Category Archives: Japan
Origa’s concert in Russia, her homeland–but this time, in Moscow
It is a tragic day indeed on the 17th day of January 2015. I have never expected that one talent, one diva will be gone too soon.
Teenhood Hero, Teenhood Idol
Origa became well-known after her first big break ever: “Inner Universe,” a song that is the opening theme of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Well, sorry to say but I really never dared to listen to the original recording of the song because it’s pictured in my mind that when I hear that, I see the commercial of Animax about it… haha and the opening AV is just… too haunting.
According to Japanese-language sources, she died in Tokyo, Japan. That’s right. I bet, she has long been a Japanese citizen since she rarely comes back to Russia, or maybe she chose to remain a Russian citizen.
Sadly, whenever I listen to her songs, just like the rest of my idols in music, I never greeted her, “S dnyom rozhdeniya” at all (this also applies to Bjork, Yoko Kanno and Chick Corea, who are my constant idols in music). However, greeting your idol on FB is nothing really special or somehow corny since you only care about their music. But when you delve into their music, you’ll really admire them without questioning them at all.
In this case, I had a strong urge to learn Russian and even dreamt of studying in Russia. Origa’s the reason why I started to embrace everything Russian–even their military culture, actually. Despite the bad things that’s being shoved to us about Russia, I still never hated the country itself. I know that Russia is relatively conservative when it comes to their traditional beliefs, to think their mentality is European. Origa once said that when she went to Japan, she said that the Japanese people are conservative–at least, from a Russian’s point of view (Russia is quite more liberated than Japan, but still I find Russian culture conservative as compared to Western Europe).
I thought “Inner Universe” was Japanese, but when I read the lyrics, it was “weird” (was reading the Roman letters, not the original Cyrillic). When I “Googled” Origa on Yahoo! (wait, Google was not very popular during that time, it was only starting to become a household name while Yahoo! was still very popular (now, it’s a weak search engine), I have learned the fact that she’s Russian.
Indeed, Origa had a voice of an angel. No one can ever replicate that. No wonder, I was dreaming that she would sing one of the songs I would direct to my prospective musicians who will do the rest of the job. The movie lineup’s there–based on my own imagination. I cannot even spew it out, because I’m afraid that people surrounding me will call me crazy. After all, these people are dubious people, continuing to be dubious and will always be popular at the expense of other people.
No one can ever replace the diva. Never. Not even my other fave artists. She stood out, compared to the rest of the mainstream artists who are just… mainstream. Dunno, something’s really inside me, and I do have a feeling that Origa’s really part of my life, even though I have rarely heard of her ever since. It’s only saddening.
Sayounara, do svidanya, Origa-sama. Покойся с миром (Pokojsya s mirom). 安らかに眠る(yasuraka ni nemuru).
Philippine Ambassador to Japan: The Land of the Rising Sun might offer visa-free travel towards Filipino citizens by June
Visa-free access to Japan may happen anytime soon’ – by Camille Diola
Citing Japanese officials, Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez confirmed that Japan’s grant of a visa-free privilege to Filipinos is in the works.
In an interview with dzMM on Wednesday, Lopez said that Japan, with whom the Philippines enjoys a good bilateral relationship, wants to boost its tourism by opening its country to Filipinos, Vietnamese and Indonesians.
“It seems na ili-lift nila itong June. May nakausap akong isang Japanese official this (Tuesday) afternoon who told me it may happen anytime very soon,” Lopez said in an interview with dzMM on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Tokyo-based news outfit Kyodo News reported that the Japanese government plans to waive visa requirements for Southeast Asian countries in a bid to entice spectators for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Japan’s goal is 20 million visitors annually, especially in the years leading to the Olympics, the report said.
In 2013, Japan’s tourism industry saw a rise in numbers after the country waived visas for visitors from Thailand and Malaysia. The numbers reportedly surged 61 percent to a combined 630,000 in 2012.
Lopez said, meanwhile, that Filipino travelers should carefully prepare for a trip to Japan by researching on the Internet and mapping commuting itinerary.
He also pointed out that Japan is among the countries in the world with a high cost of living.
“[Plan carefully] para hindi kayo mabibigla sa presyo,” Lopez said.
Filipinos should not hesitate to travel to the East Asian country as visa requirements for Japan are not as difficult to secure as other destinations, he added.
Well, I really think this is good news to me, to think that there is still a very high concentration of Filipino TNTs in Japan. Despite the TNT issues, I think this is still good news for me because finally, I could go to Tokyo Disneyland and Osaka Universal Studios and of course… plan a DIY trip to Japan with my very own itinerary. I think I should first tell this good news to my classmates in Japanese language class so that they will be HAPPY to hear it.
As you can all see, I am not ashamed to say this but Japan is my favorite country, more like of a second home to me. Not even the United States (whoops! No offense to my American followers here on WP) and Hong Kong could replace that.
Well, I won’t hesitate to look for inquiries in Japanese universities once I step in Japan soil without a visa… as a Filipino citizen. I really do not know why, but I think Waseda University is my first choice school. I won’t mind getting in other Japanese universities besides Sodai but… you know me.
Also, you all know (delve into my past entries first haha) that I made a story about Osaka Monogatari about a Filipina woman and a Japanese man being together. Well, I might have very high expectations of having a Japanese man as my husband (seriously, I am not joking), but the more you expect, the less it will happen. I guess, I have to embrace the ugly reality. LOL.
Why is Japan my favorite country… and more like a second home next to my native country?
