Posts Tagged With: japan

Amidst the Confusion in Japan 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster

Japan is really amazing.

Coming from a third-world country, I was used to getting by with what was immediately there to survive and make the most out of it. Then when I first went to live in Japan for more than a year, I was overwhelmed to see an Asian country having a good quality of life like this! I got used to the modern conveniences which I never thought I’d be able to use.

Back then, given their high standards for living, I was pretty sure that they would find it difficult to live outside of their country or to even lose these kinds of conveniences.

But right now, after the 9.0 earthquake, they showed the world once again that they could handle this disaster gracefully, just like what they did after the WWII. Everybody is cooperating, even in the simplest thing that they could do or contribute. My friends there tell me they try to minimize their power usage – which is difficult because almost everything in the house is run by electricity (i.e. hot water, stove).

An earthquake like that could have easily toppled down those buildings, but most of it are still standing proudly right now in their cities – with countless lives saved. I was reminded of the strength Japan has – that even in the midst of a disaster, no matter how hard the ground shakes, they still refuse to falter.

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leaving …

It’s Monday night, and I’ll be staying in my hotel room to start packing my things. We shall be leaving for Manila on Wednesday. : (

I never realized I bought so much omiyage. O_O.. ehhh. They’re too many now! When I put them in my bag they’re all squished. -_- ugh.

I haven’t had the time to go to Kanagawa anymore, things are so busy here in Tokyo. : ( I wanted to see my friends again before I leave, but alas. : ( dekinain da. Okane ga nakutte, jikan mo nakatta.  Sabishiii.. *cry cry*

Haay.  : ( well, better start packing. I wish the baggage limit is 30 kilos. Huwaaa! If I exceed my weight limit again, I will have to carry more things. Hehe.

Oh well.

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時間をまもる。 jikan o mamoru.

During our discussion this morning on differences between the Japanese and Filipino IT business practice, we have discussed about how the Japanese are very particular with time.

We have discussed that for the Filipinos, it’s not a big deal if you’re late when you’re meeting with someone. It’s actually expected that somebody will always be more than 30 minutes late when you’re going to meet with someone.

However, for the Japanese, it’s a must to be there 5 minutes before the meeting time. Even 30 minutes is better, for you to be prepared and for you to be able to mitigate your risks of  failure.

Then Hanagata-san said, when he meets with his girlfriend, he has to be there 30 minutes or even 1 hour before. We were all like,  “…eehhhhh?! O_O”

Because the girlfriend is a very important customer, ne? ^^ and as we have discussed, we are aiming to not just meet but to exceed customer satisfaction.

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the start of the last week

the nijikai at thai ha's room

Today  starts our last week in training and then we’re gonna head back to Manila.

Today also marks the day our Vietnamese friends go back to Ho Chi Minh (Yen, Lam, Nhan, Teddy) and to Hanoi (Khanh, Thai Ha, Huyen, Anh, Cuong, Hui). It was so sad to see them load up their stuff in the taxi.   :  (

We just got close to each other within three weeks and today, I just realized that they’re some people who I’m looking forward to see every morning.  awww…


I just keep thinking about them and how sad it’s going to be for the next week. Not only will I think about leaving Japan again, but actually feel the loneliness in this hotel without them. Awww. : (

*apir* ^^ high-five with Thai Ha

*runs to jenny-san* baaaaawwwww ….. cry cry cry.

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the mothership

View from the bridge in Harumi, Tokyo

This morning, we saw the beginning of the technical part of our Bridge SE training here in Tokyo. This day, we talked about the differences of the Philippines and Japan and the factors to consider once you are working with each other.

While listening to my friends share realizations, observations and knowledge about the Japanese – culture, traditions and attitudes – it got me thinking. What is happening right now to us in this training is very fortunate. Trainees do get to learn things about this beautiful culture of Japan.

However, while I completely agree with every conclusion discussed in the class, I can’t help but think: In understanding the Japanese, not only do you need to read books about them but you need to be immersed in this country. Sure, there are many books about the language, culture and manners. Then we have several references like anime, jdrama and their movies and many more things.

But in order to really understand them,
you need to live like them,
you need to live WITH them.

You need to see how they see the world.
You need to realize how they see things from their point of view.

Take these as examples:

1. Notice how you need to learn their language if you want to enter their market? Because they are a group of very “intact” people. They don’t really feel the need to learn a new language because everything is translated for them. Diba when you go here, you see that everywhere and everything is in Japanese?

So, If I was a japanese student (how I wish), and I would be born to this world where everything is convenient and everything is translated for me, why would I need to learn another language?

The movies are translated or subtitled, the quality of service surpasses the services in other countries, the environment is safe, low crime rate and the lifestyle is easy. Even if it is expensive, you get paid generously anyway.

I used to say that if you grew up in Japan, and then you suddenly go to the Philippines, you will be utterly shocked. (yeah, this is a negative statement)

2. People are respectful and humble. If you try to learn Japanese Language Proficiency level 3, you will come to realize how these values are reflected in their language. Respect and humility are important to them. They have different levels of respectfulness in their language for cryin’ out loud. Look up 警護 (keigo) sometimes, will you? :)

3. They care so much on how others see them. They bow. They have different levels of respectfulness when apologizing. They are very punctual. … They are also sensitive to the needs of others, as how my friend Jenny has put it. They have a high-context communication.

Their word “sumimasen” which literally means “sorry” has several meaning depending on how you use it. When you bumped someone in the train, when someone holds the elevator door for you, when someone praises you … the meaning changes.

Japanese 1: “Ahh, tin-san is very good in nihongo!”
Tin-san: “Ahh, sumimasen.. but no, I’m not yet good .”

So, it is important and expected of you not to admit that you are good in something when they praise you.

Also, they used Aizuchi. This is useful, actually. This is the action done to show that you actually understand what they’re saying. When someone is speaking to you, you nod often, or say “un” to show agreement. If you don’t do that, they think you don’t understand what they’re saying… that or you’re just not listening :)) . haha

So when you get to Japan, you will realize that the “weird” things you see in the internet, in books, in TV … are not so weird after all. When you experience them for yourself, you will find that it’s perfectly normal.

… seriously, when I am here in Japan, I feel like I’m back in the Mothership.


Categories: Adventures, aliw stuff, mga kwento, realizations | Tags: | 2 Comments

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