though not all buses are equipped with such amenity, most buses has it. So, there can be no excuse for non-contact nor worries of not being able to use the GPS. As for wi-fi, I haven't bothered to check since I have enough mobile data allocation for the trip. 

Going back to Tenjin Bus Station for my bus bound for Nagasaki.

This is the pathway for transferring from the Arrival area to the Departure Area.

View from the escalator.

The underground mall. 

Running away from Diapers or Peeing all the Way? What are these babies trying to depict?

I really find this restroom so fancy. Wouldn't you want to be welcomed by books on your way to doing Number 1 or Number 2. 

Yakiniku for dinner in Nagasaki. 

I had so much fun talking to my friend that I almost forgot about the time and I missed the last tram trip and so I had to take the train, alight at the next station and walk towards Nagasaki University to meet another friend who adopted me and took me on a tour the next day. 

May 3, 2017

This is one of the oldest churches around Nagasaki. It lies next Oura Cathedral where the famous San Lorenzo Ruiz was tortured and executed, as per my father's Skype history unsolicited history lessons. LOL.

My friend, Aura. She is a MEXT scholar under an 18-month Science teacher-training program in Nagasaki University. 

The Glover Garden was said to be a famous place where aristocrats and Dutch people visiting Nagasaki stayed and thrived.

Going to the topmost part of the garden, one can choose either to take the escalator or the stairs. 

Yeah. We were just in time for the wedding. 

Standing Not Allowed. 

The Greenhouse. 

Lunchtime! Carb-on-carb. Who cares!

Taking the tram to see the next attractions. 

The Peace Park 

At the center of the park lies this statue as a symbol of peace. 

The exact spot where the atomic bomb fell. Apparently, the bomb exploded 500m above the ground. It brought a very wide range of damage all over Nagasaki. 

Birds here are so fat that they can't fly very high anymore. LOL

I had that eerie feeling walking along this park. Due to time constraints, I wasn't able to visit the Atomic Bomb museum. I will do that in another day of visit. My friend warned me that it was like looking into that Martial Law exhibit that gives one a very heavy heart after the tour. It would make one cry. She cried, she said. A fair warning for me, coz for sure, it will make me cry. 

Waiting for the bus bound for Kagoshima.

Travelling around Japan can be an easy thing because buses are equipped with portable lavatories and blankets for sleeping. Seats can also be reclined and chairs are spacious enough. 

Kagoshima welcomed me a little bit chillin'.   

May 4, 2017
Inside Picnic with all the usual Pinoy breakfast food! 

Off to Sakurajima Island. It's a 15 minute ferry ride from the city.

The parts with the white sheet of paper are craters. 

I've changed. This is now my new Jejemon Pose. 

Not really that steep but my friends were scared to climb. So, I did it for the 3 of us. 

Chicken Curry. Japanese people loves curry.

I want to do this at home. Make coffee jelly and have lots of stock of vanilla ice cream in the fridge and whip cream in the cabinet because Summer heat is real. 

Homebound. The city welcomed me back with a little bit of drizzle. 

The 3-day trip was short and but good enough to have me back on track for now. 

Miyazaki City. 
May 5, 2017
Aya Winery

Ooops. Too early to get drunk. 

This spot in Miyazaki is famous for its fruit wines and sake-making activities. It is said that the spring water here tastes so good that it makes the best products out of it, be it wine, vinegar or even tofu. 

Different variants of sake, which all taste the same to me. But the fruit wines are heavenly. 

At the back of the winery, there is this small bridge going to a little forest.  

In the midst of the little forest, there is a little pond with lots of small butterflies and dragonflies. 

I'm not good with names of flowers but I like taking photos of them.

This is my current phone home screen. 

All these photos are raw. Unedited. No watermark on it either. But all these shots were taken with my mobile phone.

I may not have seen much during my 4-day trip but I was able to overcome fear of the unfamiliar, appreciate nature, breathe fresh air, experience random acts of kindness and reconnect to good people who then reminded me of my many whys in life. In one way or another, they keep inspiring me to be better and to just live my life to the fullest.

I had always wanted to do a solo trip. I never imagined it will be in another country where I can barely speak the language. True enough, sometimes, it's good to not think too much, just gotta pack the bag and fly.

Travelling is addictive. I am willing to spend so much for it than a signature bag or shoes or make up.

After 3 Days.

Tonight, I arrived at the city where I live. Not yet so familiar, but getting there. Starting to be familiar.