Some of you do not know this, but before I delved in Japanese dramas, I used to be an anime fan. Yeah, I liked Japan more than the United States that’s why you’ll see why I was interested in learning Japanese (to think it’s too taihen, which is a fact). Also, despite the language barrier and of course, high cost of living (which are your two worst enemies once you visit the place), Japan has this charm that not even the US or Hong Kong will ever have. Also, if you’re going to ask me why I am including US and HK mercilessly (and mercilessly comparing them to Japan) is because my pops admire those two places for no valid reason at all (either that those countries made a significance on him… or he has solid connections. Also, he still has this irrational admiration towards China, despite he himself admitting the fact that it’s a bully country), and he thinks that Japan is ugly and there are things in the Philippines that are not in Japan.
Well, Japan is NOT a perfect country, and I understand that. There are some aspects of Japan which I do not approve (they’re still sexist and misogynist; South Korea surpassed them, so to speak–and they’re yet to approve the LGBT community, and they still discriminate inked people!), yet more and more good aspects of Japan are still showing.
Now I will directly tell you why I am now considering it as my second home.
1.) Many similarities with Filipino culture – As you all can see, Japanese culture, despite being completely different from Filipino culture, has its own share of similiarities. Both Japanese and Filipino people are hospitable and resilient, and you could see that the Philippine-Japan relations is very stable. Well, it just boils down to Filipinos being forgiving despite the atrocities of the Japanese during the second World War (this is the reason why the Japanese changed their fierce ways). The Japanese could also be forgiving, but an apology, whether heavy or light, is generally accepted. Sincere or not.
2.) They won’t hesitate to help you in spite of the language barrier – That’s what you won’t see in HK or the States. I have better experiences when I entered Tokyo Narita Airport and Kansai International Airport — the immigration officers are very professional–but the one in Osaka was a great experience (laid-back vibes, something you won’t see in fast-paced HK).
3.) The salespeople – I won’t hide this fact, but when I visited Yodobashi Camera, I simply purchased a circular polarizing filter for my DSLR lens. Oh my… this salesman is sooooooooo HOT, considering that he is not flawless. LOLs! Anyways, that was the greatest experience when I told him, “Eigo onegai-shimasu” rather than the “osoi hanashite kudasai” thingy. Good thing they’re consistently honest and professional. They show you the change and they count it. AND they don’t force you what you don’t like. Haha. The most memorable Japan experience so far. LOLOLOLOLicons. Again, you rarely find that in HK and the States.
4.) Better than China – How many times did I tell you that even though I love siomai and Chinese/HK movies, I still do not consider China and HK as a second home to be? Do you know this “Parang Pilipinas lang” vibe? In English, lemme tell you that it is a place where there are many people who are going in there, or lezzay that almost everyone (every Filipino, so to speak) is going there. Even my Filipino-Chinese acquaintances would be very honest that Japan’s better than China (of course, Filipino-Chinese people have a posh mentality and they’re more practical haha, not simply because afford nila ‘yan). Also, Japan is not a bully country at all (except if you’re one of the countries that Japan formerly invaded for a very long time), unless the Japanese PM visits the very controversial Yasukuni Shrine, where class-A war criminals are enshrined (that’s why HM Emperor Akihito never visited the said shrine ever since he became emperor).
Japan is also better than China, speaking of err… being tolerant. Except if you had a track record of taking illegal drugs in the past. Once you are involved with illegal drugs, especially if you’re a Japanese celebrity, you will be harassed by the media! I feel sorry for Komukai Minako-san for being harassed by the Japanese media simply because she became a fugitive for being involved with drugs–she’s now staying in the Philippines for refuge (hey, she’s always welcome in the Philippines, just like Noriko Sakai who is welcomed in China despite her history of drug involvement, to think that China’s laws regarding drug trade is more dangerous than Japan’s).
And don’t you know that I side with Japan when it comes to the Senkaku Islands? China is currently bullying Japan, that’s why I side with Japan, speaking of being prepared in terms of being “attacked” verbally by a bully country. Not only that, Japan still has this “never give up” mentality that will make their country stay stronger… than yesterday. Haha.
5.) There are things there that HK and the US does not have at all – Frankly speaking, Hong Kong and the United States are only good if you’re going to shop for H&M (sorry guys, I am still a Forever 21 girl), brands that you cannot find in the Philippines, or if you’re simply going on a vacation. They’re only good when you’re on a retail vacation. Other than that, no more. Pardon me for my “very posh” mentality, but ever since I have visited Japan, my travel standards have increased. Like almost everyone’s going to the United States and Hong Kong, which is something I am not even proud of. Once I visit Tokyo Disneyland and Osaka Universal Studios, that I really could tell that I have a very posh mentality, which is often misinterpreted for being elitist. Well, not under-estimating HK and the US, but if you happen to settle for less, HK and US are the only options (haha, beeyotchy mode on).
6.) Japan is an introvert’s paradise – Well, extroverts have a possibility that Japan could be their second home since I know some people (though not personally) who are extroverts but have lived in Japan for quite some time. However, silence is a virtue in Japanese culture, that’s why if a person is an introvert, of course automatic they will consider it as their second home.
7.) You don’t need to visit Tokyo first if you like Japan as your first foreign country destination – Believe it or not, expat forumers think that Osaka is way, way better than Japan. I can tell it to you by first-hand experience. Osaka is laid-back and the peeps (the Osakans) there have higher level of patience as compared to Tokyo-ites, who appear cold–due to the capital’s fast-paced nature, but Tokyo is an English-friendly city (though it’s optional to be an Anglophone there).
8.) You have Hiroki Umeda-san (HAHAHA, this is not a joke, I love him!)
He may not be very handsome by Filipino or Japanese standards, but hell, Steve Aoki might be set aside for now. LOL.
