Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wonderful Shades

Another working week has passed. Our life here was good and peaceful, without any eventful thing or very bad news occuring (thank God). I was watching a Jody Foster's movie awhile ago, "The Brave One" - when one scene at the start of the movie caught my attention and imagine how dull life would be if we only saw things in black and white. She was on the phone with her lover (they're supposed to be getting married) telling him how their invite would look like, him saying that it will be a nice cream invite and Jody Foster corrected him that it's not cream but vanilla.

Isn't that amazing how we (Women), yes, only us!... know the difference between off-white, beige, cream, vanilla, ivory and champagne? It's a gift i think that men will never understand about us.

I think it is our greater sensitivity that enables us to find magic within the ordinary. Or maybe it's our sense of style (whatever it is) and innate creativity. Or it could be that we know how much more pleasure we can get in having three colorful purses, shoes and sweaters, instead of just one white one! so womanly! - - - anyone not guilty on this? (^^;) lol

Whatever it is, it only means one thing. Never ever under estimate a woman's creativity, ability and sensitivity. It is with all these that makes us an amazing human being!

"Colors answer feeling in men; shapes answer thought; and motion answers will."
---- author unknown

"Life is like a rainbow, you need both the sun and the rain, to make its colors appear."
(Photo was taken by myself during our last summer trip in Yamanashi-prefecture. The lake Kawaguchiko is beautiful even on a very cloudy day!)

"In order to have friendship you must look past the colors to the soul, because within the soul lies a 'rainbow' of many colors."
(You know it's already the start of the rainy season [梅雨入り] here in Japan, when you see this 'Ajisai-あじさい' flowers blooming everywhere in the country. My Aunt back home said, we call this flower 'Milflores' in the Philippines, or million a bundle, how exotic! Pic. was taken by me, June 8, 2011 from our garden.)

[credit: photo of the crayons is owned by grungebarbie87 of photobucket]

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

As it comes. . .

Over the years, I've come to learn to enjoy life as it comes, in the precious moments of each day. Living any little success and fulfillment here and now, and not in some distant, imagined future.

While others set up themselves as a hostage to their own circumstances and inventory of material possessions, I chose to live richly and fully no matter what. Making joyful and thankful use of whatever I have, wherever I am, big and small, relevant or not.

I come to learn to pay no attention to those who scream at me that in order to be happy, you must have these things or that experience or this somebody. I come to learn to ignore them, and simply choose to be happy by my own interpretation of happiness all around me.

Life is good.

Life is rich.

Life is joyful.

Life is rewarding.

Life is fulfilling.

\(^_^)/ Happy Wednesday y'all!

Will end today's post with a favorite quote on contentment:

"It is not the place, nor the condition, but the mind alone that can make anyone happy or miserable." -Roger L'Estrange

My secret of a happy life isn't burried in a treasure chest... it lies within my heart.

Loving Ones in the Philippines (my family back home)... I so miss them. (--;) :(

Children are a reflection of who you are, be proud of them!

The Little things... The Little life... No, They aren't Little. (^з^)-☆ (on the left side of the photo are my parents, my eldest daughter Kaina between them, on the right side is my elder sister Susie, nephew Paolo, and niece Sydney)

"You gave me a reason for my being, and I love what I'm feeling."
(hubby and i, during our family's Summer Camp in Tochigi-prefecture, Aug. 1 - 3, 2011.)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Test blog from my mobile

Howdy! I'm just done setting my Android HTC Sense for Blogger mobile blogging. Yip'pee!!! :D I've been meaning to do this since I got the unit last May... and this is a test and my first post from my cp. I hope it goes in, (^_^ゞ including the 2 attachments.

The 1st pic. was taken in Hakodate, Hokkaido last week, while going up Mount Essan we saw this sign and took a pic., I'll blog about our Hokkaido visit soon. :) The 2nd pic. is something I'm enjoying at the moment while watching the Gymnastics Men's All - Around World Championship on TV live from Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. Ganbarre Uchimura Kohei (⌒0⌒)/~~, he is the current and 2-time World Champion in Men's All-Around Artistic Gymnastics and the Silver Medalist in the last Beijing Olympics, like UCHIMURA, I'm also cheering for Yamamura Koji, who is another contender for the medals . Ganbarou, 美しい 日本 体操!!! \(^o^)/

