January 2017

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himitsuru: (Shige-papipupepo || NEWS/Shige)

あけましておめでとうございます! A happy new year to everyone! I haven't been writing as much as I'm supposed to because I've been busy with some stuff (mostly pertaining to my hobbies - gotta preserve my sanity, after all) and I had my first visit home after a long while! Despite the lag in the internet connection, I had a good two weeks with family and friends and I could only wish I was able to extend my trip a little bit more.

Anyway, I'm back in Japan and I feel like I can finally start the year right! But of course a little review of 2015 is in order before I can truly look forward to what this year has to offer to me. 2015 had been a year full of surprises and I wouldn't have it in any other way.

  • Work had been really good. Sure, there was a few rollercoaster rides and a few bouts of discouragement and depression, but overall I feel I have improved and now I'm more confident with the way I deliver my lessons. A lot of new colleagues have made their way into the team and I'm happy to say that most of them have become really good friends, to the point of making me wish I live in Hiroshima. I have also been given a leadership role of some sort and while I feel awkward with the responsibility, I feel honored to have been given a task to accomplish. Everything has been enjoyable and I feel like I can still stay in the job for another year or so.

  • There was a lot of travel opportunities! This year alone I was able to go to Tokyo, Fukuoka, Osaka and Hyogo. Most of these was because of concerts, but the other half was because of my friend who had travelled all the way from Korea to spend her summer vacation / Obon with me. I can only wish it wasn't as expensive for foreign residents (still wishing I could just travel all over Japan via the Shinkansen), but for now this is enough. I never thought that travelling can be so much fun and exciting! I never travelled as extensively in the Philippines simply because the transportation system isn't as friendly and it mostly requires me to go around asking people (or even try to bargain for lower prices...).

  • And speaking of fandom - I was finally able to go see NEWS and Arashi for the first time! NEWS simply overwhelmed me in their Fukuoka, Hiroshima and Tokyo concerts for the White Tour and I couldn't have it any better. I only got to see Arashi once in the Fukuoka leg of the Japonism Tour, and while it was only once, I had gotten an arena seat and I was able to watch the concert along with a NEWS friend. The fandom is really a wonderful place as I had gotten to meet so many friends and fans for the first time, and some of them were really kind enough to give me gifts and even give me a lift back home. I haven't been happy with the damage to my wallet, but after everything else, I can only grin, shrug and say "Who cares, I am happy!".

  • I guess I have been too preoccupied with happiness that I found myself not visiting any clinics and hospitals for the past five months or so. Maybe it's because of the vitamins I had received from family? Or being happy for the latter half of the year? Or.... something else? Hahahaha. That last bit I will prefer to keep a secret until a certain time, I guess.

For 2016, I can only hope for things to look even better, even with the impending doom of seeing my friends leave me behind... but as early as now I can definitely say that 2016 will be a year of change.

Recently, I had made up my mind to transfer to Hiroshima, and while the date hasn't been definite yet, I am prepping myself for the new environment I will be having, both in terms of work and residence. I am going to miss my quiet life in Tokuyama for sure, but I have felt that I needed to grow in terms of work performance and language progress. I have grown too accustomed to my schools (especially Tokuyama and Hikari), and I had NOT been able to touch nor opened a Japanese language book since I moved here. Sure, I had the language app and phone dictionaries to help me out, but I had not taken any step in formal Japanese language learning. Moving to Hiroshima might force me to finally take that step to avenging my failure in the last N4 JLPT exam.

And savings..... ummm, maybe that had been my biggest failure in 2015. I was only able to do short-term saving, only to blow it all off on my fandom hobbies / family matters / credit card dues / health issues. I hope to be able to save more this year, but seeing the extravagant idiot as I am, I don't think I will make any progress...... (I seriously think I need help in this area, haha).

That's it for now, and we'll see if I can finally manage to achieve these goals in 2016. I am going to try my best, certainly! With work and fandom, I am going to make my second/third year in Japan even more adventurous, crazy and fun. :)



P.S. Been addicted to Jojo's Bizarre Adventure lately (especially with Stardust Crusaders) - finished the entire anime franchise entirely in December. Now looking forward to the fourth arc in April. Shige, I finally understand why you like this series, lol.
himitsuru: (Bokutachi wa NEWS! || NEWS)
I went to NEWS's White Tour in Marine Messe Fukuoka for the second show. I had originally planned to go to just Hiroshima and Tokyo, but I failed to hit the ballot for Hiroshima and luckily enough through a friend, I managed to snag a ticket to Fukuoka at the original price. Without hesitation I immediately jumped at the chance, because I was still sore about not hitting for the Fukuoka show at the last Arashi concert just that desperate to see them asap.