9.) Hong Kong is only good if you’re a beginner/starter on travelling abroad – I ain’t kidding, I have been to Hong Kong 4x already, but then I still do not consider it as my second home. As a matter of fact, if you’re going to travel overseas, I suggest Thailand would be a great option for a first-time traveller (yeah, Thailand’s much greater than Hong Kong 100x more than you think).
10.) Meanwhile, the United States also has this “parang Pilipinas” vibe, meaning to say that there’s nothing really good to see, except if you’re going to tour around the whole of the United States – I really do not get the hype why lots of my fellow Filipinos think that once they have entered the United States, it is already an achievement. If you are going to settle for less, Hong Kong or the United States (not the whole U.S. of course, I am pertaining to major cities) are the only two places you’d want to get into.
Never mind if you have never been to Hong Kong or the United States–after all, it’s better to visit a country with a high cost of living and at the same time does not have a good command of the English language. You are on a vacation and you’re on a leisure travel, not on a shopping spree (#RealTalkBuddy).
11.) Love for WEIRDNESS – You don’t see a huge Gundam in HK or in the States. Well, in Japan, weirdness is the norm. Whether you wear extreme fashion or you do quirky things, nobody cares.
12.) Hong Kong and the United States (pertaining to major US cities, except Las Vegas since it’s the only city I liked in the U.S.) are over-rated (like, everyone’s going there and it’s kinda bland lol), as compared to Japan – I hate to say this, but Thailand is also overrated–nonetheless it gives you second home vibes, which HK and the US has failed to give to tourists. I’d rather visit Tokyo Disneyland and Osaka Universal Studios just to make sure that Japan is something worthy to visit after a long walk to the historical sites (castles, significant places in history) and of course… major places of worship. Haha. (Bitch mode on, don’t care.)
Remember: Over-rated destinations would never give you a second home vibe, but there are lots of exceptions! Thailand is only becoming overrated is because many people are going ga-ga on the hype on its cost of goods, et cetera. It’s more like Forever 21/H&M hype, tbh (no offense to the Thais, can’t be help’d). But it’s a better destination than Hong Kong.
What’s next for Japan?
Before you visit Japan, here are some things I would like to tell you:
1.) Learn some Japanese basics – The locals will surely be impressed if you’re going to use the basic Japanese phrases like “arigatou gozaimasu” and “sumimasen” while inside Japan. If you cannot comprehend what they’re saying in Japanese due to their fast speech, just tell them, “Eigo onegai shimasu” if your Japanese is really bad. Lol.
2.) If you have learned Japanese formally, then you’re ready to go – Practicing Japanese as your second or third language will surely impress the locals. No kidding, you will never have any problem communicating with the salespeople on places outside Tokyo, which happens to be a city and a prefecture at the same time (LOL, so much for having a special status).
3.) Learn to use chopsticks! – Not really a must, though it is the usual thing that is used to eat Japanese food, including ramen. If you were to ask me, it’s better to eat sushi and sashimi with chopsticks (hashi is the Japanese term BTW).
4.) Try to avoid doing eye-to-eye contact – Remember, doing so is rude. Only a few accept this body language/gesture as A-OK, yet most of them still think it should not be done.
5.) Follow Japanese customs if you’re entering a Japanese person’s home – The usual: Bring a safe gift (food, wine or flowers will do… they’re very particular on gifts, and it’s rude not to give your host a gift) and remember to take off your shoes before going inside their home. Slippers are usually provided and when entering a room with a tatami mat, take off your slippers.
6.) High cost of goods (not only high cost of living since that is already given) and the usual language barrier are your two worst enemies – You do not actually need to be rich or fluent in Japanese to enjoy Japan. Remember, Japan is a very costly country to live in mainly because they’re export-oriented and at the same time their natural resources are very scarce, and of course its homogeneous population has still yet to embrace the outside world, to think that part of their country is Westernized. But hey, Japan isn’t so expensive at all when it comes to goods. It’s actually cheaper to buy Japanese KitKat and of course Pocky there–buying an imported Japanese KitKat in your home country would cost more, prolly double. Haha. As a matter of fact, most parts of Europe appear to be costlier (comparing UK and Australia, the former is still costlier, to think that the latter has more expensive major cities).
It is not surprising that Germany, Japan and of course the United States would be on the top list.
Sadly, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, Brunei and Malaysia didn’t make it to the top 20 best passports list, but that’s alright, for as long as they could access at least Canada, NZ, UK and the Schengen Area without visa restrictions.
No passport is perfect, since countries like Japan and the United States have burdens to get a visa to Brazil or even Russia, which is actually something that South Korean passports are blessed with: Visa-free travel to Russia and Brazil.
But then again, why is South Korea not even on the Top 20 list?
Hmmm… I don’t think pre-arrival visa to China should be a hindrance, but I think Koreans from the ROK are very lucky to have a passport that could send them to a lot of countries without a visa. Also, they’re part of the visa waiver to Australia and the United States, therefore it shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Also, South Korea finally allowed multiple citizenship… but quota-based. However, they should adopt the “Ritenshon Shonin” in order for everyone to still have Korean citizenship in all aspects (so to speak, native South Koreans could still have Korean citizenship and American citizenship if they’re born in the US, and Koreans who were born in South Korea but naturalized in another country could still retain their Korean citizenship, and half-Koreans who are dual citizens since birth could still retain their citizenship no matter the cost will be–for as long as they’ll apply for permission to retain their Korean citizenship).
Also, if you’re a South Korean citizen, you could go to South America visa-free/visa-on-arrival, which American and Japanese passport holders don’t have (they both need visa to enter Brazil in advance).
Well, the only downside is that, South Korean passport holders cannot enter North Korea at all, since both countries are still enemies. South Koreans don’t really like going to North Korea at all, and they’re fine with it–as a matter of fact, many North Koreans who escape their own country fly to South Korea for good. Obviously, South Korea offers greener pastures and better quality of life, as opposed to North Korea.
