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Pahayagang pinoy sa japan

Celebrating The Journeys Of Filipinos In Japan

ジープニー プレス

在日フィリピン人 向 け マ ガ ジン

May - June 2018 2018年5月-6月

Cover art and design: Dennis Sun


ジープニー プレス JEEPNEY PRESS welcomes articles of interest on Filipinos in Japan. Please email any photos, drawings, and other materials that you would like to accompany the article. Submissions can also be sent by postmail. Photos, drawings and other materials will not be returned unless sent with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Deadline is one month before publication. We reserve the right to edit or omit any submissions. Disclaimer: Jeepney Press is not responsible for the transactions between its advertisers and their clients. Publisher does not endorse or make any representation or warranty, express or implied, with respect to any of the products or services advertised herein. We recommend that you independently evaluate all products/services before purchasing. Jeepney Press is not accountable for any claims on the articles in this magazine. They are purely the writer's idea and opinion. The views expressed herein are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers'. Public and private parties approached by those claiming to work for or on behalf of Jeepney Press should call our office to confirm truth of any such claim, especially where money may be involved. Jeepney Press is published online bimonthly by Asia Vox Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright 2018


Takadanobaba Bldg. 701, 1-26-12 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-0075 Tel : 03-5292-2340 Fax: 03-5292-2341 e-mail: website:

publisher ASIA VOX LTD. IRENE SUN-KANEKO editorial & creative director DENNIS SUN editorial staff


creative staff



06 YOMU Editorial by Dennis Sun 08 Life Is A Journey by Glen Gypsy 10 Musings Of A Gardener by Rogelio Agustin

14 Nihon e Ikou by Ethan Mosuela 16 Kwento Ni Nanay by Anita Sasaki 18 Signpost by Karen Sanchez

20 Traffic by Alma Reyes 22 Isang Araw Sa Ating Buhay by Jeff Plantilla 24 Life in Japan by Diane Getubig-Paler

26 Moving On by Jasmin Vasquez 28 Pagtulong sa Kapwa by Abie Principe

30 On The Road To: by Neriza Sarmiento-Saito


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32 Heroes Change The World by Marilyn Rivera 33 Kapatiran by Loleng Ramos 34 1Passion 4 Fashion by Irene Kaneko

Every closed eye is not sleeping, every open eye is not seeing.

- Bill Cosby


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- art by Dennis Sun

EDITORIAL by Dennis Sun his May, I found myself doing another art exhibition. It was a bit of a surprise. It was not planned at all. Usually, I give myself about 3 months at the least to do an art exhibition. This time, I had a week’s time. I was confident to do a show even at a short time because I have works hiding in my closet wanting to be seen. And it has been 5 years since the last exhibition which was held at the Tokyo ASEAN Centre in Mita, Tokyo. I guess it was time to do another one. At the start of this year, my blood sugar began to rise to a dangerous level. My diabetes doctor doubled the dosage of medicines I was already taking. But by April, even the medicines didn’t seem to do their job so I was confined for about a week to get my blood sugar monitored. Also,

YOMU means “to read” in Japanese.

the doctor wanted me to start taking insulin. But after taking my first shot, I began to experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) so the doctor decided to discontinue it.

While at the hospital, a Japanese friend visited me and she asked me if I wanted to do a show at her friend’s coffee shop. I actually love doing art shows in coffee shops more than doing shows at art galleries because it’s easier for people to get in a cafe to enjoy the artworks while enjoying their drinks. And you get to meet different people, as well! And I know the feeling of how hard for people to get inside the galleries even though they have no entrance charge. You always have the feeling that it’s closed. Long story short, I had a 3-week stint at ITSUKI, a cozy cafe at Higashi Nakano, Tokyo. I love their cafe latte and every time I was there to meet friends, it gave me a natural high with its aromatic flavor. I got to paint a few new works and displayed some of the old works I have at home. But what I really enjoy when doing shows is when friends come to see me. I hardly have time to meet friends anymore with the load of my work in school so this is a good time to keep in


touch with friends. I also had the chance to meet new and interesting people who came to my show. I have been invited to do another show this summer and it pushes me to paint and do more creative stuff which I extremely enjoy. I look forward to summer then, and spread more rays of light, love and laughter! “Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art.” ~Neil Gaiman 07

Glen Gypsy’s

“Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place.” - Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass


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Student? Just arrived in Japan? Lipat bahay? Bagong opisina? Moving company? Cable and internet connection?

“Our Mission is You! Let us support your life in Japan.�

English and Japanese OK!


Only 1-min. walk from Takadanobaba Eki (Yamanote Line or Tozai Line) Very near Big Box and Donki

1-26-12-701 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Nishimachi is... Academically rigorous. A Pioneer... in English and Japanese language education in Japan. Multicultural... with a student body of 390 children representing some thirty countries. Small and intimate... which enables us to promote the optimal well-being and growth of each individual. Co-educational and non-sectarian... Kindergarten through Grade 9. Accredited... by the Council of International Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and recognized by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Conveniently located... in a residential area of central Tokyo favored by the diplomatic and expatriate communities.


Visit our campus and experience the warm atmosphere of Nishimachi!

2-14-7 Moto Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0046, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3451-5520 Fax: +81-(0)3-3456-0197

Musings of a Gardener

I was already thinking of summer in the garden when in fact the rainy season just started. What a relief because I don’t have to worry about watering my plants when I am away from home. But lots of rain is good and bad though. Everything in the garden grows very fast after a day of rain, including the weeds! I will just have to leave it that way for a while as there is no perfect way of getting rid of weeds anyway. This summer, I plan to just enjoy the dazzling colours of echinaceas and roses, and fragrant blossoms of lavenders and stargazer lilies. Listening to the soothing buzzing sounds of the bees is also a very relaxing moment on the garden and they do keep me company while they hover around from flower to flower sipping nectar for their honey.

