Friday, October 19, 2007

Volunteerism

Hands On Manila

It's been three years since I've joined this volunteer group. I remember how I came across this article about the group, what are they here for, and the various activities they organize all of which are participated in by people with willing hearts. I attended their volunteers' orientation held in one of the bookshops in Makati where they introduced the group, its humble beginnings, how they work, the different projects they have, the different organizations they have tie up with, and some of the people whom have supported the organization and embraced the concept of volunteerism.

Volunteerism, as defined in Wikipedia, "is the willingness of people to work on behalf of others without the expectation of pay or other tangible gain". It may sound crazy but its true. One is willing to work without expecting anything tangible from it. Though there maybe various reasons why they joined, in the end its the sense of accomplishment and the belief that one made something good that made them come back and do it all again.

In my case, I want a different summer at that time. Since I wasn't expecting any teaching job the summer of 2004,I want to do something good with my time. After attending the orientation, the following day I was out the streets visiting the various organizations needing some volunteers. I guess I was a bit picky with the organizations, I wanted something that will tell me what to do like sort of a plan and I want one that won't involved a lot of time as I still need to go to work. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get both. It is either they require you to be there a number of times a week or you just have to go find something to do. The groups that I was interested in cannot be contacted or either have the project discontinued already.

So here I am, three years and yet I haven't experienced the joys of being a volunteer. I have invited Hands On Manila in our university to talk about volunteering and have invited some friends to join the group. Dondon Marquez, the HOM Program Manager, told me that though I may not be doing some physical volunteering work, introducing the group (HOM) to other people helps in promoting it. In that, my outlook turned positive but still I am longing for that one time that I will be able to do real volunteer work.

Actually, when I came here in Japan the first thing I did was scout for volunteer groups. Sadly I haven't found any, though I know there are a lot of volunteer groups here. But in the past one year in my stay here in Japan, in one way or another I was able to learn and experience some concepts in volunteering which I hope I could impart back home.

So still, I guess the only way I could help HOM is to introduce it to people and promote volunteerism. In that I would like everyone back home to participate in Hands On Servathon 2007 on October 27, 2007 in celebration of yet another year of Hands On Manila. There will be various activities in different parts of Metro Manila. For more information you could check Hands On Manila website at: http://online.handsonmanila.org/

Sunday, October 14, 2007

もったいない!(Mottainai)

Mottainai - a Japanese concept which means "understanding the value inherent in all things and not wasting something that can still be put to use". This concept have helped Japan progress in spite of the scarcity in natural resources. Giving importance to the little things they have, they were able to maximize its use and even gone as far as maximizing the use of things considered wastes.

The Philippines has been blessed, luckily, with a lot of these natural resources but unfortunately we don't seem to care. We only care when disasters strikes like the flooding in Ormoc, landslide in Leyte, landslide in Aurora and Quezon. I remember that even Baguio City, a place on top of a mountain suffered flooding. We kept experiencing disasters that if one will only think about it are not considered natural at all but instead man-made. Then we put the blame in the government, in the bureaucracy, in politics as well as the corruption that goes along with it. But we forget to blame ourselves, the people.

We always want our lives to be easy. In everything we do, we don't want to sweat it out. Even me, I admit, would like things to be easy. We'd rather cross a busy road risking life and limbs instead of using the footbridge, throw a candy wrapper outside our car as we don't want our vehicles to get dirty, or leave a soda can or cup anywhere we want instead of holding on to it if we can't find a garbage bin . We always want an easy way out. But when we are talking about the environment, we really don't have to sweat it out. All we need is discipline. I remember before, during my grade school years in our Character Building Activities (CBA) Subject, everyone were required to bring a small plastic bag everyday and that all our refuse should be placed inside if we can't find a garbage bin and to be disposed once we reach home. This I practice until today (minus the plastic bag) and ever since have been a part of me. It is quite easy to do if you follow it by heart.

In the past few days, Metro Manila have been devastated by the news that the only garbage landfill supporting them was closed. The end result, a lot of garbage were not collected and the only remedy was the recommendation to lessen the refuse by each household. Though currently the problem have been solved, still I don't think that the end remedy is for Metro Manila or the Philippines in general to keep on using landfills. I think we must go further beyond the concept of landfills.

Metro Manila's waste problems is actually easy to resolved if and only if the government and the people will help each other. The government- laying out a more concrete waste management plan and the people- strictly follows this plan. Mottainai still follows the concept of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.


