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Post: #16

Eagerly awaiting the pics! Clapping

I hope Grim has some too from his Down Under trip.


Lo, there do I see my father.
Lo, there do I see my mother, my sisters and my brothers.
Lo, there do I see the line of my people back to the beginning.
Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them in the halls of Valhalla,
Where the brave, may live forever.

Fox

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04-15-2010 06:28 PM
Post: #17

(04-15-2010 06:28 PM)Fox Wrote:  I hope Grim has some too from his Down Under trip.

I do, I'm just sorting them out at the moment. Plus I want to write a blog post that'll totally do the trip justice, so I'm taking my time. Tongue

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04-16-2010 02:05 AM
Post: #18

March 30, 2010
Going to the Holy Land.

I dont really write much nowadays so please forgive me for utter crappiness of write up.


Woke up around 7am to start making the final preparations for the trip and for the last checks of the stuff I'm gonna bring. Surprisingly, I slept pretty well considering my overwhelming excitement for the whole thing-looks like working out more than usual the night before got me tired enough to make me go to sleep soundly. Once finished, we immediately left home to fetch my cousin and his parents for his graduation in PICC, then head to Sforza's place afterward. Prior to all these, Sforza told me that he wasnt really sure if he's gonna go up until his doctor clears him on his check up-which is on the day of the flight itself, thereby making me pretty nervous even while we were driving to PICC. After dropping off my cousin and his folks, I immediately texted Sforza on his status, and he told me to just go to his place (without saying anything if he was cleared or not take note). Upon arriving in his home, I texted him again, only to get a reply saying he was on his way back(yep, this was just the start of sforza's trolling for the whole trip). Well, when he DID come back, he to get his last stuff packed, which really alleviated my apprehensions of him not going. Well, after that was over with, we immediately headed out for the airport on the urging of his mom. Going to the airport and doing all the processes was a pretty new experience for me, so I pretty much looked like a total doofus and noob while following sforza around and asking a lot of random stuff regarding the steps and sequence of the luggage, airport fee payments and the like. Surprisingly enough ,we got all the stuff done quite quickly, so we ended up having a light snack in Seattle's best iirc, then immediately headed over to the waiting area for boarding-with me all the while texting my folks that we are about to leave. Before we knew it, we were airborne and on our way to Japan. I for one, was also surprised how the flight didnt really affect me much as it does for other first timers, and that I was pretty much normal throughout the flight. During transit, I snapped some pictures of the horizon like a kid full of glee, and frankly really didnt give a damn of the people around me noticed. The Flight took around 3 something hours, and once I saw land masses, I couldnt help but smile as I finally reached the country which I dreamed of going to for so long. It was really a surreal feeling, as if I was in a dream.


Okay, emo stuff aside, we got off the plane, went to have our passports and documents checked, collected our luggage and stepped out of the airport. Sforza told me that I will be totally surprised when i get there, and boy I was. The moment we came out to open air, I felt this sudden sting on my skin and a chill throughout my whole body-yep it was stupidly cold, and I had to get used to it. During this time, weather in Japan has gotten quite erratic, fluctuating rapidly from cold to less cold, to stupidly cold again in a heartbeat. Walking through the cold, we proceeded to have some of our usd converted to yen, and then subsequently for he train. Buying a ticket here is quite different, as you are presented a machine with an initially very confusing interface complete with lot of buttons and holes, while the map layout of the train lines didnt help as well as they looked like something like a maze of pipes with kanji and what not written all over them. We then called up Cabs, and asked for instructions and confirmed ETA's and stuff. Somehow, we managed to get some tickets and got on the express bound for Osaka Station( also called Umeda station-take note of this. As this will be mentioned a lot later). The trip was pretty much me looking around the train and sforza reading his e-books. He later said he kinda got his left elbow stiff because of the way he held his DS. The train ride lasted around an hour, and once we arrived in Osaka/Umeda station, I had to again try to bear the stupidly cold environment, lug around an 11kg stroller plus a heavy bag and look for Cabs who was waiting for us there at the same time. We eventually met up, and had to transfer to another train(without buying a new ticket) to go to Shin-Osaka( where Cabs' place is) station this time around. Once out of the station, I noticed one particular thing: the streets were stupidly clean and everything felt ridiculously polished and done well with regards to the streets and stuff. We made our way to Cabs'place, all the while him and Sforza laughing at me for my various bodily responses to the cold. After dropping off are stupidly heavy stuff, Cabs invited us over to have ramen in one of the places nearby, in which the both of us heartily agreed. The meal was stupidly good, as the ramen easily, note easily, blew away almost all of the ramen thats served in the PH. It's kinda unfortunate that we didnt get a picture of this first meal, as we were really hungry and exhausted so we proceeded to dig in immediately. Once back in Cabs' place, we spent the remaining few hours listening to Cabs' instructions on how to use the washing machine, the shower, and the other utilities of the house. I for one was pretty drained, so I then slept after surfing a bit on the net and Raving on facebook that I was in Japan already.

