Category Archives: Opinion
Someone from GetRealPhilippines.com hit the mark about the current state of Philippine education:
If I have a child in the future, there is no way I’d let them be educated here (my wife agrees). Raising a child in this education system and culture, when you have the option of giving them a better chance elsewhere, is basically child abuse.
There are just too many things that baffle and frustrate me about what I’ve seen of education here:
– Why do they start school so late? (My niece has to take kindergarten a second year because she can’t start grade one until she’s six!)
– Why are they teaching my nephew in deep, traditional bisaya that even his bisaya-speaking family doesn’t understand?
– Why do university courses involve general studies not related to the course (e.g. a science student has to complete modules in art, sport, Rizal, etc. That should have been dealt with in school – let your students concentrate on their actual degrees and maybe you’ll produce some competitive specialists!)
There’s a lot more! Lemme elaborate.
Even though I’m now in good terms with my first crush in school, I still won’t give in towards him.
Right. We can be business partners. No questions asked.
However, something at the back of my mind would tell me, “Don’t get too attached to him.”
In fact, I don’t trust his friends.
Civility is something you give, only to those who deserve it. Granted, call it defeatist to forgive someone who has completely taken away your pride and dignity, yet—if you’re going to give them a second chance, ask yourself this question: Do they really deserve this?
If they have completely changed their attitude, then go. Give them the civility they deserve. If no, then they should ask themselves: How should they earn someone’s trust from the start?
Give them the civility, granted. Thing is, never get too attached to that same person. Even though I would like to work with him someday, I still recall the bad memories.
Of course, I don’t want to repeat history, to think it has been 10 years when we started to be hostile against one another.
Move on? Yes. I have moved on. However, it’s not always done completely. So yeah, forgive; but never forget.
Upon the passing of the “Master Showman” German “Kuya Germs” Moreno, and Alan Rickman, who portrayed the iconic role of the stern but caring Professor Severus Snape, I sense that 2016 would be indeed the peak–of the so-called “Year of the Grim Reaper.”
Happy New Year everyone!
I have just one question to ask. Is Jose Rizal an elitist?
Possible “Facts” that makes our national hero elitist:
1.) He spoke Spanish more fluently than Tagalog.
2.) There’s no evidence that he interacted with poor people.
3.) He learned all the foreign languages as much as he could, but he barely spoke any of the local languages of the Philippines.
4.) He wanted the Philippines to still be a part of Spain.
5.) He lived most of his adult life in Europe, perchance?
Credits to yousuke_ito via Statigr.am for this one!
Sooooo yeah! Imma back, guys! Well, sorry for not posting things here in my main blog since I have err… a little or no more motivation to post things, but yeah… can’t be helped!
But as promised, I’m back! However, without Photoshop CS6 Extended in my lappie (aww… just Lightroom, that’s it) and without anything that will motivate me to improve my photography skills (how I miss photography, but I realized that it’s more convenient to have a smaller DSLR than a medium-sized one).
But no worries guys, I have learned the hard way: We don’t need Photoshop if we could capture great photos, right? After all, being Photoshop-dependent sucks real dick, amaright!?
Well here, this is serious business. Today (or tonight in my country, haha!), I am gonna discuss the benefits and downsides of dual (or multiple) citizenship and why should the Japanese government accept Kono Taro-sama’s proposal–with modifications, of course.
What is multiple citizenship?
Multiple citizenship… in general, is a situation wherein an individual holds more than one citizenship–meaning to say that he/she’s protected by more than one country’s laws (correct me for me grammer… lol). Each independent entity has its own laws regarding multiple citizenship.
A person could acquire at least two citizenships: One citizenship is something which a person is born with and another citizenship is something that a person acquired through naturalization. Most people are born with single citizenship, but nowadays, more and more children are born with more than one citizenship.
Single citizens – Usually, these people were born in their home country (parents’ domicile/hometown) or in a foreign country (countries which follow the jus sanguinis principle). If a person is born in the Philippines with Filipino parents, of course these parents should be Filipino citizens who do not hold another citizenship.
Example: A person born in the Philippines to Filipino parents, or a person born somewhere in the Middle East to Filipino parents (take note that most Middle Eastern countries, esp. the monarch-runned ones, do not allow naturalization AT ALL). I really didn’t expect that one of my acquaintances was born in Saudi Arabia.
Notable people: Venus Raj (born in Qatar), Jessy Mendiola (born in the United Arab Emirates/UAE), Korina Sanchez (born in Hong Kong), Isla Fischer (Australian actress, born in Oman), Liv Ullmann (Norwegian actress, born in Japan)
Multiple citizens – Usually, these people were born with more than one citizenship. Most of these people were either born with Filipino parents in a jus soli country (Canada and the United States), or is usually mixed-raced. Most people who are under this category have parents who do not have the same citizenship.
Example: A Filipino person born to Filipino parents in the United States of America, or a half-Filipino, half-British person born in the Philippines or in Britain but holds British and Filipino citizenship at the same time.
Notable people: Joyce Jimenez (born in the United States to Filipino parents), G Toengi (father is Swiss-American, and sources say that she was born in US soil), Kaye Abad (born in the United States to Filipino parents), Natalie Portman (mother is American while father is an Israeli), Nicole Kidman (born in Hawaii to Australian parents), Roger Federer (born in Switzerland which is his domicile, but also has South African citizenship through his mother), Heidi Klum (German model, naturalized as an American citizen for her children), Kirsten Dunst (American actress, naturalized as German through her father), Charlize Theron (South African actress, naturalized as American in 2007 due to visa restrictions on a South African passport), Rachel Weisz (British actress, naturalized as American)… to be honest, there are a LOT, actually!