- Ruth Stout 10

The rain will keep me for working in the garden, but once in a while it’s nice to simply sit and just watch the garden from my window and contemplate life in the garden…

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Let’s Go To Japan!

Nihon E Ikou! By Ethan Mosuela

JUNBI (Preparation) During the weeks leading up to our trip on April 16, 2018 for our Japan trip, mom started making all the preparations. Planning ahead, calling people who could help us choose the best place to stay in, and getting in touch with the Church of the Nazarene in Saitama. All of these she did! Moreover, she booked our flights, and surfed around net the areas we would be staying at. Then, we were almost all set! We would be going in mostly blind if my mom did not tell us all the places that we will be visiting. Basically, it was all in my mother’s hands and we did not know what we will be doing in Japan. So, relying on the grace of God, the guidance of Google, and my dad’s gravitating “gaga” over Japan, we set out on a race against time and made our maiden voyage.


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NIHON: Exodus to The Land Of The Rising Sun My mom booked us from April 17-22. It was less than a week, but every minute and hour of it was spent with whimsy and wonder. Japan is, indeed, a dream for me and my dad. Both of us are fans of ANIME and high tech. From the Mugiwara museum in the Tokyo Tower, the Gundam statue in Odaiba, Saitama Prefecture (who could forget ONE PUNCH MAN!?), Mount Fuji, and Naritayama (a temple in Narita), to the electric city of Akihabara, every place was just so amazing. None of the places we went to were within walking distance from each other. Good thing we had the readily available vans for rent for our city tour and the kindness and hospitality of our host family who took us to the very beautiful and majestic Mt. Fuji in their nice comfortable van.

PLACES OF INTEREST Japan is full of tourist and scenic spots. Even several trips to this country will not suffice one’s touristy contentment. There are just too many places on your list. But one thing we did not want to miss was Mt. Fuji. My dad remarked that after setting foot at Mt. Fuji, he can happily go back home to the Philippines even if we haven’t gone to half the places in our travel itinerary. It’s true that for some people, like my dad, the grand Mt. Fuji gives them a sense of fulfillment in life already… like a mission in life accomplished. But, of course, my dad was just kidding us. He very much enjoyed getting all the robots at Akihabara. But it was a different story for my mum as her eyes glowed and widened like the size of a golf ball when we went to GINZA where all the brands that she likes where displayed at all the shops in every corner of the streets. I guess that’s where all her money went. For my sisters, going to the Tokyo Tower, the SkyTree, and Disneysea was fun. Although they think they are a bit grown up for the Disneysea and Disneyland and have seen them in other countries, still it was a worthwhile experience.

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KOKORO (HEART) of Japan Now, though I have enjoyed the many beautiful and fascinating places, the anime culture and the electronic games in this trip, I have also discovered the beauty of their history and how it all began to add up to being Japan. From samurai to Shintoism to Shinkansen to sushi, everything about Japan is simply a surprise! So many interesting things to learn! I am already looking forward to our next visit! Mata ne! (See you again!)



by Anita Sasaki

EVERY GISING IS A BLESSING!!! May kuwento ako tungkol sa isang matandang lalaki na mga 78 taong gulang. Ang matanda ay hinimatay kaya itinakbo sa ospital. Sa ospital ay agad siyang nilagyan nang oxygen nang 24 oras para siya ay mabuhay. Makalipas ang ilang araw, siya ay gumaling na.


Nagbigay na ang ospital nang kanyang bayarin na 5 libong piso. At nang makita nang matanda ang kanyang babayaran ay umiyak na lamang siya. Nagtanong ang doktor bakit siya umiiyak. Kung ang dahilan ba ay ang kanyang bayarin, ito ay maaaring bayaran niya ng hulugan. Sumagot ang matanda. Hindi dahil sa bayarin niya. Kaya niya itong bayaran ng “cash�. Ang kanyang tugon kung bakit siya umiiyak ay dahil sa 24 oras na binigyan siya ng oxygen ay sinisingil siya ng 5,000 piso. Ngunit ang hangin na kanyang ginamit nang 78 taon ay libre.

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Kung siya ay sisingilin nang Dios, magkano na kaya ang babayaran niya? Sa ating mga sarili, hindi ba natin nai-isip kung ang libreng hangin na galing sa ating Dios ay babayaran natin, magkano na kaya ang bayarin natin sa ating LUMIKHA? Nakukuha ba natin maski magpasalamat man lang sa KANYA? Ito po ay isang magandang pagnilayan natin.

Photo by: Marisol Punzalan Kudo

133-0057 Tokyo, Edogawa-ku, Nishi Koiwa 4-1-22 Takeda Bldg 6th Floor

Kung ikaw ay Filipina wife, puwede ring maibalik ang tax na binabayaran ng Japanese husband. Kahit ano ang status ay pwedeng makapag-apply (Engineer, Nikkeijin, Skilled Worker, Teacher, etc.) Sa mga nasa malayong lugar na hindi makakapunta sa aming opisina, maaari tayong makapag-ugnayan sa pamamagitan ng sulat at telepono lamang. Huwag mag-atubiling tumawag agad, at makakaasa kayong magkakaroon ng wasto at maayos na kasagutan ang anumang impormasyong gusto ninyong malaman.

By Karen Sanchez

Crab Mentality

little English with sign language and she tried to draw until I understand what she is trying to tell me. She was very patient and kind) What an experience! :-)

friends in Kanagawa encouraged me to calm down and forget about her jealousy and enviousness. And as I was writing this, I have an on going investigation about our customer who ate a pork steak in ginger sauce or in Japanese, “shogayaki” and complained that we served a raw meat but he finished his 1 cup of rice with the sauce. Our chef worked as an ambassador’s chef for almost 10 years, studied in Paris, France, owned a Tonkatsu Ya near Odawara Station and a restaurant inside the hotel in Kanagawa, worked in various hotels in Osaka, Tokyo and Kanagawa in Japan and became a food specialist or food consultant of Bikuri Donkey for 3 years. He decided to cook again to satisfy the complaining customer and as we served him, he refused to eat it because it became hard and he wanted us to return his money so we returned his money. After few hours, he posted on his facebook page about us with the resto name and place lying and deceiving by posting that we served him microwavedheated frozen food and just to let other know that he always eats steak on the ship were he is employed.