Few quotable stuff on this day:

Sforza: OMG mark in an airport!
Arch angel: WTF is this! Wtffff!!!!(referring to the cold)
march 31, 2010
Den-Den Town!(part one)

Waking up pretty early, I immediately got up and started looking around the room to check if I was dreaming or not. Upon confirmation that I really was in Japan, I stood up and did a few exercises to get myself going, took a bath and headed out to walk around the vicinity of Cabs' place. Though it was cold, the area was really clean-and it was more apparent in the daytime. I went to a 7/11 shop to get some grub for me and Sforza, and then proceeded to have my very first, well, small conversation in Japan. The coins I had pretty much had 100 or 50 or 10 written on them, but my first 5 yen coin was so worn out, I really didnt see the chinese character for 5 anymore-so hence i tried asking the cashier how much was the damn thing by saying “Ikura Desu Ka?” meaning “how much is this?” and got a normal response. I immediately headed back to the pad, and arrived just in time to see Cabs and Sforza just wake up. Cabs gave us a map on how to go to Den-Den from Shinsaibashi station(which he recommended because it was the “scenic route” to Den-Den). After having breakfast, we set out for Umeda station first, which was only a few minutes away from Shin-Osaka, to have more of our usd converted. We got pretty decent rates, and upon finishing that task, and receiving specific instructions from Cabs on going to Den-Den, we set off and Arrived in Shinsaibashi station via Subway(note that the train we tool from airport to Osaka, to Shin-Osaka and back to Osaka on the next day was the JR line. The subway we took is the Midosuji line, and has stops that are very close to Den-Den. Upon arriving in Shinsaibashi, I immediately whipped out the map, and followed the exact path that our benefactor instructed us to take. Since this was the first time we were walking to Den-Den,(not to mention this was the long way to it) the walk seemed like forever for us-although there were a lot of various stores and food stalls along the way which caught our attention and at times, made our mouth water. As we went on, and not to brag, I was pretty glad that I have this very good sense of direction for navigating, so we ended up in pretty much all of the specified landmarks that are on the way to otaku heaven. We passed Dotonburi bridge, which was perpendicular to Dontonburi street(Dotonburi street is like a few blocks full of food stalls and yummy stuff) nad took some pictures of the area, including of the Glico guy that kinda relates to Osaka already. Surely enough we finally came to Den-Den, and starting looking over the first few shops that were open ( as some were still closed, even when it was around 10:15am already).


One of my first and foremost tasks to accomplish was to get kamen rider game cards for my karate sensei, So when we came to the first shop we encountered, I was lucky enough to see a whole rack with a plethora of these cards. Sensei didn't really mention a specific card to get, so I just got the ones that looked cool, and got him some that had good “stats”. Getting that over with, We just window shopped the first store, and I realized how it literally pwns the shops here in PH. The first shop we came to had like, 3 floors of pure otaku goodies, from playing cards, figma, figurines, kits, nendos, accessories, and even model cars-it was stupidly mind blowing, and they also had like a good 10 more of those shops! As we passed each shop, there were lots to see, video games, gaming accessories, cute girls giving out fliers for their respective cafes, lotsa vending machines, people shouting to announce sales in their shops, moar figs, and kits. We even got to finally see the kotobukiya shop that was in the vicinity, and man was it good. It literally was an AC kit heaven, and not only where there AC kits, but they had a plethora of pretty good figures as well. Leaving kotobukiya satisfied even by just staring, we went on to find interesting stuff like this shop having a lot of specialty t-shirts for a lot of games and anime, a shop where they sold second hand figures and collectibles, AV shops(yummy), and this one particular building that even had a yaoi section(lol iraya). After looking around for a while, we then decided to grab some lunch, but didnt know where since we were still overwhelmed by the sheer number of food installations in dotonburi. Alas, we ended eating in mcdonalds, in which sforza tried their texas burger, which he gave the thumbs down, and me just going for a fillet o' fish sandwich. After a much needed meal and rest, we went back to Den-Den, and basically revisited all of the shops we looked at, and the others that just opened. After much procrastinating, Sforza and I finally bought some stuff that arent kamen rider playing cards: a megurine luka nendoroid and a snow miku nendoroid. Feeling satisfied for the day, we then proceeded to walk back to shinsaibashi station, only to find out that we overshot the entrance as it was pretty well hidden, so we ended up walking another whole station's distance, and we finally were able to get back to midosuji line to Shin-Osaka. We also passed by Lawson's-one of two convenience stores(other one being Family Mart) that can more or less make you survive even if you bought food and stuff there alone(we literally lived off of these for the entirety of the trip for our breakfast and food cravings), and got a strawberry flavored hagen daz(with reference to ryougi shiki in the anime kara no kyokai-watch it.) and some sushi like stuff for sforza. We then got in contact with cabs, and set to meet him over in Umeda to get some earphoness for myself and dinner afterwards. Upon meeting in Umeda, Cabs took us inside a very well known place there, which is Yodobashi Camera-think of it as like an sm there of sorts. All I could say was the place was amazing. Floor B2 was for computers cellphones and watches, B1 was for computer consumables, 1st floor was for computers, 2nd floor was for cameras, 3rd was for house electronics and appliances, 4th floor for audio/video stuff, 5th for otaku stuff and video games, and the higher floors are restaurants, event floors and parking spaces. Okay, before I get carried away, so I got my earphones, and then we went to look for a place to eat. It took us a good 30 minutes to decide, and it ended up being this ramen place that had a long line outside. Turns out that the line moved pretty fast, and that the orders were processed even while you were falling in line. Okay, remember what I said about the first ramen we got being able to blow away any ramen here in the ph? Well, the ramen we got here even blew that one away. The ramen here was so good. DAMN good. And can I say DAMN good again? Yep, the meal here was SO good, I left that place smiling like an idiot. Not to mention their tea was also damn good, and their side dishes/appetizers were so DAMN good too. After the meal, we immediately went back home to rest up and just literally bum out till we fall asleep. Hence, the end of the second day-and what a day it was.
(This post was last modified: 04-16-2010 03:17 PM by Mjting.)