I remember before how the Philippine Government and some NGOs promotes recycling and proper waste segregation.


http://nettv.gov-online.go.jp/prg/prg887.html


WHAAAATTT!!!

Nothing. Wala lang akong magawa.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Can't Do Anything!

I forgot to blog about the ICC trip I joined in last week, Friday. We went to this Edo period style theme park where in everyone are clothe in the fashion of the era and they have recreated a Japanese village at a foot of a mountain which I should say is quite a scene.

Today I will be joining yet another trip, this time around Honjo again. Still have 1hr 15mins to prepare. Will be posting some of the photos maybe tonight.

Oh yeah, about the title? Two months have passed and still I haven't started on anything yet. Can't seem to make my mind work.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The coconuter

Ohayou gozaimasu! I have a few minutes this morning to write this up and so I would like to focus your attention to this blogsite --> coconuter . I haven't really gone through the entire site but was able to read an introduction about it from a forwarded email in the yahoogroups. To make the long story short, it's about the adventures of one young man in the Philippines after leaving behind the comforts of his US life. As he have said, while many are running away from the problem stricken Philippines, he did the other way and trusted his instinct in order to find his real self, his purpose in life. I hope you'll find time to browse over and read some of his thoughts. Anyways, time is running out, I need to get ready for church. Mata ne!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

JICA Seminar pics

I already have uploaded some of the JICA Seminar pictures in Winkflash . Free accounts at flicker has some limitations in the number of folders you could create and I don't want to spend yearly for that privileges. Then I found out about Winkflash which promises unlimited free account so they say so expect future uploads to this new site.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Leaving...but not gone. Kudos to PUNZKI!!

I think this guy really deserve that position at Microsoft in Redmond. Having known his capacity I have no doubt that this guy could actually make it big. Actually, his qualifications to Microsoft - Redmond are backed-up with his stints as Microsoft Philippines MVP during his college years aside from the fact that he, together with other fellow students from Ateneo de Manila University, represented the Philippines in a Microsoft sponsored competition in the US. This and other numerous competitions he have won proves that he is worthy for his new job. Though it saddened me and I guess a lot of his friends back home for his departure, we are glad that he is taking his career to new heights and proving that he, and other Filipinos, can do it, YES FILIPINOS CAN DO IT!

Kudos to you and we wish you luck and greater success!

Monday, August 27, 2007

つかれた!

Just got back from very very tiring trips. Trips because I have been to two physically exhausting and mind breaking trips.

Izu is not easy

From the 17th to 19th of August, I was in Kawana at Ito City in the beautiful Izu Peninsula at Shizuoka Prefecture. That trip was about my lab's yearly Summer Seminar Workshop where everybody are supposed to do and make presentations about their researchs. From day one, Friday starting at 8pm, the group listened to the first batch of presenters then the following day, from 9am til 10pm with a short break from 4:00pm to 7:00pm for dinner and a quick game of tennis, the group sat and listened patiently as the presenters comes in one by one.

It was really very tiring to listen to different speakers talking about different areas of research, one has to think very vast in order to grasps the topics. Not to mention the physical endurance our butts has to make sitting for that long.

JICA Summer Seminar at Nihonmatsu, Fukushima

After a few hours of rest and sleep, I was packing my things again for yet another exciting adventure. This time it will be much longer than the previous as I will be staying for 8 days starting from the 20th to 27th of August. Not to mention, the physical activities involved in the seminar.

The JICA seminar I was in was about Forest and Environmental Protection and the participation of the local community. Where would be the best place to conduct the lecture but inside the forest itself! Not really the jungle-type like what I expect, but the atmosphere is almost quite the same, with the lush trees and the singing sound of running waters with the majestic view of the mountain peaks. For about one week, we stayed at Forest Park Adatara in Nihonmatsu and learned a lot of things about Forest and Environmental Protection. At the campsite we where introduced to some of the very physical but fun (I guess for starters) ways of maintaining the environment like thinning out trees from the forest then making charcoals. Yes!! We did cut some trees and made the charcoals, and I say you, it is not that easy. Even if we cut the tree trunk into 1 meter length, still some weighs a bit heavy. Then in the charcoal process, hitting the kiln takes about 1 day, then burning the woods for the charcoal will take about yet another day. But again, when you are that enthusiastic, things are quite fun even if the weather is really really very hot!