Hey wait, so much about what I'm watching on TV now, let's go back to the 2nd pic. heheh _(^^;)ゞ I got excited for awhile there, I'm sorry.(-_-;) I'd like to share you all this coconut milk TAPIOCA dessert drink which is my current favorite, among the new desserts that are on sale in the market now. The reason why I'm so fond of this 'sweet' is because it reminds me so much of home. The main ingredient is coconut, now we Filipinos love coconut a lot! Also aside from, coconut, cream and milk, it also contains TAPIOCA which we call 'SAGO' in the Philippines. Oh, how I've missed these yum-yum stuffs! But when Royal Sweets introduced this drink desserts to the market this summer, I was so delighted! The moment I first took a sip, I was already aware of this strange, good, familiar taste, very nostalgic. It's very delicious and tastes so much like our 'sago and buko juice' back home, only it was like the two were combined into one great product (^。^)y-~ that I just have the feeling this dessert would click more to us filipino residents here.;) All my beloved 'Pinay' and 'Pinoy' friends if you haven't tried it yet, try getting it on your next grocery shopping. You could also buy it in any of their Convenience stores and it's lined up with all the other drink desserts they have here. Just two coins of wonderful joy if you may call it, very affordable. I recommend Coconut Milk Tapioca and hope that they will make many more of this kind in the future. I will be sharing more unique japanese sweets here next time. . .

I wish y'all readers another great coming weekend!!! \(^_^)/ (^з^)-☆

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Beautiful Autumn in Japan

Vibrant Colours of Red, Gold, and Orange everywhere! Yes, one of my most awaited time has officially started ~ FALL in Japan, my favourite season of all!

Autumn 'Koyo' (foliage) in Kyoto, Japan

Autumn is indeed a beautiful time of the year. And in Japan it really is!  For this country is partly known for its unique, gorgeously balanced  'four-season' climate. Each season is distinct and has its own unique character. In contrast to some beliefs of other none-japanese residents Autumn here, like their Spring is very much anticipated and enjoyed by in fact - all ages. While it's true that Spring in Japan is the time and season which symbolizes new beginning, new birth, new life, cherry blossoms, start of the school year, and fresh graduates joining companies. Autumn for us, on the other hand is the perfect season for the great outdoors; delicious, seasonal gourmet; harvesting of crops; trips and family outings; and catching up on neglected healthy activities i.e. exercising, walking and all. Though some may find Autumn season a bit depressing as the cold Winter is approaching, people here are probably more than glad to bid goodbye to the hot, sticky days brought by the Summer. Humidity in Japan during the Summer months are usually high, so muggy and not that tolerable, even for someone like me- who originally came from the tropics.:) Starting late September when the rainy, typhoon days are almost over, it gets really, really nice here!

Wonderful Shades of Autumn even along the ordinary, residential areas.

AUTUMN in Japan means lots of wonderful things! Like any Japanese that is already fond of, about the Autumn, here are some that I enjoy :

* The shades and colour of Nature. Foliage here is really Lovely and Gorgeous! Breathtaking sight of the leaves, specially their 'MOMIJI' also known as 'maple leaves' are a sure heaven treat to the eyes.  :)

* The cool, breezy air that will greet you as you open your windows each fall morning and the clear, crisp weather at daytime (no more need for air conditioners! :D).

* The harvest of vegetables, fruits and rice. Japan boasts one of, if not  the best quality Rice produce in the world, I tell you! :)

* Some starts to stock up foods for the arriving Winter. Powdered chocolate drink in cans and in jars can be seen on sale in mostly every stores and supermarkets.

* Autumn, chic, cool clothes you'll see on every fashion magazines and displayed on almost any apparel store windows here. (this one I think tickles my interest the most!)  ahihih ;-) *giggles*

* 'SANMA' (Pacific Saury or Mackerel Pike Fish) freshly grilled, better known as 'YAKI SANMA'  here is back on the menus again both at home - on dinner tables, and in most restaurants and shokudo (eateries).

* Convenience stores are putting up 'Aki Menus' / Autumn Menus such as :
'NIKUMAN' (hot dim suns); 'ODEN' (a Japanese winter dish, consisting of a fine, mild broth with several ingredients in it, toppled with mustard paste for extra flavoring enjoyment, very affordable and served hot which is great for the cold months!);
and other authentic, hot Japanese beverages in the pantry. (bring on the atsukan and sake!)

* The very expensive yet they say the most tastiest among the varieties of wild mushrooms here. It's called 'MATSUTAKE' , and are at peak starting early October. Usually a great choice for extra-special Autumn occasions.

* Grade school students rehearsing for their own respective, annual, athletic event in their schools -  'UNDOKAI' which are normally held during the month of October.