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04-16-2010 03:12 PM
Post: #19

Made a little photo album of the trip, with a few videos.

http://ravenrepublic.net/forums/showthre...pid7842244

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04-20-2010 03:17 AM
Post: #20

April 1, 2010

To Kyoto, Japan's historical stuff capital.

Woke up 7 am- for the reason that we really had to get up early as we were meeting with Hyejin, Sforza's Korean friend over in the train station. Shaking off the cobwebs of sleep, I pakced the last of my stuff in a big bag as we were gonna stay there for 5 days. I really didn't want to bother Sforza yet as I knew he was still pretty tired and well, knocked out. After working out, I took a shower, got dressed, and after checking my stuff again, Sforza woke up and requested that I buy breakfast for the both of us while he got ready. Cabs also woke up early, to help us out in checking the train schedules for kyoto that day. After eating breakfast, we huddled with Cabs for our final instructions on what trains to ride and which stations to get off. Before we knew it, we were on our way to the train station and on the train to Kyoto.


The trip it self was pretty long, and it didn't help us at all that we were still pretty groggy and stuff. We then arrived in Main Kyoto station, just took a short cr break and went on to ride another train to Tofukuji station, then the Keihan Line to Demachiyanagi Station in Kyoto, which is pretty much in a good strategic location with respect to the places we will visit. Upon arrival on the station, Jake had to go to the public bathroom to relieve himself as he was still suffering from stomach pain. After that, we then met up with Hyejin and proceeded to procure umbrellas since it was raining, and walk to our guest house in order to drop off our heavy stuff. It was really hard at the time to appreciate Kyoto as it was dark and it was raining, so we really didn't bhttp://www.tekkenzaibatsu.com/forums/usercp.phpother to take a few shots of the place.




Fast forward to a bus ride for our first destination, Kinkaku-Ji, Hyejin suggested we eat first in a ramen joint she knew of that was near the place. The place was nice, as it was pretty cozy and also to note, this was the 4th ramen meal we have had so far on the trip! Although Sforza said that the ramen we had with Cabs was still better, it didn't really stop us from enjoying it(as it STILL blew away anything here). We also appreciated the special fried rice they also served with the meal set as it was stupidly epic-add the gyoza with that and you're pretty much solved. After a really splendid meal, we then walked to Kinkaku-ji, only to discover that there were a lot of people there-which was not a surprise, but the rain really made it harder as it made traversing through the area slower, hence clumping us with the mob more. With regards to the place, the rain didn't really make the main attraction any less pretty-the golden temple was a magnificent sight no matter how you looked at it, and yeah it got a lot of shots from our cameras(taking the actual shots was hard though, as we had to hold an umbrella as well). Walking through small shrines here and there, we finally made it to the end of the kinkaku-ji vicinity. I wasn't really over though, as there were a lot of food stalls selling specialty foods from Kyoto-Sforza, being the food person that he is, tried out some of the delicacies in which he commented that everything was good, but there was this one particular one that really got him going, it was Kyoto's famous Yatsu-hashi, kind of a baked rice flour that has a mochi texture wrapped around a red bean base. I tried one for myself and found that it was really good too, and that Sforza and I were planning to buy some later(not to mention it would be one of Sforza's goals to buy a yatsu-hashi that was not 500 yen, as the fully boxed ones are priced like that, so he's looking for ones that are in a non-box package).


After Kinkaku-ji, we decided to go to Daitoku-ji, so we took a short bus ride, and after a short walk, arrived there. I won't really elaborate much on this as there was almost nothing to see, and it also didn't help that the place was apparently closed off at the time, so we immediately left and went to Gion, the more, urban and Makati-esque area of Kyoto. Upon arrival in Gion I did somewhat of an epic fail, as the three of us managed to sleep inside the bus, and I lost my umbrella in the process as it slid off my hand and I didn't really want to delay the bus any longer than I did already when I was searching for it. Walking around Gion, I managed to get myself a new wallet, from P.S.FA, and we then walked around some more(I also got myself another umbrella). After walking around and looking at a number of interesting shops, we then decided that it was time to fill our almost empty stomachs.



