Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Not What They Seemed to be.....

They are not what they looked like......

It's not Christmas.
Fake sakura tree
They are not cherry blossoms but a cousin maybe.
And definitely not New York City! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sorry For Condescending....

I am sorry to be such a snob. This is my story.
I went to the Philippine Airline office this morning. I was happily surprised to see Mildred and Jalen
inside. They were already seated side by side at the counter doing their own traveling transactions. Cheerfully, I went to the counter and greeted them both. Jalen, at my approach, told me that she just came home from Manila. She showed me a picture of her grandchildren which was really nice. But she started bragging about how she always traveled with heavy luggage both going and coming home from Manila. According to her, she went to Manila bringing 60 kilos and came home with 65 kilos. Both Mildred and I laughed at her statement but I had to show my disdain. I said "Ganyan sila mag travel kagaya in Conchita (my sister-in-law). Parang na deprived nuong bata, kailangan napakarami ang dala." Which  means (Yeah, they travel with heavy baggage, just like my sister-in-law Conchita. Maybe they have some kind of a deprived childhood, that they have to bring so many many things.) My words were meant to hurt her and surely they did too. Obviously Jalen did not take my sneer lightly. She was feisty and wanted a counter bout. She said she had to bring a lot of things because she cooks at home, that I did not have to because I don't cook. 
"I do cook too." Was my calm answer. 
"I bring a lot of food to my children because I am a mother." She said.
"I bring food to Manila too, but not 65 kilos." Laughter ensued.
"I brought lechon because that is the favorite of my daughter-in-law."
"Hay naku, you think cotabato lechon is the best? Manila has the best lechon too. They prepare the best Cebu lechon in Manila. You haven't tried them yet?!Talong talo yon dito sa atin."
"I buy lomo etc etc to bring home to cotabato."
" I buy things and bring them home to cotabato too, but not 65 kilos, that's a lot."
"I buy etc etc...and I buy ngohiong too."
"I make my own ngohiong. Hahaha."
"I also buy wansuy."
"I bring wansuy home too (celantro), but not por kilo. That's a lot!" ........And so on and so forth.
What a laugh! She was really really mad. This was actually so very very petty. I was sorry for having  instigated the banter, but I was not backing out from what I had started.

My friend Jalen  does not like the word deprive but that's precisely what it is. When she goes to Manila, she needs to supply her children with food she and/or her children crave for. And on coming home, she must  buy lots and lots of things which are not available here to satisfy her needs. In many ways more people do the same, sometimes including myself. Hahaha. But what irritated me this morning was her boastfulness, her unbashful bragging about her capability to spend (which she usually do without my reacting). So this morning, I just suddenly snapped at her liked that. I am not usually this way though.
I do actually feel bad and sorry for being impudent.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Beautiful Mt. Fuji and Hakone

Mt. Fuji
Slope of Mt. Fuji - Martha's first encounter with snow.
On the fifth station 
Cloudy sky but awesome day
This way to the mountain...hehehe
Fortunately, there were still sakura blossoms to see at Mt. Fuji.
Family picture at Mt. Fuji fifth station
Boat ride at Lake Ashi
Hakone hot spring valley
At Owakudani
Still fit enough to climb the high steps and eat the black eggs to prolong our lives. Hehehe.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

More Japan Pictures

Japanese children going through the hole of the Buddhist temple post for good luck.
Sky view from the top of Swiss Hotel in Namba.
Buffet breakfast window view
Taking the bullet train.
At Kiyumizu
Tourist trap! Hehehe
At Sanjusangendo
Scenic bus stop view on the way to Mt. Fuji.

Let's pause or pose for a moment. Hehehe

Monday, May 11, 2015

Japan Tour with Lucas, Martha and Marion

With Martha, Marion and Lucas at Universal, Osaka, Japan
Harry Potter- the new attraction
Martha queuing to buy butter beer
  "One cup (for mama) and one mug of butter beer please"
Enjoy the 3D Spiderman ride and many others.
At Nara Buddhist Temple
 Martha taking shots of Marion and the deer.
At Shin Sai Bashi, Osaka 
A friendly Japanese guy at the airport showed me pictures of two popular signs he said I should see in Osaka. (The red crab and the Glico) He actually meant for us to go to the Shin Sai Bashi district. These signboards could be found when you go up to the Shin Sai Bashi Bridge. It's kind of a tourist mecca. Many people around were taking pictures, so we had our pictures taken with the billboards too. Hehehe.

We enjoyed walking the stretch from end to end and more. The place was really merry and gay. Martha and Marion (despite their allergies) and Lucas tried the popular Osaka octopus balls. The streets in Japan are so safe. It is a country to be envied for.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Return to Japan

Japan is a dreamland! It is clean and safe and the people are courteous, polite and helpful. When I went there for a vacation last year on March 1, 2014 with my siblings, I was so fascinated with the country, that I wished I could go back again with my husband and children for another vacation. So early on this year I started planning for a trip to Japan. I wanted to enjoy the tour with my family specially with my son Roy who lives and works in United States. But, alas, after calculating the expenses, I had to shelf it off for I think the cost was too steep and beside Roy was transferring job anyway.
When Martha and Marion went home for the holy week in April though, they voiced their eagerness to proceed with the trip. I quickly inquired from my travel agent. She offered me a discount and thus we hurriedly applied for the visa. For the final tabulation, my travel agent gave me another one percent discount.
So I went back to Japan for leisure tour this time with my husband Lucas and my twins Martha and Marion this April 2015. We were a congregation of 38 tourists from the Philippines. Our travelling companions were nice people. I met Evangeline and her husband Jose Chua. We somehow knew some common friends and relatives from Cotabato. Lucas was the oldest male and person among the group. He did not give us any major problem though. My girls took good care of their father. Together we even took rides at theme parks such as Spiderman, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, 20,000 League Under the Sea, etc. The girls though took the more scary rides themselves such as the Hollywood Dream Ride, House of Terror, Center of the Earth etc. I loved travelling with Martha and Marion, they paced themselves for us during free days. We walked the whole stretch of Shin Sai Bashi in Osaka and more. We took commuter train rides in Tokyo. Got lost a bit but found our way to the fish market and ate superb sushi, rolled by one single masterchef in the dinning area. To this day, the best sushi I have ever eaten or was I just simply very hungry, hehehe. We went on tour to the 5th station at Mt. Fuji. Martha had her first snow encounter at Mt. Fuji. We enjoyed going to Hakone for the hot spring view and ate the black spring eggs, hehehe to supposedly to prolong our lives, hahaha. During my morning breakfast with Lucas on the top floor at Osaka and Tokyo hotels, many times we were given window seats overlooking the skyline. I looked at Osaka and Tokyo with awe and envy. How I wished I could live in a country that's clean and safe and orderly like Japan.