So I will warn you : there were a lot of factors that hindered me from remembering the minute details (which all boils down to physical fatigue and lots and LOTS of crying), so this is just a poor attempt at a concert report, so don't expect too much. ^^ I'll mostly write about the songs that stuck with me first, and then the random forgotten-where-in-the-sequence moments.

[2015.05.24] Marine Messe Fukuoka, 17:00 )


I sped back to Yamaguchi on the Shinkansen and found an undelivered notice on my door for my Tokyo Dome ticket, and forgetting about the pain I biked my way to the post office and retrieved the ticket. My seat, my friends say, is a decent seat, so yeah, life is good! Can't wait to see them again in Hiroshima and Tokyo! :D
himitsuru: (Uni's smile || Reborn)
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A few minutes more to go and we officially welcome 2015 - well, over here in GMT +9, that is. It's obviously a cliche to write a New Year's post to somehow recollect on what has happened this year, except that for this entry I choose to make it public instead of having to hide it away from malicious scrutiny.

When I wrote these entries at the start of 2013 and 2014, I wasn't expecting a multitude of blessings. I simply wanted to be free of negative people, negative environment, and health ailments. I clearly remember complaining about wanting to finish my thesis on time and opportunities to go work abroad, but I never expected that this year those complaints would bear positive fruit. All of my hopes have always been formless thoughts, and at the back of my mind, I had always put myself down by saying that these hopes would not come true. I guess the universe was simply fed up with my pessimism and slapped me with a bunch of positive turns in order to prove me wrong. God is really good.

So yeah, to sum up what 2014 has been, these had been the highlights.

  • I passed JLPT N5! It's not that big of an achievement compared to my other friends who had already passed the higher levels, but this has been something that I had wanted to achieve ever since I started studying Japanese on my own ten years ago. It was such a hard decision to stop my formal Japanese education due to financial concerns, but I guess it was all for the best, as shown in later months.

  • After five years, I finally finished graduate school and got a degree in Applied Linguistics. Sure, graduate school was fun and all that, but coupled with tensions at work and souring relationships, it had gradually begun to turn into a prison I wanted to break free of. I also realized that I had overestimated myself and I had given myself an academic burden I could not fully commit to. I have to admit that I still don't know just how much I love academics and how much of it I am going to embrace (in terms of emotional and intellectual growth), but for now I am contented to say I have overcome a major milestone.

  • I found work in Japan. This has to be my greatest achievement - not only for this year, but for my entire life. Since I took an interest in Japanese language in high school, I have always wondered if I would be able to experience Japanese life and culture up close and personal. If other people's dreams have consisted of a stable work, a family, a house and a car, mine was just to find myself as an independent entity in a country whose culture I have always been interested in immersing. It may be shallow, selfish and immature, yes, but these are my honest thoughts, I guess: to be able to put the language I've been studying to practice, to experience these people's way of life, to be able to reach the people who have made this dream possible, to be able to express my gratitude to them for having given me meaning no one else had.

  • My empty passport finally has served its purpose. Not only was I able to step on Japanese soil, but I was also able to travel and cross over to South Korea. I am still far from the ideal image of what a traveler is supposed to be (I am not into extensive backpacking due to my health issues), but for now I am content to say I have gone somewhere.

If anyone were to ask me if I'm happy with my place right now, I would say I am. Well, of course I'd be lying if I would say I am not lonely, but I had prepped myself for these sacrifices even back then. I can only be grateful that my family and friends have greatly supported and understood me with my decisions. I couldn't ask for a better support than them.

The only thing I am not happy with are my health issues - it seemed that I had gotten worse, but as to whether these changes were the culprit, I cannot fully say. Right now I'm dealing with a VERY bad back coupled with some recurrent headaches and stomachaches, and they have been the cause of my stress. I admit that I have been very afraid these past few weeks with these sudden changes, and while everyone is saying Japan is a great country in terms of medicine, their hospitals' and clinics' operating hours and insurance policies are driving me crazy.

But no matter, this year had been filled with a lot of great things for me just when I least expected it. I guess it is safe to say that this has been the best year for me so far. I still have a lot of things I want to accomplish - like travelling to Tokyo, attending a NEWS concert (too bad with Arashi's this year), and saving A LOT for future projects. I can only wish medical appointments would stop sapping the hell out of my finances.

Anyway, I sincerely hope that everything will get even better for everyone in 2015!  あけましておめでとうございます!^^