Following Rizal’s trail in Leitmeritz

Much has been written about the friendship between Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero, and Ferdinand Blumentritt, an Austrian schoolteacher interested in the ethno-linguistic background of the Filipinos despite not having visited the country. More recently, efforts have been done by the Philippine Embassy in Czech Republic and the Czech Embassy in the Philippines to …

Walk this way

I signed up for a lot of free walking tours during my first year in Japan. My favorite guide remains to be Ziggy of the Shinagawa Systemized Goodwill Guide (SGG). He introduced us to Daikanyama, took great photos, and patiently waited us out while we fanboyed/fangirled over Terrace House spots.

Goshuin girl

A year ago, I got my first ever goshuincho or, literally, book of seals. Along with it came my first goshuin or a seal as proof of temple visit from Kawasaki Daishi. This particular temple is well known for warding off evil. Although yakuyoke (warding off evil) is usually done at the start of the …

A proč ne?!

Stalking the ghosts that went before me because this is how frenetic I am before a trip. • Follow Milan Kundera’s Prague with unbearable darkness. • Read a student’s Prague travelogue from 2006 • Peek inside the university dorm that I will live in. • Skim through some history lesson about Czechia’s black sheep. (The …

Not nuts over natto

I am jealous of my friends who love natto (fermented soybeans). One of the first couple of things you will encounter in Japan over breakfast is a serving of natto, among many other things. I remember giving it a try even if I knew I wouldn’t like it during my first morning in Tokyo. I …

Leaving Luna

I wanted to write about my first couple of months here in my university but I ended up writing about Luna. It has been six months since I moved to Japan to study International Relations. Months before leaving, it was a blessing in disguise that I had to resign from work to take care of …