This is everywhere and you can encounter them on social media where they are busy criticizing instead of appreciating the news and stories about the achievement of Filipinos. Way back 7 years ago when some of my relatives posted Konnichiwa Minnasan! O-genki desu in facebook page bullying and making false, untrue ka? stories about me and my I missed everything in Japan and by family saying that we are not good enough because we writing this article, I feel relieved. come from a broken family And again, I am here to share and pointing the words to something I hope you will enjoy reading and in some point I can help me: "Mapa Pinas, mapa Japan at mapa America ka, puta ka someone by writing this. pa rin at prosti." I was hurt Crab mentality is a widely used term and devastated because this in the Philippines who always try to woman, who posted it, is the very girl whom we sent to pull down others who are succeeding in life and getting ahead school from elementary until college. The money I earned of them. This trait is not unusual to and sent to my family is the us, as it’s actually one of the money she used to finance common bad habits of many her school and to buy food. Filipinos. But when I was working My friends and colleagues in there in Japan, I noticed that not only Filipinos have this attitude but Kanagawa read that post. I was crying everyday because also Japanese especially when you I thought she was part of my are working with the old people family as we treated her that particularly the obasans. If you are way. She knew everything much younger than them, they will bully (ijime) you. I had encountered about me, that I came to this a decade ago when I could only Japan and other countries speak maybe 20 Japanese words and holding a tourist visa and working in Manila as cashier, I really don't understand what they Doing business here for 3 saleslady and boutique were saying but thank God, I had a years and introducing manager and all that... But buddy "baasan" who can speak a


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Japanese food to this small town is totally incomparable to the places our chef has worked for. 5 years ago in progressive nearby cities, it is very hard and you need more patience. And from my experience, I prove that yes crab mentality is true. They usually have these characters: 1. They are too proud of themselves and treat others as inferior beings. 2. They panic when their comrades are happy and improving. 3. Their motto in life is "If I can't have it, neither can you." 4. They are full of positivity for themselves but full of

negativity for others. 5. They blame their comrades for their failures rather than help them. 6. They treat their comrades as competitors. 7. They don't know a thing about comparison. 8. Yet, they act like they know everything. 9. They spend most of their time talking about people rather than discussing ideas and solutions. 10. They will never admit that they have a crab mentality.

but I will not do anything just to make people feel bad and lift up myself. I worked hard for what I have and for my family. I can forgive but I cannot forget. Kababayan, I wish you to be aware of this kind of negative attitude or habit. We will never grow with this and we will not be extremely happy when you have this in your heart. We will not grow as a nation and, moreso, as a person. Let us stay positive and continue to help each other.

Not everyone is perfect and good and without sin. But I do try my best to become a better person always. I am just human

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TRAFFIC by Alma Reyes

PINOY SYNDROME I am reminded of a comment by a Filipino friend who used to be based in France, “Don’t you feel like you have a big sign plastered on your forehead saying ‘I am not illegal’ when approaching the Immigration counters in any foreign airport?” We both laughed over this thought; yet, in actuality, the truth rises over humor. As a Filipino residing abroad, and even for over a decade, it seems this notion of being singled out among other races as the “disadvantaged”, “underprivileged”, “questionnable”, or “suspected”, no matter how credible your legal documents may be or sound your occupation may appear, is a perennial source of unnecessary downplay Many years ago as a student in Japan, and those must have been years when the mood of “internationalization” was still premature, many Japanese truly looked at foreigners like “aliens”, which seemed to have given justice to foreign residents’ cards being labeled as “alien registration cards.” One gets used to the long stares or


bland remarks, such as “Oh, you have such long legs!” (said to an American friend). As a Filipina, I braved many inquiries about whether I worked in a hostess club; or when finding out my country of origin, I would be thrown with spontaneous conversations, such as “Oh…I know a Filipina too who works in the night club”, or “My maid is a Filipina, too”. While these remarks do not need to sound condescending, the profiling is a reflection of a slight pinch of acute ignorance. Racial discrimination does not shine out conspicuously in Japanese society, but the implications exist. I have experienced, for example, being rejected of an apartment contract due to my non-Japanese status (or is it Asian or Filipino status)? How do Filipinos residing abroad overcome these unavoidable (but could possibly be avoidable) tendencies towards racial profiling? They say you survive by turning a blind eye, but as you walk out that room with honor on

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your shoulder, you know the knife has scarred your stomach just as well. Some Filipinos also say the reputation of many unlawful citizens who tamper their passports, escape unpaid bills, fake employment papers, or cheat their way through visa applications, pass on the burden to lawabiding citizens, thus creating the “plastered” signboard on our heads Is it really hard to be us, Filipinos? Perhaps, the many misconceptions foreigners bear about our culture, sense of moral value or mode of lifestyle are themselves the catalyst factors that make Filipinos want to strive harder in work and build a solid future for themselves to prove their self-integrity. Someday, if ever that day should really come, we no longer need to pretend that the signboard is adhered to our heads. It’s time for borderless cultures, and perhaps, a totally new generation that no longer identifies people by color, speech and nationality.