Hyejin suggested that we go to this sushi-conveyor-belt place that we see in anime. Food was good, with too many selections for me to choose from-albeit I did limit myself from eating too many plates, as each plate costed about 105-200 yen. . Sforza though, in contrast to my 5 plates total, gobbled an astonishing 11 plates worth of moving sushi and other stuff.....stupidly amazing, but I was not surprised. After eating ,Hyejin suggested that we go pontou-chou, a famous small street in kyoto that was known for it's historical value iirc, and for the string of restaurants and various other shops it possessed. It also had a section where there were a lot of geisha rental like shops/inns. Walking through it was really nice, as it was one of those times that I really felt that I was indeed in Japan, again, it felt surreal. Finally, after getting tired and stuff(and also me surprisingly getting a swollen foot that couldn't take much weight for no reason), we decided to go back to the guest house and call it a day. I also have to note that the room we had in the guest house was REALLY nice. It was small, but it could accommodate 4 people, plus it had a hot shower and bath tub-and did I mention that it was CLEAN? Anyway, when we got back, we surveyed the room, got a few instructions from owner-san on how to use the heater and other stuff, and well, just sunk on our beds after. Day one in Kyoto started off slow, but ended up being really memorable-and the good part was, it was only just the beginning.

Quotable stuff:


Arch_angel: OMG I HAS VAPOR!(referring to vapor seen from breath in the cold
sforza: Honestly, WTF are we doing here...? (referring to the really stale visit in Daitoku-ji)

Mjting

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04-21-2010 12:00 PM
Post: #21

Recorded this while watching a show called Tokyo Eye on NHK World. The episode today was about time in Tokyo and how its residents manage it efficiently. Recorded segment was about the train operations management center and how make sure everything continues working properly if a train becomes late.

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After I stopped recording, the department store segment was about how employees in the gift-wrapping section practice wrapping presents everyday. Because of this, they can fold fabric and wrap it perfectly in under two minutes. There was also something about the speed and perfection (down to the amount of rice in a piece, e.g. 20g every time) of sushi chefs when they prepare meals.

Basically, imba Japan Laughing

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04-22-2010 01:04 AM
Post: #22

April 2

Yukatas, Ninjas, Gates, and a lot of Sakura.


After a much, much needed rest from the yesterday's getting a feel for the place thing, I immediately got up and checked my foot-it was still badly swollen and was hurting a bit, but not as bad as the previous day. Not wanting to waste time, I did my usual “just to keep in shape” workout, took a shower, then headed out to get breakfast for me and sforza. I kinda accomplished these quickly to buy sforza some time, and to also be punctual for hyejin as she will meet us on the guest house at 930(I woke up 730). So, once sforza was up, I was already done, so I proceeded to use the free(yes free) pretty fast net down on the main living room of the guest house to check on some work e-mail and surf a bit. Hyejin came around a bit late, by 20 mins, so we had to leave quickly.

I forgot to mention about the 500 yen unlimited one day bus ride pass that they sell in convenience stores-these are so convenient when you're touring around in japan.


After purchasing the passes, we set off for our first agenda of the day, and that is to buy a shitload of souvenirs for the humans in the ph asking for them. We went to this souvenir shop that hyejin used to work for, and she asked if she could get us some kind of discount. From what I understood from the cashier/owner/manager, it was 10 percent, so I was cool with it and proceeded to look for a yukata in particular for my sister, and some stuff for my relatives. All in all i got a bunch of stuff, and jake got a yukata too(for a member of rr lol). When we were about to pay, the cashier/owner/manager suddenly told me in english that we were gonna get 30 fucking percent off, much to my surprise, that i asked her again if that was correct and if she did say 30 percent. Well, she did, and so we got huge ass savings from this. Hyejin asked the cashier/owner/manager if we could leave our stuff first as it was still early and we still had to go to a lot of places, she agreed and told us to be back by seven. Bowing politely to them when we left, we then set off to our next objective, and was pretty much the one that hyejin and sforza had been looking forward to, was the cake/food buffet at a very, very cool and unique restaurant.


When we got to the restaurant, it had this name “sweets of ninja” or something like that. So when we came in, the front corridor leading to the receptionist had all these(most were fake, butsome were prolly real as they felt real) ninja weapons and stuff. Pretty cool I must say since I'm a fan of those. Once paying up and going in the actual place, I was pretty much smiling like an idiot as the joint was pretty cool and they had all these bamboo forest ninja thing going sup front, and yeah, all of the cakes, sweets and stuff are all immediately visible. They looked good-and they tasted even better. I would also take note that all of the waiters or rather, waitresses, were kunoichi and pretty much fully dressed to look like that. They even announced your arrival when you came in. So, upon getting a table for ourselves, we had one of the kunoichi give us instructions on the buffet-she told us that we had a time of roughly 1 hour and 45 mins iirc, and the certain rules that were written on a scroll that she pulled out of a ninja-holster something on her hip. I mostly didn't understand the stuff, but hyejin told me that most of those were really funny rules concerning ninja honor. I just laughed and thought that the only thing missing was the kunoichi doing a ninja seal and disappearing in a cloud of smoke after she was done




Fast forward to the meal proper, and all I can say is that most of the stuff there were good-stupidly good by ph standards, pretty good for jp standards. Sforza noted that almost all of the cakes(they were served in cubed slices) were stupid good, and the staple food, such as the pasta and pizza, were just good. Then again the main stuff served were the cakes anyway. All in all, the meal was good, we got our money's worth, and I even had a picture with a pretty cute kunoichi before we left!

