Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I thought I was the only one admiring the moon and the stars last night. But no. Here it is, a gallery of pictures of the same stars and moon I saw last night:
We learned that the stars were Venus and Jupiter, in rare position with the crescent moon. And indeed it seemed like a smiley in the sky.
But today, it was different. It was the opposite. The crescent moon was on the upper part of the stars and it looked like a "frown" and not a smile. Kinda sad... hmmm maybe my feelings were drawn from the sky I saw today. Well, maybe...
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Don't stare at them in the eyes (I mean, the monkeys).
Don't feed them outside (but you can feed them in the rest room, not restroom,okey?
The next day, we went to Minoo Park. The first time we went there was summer, so it was all green. Now the leaves are really nice but we were expecting more "reddish" leaves. Not all leaves are fiery red while others have started to fall off. But still, a beautiful sight.
Minoo Park, Minoo, Osaka
Pictures courtesy of Engelene :D
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
On foot... August 28, 2008 along with some friends, we started walking (or climbing) up Mt. Fuji. Japan's symbol, Mt Fuji or Fujisan to the Japanese, is Japan's highest mountain standing at 3,776 meters. It's symmetrical cone makes it beautiful and attracts people, local and foreigners alike. We started our journey at around 7pm from the 5th Station of the Fujinomiya Route, some 2400 meters in altitude. Equipped with flashlight, thick clothes, raincoat, we went up and enjoyed the first hour of walking, enjoying the beauty of the city lights below. The sky went darker as we ascended further. The city was no longer visible. It was not raining but it was getting really colder and the dampness caused by fogs made it more uncomfortable. It was cold, and tiring. We were walking, climbing, holding on to rocks and rope. We see nothing beyond what our flashlights could reach.
I for one wanted to give up. I did not think it was possible. After the 8th Station, I just wanted to stay and wait for whatever it was. But staying still was not a good idea. We have to more so bring warmth to our muscles. Physically, i was giving up. It was only my will to survive, to make it that, perhaps, helped me moved on. It was all in the mind.
Hours of walking finally brought us to the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, the rain started to fall down and the wind was blowing madly on top! It was really cold! My hands were shaking, my cheeks frozen-like, and everybody was already exhausted. We just wanted to go back.
And thank God, we came down, safely. But going down equally difficult. The wind was meeting us as we descended, and the rain was pouring still. We could see nothing ahead of us but fog.
The experience was something we cannot forget. It was not an enjoyable one, but I guess, it made us conquer some of our fears and limitations. We were able to overcome the challenge, the hard way. And maybe, that made it more memorable.
Some advices. Mount Fuji is beautiful! Admire it from a distance. If you want to experience sunrise on top of Fujisan, check the weather. :)
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The past days, I already had thoughts of running (jogging) or simply walking around the campus during early morning. But that never happened. I always find myself enjoying my bed in the morning and getting up late.
August 20,2008, I decided to get up early. With all the thoughts and feelings the night before, I just decided to walk around, hmmm maybe from GaiDai to Onohara. Oh, maybe to Handai with the usual Onohara path, was a better idea, I thought.
Leaving the dorm, I didn’t bring my keitai with me. I just brought with me some money just in case I won’t make it walking coming back. I started heading to the Madani Jutaku Bus stop when I decided to take a bottle of water from the Jidouhanbaiki. And from there, I took the way down to Madani Jutaku 入り口.
This jogging-running-walking thing made me think of simple decisions. Instead of taking the planned path, I thought of going to Handai using the ‘monorail path’, the usual path the University Bus takes from Minoo campus to Suita campus. And it was great! The wind was suzushi (cool), well it was 6:20 in my watch, the green scenery of the rice field, the aroma from the rice wheat made my walking much better. The walk made me noticed the rice stalks that were just beginning to show and enjoy the smell of the rice field. It made me feel more alive. Yes, with all the things that are happening around, the daily routines, I thought I need one ‘nature trip’ like I usually do in Zamboanga.
So I headed on to Handai. And in an hour, I was already at Handai Byoin Mae station. I took the path going to the campus, but then again, I felt like not going in and decided to take another path. Another, ‘what if’ came to my mind. What if, instead of going inside the campus to Senri gate then to Onohara, why not take the path around the Handai and maybe find the Senri gate in the end? I just took on my What If thoughts then. I started jogging to a new direction, a new path, which I really don’t know where it was leading me to. I just thought that this new path will lead me to some familiar place later.
And indeed, I was walking and jogging for 5-10 minutes on a new path. I had to make decisions again along the way. The CROSSROAD. Should I go straight? Hmmm… definitely not to the left so I decided to turn right. Whooaaa… I felt like I was in the middle of the forest! I really didn’t know where that is but I continued to walk. On both sides of a narrow road were huge trees and bamboo poles. You can hear the cicadas noise (why are they following me?!) and the birds chirping. It was about 2-3 minutes of that scenery when I found ‘civilization’! But this is not where I wanted to go. The path I took did not lead to Senri Gate of handai. Instead the signs said ‘THIS WAY TO YAMADA MONORAIL’ and ‘HANKYU Railway YAMADA STN’.
Whaaattt!!!!????? Walking on farther, the road signs were pointing me to MinamiSenri and other Senries here in Osaka!
But that’s the lesson of going and following your instinct, of following what you feel, of following what your heart says. Sometimes, you get lost. Sometimes the road you thought was right, was never right. We take different paths, thinking that this path will bring us to where we wanted to go but only to find out it’s not. And again, in moments like this, one has to make a decision. Either to go on farther and farther away from your desires, or just stop, feel that moment, and backtrack a bit. Go back to where you started losing your way and find the right way again from there. We just have to accept that we are really lost sometimes. But we also have to accept that we can always find our way again.
Going back for a few minutes of walking, I found the sign that says ‘KITA-SENRI STN’. The sign brought hope. I will find my way. I started walking and as I made every step, I can feel a more familiar place now. Yes, this is KITA SENRI, I thought. The Hankyu line was my guide. Yamada Stn is just a station away from Kita-Senri Stn. I looked at my watched. It’s about 5 minutes before 8am. I have been walking around for almost two hours already and the wind was not suzushii anymore (suzushikunakatta). But I never felt tired, never felt anxious about the new paths I took. I was just sure enough, that as long as you are aware of what is happening and have faith in you, you will find your way back ‘home’.
P.S. I stopped by McDonalds and made ‘omochikairi’ (takeout) for shaka-shaka chicken and Melon pan. I took the bus back to madani Jutaku.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
After long weeks of preparation for the 3-minute midterm presentation, we decided to take a break by going to Minoh Park. It was worth the time! The scenery is beautiful and the sound of the running water was so refreshing. It seemed like the pressures and stresses we had were gone with the running water...flowing it far away from us. It was a good time of chatting and enjoying the beauty around us that day. The sights were like those of a calendar we had before in our house.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I arrived in Osaka, Japan during Spring season. The best season, I guess, among all seasons. It was still really cold when I came. This one thing that I really looked forward to seeing in Japan is the SAKURA (Cherry Blossoms). I have seen many pictures of the Sakura in calendars and postcards. And it will be an experience for me to see sakura for real.
Indeed they are beautiful!!! The Japanese people themselves enjoy the wonderful scenery painted with the sakura all over the place. yes, it would seem a common sight during Spring, but one should not miss enjoying its beauty for it wont be there for long. After 10 days or so, the cherry blossoms are blown out by the wind.
Osaka University Minoh Campus