Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Home Far Away From Home

I had a wonderful opportunity to stay in a nice Japanese home for a weekend. It was a great chance for me to know the typical Japanese family's lifestyle exclusively by living with one even just for a short time.

(From left) Me, Momo-chan, Sakura Chan, a Chinese friend, and Mrs. Kubota
My host family, the Kubota family, consists of otoosan (father), okaasan (mother), 2 kodomo (children), and Malone, their sprightly grayish cat. I hadn’t seen the otoosan frequently though for he has work even on weekends.

Momo-chan,Sakura-chan and Malone
Unlike most Japanese families where mothers give up their job to manage the household, Mrs. Kubota works as a nurse in a nearby hospital. She is free in the weekend to spend time with her children.

The family members were very hospitable. Even if we barely understood each other (I only knew very basic Nihonggo back then), the family tried to engage me in their conversations.

I learned that this family loves to travel. They had been to few southeast Asian countries before. They were also planning to visit the Philippines early next year.

They eagerly asked lots of questions about the Philippine's weather, food, the people, and the dialects. I taught them some Bisayan words which they might find helpful in the future.

Some Bisayan words I taught them

I observed that a Japanese' daily staple consists of vegetables, soup and rice. They do not eat meat frequently. They habitually drink tea (with no sugar) after each meal.  This is probably why Japan has low rate of weight-related problems and has long lifespan.

Picked plum. This plus rice equals perfect.
The most interesting part here however was the chance to experience the Japanese bath ritual. Japanese people typically soak in an ofuro for a couple of minutes after showering. Ofuro is a hot bath tub where they relax after a long day. The water in the tub is drained only after all the members have used it. That is why they need to shower properly beforehand. Traditionally, the guests use the ofuro first, then the children and lastly the parents.

I couldn't tell if Japanese families are generally as nice as the Kubota family, but I sure can say that this homestay experience has left a good impression in me about the  Japanese folks .Staying in a Japanese home is truly a wonderful experience that I undoubtedly will try again.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Autumnal Break

Japan, Land of the Rising Sun.

I am fortunately given the opportunity to study in Tohoku University, Japan as an exchange student. My patience of filing that awful lot of application forms had finally paid off.

I'll be in Japan for 1 whole year! Yay. Of course, I'd like to document my stay here as much as possible. There are a lot of things that I'm looking forward to;

1. The four seasons,which I'll never in any way (unless there'll be a climate change or something) experience in my country.

2. SNOW, I just have to emphasize it. That is the thing that I am very much looking forward to.

3. The Japanese food. Hehehe Sushi, ramen, snacks, drinks.

4. The Japanese culture, Oh yeah.

Will be posting my experiences here. (crossed fingers)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fated To Had Loved You

“There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.”
- John Lennon

Fate is funny. It has brought us to this reality, yet it unexpectedly makes its ways of teasing us onto dreams we've buried deep in our past.

I always find it mysterious. Now it's even wicked, specially for meddling into the sensitive feeling I used to believe as love.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Marriage of True Minds

Okay, it's been a long time since I post something on this blog, and believe me, it has left me empty and lonely. Okay fine, i'm a bit exaggerating. But still, I do feel hollow with what I'm doing. I know my studies are my priorities, but I grow tired of doing things to keep up with the pressures of a student's life--- project deadlines, quizzes, examinations, homework, advance reading... Sigh. I'm longing to express myself.

Anyway, enough with pity self-talk. I'm back here to post! Yay!

Because I'm pretty tired right now to write about my typical (semi-pathetic) life, let me just share you one of my most favorite sonnets, the Sonnet 116 by the great William Shakespeare.

Sonnet 116, "Let me not to the marriage of true minds"
William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove
Oh no! It's an ever fixed mark
That looks on the tempest and is never shaken
It is the star to every wandering bark
Whose worth's unknown, athough his height be taken
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

My own interpretation to this lovely sonnet.