Okay, so we had our stomachs filled, were happy, and pretty much wanted to find a place to doze off, but hyejin had to leave to meet with one of her professors, so she dropped us off on our next destination, which is yazaka jin-ja, one of the temples/shrines in kyoto. We had to stay there for almost two hours, so at first I thought: “we're gonna have to find something to do around these temples for that time span. Lol.” little did I know that theres was this park just behind the temples, which was stupidly pretty and nice, had an almost endless number of food stalls, and did i say a lot of Sakura(which one of the primary reasons why i went to japan at this particular time of year)? I told sforza I had to sit a bit because my right foot was really hurting again, so I just opted to get this grilled squid(which was really good) on a stick to justify my random sitting on a random spot(not really prohibited. sarcasm lol). After resting a bit, we eventually walked around and took a lot of pictures of the place. The park itself was very big, as it took us a while to go around the whole place. All I can say was that this was one of the places i liked the most out of kyoto.

Once we were done, We eventually met up with hyejin, and decided to go to Fushimi inari, the place where there are a lot of torii(traditional japanese gate). The funny part about going there was we werent really sure on how to get there, so we ended up taking a VERY VERY scenic route to the place from the last bus stop we got off from. The walk was approximately 20mins. Upon getting there, we ended up walking some more, this time going up the mountain and through all the torii. The place was supremely nice, with all the torii and the shrines along the way while we walked past. Unfortunately, however, by the time we stopped over at the place we considered the top, we wound out that it was just 1/3 of the whole place, and that it was getting dark. We then opted to leave and go back for dinner.

On a side note, I lost another umbrella on our way back while on the bus(was too fixated on the location where we should get off from. Mark fail.

After the bus ride, we then made our way back to the souvenir store to pick up our stuff, then picked a kind of random location to get our dinner, which was kyoto university. Seeing hyejin off, we then had our dinner. It wasnt anything special or what, but the food was good enough to pass for a good restaurant here. Upon finishing our dinner, we made our way back to the guest house, with sforza making a very silly yet pretty good suggestion-he suggested that we put all of out 10 yen, 5 yen, and our 1 yen coins on the small table in the middle of our room so that those would be used for breakfast money(yes we always buy in family mart for breakfast when in kyoto),but the one who will be doing the buying is me(lol). Once we were discussing and loling at the proposition, I took a short hot shower and finally went up to my bed and slept. What a day.

Some quotes:
arch_angel: oh shit. I left my umbrella, AGAIN. What the fuck. Oh well, might as well consider it a donation to some random fool who doesnt have one.
sforza: So....we use these money to buy breakfast for tomorrow! But you'll have to do the buying though. I wanna sleep.

Mjting

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05-07-2010 02:53 PM
Post: #23

Somewhat related to all this recent discussion on the rant/rave topic. The grass will always be greener on the other side.

Quote:Colonial mentality and the Philippine future

Three countries became independent from their colony rulers at about the same time. The Philippines was released from the United States in 1946. India/Pakistan became independent countries in 1948. Indonesia cast off 350 years of Dutch colonial rule in 1949.

Many of these nations’ citizens had to fight and die for independence. They built a government, a society and an economy facing either neglect or outright hostility from the “mother country.” And all these countries have struggled and suffered as a result of being colonies of the West.

Yet, it is only in the Philippines that anyone would think of describing the people, at least some of the people, as having a “colonial mentality.”

The Philippines has operated for a half-a-century almost as an orphan still looking toward its foster parent, the same parent that exploited and abused it, for guidance and nurturing. Every president has been criticized, some more than others, of being a tool of the US. Even average Filipinos have felt without question that the hand of the US influenced elections, economic progress and social stability.

The other side of that perception is that the Philippines depends economically on the US. That was true 20 years ago and it was true by the choice, from Philippine government policy to average Filipino economic behavior. We bought American goods because they were “better.” Local manufacturers were afraid to compete with American imported goods. Filipinos laughed at products carrying the “Buy Filipino” slogan. What other nation on the face of the earth would carry as common wisdom the idea that “When America sneezes, the country catches cold?” And the sad fact is that far too many Filipinos still believe that to be true.

The common thought is that the Philippines has a love-hate relation with the US, and that may be true. The problem is that we need to have a non-emotional relationship as we do with the other 190 other global nations.

Maybe we need to look at the reality of the US to understand how great the Philippines is, and why the US should only be one of many players for the Philippines and not a role model.

