Indonesia, Jakarta May 2014

I went to Jakarta for a week as part of the Jakarta Service Project under the Kalinangan Youth Foundation. It was a volunteer program and together with the other ten yuppies we engaged the high school students from different parts of Jakarta in a Cultural Exchange and English Enhancement Program. The event was held in the University of Tarumanagara.

I was actually excited waiting for this to happen but came May things got really stressful for me. But because of the enthusiasm and positivity of the people around me and most of all the hospitality of the students and teachers from the University of Tarumanagara, everything went well and I enjoyed the whole experience.

I got one day free to have sightseeing in Taman Mini so instead of joining my group I decided to meet up with one of my closest friends who is currently teaching in Indonesia.  I enjoyed the tour with my friend because he paid for the entrance fees and the lunch and snacks. That made me enjoy the tour much more.

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I didn’t have a cellphone so I borrowed from one Indonesian friend and called up Noel to meet up with me in this area. After the call, I separated with everyone so I didn’t really know how many minutes should I wait before Noel arrived. Oh, the things I do when I’m in a foreign place! I actually approached strangers in the area asking them to let me borrow their cellphones. I was successful in borrowing from one young adult male but I wasn’t able to contact my friend. I realized my puppy face/maiden-in-distress look doesn’t really work much here. People are much more wary unlike in Japan where they really help out.

So this is called the Monument of the Flame Pancasila.

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Oh, I really love old structures especially architectures that show the culture of a certain place.  And this is actually one of my favorite photos in Jakarta. It looks as if I was in an “Eat, Pray, Love” journey.

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These structures are examples of pavilions or houses in Jakarta, maybe during the old days.

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I thought this was a soda. But no, it’s tea! I love that they have tea such as this in food establishments. Such a healthy choice.

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I love Nasi Goreng. I ate it everyday for breakfast in the hotel. We stayed in Amaris Hotel.

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In the Philippines, we call this musical instrument as Kulintang. In Indonesia, it’s called Gamelan.

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This is the Children Palace. It reminded me of the Disney Palace.  But there’s really nothing inside. I just thought it was a pretty backdrop for more picture-taking. 

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How I love to explore more of Indonesia especially in Central Java, Bali and the like! I’ve realized we have a lot of things in common with Indonesia especially when it comes to language.  And I actually felt I was just somewhere in Metro Manila when I was in Jakarta.

Overall, it was a good experience for me. My trip to Indonesia wasn’t more of sight seeing but with people interaction. I got to mingle with the Indonesians and my Filipino group mates and meet new friends. We even met a Fil-Am in Jakarta airport who filled us with exciting stories about his life while waiting for the usual delayed flight of Cebu Pacific. Considering how introverted I am and nowadays so lazy to interact with the human world, it was a healthy thing that I need to do in a yearly basis I think.

Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa 2013

Kenroku-en Garden in Kanazawa is one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan.  I actually intended to visit all the three gardens but time was not on my side.  Kenroku-en was a huge place and the biggest garden I’ve ever seen so far.

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I always have my own personal favorite among my photo posts.  But for this post, I have a lot. This shot of a couple or would-be couple is among them.  It gives life to my usual landscape photography.

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This one is my ultimate favorite.  It just looks so perfect! Winter has just ended so there were still a lot of snow suspenders or yukitsuri.  They help support the branches of trees during heavy snow.

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I’m not so much of a big fan of green sceneries, thus, the lack of a self-portrait.  And I was already so tired from exploring this wide garden. I prefer autumn and winter when I can see colors other than green.  But I love how everything turned out spectacular in the pictures. I love how this place generated a sense of calm especially with the presence of ponds and fountains.

3 May 2014 / 0 notes

Kanazawa Castle, 2013

1 May 2014 / 0 notes / kanazawa 

Shirakawago, 2013

1 May 2014 / 0 notes / shirakawago 

Takayama

1 May 2014 / 0 notes / takayama 

Hida Furukawa

Before I left Japan on March 2013, I decided to embark on a solo backpack travel in Hida Furukawa, Takayama, Shirakawago and Kanazawa.  The last last three places are major destination sites for tourists.  But it’s a good thing that I discovered Hida Furukawa when I was researching about Takayama. It was freezing cold when I arrived in Hida Furukawa and I noticed there were not so many people walking around.  It may seem like a ghost town but I love the atmosphere.  