Notable people who hold more than two citizenships: Flynn Bloom (born in the United States to Orlando Bloom who is British and Miranda Kerr who is Australian), Christianne Amanpour (has a British mother and an Iranian father but naturalized as an American through marriage), G Toengi (American, Filipino and Swiss)
Actually, these are some examples I can give you so far. YEAH, most of these people are celebrities because one of my professors in college said that holding more than one citizenship is actually very expensive (he said that holding more than one citizenship is for the rich)–since you have to pay taxes in both countries. No wonder, I will show you both the benefits and the downsides of being a multiple citizen.
Benefits of being a multiple citizen
Credits to @gtongi via Statigr.am
1.) Visa-free access to other countries without a visa – Usually, if you’re Filipino and you hold citizenship in first-world countries (USA, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Germany, Israel, Finland, Sweden), you could actually travel in as much many countries as you like, but not all countries could be accessed without a prior-to-arrival visa. As a matter of fact, the only advantage of Filipino citizens over Japanese citizens is that, Filipinos could travel to Brazil without a visa, while Japanese citizens need to acquire a visa prior to their Brazilian trip. Here, this shows that holding more than one citizenship would bring you more benefits like visa-free access to popular destinations such as Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Schengen Area… and the Anglophone world.
Example: Filipino + USA/Canada/Japan/Australia/UK citizenship = A-OK; Filipino + not first-world citizenship = depends.
2.) Regionalism – Filipino citizens have the freedom to visit the rest of Southeast Asia without a visa (of course, the Philippines finally has visa-free access to Myanmar… recently) while former Soviet blocs could access their fellow former Soviet comrade countries without any visa, but it still depends upon the situation. Canadian citizens could enter the United States without a visa waiver at all, and New Zealanders could visit Australia without a visa waiver. Don’t you know that it’s only the USA and Australia that have a visa waiver policy? Canada, the United Kingdom and the rest of the Anglophone countries do not have the same policy as Oz and the US of A, but somehow they allow these countries to visit their territory without any visa at all.
For instance, if you hold Filipino and American/British/Australian/Canadian citizenship, you could access Southeast Asia without a visa with your Philippine passport, while you could enter the Schengen area with your other passport.
3.) You could buy real estate/land property in some countries – The Philippines is the best example of a country that does not allow foreigners to buy land property in Philippine soil–no wonder, there are condominium units that are actually more expensive than a townhouse. Somehow, if you naturalize yourself as an American citizen and have plans to re-acquire Filipino citizenship, that is because you want to have your own land property in the Philippines… and retire there.
4.) You’re protected by the law–two constitutions/basic laws, that is – I ain’t sure about this one, but you could file for divorce if you’re a citizen of another country since the Philippines is the only country that does not recognize divorce as means of legally separating a couple (actually, I am into divorce–but it should have a minimum price of 1 million pesos, so that people will think twice before proceeding).
5.) You could work as an expat or immigrant worker (without restrictions, maybe) – Expatriates (formal for expats) usually refer to people with a white-collar job in another country while immigrant workers refer to people who work in a foreign country–but in a blue-collar job. Well, you’re considered an immigrant worker if you work as a factory worker or as a caregiver/domestic helper, while if you’re in another country yet you’re a businessman or company employee, you are considered an expatriate. Well, our acquaintances who have connection to Canada generally had blue-collar jobs, but they returned to the Philippines because yeah, Canada’s quite a laid-back country. And too quiet to get started with.
Now you know what the difference between an immigrant worker and an expat is: Expat refers to a white-collar job worker, while an immigrant worker usually refers to a person doing manual labor/factory work, or in other words, a blue-collar job.
Downsides of multiple citizenship
1.) TAXES – The burden of paying taxes. No wonder only the well-off people could afford holding more than one citizenship. Well, you really have to work hard if you want to acquire another citizenship.
2.) Conflict with another country – If you happen to be an Israeli citizen, you are not spared when it comes to the Arab League’s visa policies. Even ordinary passport holders are actually not allowed to enter oil-rich countries unless they have a special permit coming from the Israeli government. Worse, some of these Arab countries reject not only Israeli passports, but also non-Israeli passports with an Israel stamp on it (yes, the Arab League is really hostile towards Israel as their stance of support towards Palestine, and Israel happens to be an ally of the United States, no wonder). While Hong Kong recently imposed sanctions towards Filipino citizens who hold an official or a diplomatic passport, it’s a good thing that they spared ordinary passport holders as a sign that the Hong Kong government gives sanctions to Filipino government officials and representatives, but not ordinary citizens of the Philippines.
Side Note: Israeli citizens could enter the Arab League with “special permission” from the government.
Taiwanese citizens, on the other hand, could not access Brazil without a “special visa” since both countries do not maintain diplomatic relations with each other.
blog.viki.com|Rain being as “Jeong Ji Hoon” for being drafted into the South Korean army.
3.) Conscription – This is another problem if you’re a multiple citizen. In the Philippines, one is required to choose between ROTC (military training) and CWTS (community service). Usually, dual citizens will choose CWTS because ROTC is mainly about conscription. Military service usually requires people who have just one citizenship… dunno with multiple citizens. This is probably the reason why South Korea didn’t allow multiple citizenship before 2011 (multiple citizenship is allowed now, but pars with the multiple citizenship policies of the Netherlands and Norway). In other words, it’s still QUOTA.
South Koreans actually have this problem. Prior to 2011, usually, most South Korean mothers give birth to the United States because they don’t want their sons to join the military service, which is mandatory. However, there are still South Korean men who are still WILLING to be conscripted.
hasekamp.net|King Rama IX playing the saxophone. Take note that he was born in the United States of America.
4.) Citizenship issues among monarchs – Well, if you happen to be a monarch (male), you have to beg for the government to have a certain agreement that this place has to be a temporary exclave of your country just for your spouse to give birth to your child just in case you’re in exile. No wonder, Thailand does not allow multiple citizenship at all since their King was born in the United States of America (which is jus soli).