By essence, South Korea officially recognizes North Koreans as South Korean citizens. If North Koreans escape from their home country successfully via the indirect route, this means that they become South Koreans for good. It’s a good thing that the ROK government resurrected its peace talk plans towards North Korea.
South Korea not making it to the top list… why?
South Korea is actually a latecomer when it comes to being one of the richest and the most developed countries in the world. It is one of the Asian Tigers, alongside Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Well, these Asian Tigers of course, has this freedom to travel without a visa. I really dunno why Brunei isn’t included in the Asian Tigers to make it five… hmmm…
Well, I just hope that South Korea will still develop its bilateral relations with other states so that South Koreans would travel up to 170+ countries without a visa. Speaking of which, it is possible that South Korea might as well continue its peace talks with North Korea so that South Korean citizens won’t feel tension with its rival state.
Other countries with travel freedom (but did not make it on the top list)
Australia, Greece and Iceland are the Western countries (though Australia is geographically a South-east country with a Westernized culture) that didn’t make it to the top list. It is surprising for Australia since its neighbor New Zealand surpassed it by making it to the Top 20. Other countries like what I have mentioned before (Malaysia, South Korea, Brunei, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore) also have this travel freedom reward.
To make the list… (check this list out if you want)
[Just remember, they’re not actually in order… hehehe]
1.) Liechtenstein – It didn’t make to the top list, but it still had the 100+ visa-free access.
2.) Israel – Though the Arab League is technically an avid “hater” of this country, this country rather is more rewarded than the Arab League states, in terms of travel freedom–it can access Japan, South Korea and the Schengen Area
3.) Mauritius – Surprisingly, this little island country in the southern part of Africa within the Indian Ocean allows its citizens to travel to the Schengen Area and Japan without a visa.
4.) Barbados – Same with Mauritius.
5.) Mexico – Same with Mauritius and Barbados, but what these three have in common is that their passports aren’t biometric (AWWWWWW…).
6.) Brazil – Though Brazilians need to enter Japan with a visa in advance, it could enter the Schengen area without a visa.
7.) Argentina – Same with Brazil, but its citizens could enter Japan without a visa.
8.) Chile – Same with Argentina, I think.
9.) Czech Republic – Of course, it’s part of the Schengen Area.
10.) Cyprus – Cyprus is fairly European, so to speak. And YES, it’s part of the EU.
So far, I base these things on how they could access the following territories (not necessarily ALL of them):
1.) European Union and the Schengen Area – Of course, to be fair this will include the United Kingdom and Ireland, and also non-EU member states such as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland (EFTA members, if not EU, lol). Eastern Europe is included if you’re talking about EU member states haha.
2.) South America – Visa-free access to South America is actually not-so bad after all, but once a country is rewarded visa-free access to ALL South American countries without a visa, this would mean that they have the same level as the Pope (well, almost).
3.) OECD member states (namely Japan and Israel) – If you’re one of the countries that could enter Japan and Israel without a visa (all of them), then you must be lucky.
4.) Countries with the most lenient visa policies (Philippines, Ecuador, Malaysia, Haiti, South Korea) – Well, Haiti seems to have the most lenient visa policy in the world, which will put Ecuador second to the list, and I’ll make a separate article about this one). Meanwhile, South Korea has eased their visa policies towards other countries (the Philippines is NOT lucky to be one of the countries that could access South Korea without a tourist visa, prolly due to the “Tago ng Tago/TNT” controversy–but when it comes to Israel, Filipino citizens could enter Israel without a visa at all), but there are some countries that need a visa to enter the Land of the Morning Calm.
5.) South Africa (and the rest of its neighbors) and the United Arab Emirates – Same thing with #3. No need to explain further.
Well, access to Vietnam, China, North America and Russia aren’t counted at all since it would be unfair to some countries included in the list. Remember, it’s actually very difficult to get a visa going to Vietnam (sources say), China (it’s easier getting a Chinese visa if you’re a Filipino citizen and China only allows 6 countries to enter its territory without a visa), North America (some countries need to access Canada with a visa, except if you’re coming from the EU/Schengen Area or a developed country in general; and the United States’s visa policies are much stricter compared to China) and Russia (ahhh… sources say it’s very difficult to obtain a Russian visa, but it still depends upon the country you’re coming from).
Worst Passports: Why Worst!?
It’s actually FAIR and JUST that China did not make it to the Top 20 WORST Passports list, even though it’s quite infuriating to possess a Chinese passport (just ask those Filipino-Chinese friends of yours who are not yet officially Filipino citizens, or their parents who are not yet Filipino citizens)–well, the reason why I’m saying this is because China, even though its citizens need to apply for visa to Ecuador and the Philippines, did not make it to the top 20 worst passports list is because at least it still has the “worth” in it. However, what makes it something not to be proud of is the controversial inclusion of its “disputed” territories which is of course possessions of Vietnam, Philippines and India. Also, China isn’t having a formal war with the United States compared to most Arab and Muslim states such as Afghanistan, Iraq… and you know the rest.
These countries actually restrict foreigners from entering their territories without a visa mainly because of the war that’s happening in their territory. I bet, countries that are actually having internal conflict cannot actually concentrate on bilateral agreements due to the fact that unending wars are still on-going. No wonder, South Korea actually didn’t allow its own citizens to enter these countries. The Philippines actually did this as well, to Filipinos who actually want to enter Iraq despite its status.
Well, these countries are actually having wars and conflicts, therefore the result: They can only access no more than 41 countries without a visa, which is actually more infuriating compared to possessing a Chinese passport.
Why is China not included in the list!?