The “land of milk and honey” does not have the crime problem that the Philippines has. Oh? The US has the largest percentage of its citizens in prison than any other country in the world. US law-enforcement authorities claim there are now over 1 million members of criminal gangs, responsible for up to 80 percent of the crimes committed each year. Phoenix, Arizona, features an astounding annual car-theft rate of 57,000 vehicles, and has become the new “car-theft capital of the world”

We are told constantly that the Philippines has a great inequality of wealth that shows how economically bad we are. For the US in 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s salary was about 30 to 1. Since 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 and 500 to one. Inequality? Approximately 40 percent of all retail spending currently comes from the 20 percent of American households that have the highest incomes. The bottom 40 percent of income earners in the US now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.

Employment is so bad in the Philippines, why would anyone want to stay here? More than 40 percent of those employed in the US are now working in low-wage service jobs. In February there were 5.5 million unemployed Americans for every job opening. This recession has erased 8 million private-sector jobs in the United States.

Are you sure that migrating to the US makes economic sense?

Grim

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06-15-2010 03:29 PM
Post: #24

Nice post. It pretty much says that your success depends mostly on whatever you decide to do, wherever you may be. Colonial mentality, we haz 'em. Ironically, the majority of the grass root people here don't think they'll ever make good use of the Philippines.

Which is to say, we're fucked from the ground up, economically speaking.

Shintetsu

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06-16-2010 12:42 AM
Post: #25

So, Am I guilty of this? (lol by wanting to werk in jp)

Mjting

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06-16-2010 07:40 AM
Post: #26

the people who have the heart to stay here will stay and those who have set their hearts outside will go.

these are but general and im not particularly pointing to specific people. There are those who went outside the country and became successful and stayed there and some came back here. Smile

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06-16-2010 08:11 AM
Post: #27

Last sentence should add....."go to Canada if you planned on going to US"
seriously......
..........serious.


==========It's easier to believe a lie told a thousand times than a truth you've never heard before==========

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06-16-2010 04:22 PM
Post: #28

(06-16-2010 07:40 AM)arch_angel Wrote:  So, Am I guilty of this? (lol by wanting to werk in jp)

I don't think so. There's nothing wrong with wanting to live somwhere else because you like it there.

On the other hand.. yeah sort of. No big deal anyway Laughing

Shintetsu

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06-17-2010 12:11 AM
Post: #29

okay, another one of my write ups from the jp trip(not that you guys are interested anymore lol) i'll just consider this to be at least a journal.



April 3, 2010

Rendezvousing with Cabs, Sakura Party, and Nijo Castle

Again, as usual, I woke up early for the usual get-ready-ASAP-and-get-jake-his-effin-food-routine. Our Schedule for the day was a bit simpler compared to the previous days where they were really hectic, sa we only had to go to Shimogamo Shrine before heading over to the Sakura Season Celebration event sponsored by a particular Organization called Kamogawa-Kai, which is obviously based in Kyoto.

So after going out in the cold to get jake's grub, I got back and told the dude to hurry since we are also supposed to meet up with Cabs on the train station at a particular time. We got ready, met up with Hyejin as usual and started to walk towards the station which was a few blocks away. I also had to take note that my foot at this point was pretty bad as I could just barely walk on it. It was fortunate however, that we barely had to do any walking for that day as we are just staying in a house for most of it.

All I can say is that the weather was fantastic during that time. It was sunny, yes, still colder than what I'm used to, but all worth it as the walk along the Kamogawa river was splendid. Upon meeting up with Cabs, we decided to go to Shimogamo Shrine, which was located a few blocks away from the station. Although there really wasn't anything particularly specific to point out, the walk was okay, as we were more relaxed than usual because of the more loose nature of the sched, and that the atmosphere on the way to the place was pretty much suited for the mood.

Frankly we really didn't do much in Shimogamo. The place was, as usual really pretty and historic though, and at least we were able to get a glimpse of a couple doing some wedding ceremony. I however had the opportunity to have a picture with a miko there, but was rejected as they were forbidden do be taken a picture of-let alone with a gaijin. Too bad, as I really practiced the line hyejin taught me if I wanted to take a picture with someone in Japan. After taking a bunch of photos and stuff from my machine gun of a camera (how jake described me and how I shoot), we then left Shimogamo and started looking for the venue of the Sakura party. At this point, it really started to get cold, and it didn't really help us at all that the venue was located near the kamogawa river, in which it was significantly colder than the other areas due to the body of water. We did, however tried to walk along the riverside to take some pictures, only to leave shortly after because of the sheer cold that started to really go through our clothing. At one point, I suggested that we hang out in whatever convenience store we come across, so we initially ended up in the convenience shop of a gas station, where I got a can of hot coffee, then we back tracked and finally ended up in a lawson's shop where jake and the others had some snacks before going back to look for the place.

Upon finally getting a hold of where the place was, we got in and got ourselves comfortable in the house. It was a typical Japanese Style home, wood everywhere while tatami mats graced the individual room floors. The event started off with attendance check, followed by a brief introduction of the Kamogawa-kai members, then a message from the owner of the house. WE then proceeded to watch a number of plays, in which the highlight of the event was Rakugo, a kind of imaginary comedy play in which the actors portray characters without any props. I at first was pretty skeptical(As I usuall am) about the whole thing, but ended up nodding my head in agreement and laughing my ass off of the jokes the actors did. After much laughing and stuff, we had the other highlight of the day(for jake), dinner. After stuffing ourselves senseless, we just hung out and talked to random people, even getting to meet a filipina who was working for a local newspaper there-she had us take pictures with her too. I also had the pleasure of finally saying “kampai!” with japanese people, making this event another one of those “ i cant believe I'm actually in japan” moments.