* The Elderly suddenly waking up a little earlier, doing their usual walk, stroll and yogas. And even the not-so-old folks jogging along the neighbourhood - all sum up together to something - for everyone to enjoy that is, Autumn!

焼き秋刀魚 (さんま)or Grilled Sanma Autumn Fish with a special limited-edition Autumn beer from 'Kirin Breweries'.
"ODEN"  (おでん)

"YAKI SANMA" - grilled autumn Mackerel Pike fish is a regular sight on dinning tables during the Autumn months.

Matsutake Mushroom Dish or  松茸料理

Japanese-arrange versions of the Chinese Dim Suns known here as 肉まん(meat dim sun)  and  あんまん(black sweet bean curd dim sun)

運動会 * うんどうかい * UNDOUKAI ~  School Athletic day or Sports Fest held annually in every school in Japan during the Autumn.

I have been living here for almost 20 years now yet their Fall season never fails to amaze me. Just too many good things to look forward here every Fall!! :)  Pardon me for mentioning it again but as I said earlier, Autumn is a great, terrific time to go on trips and sightseeing in Japan. Striking Autumn colours, mild temperatures and clear days make Fall my most favourite season of the year! The viewing of  foliage has been already a popular activity in Japan since many decades ago. Today, the spectacular autumn leaves draw large numbers of crowds, both the locals and tourists, to 'famous koyo spots'  both in the mountains and in the cities. Me and my family have visited many of these 'koyo spots' each and every Fall for the last few years. I feel so blessed and lucky being able to see these wonderful 'gift' of the Great Almighty. You see, in our country, where I was born and raised, we only have two seasons, the 'wet and the dry' season, either always rainy or sunny. So you bet how much thrilled I am to witness foliage every year. And for that I am very grateful.....

Lovely shades of yellow Gin'nan Trees (銀杏) , along the Kiyosumi River, Tokyo
These Gin'nan or Ichou Trees are official symbols of the city of Tokyo.
Fall with backdrop of the mighty, biggest peak in Japan, Mount Fuji, Shizuoka-prefecture side. 

Colorful Leaves (koyo) are to the Japanese AUTUMN, what Cherry Blossoms are to SPRING.

Below are some more Autumn photos we had taken from our Fall trip in Mount Takao, the previous year... Hope y'all will enjoy them. :)

Son And I enjoying the foliage over at Mount Takao, Fall 2010.

Another pose from us in front of the 'Trick Art Museum' signs on the way up farther to the top of Mount Takao, Tokyo.

My husband's back silhouette while pushing our youngest child's stroller, on the way up to the steeply trails of Mount  Takao, late October of the year 2010.

Amazing colours of the trees up there! I took this picture of hubby and daughter Yuuna's back image  as we went up and reached this mid-section of  Mt. Takao via only hiking. We were torn between taking the cable cars or riding the lifts. Eventually ensuring the kids safety, we opted to ride and took the mini train-like cable cars from this mid-section of Kiyotaki station - to the almost top of Mount Takao - Oyama station.... 

My Lovelies with their Papa on top of the scenic peak of Mount Takao. Son enjoyed this part of the climb and hike. Especially from the cable car ride - to the telescope viewing of the city of Tokyo from this side's top of the mountain. Daughter Yuuna though was already quite tired and sleepy here.....

The urban metropolis of Tokyo from my lenses, taken from one of the top-side section of Mount Takao.

Yup, you noticed it right! This is my blog title banner photo. :D  One of my favourite among the many Fall photos I've  taken over the years.... From Mount Takao, Hachioji TOKYO /  高尾山、八王子市東京都

I wish Y'all (those who live in the JST zone especially) an Awesome, Lovely Autumn 2011 !!!
Happy Trails! ~~~

"For a man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad."  
    ____ Edwin Way Teale

Credits: Photos used in this post came from Wikipedia; ただ写真ダウンロード; and Free Photos Japan Gourmet, except for the last 7 photos which are my personal property files.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Don't Let It Spoil Your Day

If someone should hurt you,

And say a thing unkind;

Remember that I write to you,

And keep these thoughts in mind.

For everyone that makes you cry

there are three to make you smile;

And a smile will last a long, long time,

but a tear just a little while.

Don't let someone who hates the world

cause you to hate it too,

Behind the clouds is a golden sun,

And a sky that's full of blue.

If someone said a thing that's cruel,

Don't let it get to you;

Your achievements are greatly numbered,

And your faults are very few.

So if a certain person should act a certain way,

Think of those who Love you.

And Don't let it spoil your day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

momentarily vanished thoughts...