I hate to say this, but even though China did not make it to the top list, other countries impose visa towards China is because there are a lot of illegal immigrants from China, despite its growing economy. Ecuador and the Philippines are imposing visas towards Chinese citizens due to the fact that everywhere, you see a Chinese person. Prolly at the end of the day, Filipinos might be the second largest ethnic diaspora next to China, or even surpassing them (unless the 1987 Constitution is burned to the pits of hell, haha).
Also, China imposes visa to other countries, which is actually more frustrating. Only six countries could enter China without a visa (Brunei, Japan, Singapore and Mauritius), but Wikipedia stated seven countries (Gawd, when will I stop relying too much on Wikipedia!?). Only diplomatic and official passport holders have the privilege to enter China without a visa, which is again, frustrating for ordinary passport holders.
Indicators of having a “good ordinary passport”:
1.) If a certain country has good diplomatic relations with other countries.
2.) Lesser numbers of an ethnic diaspora.
3.) Less people who overstay.
4.) Less people who stay illegally in a foreign country.
5.) Countries that have no internal conflict.
I actually do not buy the fact that the smaller and the richer the country, the more you could travel without a visa. Well, Barbados and Mauritius might not be as rich as the OECD founding members, but speaking of internal events in a country, it should be something that adheres with international standards.
What makes a good passport?
I have noticed that if you come from a developed country, you usually get lots of benefits if you are a citizen of the countries I have mentioned above. However, being a rich/not-so-rich but not-too-poor country doesn’t really mean you could already travel without any visa. I’ll show you more examples:
Side Note: Even though South Korea has a lenient visa policy, the Philippines, however, isn’t included in its list in the countries that do not need visa to enter its territory without the visa, probably due to Filipinos “overstaying.” After all, I still consider a trip to South Korea a privilege.
And here’s the worst part…
This map shows that owning a Vietnamese or Iranian passport is even more valuable than owning a Chinese passport (most countries offer visa-on-arrival travel for Chinese citizens, only a few are willing to offer totally visa-free travel for Chinese citizens). Ah, the horrors of having 1 billion people residing in one big country… and overseas. But don’t worry, the mainland Chinese government is doing efforts to sign mutual visa-free agreement with other countries. Well, Filipino government officials should warn China that it should stop bullying the Philippines so that Chinese citizens could travel to the Philippines without any visa… like let’s say, for 14 days only.
Here, even though China is wealthier than the Philippines, Filipino citizens (like me) could travel without any visa in 58 countries. In the Philippines, you need to get a visa before travelling to other countries such as Japan, the US, China, Australia and of course, South Korea. As a matter of fact, only the privileged ones could afford getting visas.
Diplomatic Relations Matter
If you happen to be an Israeli citizen… I have to warn you guys that there are some countries that despise your country. Hmmm… well, not saying that it is oppressive to be an Israeli citizen, but other countries view it as “occupied Palestine” since these countries that have an obsessive form of hate towards Israel are mostly pro-Palestine. It’s not the fault of Israeli citizens that some countries despise them, but the Israeli government is actually being oppressive towards Palestinians. I hate to say this, but if the Jews should have their own country, they should have been friendlier towards Palestine and Palestinians rather than oppressing them. Until now, there are some non-Arab people that has a negative view on Israel.
Though holding an Israeli passport has an oppressive side, lemme tell you that you have the opportunity of visiting most of South America, Japan and the EU/EFTA/Schengen Area at the same time–which means that holding an Israeli passport is similar to holding a Hong Kong and Macanese passport. Some Israelis might accept this fact, but some think that there should something be done in order to allow Israeli citizens to travel these states.
It’s a good thing that there are countries that simply impose visa rules towards other countries, rather than rejecting their passports. It means that they maintain good relations with one another, even though they bully other countries. For instance, China and the Philippines. Even though the Chinese government despises PNoy, they still welcome ordinary Filipino citizens to enter their country (provided that visas are already in Philippine passports). There is no such thing as “obsessive hatred” against each other, despite the territorial dispute controversy between China vs. its neighbors.
No wonder, I still look up to China despite being a bully country. Well, the reasons why the Philippines has good ties with other states and nations is because the Marcoses and former President Gloria M. Arroyo made efforts to make friends with different world leaders. Look at PGMA, even though she broke her promise with former US President George W. Bush, the USA and the Philippines are still allies. The yellow oligarchs cannot actually do that–you have to say something GOOD about the country and not bully the Philippines just to get close to them.
Best Passports have good diplomatic ties with other countries as great powers
Most countries in Europe and North America have the best passports mainly because they have the most stable form of government and has the power to exercise their policies to influence everyone. No wonder, many Filipino citizens opt to be dual citizens to travel without any restrictions. They may use their Philippine passport to travel towards the rest of Southeast Asia, but they’ll need their other passport to travel to Europe.
Worst Passports actually do not offer security and safety for tourists
Well, not all countries aren’t too dangerous for the traveller, but you see, political turmoil actually is a distraction to allow their citizens to enjoy visa-free travel. However, there are countries that really impose visas to almost every country in the world, that’s why in return, countries who suffer on their visa policies have their revenge (lol).
I have a question for you, guys. If you happen to be a dual citizen and your other country requires you to choose just one citizenship at the legal age, will you accept this fact or not? Why or why not?
1.) One citizenship of yours allows you to travel in 170+ countries yet requires you to choose one citizenship while the other allows dual citizenship but only lets you travel to just 60+ and below countries. (Or the other way around)
2.) If you actually need to apply for permission to retain your other citizenship to remain dual?
So I have some TERRIBLE news today. I lost my iPhone 5 (that is INSIDE the premises, NOT outside, I think), and I guess I was RIGHT all along. I should have switched to Android instead.
