Japan: The Second Day

We checked out of First Cabin and temporarily left our luggage at Meitetsu Inn before taking the 2-hour train ride to Hida Takayama. Instead of sleeping in the train which I normally do (haha), I braced myself for scenic spots like this:

We checked in at K's House Takayama where we got a Japanese-style room. Since it was lunch time, of course, we looked for the recommended Hida beef resto.

After having a dose of beef, we were ready for a lot of walking. We headed to the Takayama Jinya.

For our afternoon snack, we tried beef sushi and later on, crepes.

Japan is also known for fake food. There's this shop that we visited where keychains and magnets were an eyecandy! I got a sushi and sunny side up egg for 540 yen each.

We were able to explore the old town and went back near K's House by night.

It was getting really cold (5 degrees) and having miso ramen was a nice idea.

Japan: The First Day

The morning rain didn't hinder our itinerary. Thanks to the transparent umbrellas proactively lent by the hotel staff, the experience was rather convenient.

From Nagoya, we took the train to Gifu. Then it was the perfect time for brunch at a cafe gallery.

And off we went to the park, enjoying the relaxing scenery.

The Ropeway led us to Gifu Castle. The cable ride was a pleasure in itself, since it was spacious at the time we boarded.

The uphill climb also tested our knees' strength and the ability to carry on a conversation and a few laughs. Tita poses are inevitable, but I prefer this one:

Touring the castle, we reached the top and indulged in the view.

We also took photos of ourselves which later on seemed to be ready images for About the Author sections of a book! Here's one example:

The next stop was at the Kinkazan Squirrel Village where those little creatures feasted like:

We also entered the temple housing the Great Buddha, standing 45 feet tall.

Finally, we had an…

Japan: The First Night

Planes amaze me every time. Like a child, I still love to have the window seat and stare at either the sunlit water and land or the city lights shining like stars. Of the four times I've traveled to other countries though, this has been the best. Japan has always been my dream destination after all. For just 2,563 pesos (two-way) and with Gianne's perseverance in booking a promo flight for me, we were able to book in February of this year for the November 8 trip.

So to give justice to the experience, let me write in parts and savor it once more.

With two friends, I checked in at First Cabin after taking a train ride from the Chubu Centrair International Airport. This is a place to recommend. We appreciated the ambiance and how they provide you things even before you ask or even before you realize you need them!

First in the order of business: Ramen at Ichiran! You got to have it with Tamago, there's no other way for egg enthusiasts like us. Hehe!

Before sleeping, we dropp…

On The Day of The Dead

Last November 2, it had already been four months since you left me in the dark. It's wrong for me to allow this feeling to overtake reason. Moreso, to allow you to have any impact on my being at all.

It's over, and accepting that you never truly loved me had long been a pending task in my overdue to-do list. Concrete steps already taken to forget you included telling myself repeatedly: I am never your choice. Never your dream.

But it hurts so bad to think that you've been selfish. I shared in that selfishness to an extent, yes. But then again, you choose for whom making mistakes will be worth it. You said you loved me then dropped it like hot potato. My courage to follow you and stand for what we felt hit against the wall: a sturdy wall that only the world's best architect could ever build. Someone who could reinvent spaces, making me believe there is something out of nothing.

When we were still the best of friends, I supported your decisions though you seemed unhappy…

Waste Segregation: Home Edition

This weekend, I did some kitchen organizing. With some detergent, water, dry cloth and later, Wipe Out, it came out spic and span:

And since my mom constantly reminded us to segregate waste, I printed labels. I even teased her that I'll have these laminated:

Once we were in the supermarket and due to mom's obsession with this waste segregation scheme, she accidentally said by the cashier while I was assisting her in lining up items: Anak, unahin mo 'yung 'di nabubulok. It should have been, unahin mo ang pagkain bago mga sabon. Haha!

Once A Teacher

About ten days ago, I was invited to be interviewed by my former students in St. Paul University for their thesis. Right away, I recalled the promise I made way back in college: That when it's my turn to be invited, I'd always want to say yes. One, it's difficult to get a YES from potential interviewees. Two, it's an honor that they are considering me for an expert opinion.

So I met Yssa, Mae, and Jewel. Just like with my thesis partner Meline more than a decade ago, they're studying primetime news. Before answering the first question, I issued a disclaimer that I'm not a news producer but I could definitely provide insights as part of the audience who had experience in media production and knowledge of media theories.

After the interview, we also had the chance to catch up about their lives in the college. May kurot sa puso kapag naaalala ko ang pagtuturo, kapag nakikita ko ang mga readings sa bahay, ang yearbook, at ang statement of purpose na ipinasa ko noo…

Bagong Katoto

Isa sa mga una kong nakilala sa trabaho si Bianca. Naramdaman kong sa unang araw pa lang ay nahalina na siya sa aking awra. Haha! Marahil dahil na rin sa edad dahil pareho na kaming 32.
Makaraan ang tatlong buwan, ganito na kami mag-usap:
Bianca: May tissue ka? Me: Meron. Magandang klase. Bianca: Ang lambot! Pang-mayaman, Kleenex. Maya maya...  Me: Oy, bakit mo dinadampot ang tissue ko kasabay ng bag mo? Bianca: Ay sayang, nahalata. Iuuwi ko pa naman sana sa mga bata.
Me: Bakit di ka kumukuha ng cake ko? Kumuha ka na pailalim (mangingilo kasi ngipin niya pag kumuha sa ibabaw ng frozen cake) Bianca: Kukuha na ko. Itumba mo na para malinis ang trabaho. Me: Uy, may mahabang sumama. Bianca: Mahaba pero malambot na yung chocolate.
Me: Nagustuhan ng mga bata? Bianca: Makasabi ka naman ng mga bata, parang kilala mo talaga ang mga anak ko. Parang...  Both: Kumusta ang mga bata? Me: Pag nagkaanak ako balang araw, paglalaruin natin ang mga bata. Bianca: Tapos ayaw nila maglaro. Me: Lalapit yun…