Graphic art by Dennis Sun

ni Jeff Plantilla Maraming beses na ang hindi inaasahang bagay ay biglang lumalabas. At kung maganda, nakakapagpasigla kahit pagod na. Dalawang Kasal Hindi ko inaasahan na mapapanood sa YouTube ang kasal nina Prince Harry at Meghan Markle. Kahit alam kong sa araw na yon ang kasal, hindi ko iniisip na mapapanood ko ang kasalan. Nabigla ako nang makita ko na ang pari na nagbibigay ng sermon ay isang African-American. Passionate ang kanyang pagbibigay ng sermon, dinidiin niya na ang pagmamahal lamang ang solusyon sa problema sa buhay. Nabigla muli ako nung isang pari pa ang tumayo sa bandang likod ng simbahan at nagbigay din ng mensahe. Siya ay may lahing African at babae. Babaeng pari. Ito na ang sistema sa Anglican church, may babaeng pari na. Alam ng lahat na si Meghan ay anak ng isang AfricanAmerican at isang puting Amerikano. Nguni’t hindi pa rin maaalis ang aking pagkabigla na makita ang Nanay ni Meghan na nakaupo sa simbahan sa isang royal wedding sa United Kingdom dahil ikinakasal ang kanyang anak. Nakakamangha ang makasaysayang pagpapakasal ng isang Prinsipe na may lahing puti sa isang hindi Prinsesa na may lahing African. Nakakamangha dahil tinanggap si Meghan ng


royal family ng United Kingdom. Walang nabalitang gulo o hindi pagkakaunawaan sa pagsama ni Meghan sa British royal family. Hindi lamang sa hindi siya British at isang “commoner” o karaniwang tao lamang, kundi siya ay diborsiyada. Hindi siya anak ng mayamang pamilya sa Amerika. Pero tinanggap siya ng royal family mula kay Queen Elizabeth hanggang sa ama at kapatid ni Prince Harry. Nakakamangha din na tinanggap si Meghan ng mga British. Napakahaba ang makapal na pila ng mga tao na nag-abang sa pagdaan ng karwahe nina Prince Harry at Meghan. Palakpakan at sigawan ang mga tao sa pagkakakita sa kanila. Sa hindi rin inaasahang pagkakataon, napanood ko sa Osaka ang pelikulang “Across the Crescent Moon.” Akala ko ay istorya ito ng labanan sa Mindanao ng militar at ng mga nagrerebeldeng mga kapatid na Muslim. Love story pala, na may kasamang “action.” May parte na parang kung fu movie (bagama’t sariling atin ang gamit - kali - hindi kung fu) at giyera (bagama’t drug dealers at human traffickers ang kalaban). Pero malaking bahagi ng pelikula ang tungkol sa pagpapakasal ng isang Kristiyano sa isang Muslim. Malaking problema ng Nanay na Kristiyano ang pagkakaiba ng tradisyon ng mga Kristiyano at Muslim at kaya ang hirap ng pagsasama ng ganitong

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mag-asawa. Hindi matanggap ng Nanay na Kristiyano na yayakapin ng anak, na pinaghirapang paaralin sa Amerika, ang relihiyong Muslim. Dahil sa away na ito ng mag-ina, natuloy ang kasal ng nagmamahalan nang wala ang mga magulang na Kristiyano. Ang kasal ay ayon sa tradisyon ng asawang Muslim. Humiwalay ang anak na Kristiyano sa kanyang pamilya, at ni hindi niya naipakilala ang asawa niyang Muslim sa mga magulang niya. Hindi tulad kina Prince Harry at Meghan, ang mga bida sa pelikulang ito ay hati ang pamilya. Hindi nagkaroon ng pagkaka-isa ang pamilyang Kristiyano at Muslim. Nguni’t ang tanong, kailangan bang magka-ganoon? Malaki bang hadlang ang pagkakaiba ng relihiyon sa pagmamahalan? Hindi ba’t ang anak ay anak, kahit anong mangyari? Hindi ba’t ang tunay na mahalaga ay ang pagmamahal? Kabaligtaran sa kaso nina Prince Harry at Meghan ang istorya ng pelikula. Nguni’t, ang hindi inaasahang pangyayari sa istorya ng pelikula ang naging dahilan upang tanggapin na ang pagmamahal ay matibay na dahilan para sa pagsasama ng mag-asawa. Hindi hadlang ang relihiyon. Ipinakita rin sa pelikula na kapag may malaking problema sa buhay, nagdarasal ang tao - kahit sino. Sabay na nagdasal sa magkahiwalay na lugar ang Muslim na biyenan at ang manugang na babae na

kanta ay composition ni Baby Nebrida, na siya ring Director ng pelikula.

dating Kristiyano. Dito sila nagkakaisa – sa dasal at paraan ng pagdarasal – Muslim at Kristiyano - gamit ang prayer beads – o rosaryo sa mga Katoliko.

Kung ang “Stand By Me” ay kanta ng lalaki na nagsasabing huwag siyang iwan ng asawa, ang "Watching The Crescent Moon" ay kanta ng babaeng naninindigan sa kanyang minamahal.

Dalawang Kanta Isa pang hindi inaasahan sa kasal nina Prince Harry at Meghan ay ang kanta ng choir. Isang African- American choir ang kumanta sa kasal nila, na hindi ko rin inasahan. Pero mas hindi ko inasahan ang kanta – “Stand By Me.” Sa pagkakanta ng choir, noon ko lang naisip na magandang kanta pala ang “Stand By Me” sa kasal. Maganda ang mensahe ng “Stand By Me” – kahit anong mangyari, samahan mo ako o huwag mo akong iwan. Dahil sa kaibahan ni Meghan – African descent, Amerikana, hindi galing sa mayaman o kilalang pamilya, at isang diborsiyada – parang sinasabi ng kanta na iyon ang mensahe ni Prince Harry sa kanya – please stand by me kahit anong mangyari. Hindi gusto ni Prince Harry na iwan siya ni Meghan. Sabi ng kanta: If the sky that we look upon Should tumble and fall And the mountain should crumble to the sea I won't cry, I won't cry No I won't shed a tear Just as long as you stand, stand by me Sa “Across the Crescent Moon,” may isang kantang katumbas ng “Stand By Me.” Kung ang kantang “Stand By Me” ay panawagan ni Prince Harry kay Meghan, ang kanta sa pelikula ay

paninindigan ng babaeng umiibig na hindi bibitawan ang lalaking minamahal. Ang “Watching the Crescent Moon” ang kanta ng babaeng Kristiyano na iniwan ang lahat, para sa kanyang minamahal na asawa: I’d gladly watch the sun come down, although I dread the night just now… I see the crescent moon from bed… I look with fear, no stars I see… but I believe in love... I still believe in love, I love this man I know, his precious heart of gold, I'll fight for him you know… People judge me, people tell me, he’s a man I can’t be part of… but he believes in love

Parehong love song, parehong may malalim na kahulugan sa pagsasamahan ng mag-asawa, parehong may pinag-uusapang dilim ng gabi at ilaw na galing lamang sa buwan. Parehong nagpapahiwatig ng hirap ng kalagayan. Ano pa nga ba ang dapat na dahilan ng pagsasama ng tao, kundi ang pagmamahalan? Ang dalawang kanta ay maaaring sagutan ng groom at bride sa kanilang kasal.