So yeah, moral of the story: Always have a cheap phone with you if your main keitai is no other than an Apple product.
Now what is frustrating is that, in the Philippines, stealing and pickpocketing is inevitable. I guess by chance, when I owned a Nokia phone, it never gets lost. It’s either being replaced, or damaged. Yes, my slide-able Nokia phone was rather damaged when I was in first year of college. And when I had the N8, oh, it also never got lost.
I guess I have to switch back to Nokia for good. At least it’s not only durable, but it’s also pickpocket-proof! No snatcher will ever be interested in stealing a Nokia phone, ever!
As a matter of fact, I’d rather have Nokia than a Samsung Galaxy S phone, or even an iPhone. I have to thank my pal Roxyisferox for promoting Nokia as the best phone ever “walked” on the planet Earth.
Right now I’m gonna use a cheap phone for now.
The dark side of owning an iPhone in the Philippines
What do you expect in Metro Manila (of course, as opposed to Davao City)? Full of pick-pocketers and dishonest people stealing other people’s personal property for money. That’s why it’s better if I simply resided in Davao instead–at least there is discipline in that area, and you could actually expose your iPhone everywhere, just for picture-taking.
Now what is even more frustrating is that, in the most dangerous places in Metro Manila, you have to keep your phone and guard it, or else, a lot of snatchers won’t hesitate to steal it.
I guess, Apple has FAILED again to attract the mainstream market despite its efforts. Though it made a lot of efforts to attract mainstream market consumers, only the consumers in the business market are the ones who are buying it. Well, what do you expect, they set the price very high, which does not attract budget consumers at all.
It’s better to own an iPad or maybe an iPod touch in Metro Manila because they’re less costly than an iPhone (imagine, 16GB costs like 30,000 pesos, which is actually very painful!). Though I still like to own an iPhone on the inside (well, the apps do not frustrate and it unleashes one’s creativity), I have to work hard and achieve something first since in Philippine society, owning an iPhone means luxury. No kidding, people will think you are already an elite-class person once you own an iPhone, which is actually quite annoying.
To the elitist consumers out there, shoving Apple products to everyone’s throats won’t make you an “expert” power user. It will simply make you more elitist. If you own a MacBook Pro, iPhone and an iPad at the same time, then YOU ALREADY! I am not jealous whatsoever, it’s only that the Philippines frustrates me when it comes to imposing stricter laws on pickpocketers. I guess we need a leader like Ka Rody Duterte so that everyone who will steal other people’s personal property will receive a bitchslap from the death squad forces.
Two phones are enough
Owning a cheap phone is actually a good idea if a person owns an iPhone in the Philippines, for emergency calls. Now what is actually frustrating is that, there are some people you need to contact, but you can’t due to the fact that your phone was stolen.
I think I should own another phone which is very cheap and isn’t attractive towards snatchers. Something that is durable and has very long battery life, or go for an iPod touch which is a good alternative for an iPhone (well, without the phone, but at least you could access the Internet through Wi-Fi).
I think I should go instead for an iPod touch/iPad mini with retina display 64GB instead. There’s nothing really special on the iPhone 5s, except for slight modifications. Also, these options are cheaper compared to a 16GB iPhone 5s.
Aiming for a Japanese keitai
Hmmm… do you think it’s a good idea for me to hunt down for Japanese mobile phones? Fella GirlTalker megumiii just gave me another idea to buy a personal keitai in Japan–but it’s quite hard to choose which phone since most of them do not include built in WLAN capability on it. Just 3G. Which is very much frustrating.
Just in case I have more time, I should go again to Japan to hunt down for a new mobile phone. Prolly a Sony Xperia phone won’t hurt (HEY! I actually like Sony phones due to their sleekness, which an iPhone does not have at all).
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.
On the second day, we were taught how to count in Japanese. One thing that I like best about the tour is going outside Tokyo (passing two prefectures like Yamanashi and Shizuoka). Good, good. Here, counting in Japanese is EASY since it was simplified towards foreigners. Seems like I’m going back to elementary–kidding. xD
Here’s Tokugawa Ieyasu. He’s the one who started the Edo period in Japan. No wonder, Japanese people living in Tokyo owe him for making Tokyo as the current capital of Japan.
FUJI-YAMA! In other words, this is Mt. Fuji–but textbooks will insist that it’s Fuji-san (-san is the On’yomi term for mountain, while “yama” is the Kun’yomi term).
Our tour guide Kana-san explained how it is to get into the Edo palace. Whoa… Hakone is actually the checkpoint where you will be inspected whether you’re a wife of a shogun or not (as far as I recall…). So far, if you’re going to Edo during those feudal times, everyone should pass through the Hakone checkpoint to see whether a woman is the wife of a shogun or a warlord.
Mt. Fuji in photographs (well, this is officially my photographs). So far, these are my shots–again, using the Canon EOS 60D with the EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. The PictureStyle I used is the velvia 50 downloaded from the Internet and I simply installed the said PStyle into the camera itself. Notice that Mt. Fuji here is rather blue in color prolly because of the white balance, but the autumn leaves remained consistent.
This is the come-come cat, or in Japanese, Maneki Neko. Its purpose is to welcome customers in restaurants… and bring good luck, I guess?
We simply rode a cable car just to have a cruise at Lake Ashi (maybe?). The strong smell of sulfur reminds me of those hot springs, am I right? Nevertheless this is a much better experience compared when going to any other place that does not even give us the strong smell of sulfur.
Well, our cruise in Lake Ashi isn’t really that special, but hey, that was a great ride! Something that I should experience once I step into the Yangtze river.
Well, there’s a photodump (via iPhone 5) about my trip to Seoul and Tokyo!
Welcome to the costliest city in the world! That’s right, folks! Tokyo is best-known to be the most expensive city in the world… but how is it affordable, compared to Europe?