I took a 3-day trip tom some places around Kyushu Region: Miyazaki-Fukuoka-Shimonoseki- Nagasaki-Kagoshima-Miyazaki. A trip, I am glad I took courage to have done. I surely did burn a few thousand yen but it was all worth it.

If it was the old familiar me, I probably would have been taking so many photos, uploading each one on my facebook and instagram, one after another. But on this said trip, I barely took a few tens of it. Though, I would say that on this trip, I had the most number of photos I could ever have, me as the subject on it. My friends were kind enough to take stolen and posed shots of me in the various places we had gone to.

I had always planned to go on a solo trip. Never thought it will be somewhere unfamiliar, far from my comfort zone and a place I barely know the language.

From places to people, I took home with me a better perspective on things and little bit more of courage on facing the days that will come ahead.

1. It is always good to ask. This trip made me comfortable asking for a little help, with my super broken Nihonggo and my bus tickets on hand, I was able to get answers. No one had even turned their backs on me, they would try as much as they can to help.

2. It made me miss my bed. After being away for 3 consecutive days and 2 nights, I am happy to reunite with my bed. I miss the usual dim light of my little den and the smell of my bathroom and toilet.

3. Do good, it will always come back in hundredfolds. Aura, my friend in Nagasaki, let me stay in her house overnight. She cooked our breakfast, took me on a tour around the city, and we had good conversations recollections and reconnecting. She, together with 2 other persons, stayed in my place in Manila for a couple of weeks for our teacher training back then as part of our NGO work. They asked to stay coz they can't afford to stay anywhere else. Who would have thought that of all places, this is the place where she can return the favor. She was hoping I could stay for a few days but that wasn't really the plan. I invited her and her fiance to visit Miyazaki early next year!

4. Always remember the WHYs. My conversations with colleagues in Kagoshima, made me remember why I am here. The past few days were filled with down emotions and sharing great laughs and dreams with these two other ladies took my mind of from homesickness and reminded me to be grateful. Sharing simple breakfast meals, how to economize and save on utility bills up to talking about bits and pieces of future plans.

I'll do it again. I will do it again and again.

I will ask.
I will think about what is familiar.
I will always try to do good.
I will always seek ways to remember my WHYs.

Friday Breakdown

Last Night.

"The third month is usually the hardest month, so I totally understand you on that." Katelyn said, while sipping on the can of chuhai (a fruit-flavored alcoholic drink of 9% saturation).
-me and my American neighbor talking while she pack her suitcase for her 4-day trip to Hong Kong.

Last Friday night, I had a breakdown.

Three months and counting.
I tried to act as normal as possible. Go with the routine all the way, but something is just really very heavy in my chest that day. I tried taking deep long breaths. But there were moments that I feel like I was running out of breath and need to catch some air in my lungs like I was drowning from everything that was surrounding me.

I went to the conversation class. My favorite teacher was absent, I would have just turned my back and just stay home for another hour, but my not-so favorite teacher (Wednesday schedule) was smiling and was willing to adopt me for that free class. I sat down, we started a conversation that wasn't really a conversation coz he did mainly most of the talking. Still, he had me entertained throughout the hour.

Then, it was time to go to work again.

The work day went by, as normally as I would have done it. Taking frequent bathroom breaks so I could catch my breath and stop my tears from falling down. I kept doing that countless times in side the toilet where no one can see.

Work was over. Where would I go?

I went to the only bar I go to. But the people I usually hangout with weren't there. The bartender, who usually kept me entertained was busy. And I wasn't really in the mood. After one tall glass of tequila sunrise, I decided to just head home.

Alone again.

I needed to sleep.

I bought one small can of chuhai again and decided to stay at my colleague's unit and talk about her upcoming visit to the Philippines. last minute reminders and check ups about the flight and how to meet with my family at the airport for some documents I asked her to bring for me.

Then, I started talking. Then, I started crying. I wasn't stopping. I just kept crying.

I am still trying to fight back my tears as I write this now. But I think, I am feeling a little bit better.

I didn't realize how difficult it would be.
I dreamt of moving here. I prayed for this. I am here now. But how come, I still feel that emptiness.
I am happy to provide for my family. I had always prayed that I can do that, but how come I still feel lacking of something? What is wrong? With me?

Tomorrow, I will start a 3-day trip around Kyushu. I hope that my Dora-dora adventure will provide me with new perspective, a refreshed being and a more positive attitude to let me survive my OFW ordeals.

But for sure, whatever happened to me last Friday, that won't be the last time. It will happen again. I just hope that I have someone to hug again when it occurs.