Tuesday, March 22, 2011

031111: A Test Of Faith

March 11, 2011

Friday - favorite day of the week.
All went well, until 2:46 pm.

I was talking to Jen on the IP phone, put her on speaker,
when it started to shake.. My threshold duration for earthquake
is 5 seconds, after that I would panic. Aime was just laughing
about me being jumpy at first, but when the earthquake dint stop,
and even got stronger, people stood up and looked at eachother.

Confused, I saw my Indian colleague grab a helmet 
and motioned to hide under his table. I did the same thing, so did Aime.
Then I remembered about what happened to New Zealand a few weeks
ago and got horrified by the thought of our building collapsing.
I made a quick and wrong decision, I know stairs are not advisable to be at during
earthquakes, but I had the urgency to run.

So I called Aime and ran as fast as we could (building still shaking).
From 6F, it took forever to reach the ground floor. It was horrible seeing
the walls cracked as we ran.. :(

I went out first, and got back inside when I noticed Aime was not behind me.
Relieved to have seen her, we went out and were to horrified to go back.
With no jackets, we stayed shivering outside.

Then some staff of the bank guided us to go to the parking lot.
I wouldve gone up to get my bag and jacket, but the stairs was too crowded.
In the parking lot, some ppl were listening to news broadcasts on their mobile phones.
I sat down and things started to sink in. Plus we could not reach Jen.
Then we saw our Japanese friends, it felt good to see their friendly and comforting faces.
One handed me his jacket, one helped us contact Jen. But a few minutes later,
it shook again. And watching the buildings shake like they would collapse at any moment,
made me drag Aime to the other side of the street, not minding so much about the cars. 
And we leaned on a wall....

Then we were directed to go to a near evacuation area.
I forgot how long we stayed there, but when we were told it was okay to go back
to the office, it was around 4pm. And surprisingly, sunny.

I called up my mom, and it brought me to tears.
The office was a mess. The VC monitor fell, swivel chairs were everywhere,
some peeled off paints from the ceiling scattered on the floor.

We grabbed our bags and stormed out.
To see the dark sky outside was a shock.
The sudden shift somewhat foreboded a bad omen.

And it wasnt just bad, it was devastating.
Seeing that deadly tsunami wipe out houses, cars, boats and lives of the
people in Northeastern Japan was too much to bear.
An oil refinery was caught up in a very huge fire, there's wreckage
everywhere -- Japan was in a havoc.

And I, in a foreign country of which language is a big barrier,
did as much as I could to stay calm. But the aftershocks were still strong,
and we were in the 4f of our apartment building. And Jen still hasnt come home.
Hours later, friends came over and took us to their place, where we could
rest a bit and monitor news. At 12 midnight, Jen reached home, 
came back to fetch her, went back to our friends' place.
The television's earthquake alarm really freaked us out every time.
Everybody was so ready to run.

We took turns, some slept, some stayed up.
I did not sleep till morning.
Never had enough sleep ever since.

The next working day, went to the office, tried to concentrate to
do my tasks. But there were tremors every now and then.
A few days after, no foreign vendors were seen around.

cracks on the walls

there's more
taken on a working day (im sorry forgot to rotate)

Earthquake, tsunami, fire, nuclear crisis.
Discussions about the apocalypse are everywhere, connecting recent disasters and chaos. 
And I can not help but get scared; maybe they are wrong, but what if they turn out
to be right? No matter where we are, in a just a few seconds, 
just seconds, life can disappear.

Things man can never stop..proof of how vulnerable we all are.
Too sad to realize, that it is only in these times, that we remember
to kneel down and call for divine help..

In the end, everything is a matter of faith..
May God bless us all.. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mobile's Aged Photos

I dont have a mobile phone here in Japan.
I used to have one, the one the client provided for 24/7 support engineers.
But I handed it over last year to Aime so I lost all the rights.

Last week I was scanning pics folder and found these photos Ive taken
long back, and was surprised they are still there.
Take a look :)

a pigeon or a crow: who's the culprit?
One morning I was waiting for the elevator when I noticed a foul odor.
I was alone so I figured it's not me (of course!). :P
When I reached my seat i saw something black on my hand and smelled it.
That was bad. Uh-oh so was my hair.
Then I saw that bird poop on my bag. 
Lucky me - of all people! 
Good thing elephants don't fly.

and she knew i always love lavenders
Leina, my Japanese girl friend who lent me her yukata
on my first hanabi (fireworks watching), stopped by and gave me
a decor she made from lavender. I forgot she loves lavenders too.
"I picked those from my little garden", I rmbr her telling me that.
One of the fresh and friendly faces Ive met.