5.) NSTP (National Service Training Program) – If you’re a Filipino citizen, you have to undergo this process. It may seem to be “AWW” to you, but to those who don’t like ROTC, CWTS is always there. Yes, Filipino citizens who hold another citizenship have a hesitation of choosing between ROTC and CWTS, but if you were to ask me, CWTS is a safer choice–you explore ALL the walks of life, and it’s better than undergoing religious community service (if you’re Lasallian and you took up TREDTWO).
Multiple citizenship in Japan
Now here’s err… something I would like to share with you guys. Basically, Japan does not allow multiple citizenship (or at least, dual) because one government official said that it might cause conflict to a person, and the government wants its citizens to follow the “stick-to-one” rule, when it comes to citizenship.
Well, it is actually a burden if you happen to be a Japanese citizen and yet you hold another citizenship. For me, not allowing your citizens to obtain two passports just because it might cause conflict doesn’t always mean they’ll always be a magnet of any chaotic dilemmas regarding citizenship. Hapas in Japan have this dilemma of just choosing one citizenship since they have no choice but to have two citizenships. I don’t think hapa celebrities like Becky Rabone and Christel Takigawa were willing to choose just one citizenship, but because of the nationality law of Japan, they still have to choose one. Becky decided to drop her British citizenship since obviously, she’s more Japanese than British. I’m not sure if Christel chose Japanese over French. But I’m sure, there are lots of hapa celebrities who do not want to renounce their other citizenship. So far, I have heard that Yuu Shirota decided to keep his Spanish citizenship, though he was born in Tokyo, but I ain’t sure if he chose Spanish.
Speaking of the multiple citizenship proposal by LDP dude (not sure if he’s still the leader) Kono Taro-sama, it was rather been rejected because the process of making his bill into a law doesn’t seem to be very clear–however, speaking of Kono-sama’s policies, it seems that he’s like the Japanese BongBong Marcos since his policies are awesome–but to tell you the truth, he lacks charisma. But still, he’s still my favorite Japanese politician (LOL), just like how I admire Condoleeza Rice and Kanzlerin Angela Merkel. Can I just add that he favors Japan to have its own military.
blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime|Kare wa Kono Taro-sama desu. The Asian look-alike of Stephen Hawking but his ideas are similar with Senator BongBong Marcos.
Here’s Kono-sama’s proposal.
Hmmm… I guess something’s missing. He should have also considered the “permission required” policy which is actually a thing of German-speaking countries (hence, the word Beibehaltungsgenehmigung [Beibe-haltungs-gemehnigung], which means retention approval. Yes, I admit it’s too freaking long, but what do you expect on German compound words, lol). Actually, die Beibehaltungsgenehmigung is actually beneficial since this will ease down Japan’s citizenship laws. I repeat, having this implemented towards Japanese citizens who hold more than one citizenship could apply whether they’re willing to retain both citizenships or not. This is also a big help to foreigners who are willing to naturalize as Japanese citizens but still want to retain their original citizenship.
Yes, actually Kono-sama should have thought of the Japanese version of die Beibehaltungsgenehmigung (リテンション承認, Ritenshon shounin) so that it would be fair for everyone who holds Japanese citizenship to have another citizenship.
A Gaijin’s Perspective: Should Japan allow multiple citizenship?
Well, coming from a gaijin myself (speaking of Japanese society), my answer goes to a big YES. For one, if you hold a Japanese passport (Nihonkoku Ryoken), you have the freedom to travel towards the Schengen Area and the rest of the European union without a visa, and not only that, you could travel in China without a visa.
Side Note: To those chauvinists who think I don’t have the right to an opinion with regards to a foreign country’s citizenship laws, then it cannot be helped. But still, what about those foreigners who want to have another citizenship? Well, I believe that patriotism is not based on a person’s nationality within itself, but it’s also on how they love their country unconditionally.
The similarities between a Filipino and a Japanese passport is that, you could enter Morocco without a visa (oh yes, OT BTW, my Emirati friends and Israeli buddies could meet there haha). Being Filipino myself, I am willing to have Japanese citizenship IF and ONLY IF Japan will allow dual citizenship, provided that they impose the Beibehaltungsgemehnigung in all aspects.
Yes, I think having more than one citizenship has more advantages than disadvantages, if you’re not into having yourself drafted to military service. Well, Singapore still does not allow dual citizenship, while South Korea allowed it but with certain conditions (aww… it’s also great to hold Korean citizenship, actually)–prolly because of the military service thing (which is actually good, I tell you).
Also, if you happen to be a dual citizen, if you don’t like ROTC (hahaha, ang bad ko talaga), you choose CWTS freely, but those who are dual citizens but WANTS ROTC are sad because of the policies. Oh my.
However, I’m telling you: Having more than one citizenship isn’t that bad. No wonder, the reason why I prefer having a Japanese citizenship as my other citizenship because I consider Japan as my second home. Also, I won’t mind being married to a Japanese guy, it’s just that he has to be the liberated type of guy (not really the Westernized type, but the one who is at least, open-minded). Also, I won’t mind speaking up for foreigners who are willing to naturalize as Japanese citizens, especially those who come from third-world countries (mostly from Africa and Asia), but are still willing to retain the citizenship they’re born with.
Also, don’t you know that there are a lot of Filipino-Japanese people who like to keep both citizenships? Well, I may not have done a survey just yet, but to be honest, being Filipino-Japanese is a privilege. Most of them consider themselves more Filipino than Japanese, but they wouldn’t want to give up their Japanese citizenship since their Japanese passports could let them go places. But, if some of them accept the fact that Japan does not allow dual citizenship, they’ll choose Japanese for travel purposes OR, if they live in Japan already. But some of them still chose Filipino because they think they’re at home when they choose Filipino citizenship even though Filipino passports don’t share the same privilege as Japanese passports. This applies if they settle permanently in the Philippines.