After saying our goodbyes, hyejin decided to go back to her place to rest, as she told us she wasnt really feeling well. After seeing her off, we went back to our pad, firstly, to drop off cabs' stuff, rest, and to plan for the next place we will visit since it was still particularly early. We also decided to treat cabs' his one night stay in the guest house, just as a means of thanking him for making the whole Japan thing possible. We then decided to visit Nijo-Jo, or, Nijo Castle, as it closes pretty early at 8-something and that it was said to be really pretty at night as well.

After asking the owner of the guest house for directions, we then headed towards Nijo Castle, and once we arrived, we noticed this epicly long line that you only see in carnivals in the ph and in the lrt. Surprisingly, the line moved really fast, so we only had to wait a couple of minutes to get to the cashier and before we knew it, we were in.

All I can say is that Nijo Castle is at night is just stunning. Yes, it was dark, but the way they illuminated the sakura trees and the whole place was just astounding. In my opinion even an idiot who doesnt appreciate good lighting and presentation would still be amazed at this. On a side note, it was pretty hard to shoot pictures in particular, as it was really dark even with the lights-even jake had to really try to get good shots. I also have to stress that for the most part so far on this trip, It was only me who had been really complaining about the cold, and not jake or cabs-but at this one point in time on the trip, even CABS had to complain on the sheer cold that was there during our stay in Nijo. I was that fucking cold, that even me, with 4 layers of clothing, still felt cold to the bone. We started to walk faster, and we really wanted to go back to the guest house at is was really starting to get cold. On our way back though, we came across an area where there were “tiangges” and stuff, and much to jake's delight, he was able to find a Yatsu Hashi that wasn't in a box, but was just in a small, styro container that was significantly cheaper than the ones sold in boxes. After managing to spam Yatsu Hashis, we elected to ride a cab back to the pad(the driver was even more well dressed than all three of us combined). After getting back, we just settled down, had dinner(yep from family mart), chatted for a while, and finally, managed to get ktfo'ed on our beds.

Quotable stuff:

Hyejin: hey Jay, (referring to Cabs) do you miss the Philippines?
Cabs: ughhh.................................hmmm......sometimes?

Mjting

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07-06-2010 05:10 PM
Post: #30

April 4, 2010

Kyoto Imperial Palace Take 1, and ONSEN!!!

Alright, our fourth day in Kyoto. I will skip the formalities and the prep times aside since they're a given already. Our agenda for this day was to visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace located near our guest house, then head towards mt. Kurama for some onsen. So we prepped, had breakfast and started off. Surprisingly my foot on that day felt a little better, but still hurt a little as it got a little aggravated againg after a few YARDS of walking. We made our way past kamogawa river, which seemed to get prettier and prettier each day we passed by. The weather today was arguably the best so far as the sky was exceedingly clear and it was sunny, yet only a bit chilly. Just right in my opinion.

First of all, we only had an idea on how to get to KIP, but not really sure. So we just went to its said location in accordance with the map, but yeah, we STILL weren't sure. We walked quite a bit, and when we started to be REALLY unsure, we managed to ask directions from the townsfolk thanks to Cabs, and we finally managed to get in the area around the palace.

The place is HUGE. It's like many times bigger than luneta imho, and we had to WALK all the way to the actual palace. It wasn't that bad though, as we managed to take pictures of a lot of sakura and plum(?) trees around while going to the palace. I actually had a lot of fun observing the people who were walking around and stuff. A lot of them are jogging, chilling out, or biking. Typical fare for people in a park, but the atmosphere was much much more calm and relaxing.

So, we went along our way to the Palace, but upon seeing it from afar, we could not shake off the feeling that something was wrong. Upon arrival, something WAS amiss, as the PALACE itself was closed for the day! After the customary facepalm from the three of us, we decided to go back to the pad to prep up for the trip to the onsen, as we did spend enough time bumming around the place(and LOLing at the police car that was going around to look for people who would dare to cross the early warning systems situated around the palace walls) to finish the time allotted till we can start getting ready. Once back in the pad, we decided to rest a bit (which was good for my aching foot) and just get some snacks while getting ready. Again, after a bit of procrastinating from all three of us, we managed to move our lazy asses and start off for the train station.

We did opt to have our lunch while on the train, so we went to Lotteria to get some grub, and went on our way. Hyejin also told us that the trip was 30-40 mins long, so we better leave early(hyejin told us before hand. She wasnt with us on this day till later that evening). On the way to Mt. Kurama, I got a glimpse of what Rural Japan looked like, and the addition of the landscape made it all the more beautiful for me. I also had mixed feelings about it, as I felt awed, yet, sad at the same time. I just don't know why. Cabs and Jake spent their time napping on the way though, but as for myself, this being my first time abroad, I simply couldn't waste a single minute of it.