Roppongi is basically a district in Tokyo (situated in err… Minato ward) which resembles the 5th Avenue of New York City plus Beverly Hills (thus the coined term Roppongi Hills). This in indeed, the Japanese version of Bonifacio Heights (Bonifacio Global City)–only a larger version. Sadly, unlike Tokyo Prefecture, Metro Manila is only a posh metropolis at its center (Taguig, Makati, Mandaluyong aaaaaaand San Juan). However, I still consider the central part of NCR much more affordable as compared to Tokyo as a whole (highly-urbanized areas are quite costly).
Whoa! My best buddy said that this route is too familiar… yes! It’s a Gran Turismo route (but hell… I don’t play that video game, sarreh). But what I’m pertaining to is the Shibuya Ward (yes, where the biggest pedestrian crossing is located). Too bad, we didn’t explore the whole of Tokyo that much (well DUH! It’s too freaking big!)… but never mind.
So, our tour guide showed us Emperor Meiji’s photo and explained how he modernized Japan. As a matter of fact, he’s the Japanese contemporary version of King Sejong the Great. Well, if you’re going to ask me, I am not going to compare both Sejong Daewong and Emperor Meiji since the two of them did anything to improve their country through their policies. I guess we need more leaders who are like them. Also, I think that the Emperor is well-respected by today’s Japanese people, and they owe him a debt of gratitude.
Despite Japan’s custom to be very early and on time, it is indeed, an economic latecomer since it only started to apply all of Emperor Meiji’s policies–thus, making Japan a very industrialized country. At least, Japanese people learn from their mistakes, and their culture is more on, “If there is no room for error, there is always room for improvement.”
I didn’t realize that there is a BMW shop… but how costly would be the car if someone living in Tokyo buys one?
So here we are inside the Meiji Shrine. It seems that there are lots of sake barrels… since the late former Emperor was a wine connoisseur.
Above shows a collection of photographs while in the Central Park.
Above photos now show that Japan is the place for weird people! Even though that Japan’s best-known to be a conformist society, they express themselves out of their own uniqueness.
Above photos show ASAKUSA–or the traditional district of Japan. Here, people preserve the culture of whatever’s traditional Japanese.
My second time in Japan and first time in Tokyo makes me think that I want to stay and live in Japan forever… but since I’m too… you know, like not very confident to communicate with the locals, I just thought that living in Osaka would be better. Tokyo is too big, too scary and somehow… too vibrant. But anyways, I think that the Tokyo experience would not be complete without the presence of Hiroki-san!
This was our first day of tour in Tokyo, Japan. By essence, this was so far the best trip ever! In other words, this is one great experience that you won’t ever experience in such places like Hong Kong or even the U.S. of A (JOKE!).
Anyways, one reason why Japan for me has no vibe of “Parang Pilipinas lang.” In other words, they’re really have this certain pride that is genuine, and they have this attitude of being true to themselves without losing face. Overall, this is the best place for me to study since the crime rate here is VERY low. You could expose your smartphone here while taking photos. Also, gadgets here in Japan are TOYS, but some use it as career TOOLS for the future.
In other words, they CREATE the future. I believe that even though Japan is a homogenous nation, it is very open-minded and tolerant when it comes to individuality. Walang basagan ng trip, so to speak. Even though it’s deemed to be sexist, it has an egalitarian society, meaning to say that they shun discrimination.
Ahahaha… I was very much worried about going to Japan. As a matter of fact, I was wondering why the HELL I have two tourist visas, to think it’s a multiple-entry Japanese visa. ‘Yun pala, nagkamali!
Well, since Japanese people are afraid of making mistakes, I think when they commit mistakes, they easily learn from them. The GOOD WAY to learn is to learn from your mistakes. No wonder, Toyota President Akio Toyoda-sama was very apologetic for a accidents which involved Toyota cars.
But it’s a good thing that the Immigration Officer still managed to accept the visa and let me enter (Dōmo arigatō gozaimashita, yakuin-san!). Actually, both Korean and Japanese immigration officers are friendlier and more professional, as compared to the Filipino ones (sad much). >: NAIA Terminal 1 Immigration Officers are friendlier than in NAIA Terminal 2. Oh well, that is just me!
There’s a PART TWO of this one! Stay tuned! Gomen nasai, I just posted this one late na! xD
In other words, “PAGBIGYAN!”
Yeah, although I am a latecomer when it comes to owning a game console, at least I could finally upload my screenies to WordPress.com! (:
Sadly, I cannot take a direct XMB screenie at Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Huhuhuuuu… what to do now?
This is a screenshot from Scenario Campaign. I didn’t realize that I would choose my own character who would substitute Lars!
Here, Lili could be any character, haha!
Well, if you know that I am making each of my fave characters’ styles turn into a Yeng Constantino fandom! Hurrah me for styling them like they’re doing cosplay! Let’s see what happens!
Sadly, Tekken should return the screenshot capability in Tekken once they develop Tekken 7–and wait, they should not skip to PS4 first (as in PUH-LEEZE, the Tekken team should not jump to the PS4 just yet! Give PS3 more time to be as popular as the PS2 with your presence!). Also, they should learn a thing or two from Soulcalibur about character customization and they should add character creation as well! As much as I do LOVE Soulcalibur, sadly, they removed Talim at SCV, which sucked but anyways, Leixia, Elysium, Viola and Ivy really gave justice to SCV–but still, the customization clothes are still lacking!
Just like any casual gamer who only takes most video games for fun (and not for grounds for competition), I only had a PSP at late 2007 (no joke, I was never interested in having a PSP not until the PSP 2000 came–and I chose the PSP 2000) and had Tekken DR as a game from the memory card and not from the UMD. That was the reason why I fall for Tekken and suddenly, I wished to have a PS3 right away.