there's something good about cafeterias

I often go to our client's head office. 
It's 30 minutes away from our workplace.
Individualism, one sad thing I noticed here.
I dont have negative impressions; 
ppl here value friendship and companionship so much that
you'll doubt refusing invitations and offers.
Problem is, the more they care about relationships, the
more they do not give a damn to things they're not involved of.
And it's supposed to be a good thing (maybe i just cudnt forget the pinoy
"meddling" attitude). But seeing blank faces in the train, makes me
feel so alone. To cut this melodramatic wails, i used to go the
head office's cafeteria, grab a cup of american coffee and sit
on a couch where i could clearly see the outside view.
And then, CHADANG!!! back to the bubbly mood. :D

looks like i just killed a cat
Never, ever, hand me some breakables when I am intoxicated.
Or never let me hold any, rather.
Last August, before going back to Philippines, I spent most of the
days having farewell parties with office mates and friends.
(Who enjoys farewells by the way??!)
One night after clubbing, went home a little bit tipsy, and thirsty.
Went to the sink, washed the last glass we had, a cracked one.
Was still talking to my girl friends when the glass broke in my hands,
and blood came gushing.. and it would not stop.. even after we put bandage.
A lot of skin tissues were scraped, congratulations to me :P

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Meeting: Drink the Right Coffee

February 22, 2011 - 5F Cynthia Conference Room

I got 2 meetings today.
One @12:30 noon (gosh, who does meetings at lunchbreak????!!)
And I had to give up my 30-min nap for that.

At 3, I went down and bought a cup of coffee with milk.
It was more of milk with coffee.
At it says "homemade", when the vending machine made it for me. 

The next meeting was at 5pm. 
And I had two small but very obvious holes on my stockings.
(Time to get rid of the long fingernails..)
As suggested by a friend, I looked for a pentel pen
to have the exposed part of my leg marked.

My Japanese friend got the pentel pen and 
marked my leg - and was laughing boisterously.

Then came 5 o'clock. I confidently entered the meeting
room while waiting for the others. The project manager 
was so friendly asking me questions bout Philippines.
But when the meeting started, I realized I was the only
non-Japanese speaking person in there.

And in the middle of the discussion, my eyes
started to get heavy. I took a pen and scribbled 
a lot of things on the scratch paper I brought.

I mustve looked so stupid, taking down notes
in a purely Nihongo meeting when they all
knew I didnt understand a thing.

That was the hardest fight I had to undergo that day (over!) 
But reading what ive written, really made me chuckle.

1. grabe kaduka sa akong mga mata
2. mopiyong na gyud cya ug kalit

3. puros pa jud nihongo ang ila storya

4. ang ako tupad kay maayo mosulti ug japanese

5. as in hapdos na kaayo akong mga mata

6. kanus-a pa man ni cla mahuman ug storya

7. gacge nako ug kusi sa akong panit para makamata

8. grabe na jud ni nga struggle

9. ginalugod nalang nako ako mata para dili makatulog

10. ngano niapil man ko ani nga meeting nga wa man tawn ko kasabot

11. nag atbang pa jud mi sa project manager

12. nagcge nako ug panguy-ab dri waaa

13. baho pa jud kaayo cla ug baba. bahog kape.

14. did ihear someone say kawaisou (luooya)??

Lesson learned: Drink black coffee next time?? What u say?
I completely forgot bout the holes on my stockings.
But it kinda twitched, exposing bare skin. 

A few reasons to ruin my day, but i was still in the mood to cook. 
Id look more stressed if I pout, so i chose not to and tried to be 
smiling and pretty.. :) char!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Maid Cafe: A Man's World

February 13, 2011 - Akihabara

I was always curious bout what's going on inside the famous maid cafes here
in Japan. Until we were invited by a Japanese colleague to go to one.
She has left the company we're working at, 
and it was one of the last hang outs with her.

We were four, all girls, lining up at the 7th floor of Home Cafe in
Akihabara. Gosh I thought there's just one cafe, but to my surprise,
there are 5, from 4th to 7th floor. Each week one floor has a different
theme than the rest. That time, all waitresses in 5th floor were wearing
Kimono. But we went to 7th floor instead, original theme was our preference.

The cafes open at 10.30 AM. 
We arrived minutes earlier, but there were ppl who came much earlier than us, 
shivering at the stairs, mostly were older men. LOL

After we were settled at our table, we checked their menu and
found it so hard to choose. Because ppl who go there arent really
after of the food. They got menu courses, prices range from 1k-3k,
inclusive of picture-taking with one waitress, a little game, and a souvenir.
By the way, taking videos and pictures from customers' cameras are
not allowed.