Line 1--- Let me not to the mere legality of marriage, in which the supposed-to-be unbreakable vows can be nullified by human law.
Line 2-4-- What you feel is not love if it changes when your lover changes. Neither it is love when it's lost if your lover leaves you.
Line 5-6--Love is like a lighthouse; it faces the worst trials among lovers yet its foundation is never shaken.
Line 7-8-- Love, like the height of the stars up in the sky, is immeasurable, yet you know the overwhelming feeling to be with your love.
Line 9-10-- It is not love if it becomes less powerful with time. Love endures to forever, though the glorying crown of youthfulness does not. 
Line 11-12--Time will wear out anyone's beauty, but not love, which endures up to any man's twilight.
Line 13-14-- If anyone can prove me wrong, I daresay all my works and achievements are bootless, and no man has ever truly loved.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Unrequited Love

“Blame me not this insuppressible love.”

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Make It Count

There is no guarantee of tomorrow, but you have today. It's a gift. Make it count. :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ways to Reduce Anxiety

Ways to Reduce Anxiety

We all deal with anxiety from time to time. When we’re minutes before a very important event, like giving speech to a huge crowd, taking a major test, undergoing surgical operation or skydiving, we find ourselves uncontrollably nervous----our hearts beat fast, our palms sweat excessively and our breathing becomes difficult and shallow. Don’t worry, these are normal. It’s in our human nature to feel panicky when we perceive that threat is forthcoming.

We however experience varying levels of anxiety; some have mild episodes while others have very high anxiety levels that could stop them from enjoying life to the fullest. In certain severe cases, it is recommended to see the doctor. Otherwise, you can take the following tips in controlling the anxiety you encounter daily.

Deep breathing and meditation

Breathe deeply whenever anxiety attacks, as it will help lighten the chest. As you make a good deep exhalation, imagine as if all your troubles and concerns are released from your body. The same goes with meditation. Meditating regularly for at least 15 minutes a day will help calm your muscle groups as well as aid to a good night sleep.

Reduce your coffee intake

You may be unwilling to decrease the steaming cups of coffee you take daily. Why would you give up caffeine when its stimulating kick helps you stay awake, right? Exactly. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, thus instantly intensifying your anxiety, leaving you more depressed than before. Exchange your coffee with a good cup of tea, milk or orange juice during breaks to keep you calm and still throughout the day.

Stretch before you sleep

Make it a habit to stretch your muscles before hitting the bed. Mild stretching, even for just 5 minutes, will help relieve the stress in your muscles, thus relaxing your entire body. This is an effective way in having a good continuous sleep, especially if anxiety causes you to be insomniac.

Eat chocolate

Free yourself from your diet once in a while and grab that frozen bar of chocolate in the fridge. Occasional chocolate indulging is not bad, even science proves it. You may notice that you feel instantly cheerful on the first bite. That’s because the chocolate stimulates the production of phenylethylamine, a “happy” substance responsible for heightening the enthusiasm while suppressing depression.




Have a positive self-talk

Every one of us has a different approach to the same issue we encounter. You may react worriedly, violently, peacefully, naively---it all depends on how you talk to yourself. The human mind is like an empty glass. If you fill it with the negative thoughts, surely negativism will define you. If you feed the happy, hopeful and optimistic feelings into it, then you will likely feel less anxious about what the future may bring. Learn to control how you talk to yourself and allow the positive feelings in the world to flood your mind.

Be assertive

Express your inner dreams and strive to achieve them. Erase all your thoughts of being incapable and inferior because you, like anyone else, is worthy of the same place in this world. You deserve to love and be loved, to be happy and respected, as well as to reject, get hurt, fail and cry. Believe in yourself, your abilities and talents, and use them to get what you wish for.


Smile---and let the world know that you’re going to be okay despite the tension inside you. Think of the happy moments when you made a genuine wide smile in your face. Smile even if you don’t feel doing it and you’ll be surprised on how you will instantly lightened up. Consciously begin the joy in your heart, and share this to others. They will likely return a broad smile to you before they notice it.