Memories of Tsudanuma neighborhood

Oh, I miss this place ❤

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When one is in a foreign country, its not only the tourist attractions, beaches and beautiful scenery that makes a mark but also those humble streets, the side walks, grocery trips, those familiar traffic lights, and parking lots and busy streets.. those too create a mark.

When I was sent to a business trip to Japan by the company that I use to work with, Tsudanuma was the place where I temporary lived.

It was a few stations away from our office and also a few stations away from Tokyo which made it so convenient.

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Most of Japan’s malls and groceries close at 8 pm. But this one(see the photo above), a grocery named, JUSCO was open 24 hours. A life saver indeed.

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I remember one afternoon, while walking around the neighborhood, I saw this multitude of birds flying in a somewhat circular motion. They looked like dancing. I was really…

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A friend- Remembering Olay

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image source: lefteyeimages.photoshelter.com

I met Olay summer 2003 when my family and I visited my mom’s home town, Surigao. He was this jolly playful boy who always wear a smile on his face and a look of wonder always present in his eyes.

He looked like a 9-year-old boy judging from his height, but according to him, he’s 14. We couldn’t believe him at that time because he doesn’t even know when his birthday is. I can’t believe that there is someone in the world who doesn’t know his birthday. Still, I think, someone out there could be worse off.

For our brief stay in the province, Olay had shared with us stories, laughter and a lot of other things like teaching us how to speak “bisaya”- the dialect they use in that area of Surigao. Olay also often brought us “sandiya”(watermelon) and would sometimes climb coconut trees just to bring us “butong”(coconut) all for free. It was a time of full of joy, laughter and discoveries I actually wished it all wouldn’t end.

It was about a couple of weeks before we were about to go back to Manila when we checked Olay’s record from my aunt who was working for the baranggay hall. We found out that Olay was born on August 29 and was 14 years old indeed just as he claimed. The date was just a few days earlier than the date we were about to go back home. We managed to greet Olay Happy Birthday. When we left, Olay was crying and even asked us if he can just come with us. If only we could do that, we would have done so. Sadly, we couldn’t during those times.

My brother and I left a letter for Olay which he promised to keep. In the letter, I advised him to finish his studies so that he can have a good future and not to get married too early because that seems to be the trend among the people in the province. We also left him our number which he used to call us a couple of times years afterwards using someone else’s phone.

After 9 years since Olay and I met, I went back to Surigao to visit my relatives hoping to see Olay. According to a relative who happened to be Olay’s neighbor, Olay went with his relative to Manila to work, hoping to get a college education. According to that relative, among Olay’s many siblings, he was the only one who managed to finish highschool. Olay took my advise. That made me feel so happy.

I don’t know where Olay is now. But in the bottom of my heart, I’m wishing him well. And I hope wherever he is, he is just out there, conquering the world and reaching his dreams.

Something That Happened in The Kitchen

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Sushi Fail – Dec. 28, 2013. (***So now I knew that I should combine rice vinegar and sugar so that the sushi rice won’t taste bland and I can put the kani on top of the almost-cooked rice. I also realized that it’s better to use a bamboo mat than a sushi mold. )

Nothing interesting has ever happened to me in the kitchen except of those times when I saw how horrified my brothers were when they tasted a specialty weird meal by a trying-hard-world-class gourmet like me. While my dad would always eat what I cook whether it’s sinigang na paksiw or tilapiang bitter, my brothers would mock me forever.

Those kitchen moments seemed like ages ago. Ugh, I feel so old…

I miss ’em.

Traffic

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I’ve been commuting along EDSA for more than 7 years now that whenever I hear the word traffic (jam), it always reminds me of EDSA. It’s just how the meme above goes: “Sa tindi ng traffic sa EDSA, naniniwala na ko sa forever.” (Because of the intensity of traffic jam in EDSA, I now believe in “forever.”). And indeed, being stuck in EDSA can feel like forever sometimes (ok, most of the time).