We felt pampered, the waitresses really acted like our maids.
They called us "ojyou-sama" (my lady).. whew!
One stirred my coffee, and drew rirakuma on my omelet.
They asked us to form our hands like a heart and say, 
"moe, moe kyun!" -- we did that 3 times.. then the
maid was so happy she applauded. lol

Then our attention was caught when they called some customer's

to go up their stage (they had a mini stage) for picture-taking
with one of the cutest maids there. They used an instant camera
for that.

Something hilarious happened when we asked for our bill.
The waitress had to go back to the counter 4 times (i guess)
because they got confused on the charge.
So our Japanese friend computed everything for her.
And then said, "they're pretty but got no brains" (no offense meant here)
But thanks for tha card they gave us after paying.

i can now be called, "your highness" :P

got my name written on the back :)
All that time in Akihabara, from eating at a maid cafe to buying some
chocolates in Don Quijote, I still got this price tag hanging on my skirt.

LOL i got tagged, literally :D

It was a nice experience though, got to visit one of Japan's originals :D
And that was enough.  Awed,  saw pretty girls, and felt royal that day.. 
"moe, moe kyun!!" :D

reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz6VTNqrrG4

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Luxx: Trivia Night, Fun Night

January 27, 2011 - Trivia Night @Luxx

My second trivia night participation.
And i hate to say i wouldnt be joining some,
for a couple of months.

Trivia Night at Luxx is held every Thursday,
it's at the second floor of Vudu. :)

The ambiance is perfect, so are the food and drinks.
You'd feel like you're just at someone's receiving area :)

That night, there were 5 teams joining.
Our team, BFF without the F (since Fritz got stuck in the
office for late work) was doing well for the first 2 sets.
And then the math part came, gosh and Fritz dint arrive at all.
Just when we needed his a** the most. Then there's a round
on time zones; which caused us to lose.
Questions like: When it's 1pm in Cebu, what time is it in Stockholm?
Gosh why on earth would i care about things like that...

I was the team's scribe that night..
And when u got a lil problem with your hearing, u shudnt
be volunteering to be the one to write down the answers. :P
So they had to repeat some answers a number of times..

I got a nice penmanship though.. :P

me and dhunve

pink krissy

hulyo and hulya

not so vain..that guy

checking outside view

thinking of what to do as fritz's punishment for not coming

i hate geckos, but got this tattoo though..twas supposed to be a flower

team BFF

see? kulelat na naman

after the game :)

atleast there's good food

smile, losers.. haha

the dj and the quizmaster

other teams

i told you the place is good

me, july and krissy

drooling dhunve

who wrote that?

never thought it's my last trivia nyt :(

and he didnt come!

painted on our table..c malakas and c maganda?

spot the difference

i loved these oysters yum yum!

Guess what movies do the drawings portray?
Each item separated by "+" sign sounds like the first few words/syllables
of the movie titles..

Did u get everything right?
If you ddnt, let's just blame the drawings.. heehee

Unforgettable moment:
july: space invaders
bula: space and ..?
(and i wrote "space and murders")
dhunve: space invaders oi!

anyway, the oysters were perfect.. hahahaha!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

life cycle of a heart

was that love?

the heron that grabbed my hand and flew with me
but left me to crash alone..

the current that took me deep to touch the coral reef
but sucked the air and left me to drown

the light that guided me in the dark..
but sipped all the brightness i cud see..

the wall that invited me to lean,
but eventually collapsed as i rested my back on it..

the roses that lifted up my soul
but withered on my palms..

the rain that wiped away my tears,
but got me drenched..

was that love? maybe not..
so, start over?

i can see a borderless freedom wen i fly..

the depth of the sea thrills me

the darkness always makes me feel afraid,
reminding me im vulnerable, human..

there will always be walls whenever i get tired..

roses will not fail to make me smile..
and raindrops will always nurture my soul..

so, will there be love?
there will be..

one that is worth crashing..

but will never ever leave me so..

Monday, January 24, 2011


January 23, 2010
Simala, Sibonga

What are you holding onto?
For things that we do not have control of,
for every heart's desire, for every wishful thought,
for the long-kept dreams, for the hopeful aims..
How hard would you try?

Simala is a famous destination for pilgrims from
far places around the Visayas to offer their prayers
and petition to the Virgin Mary. It is said to be a miraculous
place, and a lof of people attest to that.

I first heard of it when I was in high school, and was finally
able to visit there early this year.
Honestly, I was praying for the best to happen;
and i think it has. :)

looked like a castle from afar


one huge statue near the entrance

what do u wish for?

lighted these candles

pretty windy, that day

there's a museum inside too

crutches left by the ones healed

and there's wheelchairs too

sculptures on the roof

long way, but worth going

approx 15 minutes to reach the main road

river? more like a puddle..