I’m not sure if Filipino-Koreans have the same issue as well since the Republic of Korea (my other favorite country even though I’m not a fan of K-Pop) recently allowed multiple citizenship with certain conditions. However, as far as I know, before 2011, half-Koreans should choose just one citizenship at the age of 18 years old (without the age reckoning system, I guess).
Well, since Japan’s already losing manpower (majority are yes, old people, the ojiisans and the obaasans), I guess it’s time for them to allow dual citizenship and ease their immigration laws since there are a lot of foreigners who are willing to naturalize as Japanese citizens, or to work there and learn the language and culture. I guess Japan should realize that citizenship is not simply about one race, but it should be conforming to their society–and speaking Nihongo, of course.
Of course, Japan’s nationality law dictates that Japanese people should “stick to one” when it comes to obtaining another citizenship, or to naturalize as Japanese, since Japanese society has been maintaining the value of being loyal to a single nation, which I do respect. However, I believe that having dual citizenships won’t make you less of your other identity. For instance, being Filipino-Japanese. YES, being half-Japanese won’t ever make you less of a Filipino, and being half-Filipino won’t make you less of a Japanese. Look at Sayaka Akimoto. She used to have insecurities with regards to being half-Filipino, but she realized that being half-Filipino is something that she should be proud of. After all, we Filipinos are proud of her. Pretty, talented and whatnot, she’s perfection! She’s always welcome in the Philippines, and we love her.
It was really surprising that Sayaka Akimoto was born in the Philippines. Well, Wikipedia is always distorted, that’s why when I learned that she wasn’t born in Japan, I was like, “OMG!” The video is still “bitin” (word for “lacking”), therefore I was like cringing.
I think Sayaka could speak Filipino when she was younger, but then she lost the ability to speak it when she and her family moved to Japan at such a very young age. No wonder, she might be one of those hapas who hesitated to renounce their citizenship.
Ironically, Japanese channels promote multiculturalism through their celebrities travelling across the globe, but still, in their own country, why can’t they simply allow foreigners to conform to their society and consider them as Japanese? Why do they still believe that being monoracial is something that should be placed in value?
I really cannot blame Japanese society for being too homogeneous, however, since the world is already getting smaller and smaller, I guess Japan should allow multiple citizenship since “extreme loyalty” is simply a thing of the past. Globalization embraces a lot of cultures, and I guess Japan should embrace multiculturalism, while retaining their traditions, of course. They’re very well-known to balance the old and new, and the East and the West–but why are they still discouraging their people from having more than one citizenship? I may not be in the right position to judge them, but who knows, hopefully they’ll allow their citizens and gaijins to obtain more than one citizenship in the future. As of now, multiple nationality is still under a heated debate there (even though they recently rejected Kono-sama’s proposal, which is understandable because there are a few lapses in his proposal–and not only Kono-sama himself could propose a law by himself alone; it needs approval by consensus, or slight modifications).
Summary and Conclusions
After all, being a multiple citizen won’t hurt, for as long as you abide by the laws and know how to handle finances correctly, because at the end of the day, globalization is inevitable.
As for Japan, I guess I am still hopeful that they will allow multiple citizenship for hapas and for foreigners who are willing to retain their original citizenship while acquiring a new one. Like what I have said before, multiple citizenship has its own pros and cons, and speaking of which, it is still the person who will decide whether they should choose their citizenship, regardless of their nationality.
Here, if I were to acquire Japanese citizenship, that won’t make me less of a Filipino since I still consider myself a Filipino–but I still prefer having more than one citizenship in order to travel around the world without a visa–and to work in another country.
I am also fighting for people who wish to acquire another citizenship in their second home. Like me, I consider the Philippines as my home, and whenever I leave valuables, it’s alright since the Philippines is still home to me even though it’s not a rich country. However, when I stepped in Japanese soil, I told to myself, “I will make this my second home… soon!” Yes, it actually came true–I consider Japan as my second home, even though the cost of living there is high. I could imagine myself either living there or fall for a Japanese guy (with a globalized background of course).
To end this discussion, to be honest, there are a lot more details I will discuss. I think, I’ll just post the sources so that everyone will understand why multiple citizenship is more beneficial than a threat. At the end of the day, it is still the person who defines his/her identity, and being of course, let’s say, half-Greek half-Persian won’t make someone less Greek or less Persian. In other words, you cannot force someone to choose just one identity.
Official Name: Republic of Korea/Daehan Minguk
Language: Korean (Hangungeo)
Currency: Korean Won
Type of Government: Republic
Head of State: Park Geun-hye
TV System: NTSC
AC Outlet: Europlug (Type-C), main outlet is Type F (Schuko Europlug, in other words, the German Europlug)
Traffic Type: Right-hand traffic (Left-hand drive)
– There is a machine where you could place your brolly on a plastic wrapper! (Oops, sorry if I did not took a pic of it)
– Contrary to popular belief, despite its cost of living, South Korea (particularly Seoul) offers lower goods prices.
– Seoulites are very friendly people. Well, if you think some Koreans you’ve met are rude, that’s because they either drop their values once they live in another country OR they simply learn from their mistakes. But either way, I think that they’re the classiest people I’ve ever met. They’re apologetic as well!
– Koreans speak English, though most of them speak it in an almost-fluent level.
– FREE WIFI everywhere!
– Tourist Policemen exists. Yes, that’s right! There are a lot of them roaming around the most famous shopping districts… and almost everywhere in Seoul.
– The police in Seoul will always roam around by partner.
– Seoul isn’t the only independent city surrounded by a province (Gyeonggi-do). Other cities are Busan, Incheon, Ulsan, Gwangju, Daegu and Daejeon.
