Should I Try 30 Day Writing Challenge?

UGH.

It’s already 3 in the morning and I haven’t started a single blog post yet. I just kept on starting a sentence and deleting after staring at it for half an hour. I started at 10 btw.

WHY.

I have myriads of topics in mind but I couldn’t even find time to write them.

WHY.

I have thousands of great experiences I wanna share but couldn’t find the right words and title for each one.

WHY.

I have almost dozens of drafts patiently waiting to be publish but I couldn’t finish.

WHY.

I’ve been trying to write for days now but it seems that I couldn’t.

WHY?

I am not a writer. I never imagined myself being one. I used to. But I’m not good at expressing them. I always struggle for words, I have so much things flowing in mind but I find it difficult to concisely find the right words to express myself, my idea, and my emotions until the wind blow them away and I can  no longer catch them.

So today, before the wind blow this idea away, I will challenge myself to try the 30 day writing challenge. I will not have a daily what-to-write-schedule, I’ll just write whatever comes to my mind, it might be an ant passing by, a sweet smile a stranger gave me, a celebrity I’ve seen or an alien dropping by to say hi. I know this idea sounds impossible (due to work schedule) but I will give it a shot.

So I guess this is it. My first day of challenge starts later. 😀

 

Bored Sensei.

 

P.S If you have any tips and suggestions, it would be very helpful. Pwede din magrequest ng topic (yung kaya ko lang lol).

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Christmas Q&A!

I never had Q&A about Christmas in my entire life, so this is my first. I find it hard to answer some but it was fun. So here are the questions I answered 😀

 

What’s your all-time favorite holiday treat/food/sweet?

Everyone loves bibingka, but I am not a fan of kakanin so I prefer Lechon Baboy, Graham cake, Buko salad and Spaghetti 😀

Favorite holiday memory as a child?

Would you believe if I say I don’t have any? My childhood wasn’t that great (and I prefer  erasing them in my memory). The very first time I remember going to church with my mom and dad (together) on Christmas day.

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

Do you consider Mean Girls as Christmas movie? They danced Jingle Bell rocks Hahaha 😀

Have you ever had a White Christmas?

I grew up in the Philippines. NOPE. I bought a white cat for Christmas! Actually it was supposedly a gift to my mom but I ended up keeping it (my boyfriend liked him too and asked me just to keep it!)

How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

I remember when I was young, I was the only person (in the family) who’s very excited to decorate the Christmas tree. I wanted it to be colorful and full of tinsel lol, and put lots of gifts underneath (even if they’re empty because we usually start SEPTEMBER).

Where do you usually spend your holiday?

with family and cats

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

If I am with family, YES, my mom would scold us if we open them before Christmas. But if it’s only me, I usually open it after receiving, curiosity kills a cat you know.

What is your favorite Christmas song?

Jingle Bell Rocks and Sana Ngayong Pasko (recently, it’s OFW kinda thing haha)

Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Rudolph the red nose reindeer, Rudolf, Rudooooooolf, Roooodolph. WAIT. Are they all the same? 😀

Snow! love it or dread it? 

I love it!

What holiday traditions are you looking forward to every year?

I was always looking forward for caroling when I was a child.  NOW? Maybe being with family and my cats at Noche Buena?

Saddest christmas song? 

Sana Ngayong Pasko -Ariel Rivera

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

We never had a real Christmas tree.

Be honest, do you like giving or receiving gifts better?

I like receiving gifts ofcourse but I like giving gifts more than receiving. I dunno, but I feel really good giving not only gifts but favor to people as well, tho sometimes I know that I have to stop, especially learn how to say NO.

What is the best Christmas present you have ever received?

LOVE. And the opportunity to pursue my career abroad.

What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

Finland to see Santa 🙂

Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?

I could say I’m a pro. I am always that person who would give a perfect wrapped present. 

 Do you remember your favorite gift?

Princess, Oyster, Garlic and Olive. They’re my cats.

Most memorable holiday moment?

When I visited boyfriend in Eastwood and spend Christmas together.

What made you realize the truth about Santa?

It was when I kept on receiving things I wished for (ie exactly the same doll I touched in a mall with mom lol) and my sister told me “I saw Santa last night, it was dad”.

What makes the holidays special for you?

It is special because it is the perfect time to renew bonds of love. We can show appreciation to our love ones, family, friends, enemies, acquaintances and even strangers.

What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? 

