All These Things (4): January-February edition

Here I thought I’d have time to blog more come 2015, but look, it’s already February. Scratch that – February is almost over, and I just sat down to finally blog. I promise, I really wanted to write last January, but I went through another round of transition then, so I had other things I needed to focus on.

But don’t worry, it’s good transition. And by that, I mean I don’t feel as lost now as I did at first. :)

So what has happened to me so far in 2015?

  • Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines – I will write another blog entry about this, but this is definitely one of the experiences I will never ever forget. What a way to kickstart 2015.
  • Work, and lots of it – This isn’t new, but there was a lot of work only because I filed my resignation last December, so most of this is transition stuff. This means…
  • I have a new job. :) This wasn’t in any of my plans at all. I had other plans, really, especially since this opportunity came to me last year but I ignored it the first time. Then when I asked for it, someone else got it, so I figured it wasn’t for me. Lo and behold, I got a message by December if I wanted to go for it again. So I did, and I got the job. I’ve been in the role for one month and it’s been fun so far. The tasks and responsibilities are quite daunting, but I’m also having fun and I actually like this stretch. (So much that I actually went to work yesterday – a holiday – willingly, how about that.) Lots more to come for this, and I’m quite excited for those things. :)
  • SFC International Conference in Palawan. My fourth SFC ICON, my second time in Palawan, and thanks to the generosity of some CFCs in Palawan, we got to visit El Nido on a budget (like, really awesome budget). What an amazing, amazing experience, and I really, really hope that I get to write about this soon.

There are many things that I need to write about (part two of the Bangkok-Siem Reap trip, for one), and I’m really going to try harder to do that soon. I mean, I have a lot of time outside of work now. I think I’m just sort of adjusting from all this free time now. Ever had that dilemma? You know, having almost no free time to suddenly having so much free time that you don’t know what to do with it now? Yeah, that thing. But let’s not waste time, right?

Here’s one thing I know, after the first 51 days of 2015: it’s been a blast, so far. :)

ありがとう日本!

When I was a kid, I fell in love with the Sailormoon series. I loved it so much that everyone in school associated it with me, and I even cried several times when I missed it, or when I watched a particular episode where they all died and such. It was my first introduction to anime, and I thought that because I loved Sailormoon, I would probably like other anime, too. Eventually, I watched some, and then because I was such an otaku (or so I thought), I found this how to speak Japanese booklet at home and started trying to learn it, because I thought it was cool and all that.

Then I just lost interest, and never really looked back. (Except when I catch some Sailormoon episodes that they air here every now and then.)

Here’s the thing: I never had Japan in my bucket list. I have friends who love everything Japan and Japanese – from music to food to TV shows and all that, and every time they talk about it, I just nod politely and listen. It’s not that I didn’t want to go – I just didn’t have it in my list of places I wanted to go to. I wasn’t as fascinated with Japan as I was with New York City, or Europe.

Then late last year, a friend called me and asked if I wanted to go to Osaka because there was a seat sale and they were about to book a flight. Being a Yes-girl to a lot of travel stuff like that (which is how I got to go to Jakarta last year in the first place), I said yes, and then ta-da! I had a ticket to Japan!

I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t do much research until a few weeks before the trip when we were working out our itinerary. We had five days there – less, because we arrive in the evening on our first day – and there was just so much that everyone in our group of 9 wanted to do. In the end, after we got our visas, we decided to go crazy over it: Osaka – Tokyo – Kyoto. All in five days.

Let me tell you: it was ambitious and achievable, but prepare for aching feet, long rides, and very quick stops. Because friends, three cities in five days = crazy. Even more so, Japan in five days = NOT. ENOUGH.

Time to let the pictures speak for themselves! (Photo dump!)

大阪

40
It was raining on our first night, and we got lost on our way to the hotel. :D
37
First group selfie at the hotel! :D
01
The next morning, near the Osaka Castle. :)

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