– Seoul has MANY signs written in different languages: English, Japanese and Chinese. This means that Seoul is opening up itself as a tourist-friendly city. Many Japanese and Chinese tourists visit Seoul for err… more affordable prices (imagine Japanese people have easier access to communicate in Seoul).
– Well, no offense but in DLSU, Koreans have more class and breeding than the Chinese mainlanders.
– Err… Seoul is basically more Wi-Fi friendly than cellular friendly unlike Japan. In other words, Internet in Seoul has no, no, NO censorship! Swear!
– Multiple citizenship has finally been legalized–in other words, any Korean person is now allowed to retain their Korean nationality even though they’re willing to acquire another citizenship (Great news to Korean expats in the Philippines who speak fluent Filipino).
– There is a special day called, Korean Alphabet Day. People owe King Sejong the Great for creating an alphabet suited for Hangugeo.
There are LOTS of shops where you could buy K-Pop items, even PSY socks! Oh, well! There’s lots more things in Seoul that you might like! K-Poppers, South Korea is a MUST-VISIT!
Best tourist attractions
The Gyeongbokgung Palace may be the most visitable place, but take note that more and more people prefer to visit the Demilitarized Zone.
Rain (Bi) – K-Pop superstar
Jay Park – Korean-American rapper and former member of 2PM
Song Il-gook – actor, son of actress-politician Kim Eul-dong
Lee Young-ae – actress, often labelled as the “Oxygen Lady”
Jang Na-ra – actress, best known for starring as the lead character in “Bright Girl,” the first Korean drama to air in the Philippines just before the hallyu boom.
Shim Min-a – hitmaker and dancer, best known for the popular pre-Hallyu song, “Answer the Phone.”
Lee Minho – actor, best known for being Jun-pyo in “Boys Over Flowers.”
Lee Hyori – hitmaker, pop singer
Song Hye Kyo – actress, best known as the “perfect face” of Korean entertainment.
Well, no need to mention the K-Pop bands since I ain’t a fan of K-Pop, either.
biblelight.net|The Tower of Babel serves as one example… hmm…
Actually, this is one of ask.fm’s most intriguing questions… now, my answer is quite bitin because of the character limit.
My answer was:
Before I answer that question, let me first share my thoughts about learning a new language:
The difference between learning formally and informally varies from person to person. When learning a new language FORMALLY, that is being exposed to a new type of foreign culture–because it’s not simply learning about the language (grammar, sentence structure, conversation blah blah), the person will also learn about the CULTURE that is WITHIN the language itself. The connection/relationship of grammar, lexicon, syntax and culture is however, out of the question.
Meanwhile, when learning a new language INFORMALLY, watching movies back-to-back and taking down notes about the new words will help you improve your vocabulary within that language. Learning a new language informally through self-teaching means that you show a great amount of interest in learning new things within the culture where that language belongs.
For instance, when I learned German (Deutsch sprache), it’s not very hard, but not easy in some context. Code-switching is also a German thing, be it formal or informal (speech). Not to brag, but I could actually pronounce German words through the Berliner accent. I first learned German informally (through Audio CD) before I eventually took it as a foreign language.
Ja, wichtig. Deutsch sprache is nicht sehr schwer, aber es is nicht einfach. Deutsch lernen = Kultur lieben. Aber ja, ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch. Tut mir leid!
Meanwhile, learning Japanese informally through watching movies made me learn about their culture, and it’s quite true that Japanese is one of the most challenging languages to learn (taking note of the Kanji characters! Har har!), and when it comes to fansubbing, it’s actually difficult for them to translate the words–and most of these translations are not-so accurate, such for instance when translating verbal expressions, it depends upon the context.
Yoroshiku onegai shimasu = It is a very flexible/versatile term that has a lot of meanings. It could actually mean “Hajimemashite” (Nice/pleased to meet you) or a formal “arigatou” (thank you) because this is what I usually see in TV dramas/Japanese TV shows, but I’m not so sure. However, this phrase actually means, “Please be nice to me,” in a literal sense.
Sumimasen = This actually means, “Excuse me,” but it could replace “gomen nasai” (I’m sorry) and “arigatou” (thank you).
Sensei = This does not limit to “teacher.” This is also addressed to lawyers (bengoshi) and doctors (isha), although “teacher” is really its literal meaning. It could also be “Sir” or “Ma’am” in some context, again, I’m not so sure about these things (since I’m learning the language informally).
Well, the best way to learn a new language is how you will learn it, either formally or informally (well, I didn’t know that the answer portion has a character limit!). Tut mir leid!
To be honest…
The best way to learn a new language is TO LEARN ITS CULTURE. You will not learn the language properly by heart if you cannot appreciate the culture where it came from. It’s about appreciation and acceptance of these cultures, and whether everyone likes it or… likes it, they should learn not to ridicule different nationalities who know a little English, especially if they are not very familiar with the grammar, syntax, lexicon and other terms used in English. Not everyone embraces English as the universal language, nor French as the language of the European Union. Also, when learning English, you’re also learning WESTERN things, and things that come from the United Kingdom and the United States–because both of these countries have their own different systems and set of rules when it comes to the English language–and their English is DIFFERENT from Philippine English (a very peculiar form of English that is only in da Pilipinz!)–and almost every Filipino know-it-all argues that American English is the standard form of English. Well, I totally disagree with that one because in English-speaking countries (US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand), they do not have a certain standard, and please take note that the English language DOES NOT HAVE any regulatory board. To those who commented that I over-estimated the English language, I realized that YOU GOT IT ALL WRONG. Okay, I compared English to Esperanto, but if you’re going to delve into the English language, they heavily borrow words from other languages, and sometimes, other languages BORROW English words because they could not think of other terms within the borders and vicinities of their own language. Therefore, I am stating the benefits of the English language because other languages, no matter what language family they come from, will still borrow words from a language that does not have a regulatory board (although there are some language regulatory boards that still does not hamper themselves from borrowing English words, and sometimes non-English words).