Upon Arrival, we finally got ourselves well, sorted out, and we kinda followed Cabs' lead into what the hell we're supposed to do, and yeah, for my first time in an onsen, it was kinda weird and awkward, as YES, no clothes of any shape or form were allowed in the onsen or even in the bathing area. So yeah, we literally had to undress and shit. Actually after a few mins, you will indeed get used to it, as long as you don't try to stare at the other people who were there-too bad it wasn't mixed bathing though >Smile .




As i learned first hand, the usual sequence is take a seat in the showers/ wood buckets area, get yourself cleaned up, then head over the the onsen, dip your feet first, then slowly get in, put towel on top of head, enjoy. I would also stress again that staring is almost a non-spoken rule there, as most of the men(and us) would rather stare at some random location. Good thing the onsen was an outdoor one, with an magnificent view of the mountain ranges that were there. To be honest, the water was kinda hot, and it was really hard to stay still while you're being slowly boiled to a good color. I would have to say though, that it was extremely relaxing and that it also gave me a massive de-stress and almost completely got rid of all of the pain in my foot. So, after a record time of 15 minutes, i stepped out of the pool feeling totally dizzy at this point, and made my way to the seats, showers and buckets again, followed shortly by jake and cabs. We helped ourselves to some mildly cold water, then we proceeded to go out and eat at the onsen restaurant.

Okay once in, the three of us noticed something at the same time. Tha waitress in the resto was SOOOOOOOOO cute, we just had to tell ourselves that again and again. She also catered to one of the RR members' tastes(megane)lol. We then had our meal, and it was exquisite as usua, with me randomly bantering something like “hey lets take a picture of her with us!!! pleassseee” in which jake blatantly refused everytime. After our meal, we then left (with me in tears) and proceeded to wait for the van to take us to the nearby kurama shrine. On a side note, I was able to take a picture of the legendary Hachi-roku from initial d!

As we went to Kurama Shrine, the lady at the front reception told us that the shrine is closing in an hour or so i believe, so we kinda had second thoughts of going through with it, but cabs said that we might as well since we were there already.I have to say that the way to the top of the shrine(yes top) was one of the steepest and longest climbs ive ever had the horror of climbing(more of trekking). The rest and relaxation we had in the onsen totally went out of the window as we started sweating a bit on we went up. I went with cabs with jake kinda lagging behind as he was taking his time. Cabs told me might as well do it and who knows we might be enlightened or so he says.

Upon reaching the top, I had mixed feelings of the climb being justified, but I was then blown away by the view of the mountains around it. If i had to come back, I'd definitely take the cable car(yes we didnt know that there was one). So, after spamming shots with our cameras and finally whisperin a short prayer to the main shrine, we made our way back, only to be told by a couple of obaa-san's that the last cable car is 3 mins from departure. So yeah, on top of the climb, we literally RAN for quite a distance towards the cable car station, with me sprinting ahead of them for some moments. Fortunately, we managed to reach the station with the last batch of passengers, and yes, we were able to get down from the mountain pretty comfortably. Whew. Period.

After that fiasco, we managed to drag our exhausted bodies to the train station back to Kyoto, with jake and cabs falling asleep again along the way. As for me, however, I managed to stay awake to get a glimpse of the beautiful scenery, but this time with a very pretty sunset to paint the landscape. It was, again, one of those “omg i'm actually in japan” moments again. It was really beautiful.

Once we got off, we immediately walked back to the pad to drop off our stuff since we had to go to hyejin's house which was nearby for some korean dinner. We also kinda chilled for a bit, but Cabs and myself went ahead to the lotteria food joint in Demachiyanagi Station to get some snacks for ourselves before actually going to hyejin's we kinda talked about a lot of random stuff, but more on the career really. Cabs also was wondering on how can i always forget the term that he taught me if i were to say take out in any restaurant(mochikairi). Jake arrived shortly after, and we the nproceeded to walk our way to hyejin's place, much to my foot's chagrin. I was also starting to get really cold, so we had to hurry a bit. We also elected to buy some chocolate pastry with cream inside for hyejin on a side note. Once in her pad, we just chatted with her and her friend, whom she invited over for the dinner. To sum it all up, the food she prepared for us was extremely good, at least for me-but even cabs, who explicitly told me he didnt like korean food, and spicy food, managed to eat a whole lot as well. We had pocky and the cream puffs for dessert, while chatting with hyejin and her friend alice fora couple of hours. It was unfortunate though, that cabs had to leave early for the reason that he had tocatch the train before 12am. Bidding hyejin and alice goodbye, we then finally walked cabs to the train station, and went back to our room for the last time today.

Random quotes:

(running to cable car)

*mark suddenly sprinting*
Cabs: HOOLLLYY SHIIIIITTTTTT

jake*looking at the map for the kyoto palace*: this looks like an rpg map......*take picture*
mark: RPG MAAAAPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mjting

kya~

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07-10-2010 11:39 AM
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