Christmas is best enjoyed when it isn’t centered on decorations, gifts, or festivities, but when love is at its core. Love is the essence of Christmas. Christmas should mean taking quality time with your family and friends. It’s about cherishing and celebrating the love you share. —Jesus

 

It would also be fun if I’ll tag people to do the same (but unfortunately I don’t know HOW), I know some questions are lame but it’s my first 😀

 

Bored Sensei.

 


Some questions I got from: https://meandbmaketea.com/2016/12/11/christmas-qa-the-christmas-tag/

Featured Image: fotografias.cocinatis.com


 

 

Kyoto MATCHA-rap!

Konnichiwa!

The weather is good, the sun is inviting, but it isn’t warm enough to eat ice cream. But I can share  my matcha stories in Kyoto.

Matcha has been gaining popularity abroad for the past few years and different countries are making their own matcha flavored recipe like frappe, cake, ice cream, tea etc. And if you are going to try matcha while traveling in Japan, the best place to go is Kyoto. Kyoto is home to Uji, a small city famous for producing matcha.

December 03, 2017

As we finished visiting Fushimi-inari shrine and some shrine close to it, we passed by this restaurant and what caught my attention is their matcha ice cream burger. When I was a kid, once we hear the familiar sound of our favorite sorbetes vendor (ice cream vendor) we would ran fast and shout out “teka lang po! bibili po kami!” to stop him from walking. So I asked them if they wanted to eat but to my dismay they were all full (we just finished eating sushi and some street food) but then I looked at Claudia’s shining eyes while looking at the burger. I blink slowly twice at her, nod slowly and we went inside together. But WAIT. I remember we don’t have any money! Claudia and I left it in the car because we were too excited to walk around. We went out again and saw the boys smiling “naze? you don’t have money?” and we all laughed. They lend us enough money to buy some and waited for the burger.

The place was good and the matcha ice cream burger too. The bun has matcha flavor in it too. I could say that the ice cream tastes like the ordinary matcha ice cream you could buy at convenience store but what makes it unique is that they mixed it with red beans and whipped cream and the combination was really good. Thumbs up. I feel nostalgic while eating it because I miss eating ice cream in a bun when I was a kid with my sister and brother. I also miss eating ice cream with boyfriend, we usually go down our unit (condo) to buy some ice cream at Family Mart which is at the ground floor of the building. (sob)

Price: 550 JPN


We also tried Taiyaki or “baked sea bream”, a Japanese fish-shaped cake with red bean paste inside made from sweetened azuki beans. It has other common fillings you can choose from like custard, chocolate, cheese or sweet potato but if you like unique ones you can try taiyaki with okonomiyaki, gyoza or sausage inside (I haven’t tried yet tho). Since we were in Kyoto, I tried the matcha taiyaki and it was good. I would definitely try it again next time, I’ve tried looking for a matcha taiyaki in Hamamatsu but I couldn’t find one. It’s definitely a must try.

Price: 110 JPN


 

And last but not the least, the Starbucks’s Matcha Tea Latte. You can buy it even at convenience store tho. It was good (everything for me is good btw lol) and I paired it with an Onigirazu, it is onigiri kinda thing but with different fillings. If you love Hawaiian Spam, this is for you. It is a rice with spam and egg fillings and wrapped with nori sheet (seaweed). You could also try making one at home since it seems easy to make one. You don’t need to form a triangle like the normal onigiri lols. It was good and easy to eat. It is good for picnic or simply snack anytime of the day.

Price: 230 JPN (Matcha Latte)

I forgot the price of Onigirazu but I’ll update this post. Gommenne.


So that ends my matcha story in Kyoto. I am hungry and craving now. (sigh)

How about you? What kind of matcha have you tried? Is it worth the price? How was it? Tell me. Tell me. Lol

Bored Sensei.

Japan Guide To Trash and Garbage Disposal.

Konbanwa!

Today is Thursday and every Thursday it’s my oyasumi(holiday)! Yay!

But…

My Thursday routine consist not only of futon day (futon-bed) but also of cooking bento for the next 2 days, doing the laundry, sleeping, cleaning the house, vacuuming carpet, going to the supermarket, sleeping, doing yoga, sleeping, watching movies and the most crucial thing to do-throwing the garbage. It usually take 2 hours of my time sorting and arranging my garbages. But it is really fun.