Heaven knows we can work it out… He'll always be a part of me… Si Bituin Escalante ang kumanta ng "Watching The Crescent Moon." Para siyang African-American singer sa pagkanta ng movie theme song na ito. Ang

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LIFE IN JAPAN by Diane Getubig-Paler in 2012, I decided to move here in Japan since my husband is based and working at an IT firm in Tokyo.

I am Diane Getubig-Paler. Let me share to you my story why I ended up living here in Japan. I have been living here for about 5 years now. Back in the Philippines, I was working in a bank as Sales and Service Officer. After getting married


During my first few years here, I was gasping at straws considering that I was lost in translation because I was not well-versed with the Japanese language at the time yet. Up until now, I am still even struggling with the language and in conversing with the Japanese people. This was only the tip of the iceberg. Moving here also made me feel homesick leaving behind

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my family, friends, and my home country. In spite of all the struggle and feeling the blues, it is true as the saying goes that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. A lot of things definitely lightened it all up. As the time passed by, I met and gained a lot of friends. My husband was there to support me every step of the way. My husband and I were also involved in serving for CFC (Couples for Christ) in Japan. Through this, I gained a family in here. I then started hunting for jobs and fortunately landed a part time job at an afterschool as an Assistant Language Teacher which later on became fulltime handling both elemenntary and junior high school students in a public school. Honestly, I had a hard time

with this work since sometimes I had to communicate both to my students and co-teachers using Japanese language to express and discuss matters. I have had my bad days during the week due to it. I realized that for me to enjoy my work, or find a good job, or understand my colleagues and easily express myself to the people here, I need to study and learn the language. So, I did some self-study but it was never enough. Hence, I grabbed the opportunity of joining JICE. It is a program offering Japanese language lessons for free. Currently, I am still a part of it and highly

hoping that I will be able to master the language soon.

That’s why I appreciate Japan so much for it.

On the lighter side of things, living in Japan was not that hard and the language barrier. This place has a very rich and nice culture. Japanese people are well-known for their positive traits such as being polite, punctual, kind, hardworking, clean, and being well-organized. Aside from being one of the most advanced countries when it comes to technology, it also is considered as the safest country in Asia with a very low percentage of crime rate. When you want to live in a place, safety is the most important factor to consider.

Japan is also a foodie’s paradise. To date, from the time I moved here, I still am discovering and splurging myself on endless gastronomic adventures in Tokyo. I could say that Japan will win you through your hearts and stomachs.

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I am also thankful that the Japanese government is lenient when it comes to granting tourist visas. For this reason, my family could easily come and visit me here. In a nutshell, living here makes everything great and worthwhile.


By Jasmin Vasquez Noong unang panahon, nagsimulang dumating ang mga Tsino sa Pilipinas noong 960 AD. Dahil nakilala nila ang mga Pilipino sa katapatan sa pakikipagkalakalan, nagdadala sila ng mga kalakal sa ilang parte ng Lingayen, Look ng Maynila at Sulu. Ang mga Pinoy ay nakikipagkalakalan ng mga ginto, perlas pagong, pugad ng ibon, bulak, cacao, sibuyas, banig, atbp., kapalit ng mga porcelana, seda, gong, payong abaniko, atbp. “Barter” ang tawag nila sa gawaing ito. Noong lumaon, nagtayo sila ng pamayanan sa mga ilang lugar sa Pilipinas. Ang iba sa kanila ay hindi na bumalik sa sariling bansa at nanatili sa Pilipinas. At ang iba naman sa kanila ay nakapag asawa ng mga katutubo na syang naging dahilan para tuluyan na silang manatili sa ating bansa. Simula noon ay nagsimulang mahaluan ng kulturang Tsino ang mga Pilipino. Natuto silang gumamit ng porselana, payong pilak at paggamit ng pulbura. Natuto rin silang gumamit ng “camisa de chino”. Ang pagsuot din ng maluluwag na salawal ng mga kababaihan ay nakuha din nila sa mga Tsino. May mga salita din galing sa kanila katulad ng mga pansit, gusi, mangkok, syanse, susi, atbp. May mga kaugalian din ang mga Pinoy na impluwensya ng mga Tsino. Ilan sa mga ito ang sumusunod: Pag-galang sa matatanda, pagbubuklod ng pamilya, pagsamba sa kaluluwa ng mga ninuno, pagkakaroon ng tagapamagitan sa pamamanhikan at pakikipagkasundo ng mga anak upang makapag-asawa. Higit sa lahat may mga pagkain Tsino ang natutuhang kainin ng mga Pilipino tulad ng pansit, siomai, siopao, kikiam, lugaw, ampaw, atbp. Dahilan para hanap hanapin natin ang kanilang masasarap na pagkain. Saan dako man ng mundo ay hindi mawawala ang pagkain ng mga Tsino, dahil sa sarap at linamnam ng mga ito. Kaya kahit malayo, kami ay


