Monday, December 25, 2006

Eh-hum # 126

As usual...this is a bit late...BUT, i really mean it.

To all my friends, and even the rest of the world, have a blessed, meaningful CHRISTMAS and a prosperous NEW YEAR!!!

Ung lang...hehehehe

Friday, December 08, 2006

Eh-hum # 125


Finally have some ME time to update me blog (plus good Internet connection). Lightning Round!

1. Kyoto Trip Part 2

Since this is a quite late, I'll make it simple and short. The trip to Arashiyama was a treat. Its nice that even a highly developed (or industrialized) country as Japan, there are such places which, as the late Max Soliven said, "recapture the essence of what used to be Japan". The shrines, the lovely gardens and most especially the maple trees in red, bright orange and yellow, were a wonderful alternative (still looking for the right word) to the buildings, shops and malls I see everyday en route to the University. Moreover, its nice to do all those sightseeing with friends. Aside from seeing Japanese Autumn, other highlights of the visit were the vast bamboo (yes, that grass) grove which reminded me a scene in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (see below) and a Geisha/Maiko sighting. I was suppose to take a picture, or stolen shot, of the latter, but I was suddenly embarrassed to bring out the camera and suddenly take pictures of complete strangers. Maybe next time...hehehehe

2. Counquering Mount Rokko

About two weeks ago, me, my adviser, his wife, my senpai/friend and her husband, went on a little road trip to Mount Rokko. It was an impromtu trip, so I was not able to bring my camera with me. We went to three viewing spots on the mountain and all three gave breathtaking views of Kobe and Osaka, at night. It was all good, and we would've spend more time in each spot if it wasn't for the very, very cold weather. I wouldn't mind going there again, perhaps this time 1) when its summer; and 2) when the sun is about to set.

3. Tempura and Yakitori

I am all for trying Japanese dishes (well maybe not raw fish, at least not yet) since I love food (and it shows). After the brief but enjoyable trip to Mount Rokko, we had dinner at a Tempura shop in Anshiya. I like visiting these small, cozy and genuine Japanese restaurants, its a chance to learn more of Japanese culture (and did I mention eating?). We each had several servings of tempura veggies and fish (including the favorite, shrimp). My favorite was the combination of shitake mushroom and fish tempura; I love the light meat of the fish plus the soft texture of the mushroom, YUM! We were served a special kind of (soy) sauce plus grated radish, some spices and lemon juice. The last thing they served was sort of a tempura donburi bowl: vegetable and fish tempura with rice and sauce. It was reaaallllyyyy good.

Another favorite of mine is Yakitori, or roughly known as chicken barbecue or grilled chiken bits. I had the opportunity to eat at a Yakitori shop near a Hanshin Mikage train station. I remember we had chicken liver, yakitori, salad and this special traingle-shaped rice. It was a good meal. The thing is, eventhough the servings here (in restaurants) are small compared what I usually have back home, it is enough to make me full. Hmmm, wonder why?

4. Two Months na Po!

Time flies, really. And guess what, I have been in Japan for two months. And I thought I wouldn't stand for a week. Below is part of the report I sent a few weeks ago to my home university which pretty much describes how things have been for me for the last two months.

"...I’ve realized that living in Japan has helped me become more self-confident and independent. Again, others may think this to be unimportant, but for someone like me who has lived in a sheltered environment for a long time, this is a major breakthrough. I know I have Filipino friends here whom I can count on, but I still believe that everything will boil down to what I think is the right choice...On a lighter note, I have come to appreciate those chores my mother made me do when I was younger, or the times she would scold me for spending too much money. These are just little things you pick up as you grow older, and yet these reminders or lessons are extremely helpful when you need it the most. Thank God for the Filipino resourcefulness, or know-how (or roughly known as diskarte).

Meanwhile, I have been taking only Japanese lessons for this semester (plus two other courses at a different department). Unlike my Kanji lessons in which I really make time to sit down and study, I am having some difficulty studying, and eventually remembering, my grammar lessons. I have gotten used to writing research papers (as the usual requirement in my MA studies) that I have somehow forgotten what it was like to be a regular student, inside a classroom, listening to your teacher’s lecture...Lately, I have pressuring myself to study more, or at least to try to use nihongo as often as I can. During a conversation with my mother, she gave me an encouraging thought: you only have been there for two months; you still have lots of time to learn. Mothers always say the right things at the right time. "

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Eh-hum # 124

B-LOG (as in back-log)

Some things/experiences I need/want to write about/share (sorry about that...):

1. Kyoto Trip Part 2: Observations

2. Counquering Rokko Mountain

3. Tempura Galore (Before that, Yakitori Galore)