Since Japan has highly organized garbage disposal system, I find it hard to follow at first, but I’m getting used to now. I also learned self discipline in throwing my own trash because I know that I will suffer in the end (from sorting out I mean). And maybe when I come back to Ph I would do the same. So I decided to share some of the things I learned here.


 

When you move to Japan, the first thing to do is go to the City Hall and register as a resident, they will give you a guidebook and everything you will need to know is already in the book, take time to read and be guided.

The Guide Book also includes the county’s guide to trash and garbage disposal.

Waste are separated according to categories:

1. Recyclables: paper, glass and cans

2. PET bottles: recyclable bottles with the PET symbol. At first I thought they were bottles that pet used lol or anything that animals used.

Trivia: Petto Botoru (Pet Bottle) is the generic Japanese term for drink bottles. PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate. the plastic from which they are made and has nothing to do with pets.

3. Combustible waste: non-recyclables that can be burnt (kitchen waste, grass, wood, used kitchen towels)

4. Noncombustible waste: non-recyclables that cannot be burnt (metals, ceramics, styrofoam)

•4. Bulky waste: furniture, appliances and other items that cannot be placed in a garbage bag (refrigerator, car, washing machine, etc.)

Remember that throwing bulky waste is not as easy as moving it outside the house, you have to call the City Hall and schedule for pick up, they’ll put stickers on your items and that’s when a special truck will pick it up.

Disposal bags are semi-transparent, allowing garbage collectors to see whether the contents have been correctly sorted.


 

So every time I usually start with sorting out papers and plastics from my room garbage can. Don’t worry because my garbage can is really clean because I always take time sorting and cleaning them before throwing. Di sya gaya ng basurahan ko sa pinas na hindi ko kayang kalkalin kasi halo halo lahat haha.

I have to rip papers off before disposing. I learned it from school.

Then I proceed with separating cans, bottles and PET bottles. I also have to remove caps and labels. Kapag basura na daw, tanggalan na ng label. Charot.

Don’t forget to wash and flatten you bottles.

After that, I gather everything and put them in the proper waste plastic bag.

Tadan!

They’re all set now and I just have to wait for the schedule date of pick up. Tomorrow is Friday so it’s combustibles sched. I don’t usually throw pet bottles every week since I seldom buy bottled water or drink, so I have to put them in the box and throw every 2 months.

TIPS:

1. Have different garbage cans (I have four: plastics, papers, kitchen wastes and bottles).

2. Sort and clean everything before throwing (like after eating i.e bento, wash the plate and take off the price tags and papers before throwing away)

3. Be patient.

4. They are actually checking every garbage and if you happen to break the rule and didn’t follow the rules, THEY WILL FIND OUT and they will send you a warning to MOVE OUT. So beware.

Realizations:

I realized that this kind of system is really great and it’s really good not only for the environment but for the community. I just hope that every country should do the same and let’s all save mother Earth.

Discipline starts within ourselves. Naalala ko lang na sa pinas lagi natin sinisisi gobyerno medyo tanito medyo ganyan ng hindi narerealize na simulan muna natin sa ating sarili.

Patience is a virtue 😂

How about you? What garbage story do you have?

Sa Tagalog, anong walang kwentang kwento meron ka? Haha

Bored Sensei.

How I Came To Japan.

So this morning I received a message from someone asking me about my background before I came here in Japan. It wasn’t a big deal because people usually ask me questions like  “How did you get there (by plane), “How did you get the job (I applied and submit requirements), “How did you pass? (because?!!), “How much did you spend? (ahm wait), etc. especially my friends and people I know, and people I don’t even remember how I get acquainted with lols. During my first months here, I was bombarded with questions on facebook  and social media (I didn’t tell everyone I’m leaving except my family and boyfriend) so they were all shock and surprised that I’m already here (showbiz ganern). So to give a simple erm answer how I came here, I’m gonna write this so people just have an idea.

It all started when my friends and I made a plan to get a passport together (it was our first time, traveling abroad wasn’t in my dictionary that time, I have priorities lol) so after we got our passport, Kate thought of looking for a job abroad and she found this website (https://www.workabroad.ph/index.php) and applied for a teaching job in different agencies, that was June 2016. She was asking me to apply with her but I was currently busy with my new job in Makati. It was an international company and the pay was double compare to our regular job so I was quite contented. To make the story short, she pursued her goal and after 4 months of waiting, she finally came to Japan in October 2016. It was November when I got convinced and tried submitting my resume. I wasn’t informed that when you pass your resume, you’ll do the demo. I was shookt haha. I could do an impromptu demo but I didn’t want to, future nakasalalay dito bes. So I came back when I was ready and did the demo, during that day it was unusual because there were 8 people observing inside the room (parang demo ng DepEd nakakaiyak), it was only that day that it happened according to sources. How unlucky lol.