nag tour sa Chinatown dito sa Japan, sa Yokohama. Pagkatapos namin pumunta sa Sacred Heart Cathedral sa Yokohama, dumerecho kami sa Chinatown, para dayuhin ang masasarap na pagkain nila doon. Napakaraming tao, kahit saang restaurant ka pumunta ay napakahaba ng mga pila at sa wakas nakahanap din kami ng restaurant na affordable ¥1,980 per head lang. Swerte hehehe tabehodai pa (eat-all-u-can). Busog na busog kami sa kaka-order dahil sa sobrang gutom namin. Mula Nagano-ken Iida-shi, 5 oras biyahe namin sa bus makarating lang ng Yokohama. Sinulit na namin sa pagkain hahaha dahil after naming kumain ay babalik na kami ulit sa kabundukan ng Nagano. Hirap lang sobra sakit ng katawan ko dahil mula sa trabaho ko natapos ako ng 4:30am tapos sinundo ko mga kasama ko papuntang Inashi at doon kami nagsimula ng bus papuntang Yokohama dere-derecho na wala akong tulog at pahinga. Pero kahit sobrang pagod, ok lang napahinga naman ang isip. Malaki ang epekto ng paminsan minsang mag tour ka sa malayong lugar at makain ang masarap na pagkaing gusto mong kainin. Kahit anong layo at kahit anong pagod ay nare-relax ang isip

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mo. Ang daming tindahan doon na bilihan ng mga kung ano anong pantimpla sa mga lutuin na gusto mong gawin. Naisip ko tuloy magluto ng ganito ng ganyan etc. Hahaha basta pagkain nawawala stress ko. Luto at kain, solve na ako. Alam ko, katulad ko, marami din sa inyong mahilig kumain ng masasarap at mag punta kung saan saang lugar. Kaya kung nais nyo ng talaga namang masarap na chinese food, tara lets sa Yokohama. Hindi lang pagkain dahil marami ring pasyalan doon kaya talagang ma-enjoy nyo ang tour nyo. Ang aking isinulat ngayon eh patunay lamang na hindi na kahit kailanman mawawala ang kulturang Tsino na naibahagi sa atin lalo na pagdating sa pagkain. Bagaman sa panahon ngayon na maraming issue about sa mga isla na pinag aawayan, na sana ay agad namang malutasan. Hanggang sa muli. Thanks sa inyong lahat. Mabuhay tayong lahat and God Bless Us All!

P h i l i p

D iz o n

T o r r e s

Facebook : Philip D. Torres Mobile (Philippines) : +63-91-7605-6366 Model: Irene Kaneko Photography: Borg Meneses Hair & Make-up: Vela Mua Art Direction: Dennis Sun

Pagtulong sa Kapwa by Abie Principe

Ang Pilipino ay likas na matulungin. Malamang walang tatanggi sa mga katagang ito. Ngunit, totoo nga ba? Kailan ka huling tumulong sa iyong kapwa? “Kahapon lang, yun kapatid ko pinadalhan ko ng pera.” “Nung makalawa inabutan ko ang pinsan ko, kasi kulang daw ang sweldo last month.” Malamang marami sa atin, similar ang sagot. Bakit kaya pag ginamit ang salitang “tulong” medyo automatic na “pera” agad ang iniisip natin. And ideya na ang pera ay katumbas ng pagtulong ay matagal nang tanggap ng ating pag-iisip. Bakit kaya? Siguro dahil marami sa atin ay talagang nangangailangan, at madalas, pera ang daan para matumbasan ang pangangailangan. Pero hanggang kelan ba na pera ang tutumbas? Minsan kailangan natin ay higit sa pera. Minsan kahit maraming pera, hindi pa rin masaya. Itong nakaraanan lamang,


dalawang kilalang personalidad, si Anthony Bourdain at si Kate Spade, ay pumanaw. At ang dagdag na kalungkutan sa kanilang pagpanaw ay sila’y nagpakamatay. Hindi naman nila kailangan ang pera, wala silang kulang na materyal na bagay. Maraming nakapaligid sa kanilang kamag-anak, kaibigan at mga taga-hanga. Pero nagpakamatay pa rin sila. Nakakalungot. Nakakapagtaka. Humingi kaya sila ng tulong? Sigurado tayo na hindi pera ang kailangan nila. Minsan kailangan natin ay isang taong nakikinig, nakikita tayo, at kinikilala ang ating pagkatao. Minsan, kahit gaano karami ang ating pera, hindi nito mapunuan ang totoong pangangailangan natin. Tignan po natin ang ating mga mahal sa buhay. Sabihan natin sila na mahal natin sila, huwag nating isiping pera lang ang sagot. Oo, mahalaga ang pera, pero, bukod sa pera, mahalaga rin na hindi natin

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kalimutan ang dahilan kung bakit tayo nagta-trabaho upang kumita ng pera, upang gumanda ang buhay natin, at ang buhay ng mga mahal natin, di po ba? Kaya minsan, bukod sa pera, magtulungan tayo sa pamamagitan ng pagbigay ng oras, upang makinig sa ating mga mahal sa buhay. Give not only money, but also a listening ear, and an understanding heart.

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Neriza Sarmiento - Saito's On the Road to:

Kapihan at Talakayan sa Kansai Part 2

In this issue of Jeepney Press for May and June, we have two very special celebrations - that of giving tribute to Mothers on the second Sunday of May and to all Fathers on the third Sunday of June. These occasions sometimes take even deeper meanings when the parents you want to give tribute to are no longer around. I was so busy in March and had to travel to the Philippines twice, for the internment of my mother’s cremated remains and for a tour with some of my students to Vigan. It afforded me short but very precious moments with friends that I have not seen for about 40 years. Because of those travels I could not write about one of the most important happenings in Kansai.

