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Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Vacation has come and gone, but I have yet to make a decent post in this blog. Seems like I've already ran out of drive to express more detailed statements to the world. Must be because I could make simple shout-outs through my facebook updates anyway.

I was hoping to transfer to my own dotcom site at the onset of 2010 but even that takes the backseat for now. It's all fired-up, just a few more tweaks from me and it's off and running. But then ..
Bahala na si Batman. Maybe when I get back to the cold and lonely arms of Tokyo, I will be able to summon the muse to blog again.

(pic taken during sunrise in my hometown, Capul N. Samar)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy New Year, Folks!

I spent my recent weeks in places where access to the internet was scarce. Forgive me then if I have not greeted you last Christmas.

I surmise I will continue to be generally offline in the next few days. I missed the Philippines so much I am now savouring every minute of my stay here.

So to all of you, have a blissful New Year!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Enjoying So Far

I've been in Manila for a week now.

And while I spend most of the time on-line in Japan, here it's practically a vacation too from the virtual world.

So blogging goes on the back burner for now. I will be back, soon I hope.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Yasukuni Shrine

I was just aimlessly exploring the city when I saw this imposing torii (gate). I checked what it was, and I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be the entrance to the Yasukuni Shrine - a shrine I have seen many times on international tv. This is the shrine that always attract a lot of media attention whenever China protests the visits made by local and foreign dignitaries.

Here's the Wikipedia article on the shrine, lifted from the press release for the movie Yasukuni.
Yasukuni Shrine (靖国神社 Yasukuni Jinja is a Shinto shrine located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It is dedicated to the kami (spirits) of soldiers and others who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan.[1] Currently, its Symbolic Registry of Divinities lists the names of over 2,466,000 enshrined men and women whose lives were dedicated to the service of Imperial Japan, particularly to those killed in wartime.[2] It also houses one of the few Japanese War Museums dedicated to World War II. There are also commemorative statues to mothers and animals who sacrificed in the war.
Yasukuni is a shrine to house the actual souls of the dead as kami, or "spirits/souls" as loosely defined in English. It is believed that all negative or evil acts committed are absolved when enshrinement occurs. This activity is strictly a religious matter since the separation of State Shinto and the Japanese Government in 1945.
The priesthood at the shrine has complete religious autonomy to decide to whom and how enshrinement may occur. They believe that enshrinement is permanent and irreversible. According to Shinto beliefs, by enshrining kami, Yasukuni Shrine provides a permanent residence for the spirits of those who have fought on behalf of the emperor. Yasukuni has all enshrined kami occupying the same single seat. The shrine is dedicated to give peace and rest to all those enshrined there. It was the only place to which the Emperor of Japan bowed.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Autumn In the City

It's actually winter here already (it feels like it). And it's been weeks since the declared best days for foliage viewing. But since I've been quite busy attending to some office duties the past weeks, it's just lately that I had time to roam the city.

Good thing I still got a glimpse of the koyo or autumn leaves that colored metro Tokyo. Armed with my trusty point-and-shoot, I walked about 5 miles from Tokyo Central Station to various tree-lined roads sorrounding the Imperial Palace and Hibiya Park. I felt disappointed that much of the leaves have actually fallen and dried, but it was good to note that the persistent ones still gave the cold urban backdrop a romantic feel. In the end I was still glad that I now have in my photo collection pictures of autumn in the rural and urban sides of Japan.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tobu World Square: Tour of the World in 3 Hrs

I had visitors I needed to tour. But I don't want to bring them to places I've been to. I too should enjoy the trip just as much, right?

So I decided to check Tobu World Square - the park which houses miniatures replicas of world heritage sites. Built in 1993, the park boasts of 102 reproductions built to 1/25th of the original sizes.

Here are the reconstructions of some of the places I would love to visit for my future travels.

Plus of course those I featured in the previous post. :-)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


One hurried tour that was!

More pics and details in the next post.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Irony Philippines

I am currently handling an international project, the completion of which has long been overdue. Why? Because every time we approach the end, a new bureaucratic requisite sprouts which consequently throws the finish line farther away.

This confounds our foreign partners since the same initiative has been implemented in many other countries and so far, it is the Philippines that has asked for the most number of documents/ requirements.

Actually, there's really nothing wrong with that. It is simply exasperating when one gets to think that while we belabor ourselves with so many formal traps for possible shenanigans, our country is still tops in corruption. Hayz...