I suggest, Tekken 7 should be at least a combination of both Tekken 6 and Tekken Tag 2 when it comes to stages, customizations, character roster, and other features such as err… Scenario Campaign with 2 players (yes, each player should choose their character pre-customized!), Gold Rush (plus Roulette), Online Battle without any codes to input, Customizations (upper body and arms should be again, separate; ditto with lower body and feet, just like how Tekken 6 did it–but the customization choices should also root from both T6 and TTT2–decals should be this time applied to the skin/body haha!).
Off-Topic: Customizations for the prospective Tekken 7 – Suggestions
1.) Customize the character’s voice and language option as well (I think each one should have the option to speak English, Japanese or their native language). For instance, Lili should speak English and French at the same time. Leo should speak English and German at the same time… while Christie and Eddy should speak English and Portuguese at the same time, same with Miguel who should speak Spanish and English at the same time.
2.) Decal Application should also be for the skin/body. In Soulcalibur V, I really like placing tattoos all over my created characters’ body, so why not in Tekken? I hope in customization mode, characters should also have decals at their skin as well.
3.) Customizations offered from both Tekken 6 and Tekken Tag 2 should be combined, but the Tekken 6 system should be followed (upper body is SEPARATE from arms, while lower body should be SEPARATE from feet). Characters’ personal item move (T6) should also be combined with the universal item move of TTT2. Also, change of outfit should follow the TTT2 system (just press square and you have a lot of outfit slots to choose from–and these outfit slots should be until 50!).
4.) With regards to the hair customization, the T6 system should also be followed. At least you have the freedom to choose which hairstyle you want to apply, provided that the hair base serves as a guide to choosing the right hairstyle (back).
5.) Tekken should also offer Character Creation. Here, you just have to choose the fighting style of your character or mix it up with the different fighting styles of his/her favorite characters. Still, the same system I suggested should also be followed, but different faces should be offered (e.g., the face of Lili or Leo should be there, the T6 faces, please! Or both T6 and TTT2, haha!).
6.) The stages should also be PRESENT AT ALL TIMES. Hidden Retreat and the Tomato thing should be UNLOCKABLES, and other stages from T5DR should be renovated to a new one, especially the Gold Rush stage, it should be converted into a two-tier/balcony stage.
7.) Inner and outer clothes should be applied at the upper body… for ALL characters!
8.) Bare hands and bare feet should be for ALL the ladies while shirtless, bare hands and bare feet should be for ALL guys.
9.) Makeup option, just like in SCV!
10.) Also, do not forget the Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection customizations! Please, and thank you!
1.) Tekken should have “Tag Mode” separate from Online Mode and Offline Mode. Here, anyone could choose between online and offline mode if they select “TAG MODE.”
2.) Online mode should follow the T6 system, since there should never be any required codes to input.
3.) TEKKEN TUNES – Please, do not forget that one!
4.) Another RPG mode should be added (besides Scenario Campaign Mode). It should be a story mode wherein the selected character should fight his/her boss character. It could either be a single player or a TAG one (just like in T6 Scenario Mode, but T6 only requires a player to use just one character), but here, you switch character roles. For instance, your main character is Lili, and her partner is Alisa. You want to switch their roles, then you could, so you have Alisa as your main character!
5.) Oh, and Online Mode should also include Gold Rush. (:
6.) Gold Rush Mode should also include Roulette, Lucky Box, and whatever means to increase fight money.
7.) Tekken should also be released for PC/Mac (Scenario Campaign/RPG Mode).
8.) Change background music of each stage, just like in TTT2 and SCV.
9.) Namco Bandai should also hire Kanno Yoko as their composer, onegai-shimasu!
10.) Create your own stage — as in Minecraft Mode!
If you just need to post any more suggestions, feel free to do so, for as long as the comments are constructive, thank you!
Japanese: Kirishima, Bukattsu Yamerutteyo (桐島、部活やめるってよ) – literally, “Kirishima, quit all the clubs”
Starring: Kamiki Ryunosuke, Higashide Masahiro, Ohgo Suzuka
Plot/Summary: In this heartbreaking film, it is a story about high school students being desperate about Kirishima’s disappearance. Here, Kirishima is the well-known team captain of the Libero team in volleyball. What reunited these students is Kirishima’s presence, but physically he’s not even existing. Here, it talks about normal life in high school and school clubs and their dilemmas.
Review: This film is actually a breakthrough and for the record, it is much, much better compared to the Thai movie, “First Love” (known in the Philippines as A Crazy Little Thing Called Love).
The elements of the story would be:
– Interaction between fiction and reality.
– Interaction between indie and mainstream.
There are reasons why I consider this one a better film to watch compared to First Love:
1.) The Kirishima Thing is more realistic as compared to First Love, in some way that there are NO elements that actually glorify superficiality.
2.) Some elements in The Kirishima Thing are actually found in Golden Slumber which are the lenghtening of not-so-important scenes, but these scenes serve as the independent variables that support some interesting series that are dependent variables.
3.) There is no such thing as competition in the good looks department. While The Kirishima Thing shows a lot of good-looking people, at least the story is about behing THE BEST in your craft and at the same time balancing your social life and your club that you’re into.
I did like the scenes wherein Maeda (Kamiki), Hiroki (Higashiede) and Sawashima (Ohgo) were the lead characters. Maeda is a film junkie (a geek), Hiroki is a non-participating baseball club member and Sawashima is an introverted saxophone player.
Here, this Japanese series is known for its style of combining elements coming from indie films plus mainstream entertainment.
Rating: 10/10 – Well, it’s obviously an award-winning breakthrough film.