Women’s Year that week, the panelists and the coordinator were all women - Ms. Yukimi Miki, who was born in Japan KAPIHAN AT TALAand raised as a Japanese KAYAN SA KANSAI Part Filipino, Ms. Pen Takahashi, 2, a panel discussion on who is the Filipina mother of the multi-faceted lives actresses and models Yu and of the Filipinos in Maryjun, and Ms. Kate Sulit, Kansai. The event was who is currently a nurse in held last March 4, 2018 Shiga and one of a few at the International foreign nurses who obtained House Osaka. In obser- her license under the Japanvance of International Philippines Economic Partner-


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ship Agreement. Ryukoku University Professor, Dr. Reinaruth Desiderio Carlos, acted as moderator and Ms. Toshiko Sonezaki was the interpreter. Some entertainment numbers were provided by this year’s Utawit Kyoto winners like Mr. Yasuo Komori and Mr. Yuki Maeda. The first Kapihan at Talakayan sa Kansai was held on March 25, 2017 with panelists that included Mr. Alfred Ishita, Mr. Marlou Pejana, Ms. Sofiya Okumura and Dr. Jean Tanangonan. The moderator was Prof. Yolanda Tsuda of Kobe College. The interpreter was Mr. Jorge Primavera.

The event was organized by the Philippine Community Coordinating Council (PCCC), co-sponsored by the Osaka International House Foundation, with the collaboration of International House Osaka (Operating Company: Convention Linkage Co. Ltd. and Southeast Asian Community. Current PCCC Chairperson, Mr. Jefferson Plantilla and the members of the Kapihan at Talakayan Steering Committee, hope that they can continue to do this every year to increase awareness among the Japanese on the contribution of Filipinos to Japanese society and to inspire the Filipinos as well to continue their efforts in their respective communities to project positive images of the Filipinos in Japan. Hope to see you all in Kapihan at Talakayan Part 3!!!

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Addendum: In the March-April issue of Jeepney Press, the above photo should have been included in my column “On the Road. “ Our apologies to DOT Region 1 Director Mr. Martin Valera (3rd from right) and our sincere appreciation to DOT Osaka’s Ms. Leona Nepomuceno for making our trip very educational and enjoyable. MARAMING SALAMAT po!


Heroes Change the World You Need to Believe in Something, Before It Becomes Something by Marilyn Rivera

It will be Independence Day soon on June 12 in the Philippines. This makes me ponder for awhile about who I should be thankful for. Something like “Who is my hero”? I know that it is not National Heroes Day but Independence Day seems to connote the same for me. These days, the definition of hero is quite underrated and somehow restricted in the sense of superheroes with super human strength. The Avengers with Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America and the others are how we see heroes these days. Risking your life in order to save another is not what it is all about, but rather someone who changes your life. Who turns your life upside down and inspires you to be a better person for others. Then, I thought about my daughter, Wynterr. She may not have saved me from a burning building but she definitely changed my life. One shift, I had a very long night and was truly feeling exhausted. Having lack of sleep the day prior drained my energy that night and I was on my last hour in staying awake the morning after. I can barely keep my eyes open but my daughter kept me right on track from time to time. She took me by surprise when she said with a smiling face, “Mom, it is time for you to sleep. You have a nice dream, Mom.” She paused, and then continued, “Sleep well okay. I will just play here and I will be all right.” This little girl has no idea how she inspires me every single day. When she talks, she talks to my heart. And when I feel so vulnerable, she knows how to handle me with care. She believes in magic and she believes in me. One day, she told me that I can fly. But I said, “No, I can’t.” She then said, “Believe in it Mommy. You need to believe it before it comes true.”


My hero inspires me to be a better person and believes in me like nobody does. In my past work, I was an analyst and measuring the possibilities or outcomes was my job. But my daughter makes me bet more on the odds and have faith on those small chances that I would not even consider.

this. She makes me do my best in everything and put the important things in the center of my life.

This little girl changed my world and freed me from my own limitations. She made me believe in myself again. I will forever be thankful to She changed my perspective in life. I God that He trusted me to know that I am not a good person be her mother. And when and God knows that I have many she grows up, I know that things to answer for. I was even she will be a hero to a whole scared to be a mother and I felt that lot more. Wynterr, you are everything I do was wrong. I don’t my modern and forever even consider myself as a good role Hero! model for my child. But she changed

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Nang nag-walking ako noong isang araw, napadaan ako sa mga namumukadkad na bulaklak ng Ajisai (Hydrangea). Ang ganda! Mahilig ka ba sa bulaklak? Iba-ibang kulay, iba-ibang hugis ng talutot, pati laki nila iba-iba din, merong medyo maliit at meron ding jumbo size. Tag-ulan ang kanilang kapanahunan, at mas maulan, mas gumaganda ang hitsura ng bulaklak na ito. Kaya huwag ka na mag feeling blue kapag tsuyu 梅雨 o rainy season, puntahan mo ang mga beautiful blue and different colors ng Ajisai.


Hana Kotoba

KAPATIRAN ni Loleng Ramos

Dahil nagtaka ako bakit magkaka-iba ng hitsura nila, sinaliksik ko kung iisa nga lang ba ang bulaklak na ito, mahigit pitumpung klase pala ang Ajisai. Ang isa pang tawag sa kanila ay “Nanahenge” dahil sa 7 pagbabago na kanilang kulay, may purple, pink, puti at iba pa, nababago ito depende sa ph level o nutrisyon na binibigay ng lupa na kanilang pinagtamnan. Nang tinitingnan ko muli ang mga kuha kong litrato ng Ajisai, hindi na kariktan lang nila ang nakikita ko, narinig ko din sila. Hana at kotoba, bulaklak at salita. Para bang dahil binigyan ko sila ng oras tingnan at hangaan, binigyan nila ako ng napakaraming impormasyon. Ang Hana kotoba ay ang sinasabing ”lenguwahe ng bulaklak”, itinuturing na sinaunang sining ng pagbigay ng kahulugan sa mga bulaklak sa bansang Japan. Sa Europa man, sa marami pang mga bansa, meron din silang katapat para sa Hanakotoba. Syempre pa, sa ating Pilipinas, meron din!