Learning a new language does not only mean learning a new culture. It is also breaking language barriers, and also bridging different cultures through interaction between foreigners and locals alike. However, that’s not all. Learning a new language means EXPOSURE, IMMERSION and growing up in THAT culture.
Learning a new language does not also mean exposure to other cultures, it also brings you near towards the locals whose native language is the language that you’re learning. This will help you understand and appreciate their culture more and how they really practice and preserve these traditions wholeheartedly. In other words, this will also help you be aware of dealing with people of different nationalities.
Learning German the FORMAL way vs. learning Japanese the INFORMAL way
The German Language (Deutsch sprache)
To begin with, the German language obviously belongs to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. This is where the English language really evolved (Brythonic, an extinct language of Great Britain, was eventually replaced by English)–invaders from Saxony invaded on what it is now called as England, this earning the term, “Anglo-Saxon.”
However, German, despite belonging to the same language group as English, has a sheer difference from English. Here are some factors to consider:
German is the language of wisdom, will and thinkers. Yes, you got that right. Most famous philosophers and scientists come from Germany, so it’s not surprising that German is a very difficult language to learn. First, there are words in the German language that is usually used as loanwords by the English language. Kindergarten, Gemuetlichkeit, Doppelgaenger are the most familiar terms. Speaking of German terms used as loanwords, well, German is also open to loanwords, and they would usually borrow words from English and French. German is also the language to learn if you want to learn French–if you speak English. Germans pronounce French loanwords the French way, and the French word “friseur” becomes “Frisoer.” “Orange,” “Cousin” “Ingeneur,” and “au pair” are French words used as loanwords in the German language–pronounced the French way. They pronounce these terms the French way is because they’re also required to learn French, besides English (well, in a Gymnasium). However, it’s not only French that is the language where German gets their loanwords. In fact, they also borrow from English, and sometimes they have their own set of English terms, which is known as “Denglisch.” Weird, but if you want to know what Denglisch is really about, you will learn the words, “Oldtimer,” “Handy,” ”
To be honest, imitating the German accent when speaking English is quite hard–much harder when imitating a French or a British accent. Usually, I would use the German accent when pronouncing German words, and that’s it.
German has also heavily influenced English in some sort of way. Well, maybe because majority of Americans are of German descent, next to English descent. Usually, there are famous American personalities with German surnames, such for instance, Mark Zuckerberg, Jessica Biel and Michelle Pfeiffer. I could actually argue the fact that Germans are dominating the world, even though they have never colonized another country (review your world history, please). Even some Filipinos have German ancestry, such for instance, Aga Muhlach and Rosanna Roces. The reason why they primarily dominate the world is because most Germans are not really contented with the benefits that the German government gives them, which would eventually make them end up moving to other countries such as the United States of America, which is actually the cause of Germany’s population crisis. This made Germany welcome more immigrants and migrants alike, and truth to be told, only 30% of the German population are really Germans by nationality. One of my German-language professors argued that the original German race is already extinct, and most Germans in Germany, whether born in German soil or a naturalized German, will not be “purely” German but they will still be Germans BY nationality, but ethnicity-wise, they might be mixed with Italian, Turkish or Greek ancestry.
[To my German friends, especially those who understand English, please don’t take this against me. I’m just sharing certain accounts that I’ve learned. Peace out!]
As a language, German is like any other European language–it has concrete rules, and has a sentence structure that varies, depending upon the context–but what makes German unique is the verb being the last word in a sentence.
Sie ist traurig, weil ihr Herz gebrocht hat. (She is sad, because her heart has broken.)
Notice that the “hat” (has) is the last word in the sentence. When using “weil,” it should be taken into context that a verb will always be LAST in the sentence. That is why when constructing sentences in German, it becomes more meticulous and complicated.
What is even more unique about the German language is that, it has NO word that means, “do.” Usually, “machen” is the alternative, which literally means, “make.”
What’s also unique in German is the word, “fahren.” Fahren could mean “drive,” or “ride.” Bus fahren means to ride a bus, but Auto fahren means to drive a car. When using the word fahren, it really depends on the context. Usually, the word fahren has something to do with a vehicle, therefore it could actually means drive or ride.
There are more to mention when it comes to the German language. That’s what you get when you learn it formally. Also, when attending Philosophy classes, you know what to do when you pronounce the German terms… and sometimes German phrases might slip out from your tongue! (If you have a background in the German language, trust me, you will LOVE Nietzsche. Sie werden Nietzsche lieben! Ja, wichtig!)
The Japanese Language (Nihongo)
Meanwhile, Japanese is a very rare language. Some scholars argue that it belongs to the Altaic language family, but others argue that it is indeed an isolated language. Japanese is the language of anything unique and out-of-this-world, which rather explains why almost everything that is weird to Western eyes becomes normal in Japan.
To be honest, I really cannot comment about Nihongo (like what I said, I only learn it informally through watching J-dramas), but according to most sources, it is the language of politeness (although I partially agree with that). Usually, when addressing someone who is Japanese, you need the right honorific to address them. Japanese people usually take importance of honorifics and introduce themselves by rather using their surnames instead of their first names, unless you’re relatives or friends (or if you’re a gaikokujin).
Speaking of honorifics, plus politeness, usually, the suffix desu and masu are usually added. The term desu (pronounced as dess) is basically for nouns and (probably) adjectives since it’s a formal form of “da,” while masu (pronounced as mass) is used for verbs. I heard that the term “desu” is an end term that would usually make sense to a simple sentence, but it is actually something else… here’s the video I’d like to share with you (credits to Kouhei Smith):
I realized that the terms “desu” and “masu” (です and ます, respectively) are the Japanese versions of the polite term “po” in Filipino.
Toshi wa ikutsu desu ka? (How old are you?)