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Snow gives me so much delight.

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I’m such a sucker for traditional houses and any architecture that would bring me back in time.  So I spent a lot of time just walking through this area, taking pictures, and admiring the clean canals.

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There were a lot of these cute little things outside the Japanese homes. I wonder if they are solely just there for decorations.

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imageCute little red octopus inviting passersby to eat!

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Sakura in Kakamigahara

During my first spring experience in Japan, my friend brought me in Kakamigahara to view the cherry blossoms.  The park was just so magical filled with beautiful pink sakuras.

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The place was filled with families and friends having picnics under the beautiful mesmerizing cherry blossom trees.  Oh how I wished my family was with me during that time to see the beauty of nature!

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Even the ground was filled with fallen sakura flowers.  I had the urge to lie on the ground and just bask myself in its ‘pinkness’.  

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This walkway was like a scene in japanese dramas.  It looked so romantic!image

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The blue picnic blankets looked like a body of water.

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I’d really love to go back to Japan again!  It’s such a beautiful country.  Every time I’d visit the other places there, I’m always amazed and I would always thank God for the wonderful creations he had made.

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31 Oct 2013 / 0 notes / field trip 

2012 Year-end Review: Festivals and Events

Can you believe that the first get-together in the dorm early last year was the Farewell Party? Lol.  People usually leave the dorm starting in February until the end of March.

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One of the highlights during summer is the ‘hanabi’ or the fireworks display.  There were two sets of fireworks display but I wasn’t able to go to any of them.  The fireworks could be seen from my room, though.  The fireworks display was a long one.  I got tired of watching from my room eventually.  I guess I wasn’t really that excited about fireworks because in the Philippines there are always fireworks.

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I somehow pitied myself for not going during the Fireworks festival so I decided to attend the Tejikara Fire Festival on the following weekend.

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A friend invited me to attend a festival in Ogaki.  Her sensei drove us from the university.  Here are some of the street food usually being sold in Japan.

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This is called kakigōri which is crushed ice with syrup.  It’s usually sold during the summer.

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I also had the chance to play the Taiko drum.

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And dance in the street.  It was really fun.  I wish I had the chance to wear the yukata during that time.

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I always make it a point to visit schools as much as I can.  This is a ‘yochien’ or a kindergarten school in Japan.  Japanese kids are just so cute.

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I also attended a Kabuki workshop.  EVen though the character is a woman, the person behind the mask is still a male.

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Here’s to my first ever cooking class experience. I was a bit nervous because I hardly cook at all.  We made chirashizushi. 

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Sometime in September, I was able to observe sado or way of the tea.  It is a way of preparing and drinking tea.

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On that same day, I also saw how a Japanese Chouchin Paper Lantern was made.

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By October, it was again the start of the second semester.  I attended the welcome party and this bread with our university logo was supposed to be given only to the new students.  But I managed to get one.

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On November, I harvested persimmons.  I brought home a bag of persimmons.  They were delicious.  Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to eat all of them.  Some of them got rotten because I was just too busy.

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There was a mini halloween party. I dressed up as Minnie Mouse.  These are eyeball-shaped candies.

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And this is a takoyaki maker.

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November was the time for the university festival.

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I got to wear a kimono for the second time.

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I forgot what this is called but it’s usually done during the mochi festival.  There was a contest and my friend got a prize for her work.  

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I was happy during this event because I met a geisha and a maiko.

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I attended my second cooking activity.  This time we made Japanese sweets.  It tasted delicious.  I only made that pink flower-like mochi.

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Vintage Television

My face lighted up with glee when i saw this collection of vintage television in the Toyota Automobile Museum.  What’s even more amazing is that they are all in pretty good condition.  And they work! Yes, I was able to watch cartoon.