Haven't updated this blog for quite a long while:( Seems like it's already been forever since I have last heartily sat down, spirit-inspired, with all these thoughts on my head, ready to be launch into words and shared here as a blog entry. Truth is, I really am missing it, I miss my old blog:( And miss this new one as well. I know I should be writing more as the past months have endowed way too many wonderful (and not-so wonderful) events and memories to me and likewise my family.

Why I haven't been blogging??? Nope, I didn't break down and fall from another depression. Nor something unexpected happened at home. Neither was I sick (again), preferred to be quiet, and secluded myself away from cyberspace..... Na~ah, nothing of the above (thankfully!). With all that has happened for the past 7 months, the unfortunate tragedy that struck our country's north-eastern part earlier this year (March 11). The tensions and fear from all the numerous and constant aftershocks. Power shortage; nuclear crisis; panic-buying; higher rate of the yen, and multiple life-threatening emergencies you would have thought this country has been already forsaken:(  And that is why charity and voluntarily work in our community occupied most of my April and May months. Helping out in collecting donations around our community and providing free immediate translations for foreign victims of the quake and tsunami. The other 5 months were spent recovering, getting up from the multiple tragedies that had hit us, and the whole of Japan for that matter.

Eiji Kanno (L) and his wife Matsuko (white coat) are grief-stricken as it is officially confirmed that their 18-year-old daughter Mizuki is dead inside the tsunami-destroyed car in Yamamoto, south of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. March 11, 2011 Devastating Earthquake and Tsunami in JAPAN (photo credited to: Kimimasan Mayama / EPA)

While the country and all it's bereaved citizens are starting out anew with good hopes, and bright, positive outlook after all the chaos. My June and July months were spent routinely on our usual everyday life - my son's schooling; chores; errands; and part-time translation jobs. Those months also were spent wonderfully on mostly trips and meeting friends I have made here online over the years.:) Yes, to sum it up shortly, I have been terribly busy. Busy as a bee, hopping prefectures-to-prefectures.

Road trips with the family April 2011.
Our Family's EASTER 2011 Trip in Kujukuri, Boso Beach, Souths of Chiba....
Enjoying very, fresh SEA FOODS in a very nice Seafood Restaurant overlooking the seas and long-beaches of Kujukuri, Onjuku, and Shirako - BOSO, CHIBA...
Who would have thought there's been a huge, devastating Tsunami here only 4 weeks prior to the date when this pic. was taken? :((  The sea was so beautiful on this Easter Sunday noon, and the waves were powerful yet very calm and subtle at the same time, that hubby, the kids and I enjoyed strolling along the beaches of Shirako; Kujukuri; and Boso ....

Father and Son...enjoying the spectacular, warm sun at the beach. April, Easter Sunday 2011.

Mama and Yuuki's afternoon stroll along the beaches of the beautiful Shirako
Easter Sunday April, 2011 Family Trip.

my husband 'Hiroki' and only son's "identical-birthdays" , May 2011.

My BOYs blowing together their birthday cake.. Our youngest daughter joined them here.. and was a bit scared of the fire from the birthday candles... At HOME, 3rd of May, 2011. Yuuki's 5th birthday and Hiroki's 42nd Birthday!!! :)

Family Road Trips again and meeting for the very first time, 2 of the loveliest and nicest friends i have ever met here online ~  Lhiz in Osaka May 15 - 17, 2011. And Ate Mahlan in Yamanashi-prefecture June 17, 2011....

First Meet-up with a very good online friend, LHIZ GONORA who is base in the western part of Japan, in Osaka city. This time we posed with hubby Hiroki who just woke up from a nap... Hotel Ichie; Osaka Trip , May 16, 2011.

Me and my munchkins,  behind us is the great, ancient, and historical 'OSAKA CASTLE' .
Family Trip in Osaka May 16 - 17, 2011

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to Them." __Desmond Tutu
Our Family with the Popular Kuidaure Doll, Doutonbori, Osaka May , 2011

Getting familiar with the city's most-lively district- DOUTONBORI 'by the river' Osaka.
May 16, 2011, OSAKA Trip.


The renowned Crab Restaurant "KANI DOURAKU" in Doutonbori, OSAKA. May 16, 2011, Osaka Trip.

Meeting a very good online friend in person for the 1st time,  on my birthday (one of the best BIRTHDAYs  i've  had!) - Ate Mahlan (MARYLEN YAMASHITA), the pic. was taken at the beautiful herbkan garden of Kawaguchiko; Yamanashi-prefecture. With us is my beloved, only son "Yuuki". June 17, 2011 Yamanashi Trip with the Yamashitas. :)

A pic. taken from my cellphone cam., almost at the top of the Great Mount FUJI. 2020 meters high, atop the clouds.
 FUJI Subaru Line, Mount FUJI, Yamanashi-prefecture. Best perk of my birthday celebration this year was being able to climb this magnificent,beautiful mountain with my  dearest family....