Basically, you will answer, “Watashi wa _____ sai desu.” However, it’s not all the time you will use “desu.” When you are talking to someone the same age as you, you will answer, “_____ sai da.”
If you use “desu” and “masu” to someone the same age as you, that would sound too awkward since they will view you as a beginner or “too polite” to get started with. Also, when using desu and masu, it’s like saying “po” and “opo” in a foreign language, which is similar to using T-V distinction in German (Sie, du, anyone?).
Learning new Japanese phrases through watching their TV series would actually enhance one’s knowledge and familiarity towards the language. Usually, what I do is to list these Japanese terms and will consult an e-dictionary then write it down in order for me to recall all these stuff. Here are some phrases and terms that one should recall:
sobarashi – splendid, wonderful
issho desu – that is all
shimatta – darn it
tokubestu – special
yamette – quit
yattemasen – I didn’t do it
[I will list all these terms, don’t worry]
Sadly, I only write these terms in romaji (even though I could read kana a little since it’s too hard to memorize all of them), and would mostly depend on kotoeri in order to input certain characters in order for me to search for information about Japanese celebrities on the Internet. Also, I only know (and write) a few Kanji characters so I still have to learn more about Nihongo through watching more Japanese TV series and movies, and list down all the terms that I need to use.
Also, learning Japanese, according to most sources, is quite a headache–mastering their writing system actually makes Japanese more complicated than everyone thinks. So, no wonder, when Japanese people learn English, that becomes a headache to them, unless they’re really passionate in learning it. To be honest, the only way they could use English is to communicate with foreigners who know English, and that it will enhance their communication skills. This is one thing that I like about Japanese people–they would usually utilize their English skills to foreigners. If the Japanese government ease(s) their policies towards immigrants, that way the locals will enhance their communication skills towards foreigners.
This is one of the best things that I like when learning Japanese–exchanging information while making yourself familiar with their language and at the same time their culture. Such phrases like “Yoroshiku onegai shimasu” and “Shou ga nai” is actually very Japanese.
Actually, the term “Yoroshiku onegai shimasu” literally means, “Please be nice to me.” However, this would also be a formal term of saying “Hajimemashite” to someone (based upon observations). Meanwhile, “Shou ga nai” means, “It can’t be helped.” The shoganai phenomenon is not only in Japan, but it’s actually everywhere–in the Philippines, this situation is often becoming more of a pathetic excuse rather than as a valid excuse. For the Japanese, however, the shoganai phenomenon is different–when they have nothing to do with it, they would really tell you that “Yes, shoganai.” They view it as their own form of “C’est la vie.”
Usually, when talking about learning a language informally, it has something to do with learning the culture first by watching a lot of their TV series and movies before you proceed to the first and to the next lesson. Once you liked the J-drama of your choice, you might as well want to go back to the previous episodes and write all the necessary words that you often hear. Also, this will be a mere backup when you will finally learn Japanese formally–or through audiobooks by your own. In fact, there are some people who learn the language by self-teaching and learn it faster than those who are taking language classes. It’s only a matter of exposure, immersion and upbringing.
Overall, my take
I think the best way to learn a language is obviously what was written above. It’s all up to the person on how he/she will learn the language passionately without regretting it. After all, it’s about practice, immersion and utilization of the language that counts.
One thing that I could say about the entire video: ERMAHGERD it’s awesome! I would err… give a lot of comments regarding this one.
First of all, it seemed that all of the cast have these two things: CAMARADERIE and TEAMWORK, which I think is something that even Filipino artists and celebrities should observe while on the set. Have you ever heard of some issues regarding Yui Aragaki and Masato Sakai being involved with one another like, they’re “ON” as in they’re officially together off-cam? I don’t think so.
I really do have more respect towards Sakai-sama for his professionalism as an actor–there is NO SUCH THING as TAKE TWO when he’s the man–in fact, he does excel in his craft the hard way, and you could see that he’s really a hardworking actor. There are also scenes where he helps and teaches his co-actors on their roles, lines, preparation–you will see his professionalism, which I think the younger generation of Filipino actors should imitate. Masato Sakai should be looked up to and be a ROLE MODEL to these young actors.
This also made me respect Yui Aragaki more–I really think she’s waaaaaaaay better than those other actresses who are just “pa-cute” and OA in the Japanese entertainment industry. She may not be one of the “most excellent” Japanese actresses we know, but acting-wise, she is not as over-acting as other Japanese actresses who do nothing but being pa-cute. She has been improving after watching Hanamizuki, when she shifted from being a high school student towards being a career woman. However, I don’t think she’s still ready to become a serious career woman–actually, her co-stars, Ryoka Suzuki, Eiko Koike and Ryoko Hirosue (SP) could actually pull off the “professional look.” I could not even imagine Sandara Park pulling off the “professional look” as well, and same other East Asian actresses, well of course, exceptions would be Zhang Ziyi, Shu Qi, Cecilia Cheung and other East Asian actresses who serve as the “mediator” between pa-tweetums, pa-cute versus the “matured” look.
Their CAMARADERIE and TEAMWORK is of course, unquestionable. Legal High wouldn’t be as impressive as what we think of it if there are such issues na “nagkatampuhan” si ganito-ganyan, and “pakapalan ng mukha” is only manifested when shooting a scene. For instance, Sakai-sama really showcased his prowess on Episode 9–patuloy-tuloy niyang ipinahayag ang kanyang mga linya’t hindi maitatanggi na padalos-dalos lang, walang interruptions. If some of you people think that Sakai’s acting is over-acting, then fuck you! The reason why he IS a good actor and WON many awards is because of his dedication, passion and err… love for his craft. Remember that he was theater-trained in Waseda, while majoring in Chinese literature, and his love for reading is actually one of the strong points when he memorizes his lines–for him I guess, it’s not a matter of memorizing lines. It’s about putting emotions and placing yourself as the character–which some of the “lamest” and “lousiest” actors failed to do.