But…

I guess we are a lucky batch since after just a week of waiting, we were chosen and told that we passed the demo and was chosen by the employer here in Japan. Usually it will take 3-4 months of waiting before you get the result. I dunno if we were lucky or not lol. We were told that if we pass the initial and final interview, we will go to Japan in 2 weeks time. IN 2 WEEKS.


The normal process:

1. APPLY  (resume, diploma, certificates, Certificate of Employment, NBI, Passport, Pictures, clearance) (And one thing, you must be recommended by someone, and in my case it was Kate)

2. Screening/Initial interview + Examination (just random questions like why do you want to apply and tell me something about you)

2.Demo lesson (do the demo infront of the camera and just be perky)

3. Wait for employer’s approval (they will send the video of the demo to Japan, usually it will take 3-4 months)

4. Briefing (salary and what to expect kinda thing)

5. Wait until they complete atleast 100 applicants to complete the batch

5. Final interview

6. Contract signing

7. 3 days training

8. Completion of requirements

9. Medical Check

10. POEA/OWWA Seminar

11. Another briefing and Departure

So they call our batch the lucky  9 because of the following

  1. We didn’t have to wait for months  for the result
  2. They did a special training for 9 people which usually has 100 participants
  3. We were given choices, to fly in 2 weeks or wait for another 3 months

So I decided to leave 2nd week of December although I wasn’t ready, I can’t afford to let the opportunity pass because I wasn’t ready. I was so stressed during those times because of the following 1. I still have a job 2. completing the requirements was difficult because I have to do excuses at work like I have to meet a client, I have meeting with someone etc. 3. I had a problem with my medical, I wasn’t sick but I went back to the clinic back and fort for 2 weeks (can you imagin Pasig to Makati?) 4. I got my medical clearance 2 days before my flight 5. I don’t have a luggage (for real!), so I have to rush buying stuff (haggardosa versosa!) 6. I have to inform my parents about this  and explain why it was so sudden and they wouldn’t believe me, my mom also accused me of working as an entertainer in Japan lol 7. my parents have to go to my place, my mom coming from Bikol and my dad from Ilocos 8. How can I explain this to my cats? 9. I don’t have enough clothes for winter! 10. I don’t have enough money to survive 2 months in Japan, they explained that we’ll receive our first salary on our 2nd month (ano na bes?!).

After the stressful week, I oppps THEY managed to finish all my stuff, my friend bought me luggage, my mom bought me clothes and did the packing, my boyfriend was with me all the time from submitting my resume to getting my ticket and driving me to places, my friends and manager covered me up for meeting and attendance at work. It was only the day before my flight I sent a resignation letter, have seen my luggage and ticket. It was a crazy experience but I made it! I am so blessed to have these people around me.


So there are different ways to get a teaching job in Japan, like find a licensed agency, apply directly to the company or get a tourist visa then find a job (but that is too difficult).

Here are some requirements and responsibilities in my company, they also accept direct applicants and online applicants.

Prospective Candidates:

1. Have an interest in Japanese culture and working with Japanese people.

2. Have excellent communication skills and are eager to learn new things.

3. Are patient, friendly and flexible.

4. Are careful and thoughtful.

5. Are team players and proactively support others.

Requirements:

  1. Bachelor’s degree or higher from an English speaking country.
  2. Be able to work for a minimum of one year.
  3. TESOL, TEFL, or CELTA experience (at least 120 hours) or equivalent certificate is favorable.
  4. Completed all education in an English speaking country.
  5. Teaching experience and instructor training experience are favorable.
  6. Student visas and working holiday visas will be considered.

Main duties and responsibilities

  1. Teach students following the company curriculum and teaching methodology offering attractive lessons for students.
  2. Evaluate students.
  3. Complete and update daily teaching records.
  4. Counsel students about contract renewals and future courses.
  5. Attend the required meetings, seminars and other activities.