My Birthday, June 17, 2011. While enjoying and being serenade by the beautiful, foggy mountains that stand tall south of this glorious LAKE of KAWAGUCHIKO, Yamanashi, prefecture. Pic. taken by my dear husband, Hiroki.

And finally last July 2011, seeing them again, met up with my other 2 long-lost friends whom i hadn't seen in such a very long time, and what i meant by Long~time is----as in "ages" (20 long-years) since we've last seen each other and since we've been with, all three of us together....

Long-time friend--> Sarah Hiraka, posing for souvenirs after 20 long-years of not seeing each other... Muji Cafe/ Kisaten, 2nd of July, Shinjuku, TOKYO
"KAMPAI" - Cheers with our mugs of Sapporo Beers. :) Lunch at Luuk Chang Thai Restaurant, 14th floor of Lumine Mall, Shinjuku, TOKYO - 2nd of July, 2011 ; yours truly with very good long-lost friends ANGIE CHUA-KAKEHI and SARAH DAWAL-HIRAKA .

Forever Friends... S A M = Sarah+ Angie+ Menchu
after our spicy Thai lunch, us having our yummy desserts and cuppas of coffee & tea at MUJI Cafe, West side of Shinjuku, TOKYO ; July 2, 2011

Though amidst all this and that, I cannot deny the fact that I have absolutely missed writing. In all those seven months without scribbling any of my thoughts and all that has happened. Of not being able to write even just a single post. It doesn't matter even if I guess, nobody cares to read my thoughts here (anyway), it didn't matter to me. All I know is that I have to go back and logged in here....... I am not so sure why, but perhaps to be able to go back to all those wonderful, lesson-filled, and worth-living events that have occurred. So that I could go and relive everything, whenever or anytime I feel like I needed to.:) If you are someone whom I haven't met yet or if you are reading this blog for the first time, and just happen to stumble upon my page here, you would probably think and wonder "Why WRITING means so much to her?" . It's a very long story, and probably would take another post or two to explain and answer the word why.;) To say it simply, it is my means of comfort, writing to me is my source of self-acknowledgement, one of my crux/means of strength, a therapy in itself!!!!

Bursting my emotions out in writing, and when I see and read what I wrote.... I begin to know what I'm feeling and begin to acknowledge it. Putting those positive and negative feelings into words somehow allows me to gain some or even a little control over them.:) So I am here again and hoping to constantly come, be present and blog every now and then from here-on. With hopes and intentions of recalling the past meaningful months. Reflecting on the many consequential and important years of my borrowed life and time here on Earth through this medium called blog.

I will end this post with a very fitting quote from an excerpt from my favorite piece by Max Erhmann's DESIDERATA ~ "With all it's sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

The devastating Tsunami wiped the town of Sendai in result of the 9.1 magnitude earthquake that had hit Northern Japan on the 11th of March, year of our Lord 2011.
Members of BJP yuvamorcha light Diya’s and hold candles in Bangalore on March 12, to pay homage to victims of the tsunami and earthquake in Japan. (by: Jagadeesh Nv / EPA)

Our Family atop Mount Tulec, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi-prefecture visit; June 17, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Disarrayed and Mixed-up....

Sunny Saturday, been playing with the kids the whole afternoon. Did the laundry, ate lunch, cleaned the house and now hubby, yuuki and yuuna are napping upstairs. I now have time to sit in front of the PC. :-)

Seen this one so many times in friends’ blogs that I decided to jump into the bandwagon and get one for myself.

Just one question though…

Is it just me, or is the site playing safe with the interpretation of my name??? I’ve seen too many conflicting traits that I hardly understand what kind of person the name stands for.

What My Name (M. R. P. Y.) Means

You Are Powerful and Determined

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.
You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want.
You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.
You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.
A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.
Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.
Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are a very lucky person. Things just always seem to go your way.
And because you're so lucky, you don't really have a lot of worries. You just hope for the best in life.
You're sometimes a little guilty of being greedy. Spread your luck around a little to people who need it.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.
You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.
At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.
You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.
You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.
You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.
You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.
You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.
You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.

Skepticism aside, I totally loved the very lucky person and the SEXY part. Haaay! Wishful thinking….

What your name means  go have a look. ;-)