And just like how the meme below goes:

all-about-juan.info image source:all-about-juan.info

“HOPELESS: Minsan love life mo. Madalas EDSA.” (HOPELESS: Sometimes your love life. Most of the time, EDSA.)

Now that’s fitting.

 

 

Something that happened in a mall…Stranger Danger

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image source: pinterest.com

image source: pinterest.com

Back in the days when I was younger and pathetic, I was so obsessed in meeting the only guy who made sense in MIRC and who have read one of my most loved novels by F. Sionil Jose.  So when I happened to chat with someone who knew the author, I made myself believe that it was him, even though I knew it really wasn’t him. So we texted and decided to meet up in a mall somewhere. It was a really stupid idea but I was bored and curious.

We decided to meet in front of a bookstore where all other EBs happened. It was in the ground floor and I was in the second, eyeing people like a lunatic. I was so scared and paranoid, I almost tripped in the escalator. It took me forever before I decided to approach the much older guy who was wearing the polo shirt my textmate described. He was okay. He wasn’t ugly but heck he was insatiable. When he held my hands and tried to pull me closer, I wanted to run away as fast I could…Ugh, just the thought of it still makes me cringe. Anyway, after the longest dinner in my life ever, I made an excuse and peaced out.

Worst Birthday

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25th birthday. Had it at the office in the old company that I worked with. Got loads of work back then I wasn’t even able to take a leave. Celebrated my birthday facing the computer screen, doing my work, with finishing a deadly project with impossibly tight schedule on time as my only birthday wish. Yeah… those days.

 

A Meth Junkie Neighbor

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We have a neighbor who’s a meth addict (that’s what people say). He’s in his 40’s I guess, with 4 or 5 kids. He and his wife are too loud most of the time that I couldn’t sleep. Whenever I’d go to work at night and pass by their house while he’s smoking cigarette or just standing by their door, he’d always look down and step aside.

I wonder if he and his wife are just gonna die like that. I know how meth have ruined thousands of lives but maybe if their families would just try to reach out to them once more, show them love and send them to something like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) here, maybe they still have a chance to recover their lives. I don’t know. I just don’t believe that there’s 0% hope for drug addicts.

Neo and Photographs

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laptop

There are times when I think about losing all my memories. Am I going to be a better me then? I have kept journals and mementos from the past and I wonder what would be my reaction reading/seeing my life from a memory-devoid persona. I can imagine myself saying “Why haven’t I tried this and that? Why am I always late? So I’m still a ____? Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?” Just a random crazy thought during one of my idle days.

Anyway, today, I have to write about inanimate object that’s important to me and I can’t think of anything else but my laptop and photographs.

NEO

I have this 5-year old laptop that I bought in Gilmore with my bro. It has an i3 processor, 3GB RAM, 64-bit OS, with a NVIDIA GEForce 310M 1GB graphics card. Though the battery needs to be replaced, neo’s performance is still pretty good (or am I just being too attached?).

When my laptop’s original hard drive crashed last year, I almost lost my sanity. Of course I’m exaggerating but you know that feeling when you have half of your life saved in one effin’ hard drive?

Lesson learned: Always make a back up!

PHOTOGRAPHS

Camera and photograph is a marvelous invention. It’s really amazing how a gadget can capture bits and pieces of your life and put it in a photograph. Your first birthday, that toothless smile, an awkward family pic, your mom, dad, grannies, your first kiss, prom night, wedding, friends…Those captured moments are irreplaceable, a treasure worth keeping.

I remember, there’s this one photograph of me and my dad while we’re eating halo-halo in Intramuros, that was a humid Sunday afternoon when we accidentally met near Manila Post Office and decided to eat halo-halo nearby. After that, we went inside the Manila Cathedral and just stood there and prayed and marveled around the cathedral’s beauty. It was the very first time (in my memory) that my dad and I prayed together. I wish I have saved that photo somewhere else but it was in my busted hard drive so now it’s just in my memory.

But of course I can still make new memories and photographs with my dad.  We can always make new memories…as long as our loved ones are here to smile and say cheese at the count of three.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory” – Dr. Seuss