Side Note: No wonder, Ina, Kapatid, Anak is plagued with surrounding controversies with the Kim-Maja hulabaloo–check out PEP for those details. I don’t think maganda talaga ang denouement ng teleserye is mainly because of the off-screen conflict. This also applies to Dahil Sa Pag-Ibig. Bakit madaling natapos ang teleseryeng, starring Piolo Pascual, Rafael Rossell and Jericho Rosales; Cristine Reyes, Denise Laurel at saka ni Maricar Reyes? Tapos ‘yung mga ibang BIGATING artista pa ‘yan, ah? Well, simple: Cristine Reyes is simply a NUISANCE! In Legal High, NONE of the actors there are prone to controversies, as opposed to most Filipino actors who are pa-controversial (which are often rejected by GMA and welcomed by ABS-CBN through casting couch). Whatever issues they had, at least they are still keen on their privacy and only give a few details about their personal life, as opposed to Filipino actors, isang isyu pa lang, pagpi-piyestahan na ‘yan. Also, don’t get me started when I bash pa-controversial celebrities–telling me that “tao” rin sila. Well, I find veteran actors more human than those actors who are pa-controversial–most of them are beyond superficial!
I also liked the scene where the entire cast and crew celebrated Gakky’s birthday. It’s like work and at the same time, bonding. There are NO moments where you’ll see them having conflicts with one another, and whatnot; plus, what I really liked about this one is that, there’s no such thing as superiority complex among them. In other words, PATAS lang. Even Masato-chan treated his co-stars as good friends, so the series turned out to be a masterpiece, rather than a nuisance.
When looking at the actors, the cast and crew, they’re really PROFESSIONAL in their fields. Ha! I think AA should learn from these actors if she wants to be a well-respected actress in Japan. Whatever controversy AA does, it equates losing face in Japan, and it would be much worse if she’s in Korea (ask Roxyisferox, since I’m not a fan of Korean entertainment). Also, what I liked about these actors is that, they laugh at their scenes, meaning to say that they don’t think that their final scene is perfect. Masato-chan was simply, bleh(!) when he saw his scene–it means that he’s used to watching himself all over and over again.
This is one thing that I really like about the Japanese entertainment industry–when non-JE actors are involved right here. Most of them would actually improve their craft by being cooperative towards their co-actors, and there is NO SUCH THING as crab mentality. Work habits through the Japanese way shows that they learn how to make things effective–in a way that the series will be SUCCESSFUL.
I don’t expect the series to be 100% perfection–I only expect the best in the series, and there’s no certain formula to create a successful and a watch-able TV series, which the Filipino entertainment industry must learn a thing or two.
1.) Meekness (particularly meek-mindedness) is next to stupidity.
Meek-mindedness is a hindrance to one’s self-development, I must say. Meekness cannot actually raise their middle fingers against a know-it-all friendly society. People who are meek-minded do not ask permission from the younger people, and they often choose their life partners to be the much more unapproachable–for meek-minded women, they choose guys who often abuse the family-oriented system. For meek-minded guys, however, they choose gals who often have an attitude problem and speaks in an irritating manner. That is why I won’t ever accommodate or entertain suitors who are meek-minded. To be honest, a meek-minded person cannot actually get into an argument with a know-it-all. In short, all they say is “yes” because they cannot have the guts to raise their middle fingers towards a know-it-all person.
Meek-minded people allow themselves to be submissive towards know-it-alls, but MCD’s are actually backfighting them. If know-it-all walking contradictions would therefore treat meek-minded people as “under” them, then they could actually contribute towards slavery.
2.) Egalitarianism is hierarchy’s worst enemy.
Hierarchy is a bitch. Whether everyone likes it, OR LIKES IT, egalitarianism becomes hostile towards a know-it-all friendly society. In other words, egalitarianism embraces communism. This is where parents should have a fair share of asking permission from their children. If children (or let’s say teens) should ask for permission from their parents most of the time, then why can’t parents do the same? Parents who also ask permission from their children as the latter often does to the former is a sign of embracing egalitarianism. Hierarchy, on the other hand, is often in black-and-white and is often one-sided. There is no such thing as flexibility and it often reflects on what the caste system is. The class system is actually more flexible. If egalitarianism is hierarchy’s worst enemy, it is also an opposing response towards Confucianism. It is also the enemy of societies that think in black-and-white, therefore, if egalitarianism is imposed in a black-and-white society, then it will oppress that said society itself. Hierarchy allows meddling of minors, while egalitarianism doesn’t. As a matter of fact, an egalitarian society therefore must be a know-it-all oppressive society. Egalitarianism should also therefore become intolerant towards sexism (eradicate the habit of spoiling men in their society).
Meek-minded people in an egalitarian society must therefore learn to stand up and straighten up their beliefs, and abandon their faux traditional minds. Actually, what makes them meek is their background–if they do something without thinking, they must be exposed more in an egalitarian society wherein know-it-all people are often oppressed and unwelcomed; and when meek-minded people start to get rid of these know-it-all people, then they must therefore be enlightened.
3.) A know-it-all friendly society will never be progressive unless they abandon their backward-ish beliefs.
If a know-it-all society is therefore hostile towards introverts, they actually welcome those who have superiority complex. Arrogance and air-headedness is therefore welcomed and admired, and at the same time when one does not conform to the social norm, he or she is therefore discriminated. As a matter of fact, people with a know-it-all mentality contribute to what is called as the “Law of Detraction,” which is often (falsely) associated with crab mentality (crab mentality is originally “to help” people). Detracting people just to get that “thing” or “position” is a know-it-all mentality. If a society is hostile towards know-it-all people, then it is more progressive than a know-it-all friendly society.
Watch out for my next article, “The know-it-all culture of the Philippines.”