Before the big day

Masquerade, Optimism, Windchimes 1 Comment

My tissue box got empty. My bicycle was stolen. And the sun shone that day with brightness so much like how it does in the Philippines. “I’m really going home”, I told myself.

But I’ve never left anything behind. Now I realize. That room on the third floor of ICU’s Canada House, with it’s cream-colored floor, the old, blue swivel chair in which I’ve enjoyed countless afternoons watching the last rays of the sun caress the leaves of the trees my window faced, my fridge in old rose, even the dusty shelf that held Japanese language textbooks and issues of the Japan times…even the dusts themselves, will be forever part of my reality.

Of course other people will use the same room, walk on the same floor, and maybe use the the same old swivel chair and see a similar sight of the sun playing with the leaves of the trees outside room 303’s window. And out of those they will also make memories, but they will never have an exact reality like mine. That’s why I’ve never left anything behind. It’s always in me, and the things that stay in that corner of the world, in that room on the third floor of good old Canada House, will only be representative of my reality—from which other people will experience and make their own too.

And so, I’ve never left anything—or anyone—behind. Everything and everyone is in me, and wherever those things, and people, will be, they’ll always be in my heart. They are in me.

Growing up, Ramen, and Dumaguete

Windchimes 4 Comments

…are the things my mind’s busy about lately. I’ve been in Canada House (CH, my dorm) for eight months or so, and given the more than enough time I have (only enrolled in a 6-unit Japanese Language subject for my last school term here in JP), I get to hang out with my dorm mates a lot, dine out with them sometimes, and again, think about things. This is going to be long, I warn you.

The whacky sleepover. A couple of nights ago Sou, my freshman roommate invited his friend Ko (wait, the rhyming’s nice, lol), for a sleepover. Sleepovers are “popular” in our dorm, even if it’s actually prohibited by the university. You see it’s an all-male dormitory, the usual one, but you’re wrong if you think only boys come for sleepovers. Most of the time, the invitees are girls.

But I won’t be talking about a girl’s sleepover here, as Ko is a he. I won’t even be talking about Ko, instead, I’ll talk about the sleepover itself. So yeah, when Ko got in our room with his blanket and sleeping mat, Yuuta and Aki, two other freshman dormers were behind him, and seconds later Shuhei, whom the freshies call せんぱい:senpai (senior), joined the group too. That was when all the fun started. As all memorable things seem to be, the fun we had was unexpected, more so non-premeditated, if there’s such a word. You see, Ko from Global House just wanted to help prepare the breakfast for our dorm’s soccer players the next day so he got in for a sleepover. We actually ended up not in a sleepover but in an all-nighter.

1st pic L-R: Yuuta, Ko, Aki and Shuhei. Sou joins in the 2nd pic.

Talking about the freshman girls they like to that chick whom Yuuta thinks is a player, there was no chance to visit dreamland at all. Shuhei-せんぱい ransacked Sou’s cabinets and threw out his boxers and sleeping shorts to a? “やばい:disgusting!”-shouting Ko and a giggling Aki. To make things wackier, the せなぱい:senpai asked if somebody got a camera, and I said I have one; getting them their pics was an easy job, but keeping their laughters and voices down after I counted “ichi, ni, san (one, two, three)”, and adding “sex-u” (replacing the traditional Japanese “cheez-u”) is another story. That was when I realized I’ve become quite different from the person who entered CH one late summer afternoon eight months ago. While snapping shots of this hilarious bunch with me, all laughters, giggles and sometimes nasty jokes, I kept on referring to them in my head as, “oh, these young boys, so playful. Kani jung mga bata-a (oh these kids).” To think that we’re even of the same age!

The freshies. 1st pic: Yuuta and Aki. 2nd pic: Sou and Ko (oh, the rhyme!haha).

I’ve been growing up while in CH, but it also did a good job keeping the young one in me.

大山屋. That’s the name of the Ramen shop Xiao and I went to a week ago. Xiao’s a Chinese dormmate from the U.S., and is a self-confessed Ramen addict (to those who don’t have any clue to what Ramen is—what, you honestly don’t know Ramen? Lolz, click here). “Welcome to 大山屋:Ooyama-Ya, the Ramen temple“, Xiao greeted me after we’d parked our bicycles in front of the resto. Not that there’s such a real thing as a Ramen temple, but all those Ramen patrons agree that this shop serves the best-tasting Ramen in town. And so without further ado, let me present to you the yummiest Ramen I’ve tasted yet!

That’s Xiao with the chopsticks, backgrounding my bowl of Ramen—————>

I think what makes ???’s Ramen different from the other shops’ is its noodles. Dunno why, but the noodles just tasted differently, and even the texture’s special. I had Ramen with egg, Xiao had it with Nori.

It was a good night to eat Ramen. Drizzling the whole day, and so it was cold. Nothing beats eating Ramen in a cold drizzly Japan night. And I thought, “I’m gonna miss this“.

Going back home. Booked my flight; all I need to do is wait for the payment details and the voucher to be sent by my agent. I’m happy I’m done. Or not really. Well, there’s always this I’m-gonna-miss-everything-and-everyone emo mode, but there’s also this kind of anticipation in going back home. Especially if that home is Dumaguete. Of course I’m going to miss Japanese weather (summertime’s heat not included ;p), and Ramen, and the friendships I’ve made in Japan, and all the things too many to include in this already long and boring post—but I guess the feeling’s just normal. But really, I’m looking forward to be home. I’ve missed my flip-flops walk on the boulevard, the reading and chatting with friends under Silliman‘s century-old acacias (rain trees), and monggong may baboy (thick mung bean soup with pork), and bulad (dried fish), and ginamos (fish paste), and, and…the list goes on and on.

Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete City (larkphotography.com).

I’ve always told my friends in the Philippines I’m going to eat this or that when I return, but I haven’t yet told them I’m going to eat everything with my family first. That’ll make the monggo soup, the bulad, the ginamos and everything else extra-tasty.