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Milflores ang tawag sa Ajisai sa atin, meron nito sa matataas na lugar katulad ng Tagaytay – dahil marami sila kung umusbong at makukulay, friendship ang isa sa itinalagang simbolo. Sa Japan, isang taos pusong damdamin ang isang positibong kahulugan, at sa bawat kulay ng Ajisai ay mayroon ding katapat na kahulugan. Kung merong Sakura na nagbibigay ng kahulugang dalisay at kalumayan, ang Sampaguita naman na nanggaling sa katagang Malay na “sinasamba kita” at nagpapahiwatig ng paggalang at devotion. Kaya pala nilalagay natin ang pambansang bulaklak sa ating mga altar at sa pagsalubong sa isang VIP. Ang himawari (sunflower) ay ningning, Suizen (daffodil) ay paggalang, Ume (plum blossom) katapatan. May favorite flower ka ba? Malamang isang karakter mo din ang katumbas ng bulaklak na iyon. Ang aking paborito ay gerbera at napag-alaman ko na ang bawat kulay pala nito ay may sariling kahulugan din pero ang lahat ay iisa ang ugat, happiness! Mahilig ako kumuha ng litrato ng mga bulaklak. Nakakalungkot di ba kapag lanta na sila o malapit na malanta, pero sa isang larawan, litrato, amateur shot mula sa isang smartphone katulad ko, pwede ko din silang tingnan ng tingnan ng hindi nagbabago, katulad din natin, palaging bata sa isang picture ng kuha ng nakaraang mga taon. Sa susunod kong pagkuha, ano kayang kahulugan ang ipapahiwatig ng isang bulaklak sa akin?


1 PASSION 4 FASHION by Irene Kaneko

“Gather the threads of your life and stitch them into joy!” - A friend I have not seen for 15 years is returning with a sweet revenge: her debut Runway Fashion Show featuring the dresses and gowns she had sewed herself! Ms. Maria Mae Salcedo Pontanares, using Maria Ponti as her FB name, inherited the passion of her mom in dressmaking. She may not have a formal education in designing but her keen eyes and skillful hands can turn a dull cloth into a stunning dress! Mae, as I fondly call her, was only 13 years old when she made her first dress. Her mom asked her to sew and finish the dress. Her mom coached her and Mae remembers how she guided her intricately as she did. One day, when her mom fell ill, she had to take on the challenge to do it herself at a


very young age and so began her imagination on how to make the style better each time.

her own brand and started planning on a fashion show which did not materialize then.

In 2001, she bought a new edging machine and learned intently how to use it. Then she started a small shop in Japan. One of the memorable challenges she could recall is when she got an order for 20 pieces of Hawaiian costumes. At that time, it was hard to find the supplies she needed. But she took on the challenge and passionately produced the order.

There was a complete turnaround to Mae’s career when a client suggested to her to take up a caregiver course which was in-demand at the time. She agreed and attended a training at the Tokyo Caregivers Academy.

In 2009, a newly graduate fashion designer came to her shop looking for a job. Mae took her in and orders poured in to her shop. Mae’s new partner helped her a lot in beating new challenges and she encouraged Mae to create

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She even made her own Toga on her graduation She was poised to do on-the-job-training when she was diagnosed with a tumor

Photos Courtesy of Meyen Rabanal Cabuyadao

growing on her left kidney. Doctors advised her to have an operation to remove the kidney, suspecting that it was life threatening. With her faith in God, she believed she was healed. She was spared from the operation. Thankful for her healing, Mae closed her shop and dedicated her life to God. She rebuilt her family and lived the life away from the sewing machine. But in her heart lives the love and passion for designing clothes.

of designs from Mae which fueled the fire and the passion once again. It was a dream come true for Mae on May 19, 2018 at Tokyo Tower Media Centre in Roppongi. Her very first fashion show was a success! It showcased her designs from start until recent. She was joined by other 2 designers namely Mr. Bong Cristobal and Ms. Anabel Ikonic. A

one-of-a-kind fashion show was directed by Ms. Maria Colico, a fashion model herself. Mae is literally surrounded with good people who genuinely wish her only the best in her chosen profession. Good-luck, Mae! This time, it will be another 15 years or more of annual fashion show events for you and your team! All the best and congratulations!

A few years back, Mae met Sandra Nagumo and Eden Encinas. They became good friends. Since Sandra was joining a beauty pageant, Mae started designing gowns for her. With Sandra’s winning, she needed more gowns to wear for her appearances. This sparked the love for designing which Mae kept long inside her heart and was dying to get out. Eden also ordered a lot

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Student? Just arrived in Japan? Lipat bahay? Bagong opisina? Moving company? Cable and internet connection?

“Our Mission is You! Let us support your life in Japan.� Only 1-min. walk from Takadanobaba Eki (Yamanote Line or Tozai Line) Very near Big Box and Donki

1-26-12-701 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

English and Japanese OK!


AROUND JAPAN WITH UTAWIT 2018! Jeepney Press, Samahang Pilipino, Teatro Kanto Organization

in cooperation with the different Filipino Organizations in Japan Nationwide with the support of The Philippine Embassy, Tokyo, Japan present.....

Kitami Jul 15


October 20, 2018 Tokyo, Japan

Kyoto Sep 16 Fukuoka Jun 17

Iwate Aug 19

Tokyo Nagoya Aug 12 Sep 2 Jul 29 Shizuoka JUL 1

GRAND FINAL on 20 OCT, Sat. in TOKYO from 5pm - 9:30pm Dinner Charity Show by Reservations Only PM Utawit, Glen Atienza and Justina Hazama

Jeepney Press 93 May-June 2018  

Jeepney Press March - April 2018 Issue: Celebrating the Journeys of Filipinos in Japan, Pahayagan ng Pinoy sa Japan

Jeepney Press 93 May-June 2018  

Jeepney Press March - April 2018 Issue: Celebrating the Journeys of Filipinos in Japan, Pahayagan ng Pinoy sa Japan