Process for direct applicants:

1. Apply (fill out some form)

2. Submit documents

3. Screening (only applicants who passed the screening will be contacted for an interview)

4. Interview

5. Offer of employment

6. Visa/Air (for overseas applicants)


I know it seems that there are lot of things to do but for me they are all worth it. Japan is an amazing country, not only because of its beautiful places, its amazing culture but the people itself. A year has passed so quickly and I haven’t explored half of its wonder, not even close to half. It’s has been a year but I am still amaze of everything.

Btw, we didn’t sleep the night before my flight and my flight was 7:00 am, we started drinking from 10:00 pm and went to NAIA directly 😂 I have the best team in the world, that’s my former manager and my seniors 😂

P.s forgive my bangs, I cut it myself 😂

Bored Sensei.

An Anniversary Gift From Mt. Fuji.

Yayyy!

First 365 days in Japan completed!

Yesterday I was so ecstatic and excited to go to work, I woke up earlier than usual, finished a blog, cooked and ate breakfast, took a shower and walked to the station. Every Wednesday I usually go to Shizuoka City to teach in a hotel, it’s just 30 minutes by Shinkansen but an hour and 30 minutes by local train. I usually take the shinkansen because I’m rich (nah just kidding) we actually have travel allowance (¥50,000/monthly) and even if I don’t use it, I couldn’t convert it to cash so why not use it?

Oh btw, the hotel I am teaching is Nippondaira Hotel. It is a five star hotel famous in Shizuoka Prefecture because of its amazing view, the World Cultural Heritage Site, the highest mountain in Japan which is Mt. Fuji, the deepest bay which is Suruga Bay and the night view of the city. To get to the hotel you have to ride a shuttle bus provided by the hotel and it is a 40-50 minutes ride from the station, the hotel is located on top of the mountain so the scenery is beautiful, but I am not a fan because I have car sickness (at ayoko ng paikot ikot, sawa na ako ako jan).

I have to use mask every time to protect myself, there’s a lot of sneezing and coughing during this season and I can’t afford to get sick again. Mas maganda na ikaw na ang umiwas bago ka masaktan char.

I usually arrive in the station 20 minutes early so I have to wait for the shuttle bus, feed some pigeons and remind myself not to miss the bus (because it only arrive every 50 minutes) and I can’t afford to go there by taxi, last time it cost me ¥5,000 and I almost had a heart attack.

I have been teaching in the Hotel for 7 months now but never in the history I have seen Mt. Fuji. She was always there but it always happen that when I go, she goes to bed early, it was rainy, the weather wasn’t t good and a lot of reasons. But yesterday, I was so surprise when I entered the lobby and welcomed by the majestic view of Mt. Fuji covered with snow. I literally ignored the person incharge of welcoming the guests and go directly to the floor to ceiling window of the hotel. I was talking to myself like crazy saying how beautiful it was. Then I wondered why only now? Was it because it’s my anniversary? lol Did she show herself to me because she knew? lol

Usually I got to the lobby first and ask them to call the manager (she’s incharge of the English class) and she would accompany me to the my classroom, but today she picked me up like a kid infront of the big window and we went together to the room.

(photo credit: Norihisa Yamaga)

I usually have 2 sets of 50 minute class and there are 10 students each but today only 3 students each class attended. December is peak season so I understand why.

After my class, I said goodbye to Mt. Fuji and the manager took me to the shuttle bus. I felt extremely happy and overwhelmed today. I looked back for all the things that had happened to me here. I bought Pablo Nude tart before going back to school, and I said thank you to my manager and counselor for bearing a year with me.

While eating the tart, we all argued (not really an argument because it doesn’t exist in Japan) if the tart was mango flavored or lemon then we found out it was apricot lols. I also told them that I saw Mt. Fuji and they asked me if I had a wish, I learned that when you see Mt. Fuji you are entitled of one wish, and as of now I still doesn’t have one. I dunno. Was it because I’m already contented with what I have? Or was it because I have too many and I’m still weighing which one weighs the most?

Anyways, my first year in Japan has finally ended and I’m looking forward for another year. I had too many experiences and stories to share, I learned too many lesson and had a lot of firsts. I also had too many sad and emo nights, but I survived! I had too many ngarag and nerve wrecking moments at school but I made it! I had too many sleepless nights doing nothing and sleepless nights cramming for thi ga if I am always exited. I know big changes will happen in our company, but I am always excited and looking forward for another year.

To more adventures and succes. Kampai!

(insert wine here)

ohhh btw

If you are entitled of one wish, what will you wish for? Why?

Bored Sensei.