There are some fun parts though, we did some wood crafts which I would say is quite very easy even kids can enjoy. There were also a BBQ party with new JICA staffs, not to mention the times I deep in the hot spring and beer drinking spree with my co-participants.

Early Sunday morning, we packed again and headed for a ryoukan to meet a local club Nihonmatsu Yuuhigaoka Sinka Club that also works with environmental projects. We stayed there for one night before heading back home but the stay is really quite interesting. Meeting with the club members we did a lot of activities, like clearing and cleaning the forest (again we went up the mountain though not that high), craft making using old leaves, there was even a story telling session about the Moon Princess or "Kaguyahime (かぐやひめ)". Interestingly, last year, the group traveled to Manila and the areas of San Fernando, La Union and Mt. Pinatubo for their environmental field trips. The owner by the way of the ryoukan is a member of the group.

We had an early dinner, which is actually some sort of party to get to know the members much better, after which everyone donned their costumes (witch costumes for the JICA participants) then headed for the town's main street to join the celebration of O-Bon Matsuri. In my case, I just wore a yukatta. Everyone had fun dancing to the tune of the drums, celebrating with the local people.

I'm still quite tired for now so pictures will be posted later.

Friday, August 10, 2007

ハロハロ in Japan?! (Halo-halo in Japan)

Went out for a swim at Fukayashi with a friend yesterday and we stopped by a MiniStop outlet along the road to have lunch. Was taking a last bite when I noticed this sign --> ハロハロあります。(Halo-Halo available <-- translation in English, see photo below). I was amazed to find out that they have it here in Japan, though it is not quite the real thing as they tend to put the ice "before" the sweets leaving you with ice and water at in the end. Anyways, I told my friend that Halo-Halo is a famous cold food or dessert during the summer seasons in the Philippines and that the term they used in Japan actually came from the Philippines. He was also amazed after learning that it is a Filipino food. Currently, it is quite hot here in Japan and I think this will last until the mid of October. I promised him I'd prepare some next week, I just need to get some items from Ueno.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My Japanese Name (日本の名前)

Got this link from a friend about a Japanese name generator. Though not really real it's just a fun site to play with.

http://rumandmonkey.com/widgets/toys/namegen/969/

By the way, I'm MORITA KAITO. 森田海斗です、どうぞよろしく。

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Still busy

Currently still busy with school work. Most of my posts includes pictures and since I am having a hard time uploading it and doing the layout, I tend to just save it as drafts. For now I still haven't uploaded the posts from April to July.

School is out actually but I still have to finish one more paper for my intensive class. After this I need to be busy conceptualizing my research and try to be more specific. Then I have to attend a couple of seminars that requires some travelling so it is really tiring just thinking about all the things that I need to do. What a life!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sakura all around

I got bored today so I thought of going around the city. Brought my camera with me and went back to the flower park. But this time I took some photos near Wakaizumi Sports Park that is just beside the flower park.
At this time I guess the sakura season will be over soon for Honjo. Once you see petals on the ground, it means that the flowers will all start to wither. I'm just glad I was able to catch a glimpse of this sight. I transfered to another part of the park at the back of th e school and saw this beautiful scene a long the river.


The view of the park at the back of the school is much beautiful and grander with all the sakura in bloom.




Monday, April 02, 2007

Hanami fever

After the Mochi and Hanami party, a friend of mine from Cambodia asked me if it is ok for me to join her go sight seeing as she doesn't want to go back yet at the dormitory. Well since I guess I still have the hanami fever in me, I said sure. We bumped into another friend from Singpore and asked him to join us go around the city.

We ended up in Honjo Flower Park although at this time of the year, you can only see cherry blossoms. Not that I am saying it is not a nice view but the flower park is called as such because of its spectacular beauty and view during the summer season.

Mochi and Hanami

Since it is the time for cherry blossoms, the local group here organized a Mochi (rice sweets) and Hanami party yesterday at the community center. I wasn't able to have a taste of the mochi though, although seeing how they made it was quite interesting to know. I remember the time we use to make "linupak na saging" (smashed banana with grated coconut meat and sugar).

Young and old a like helped in beating the rice used for making mochi.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Yokohama tour- Part 2

Since we started quite late, we reached Sea Paradise mid-afternoon and you know how my other fellows love it to take pictures wherever and whenever they pleases. Of course who am I to stop them, if you can't beat them, join them! This one is funny. Everyone is in the mood to act out their parts.