Archive for June, 2010

5 Cartoon Network Shows That I Forgot Even Existed

Being a kid with a strict no-watching-tv-during-weekdays rule, I always savored my weekends. They were times that I could get to go on temporary adik mode on the PC, or to spend luxuriously long hours in front of the TV. I would watch everything I could manage (whether I understood them or not). If I couldn’t find anything good on TV, I would channel surf until thirty minutes has passed and channels would transition to their next shows.

Of course, being a kid also meant I had a special place in my heart for cartoons. The day that we subscribed to Sky Cable Naga is a day to remember. Why?

Two words: CARTOON NETWORK. The day we got this channel will forever be ingrained in my memory.

However, these shows apparently, were not.

1. Mike, Lu and Og

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When Lando mentioned this cartoon last week, I instantly remembered was the opening song! “Mike, Lu, and Og… from the island!”

But that was all I could remember of it. I had to look it up on Wikipedia just so I could remember what they looked like. But I used to watch this pretty frequently as a kid. This is one of the many shows to whick Nancy Cartwright, voices of the likes of Bart Simspon, Chuckie Finster and Rufus of Kim Possible, lent her voice to.

 

2. Top Cat

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I wasn’t a huge fan of the series, but I would occasionally watch it during lunchtimes while I was waiting for sundo (yes, I got that privilege at the very least). I found Top Cat to be too arrogant, although I did have a soft spot for Benny the Ball. How could I not when his voice was just so cute? :>

 

3. Two Stupid Dogs

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I considered Two Stupid Dogs to be One Stupid Show. But it was one of the cartoons that they frequently showed during weekend afternoons so I really had no choice but to watch it. I think I blocked this show from my memory for some reason, but now Little Dog’s annoyingly squeaky voice is haunting me again.

 

4. Swat Kats

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When I said I loved cartoons, I meant it. And yes, I even watched boy cartoons.

I actually think Swat Kats was ahead of its time, with hot feline heroes and the futuristic MegaKat City as the setting. Everything else about this show escapes me now, but I always have fond memories of this show, along with Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and similar stuff like that.

 

5. Ed, Edd, and Eddy

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How could I even forget the existence of these lovable guys? They came around the same time as Powerpuff Girls and Dexter’s Lab, all from the severely underrated gem of a show that is Cartoon Cartoon  (or was it The What a Cartoon Show?). Edd was my favorite because he was nerdy and cute. I also liked the Kanker Sisters -let’s face it, even at that young an age kahit anong may kalandian gusto ko. One more thing, this is one of the first shows where I found out of the existence of a jawbreaker.

———–

Sad to say, I don’t like much of what’s showing on Cartoon Network these days, or on any other kid’s channel for that matter.

I hope the reason is that 90’s shows for kids were better. Not because I’m getting older. God forbid.

Ohayo! Day 12: The Icing on the Cake

Or in this case, it’s “the snow on top of the mountain.”

This day is the pinnacle of our Japan trip, literally, because we’re going to Mt. Fuji!

No, we’re not scaling the mountain. Not only would I die before I even get halfway there because of my less than physically fit self, but also because it isn’t climbing season yet. We could get arrested.

Anyway, we joined Yokota Air Base’s tour, which had us all on a bus and we would climb the highest up station of Mt. Fuji that could be accessed by land transportation. We woke up really early at 6AM so that we could get to the meeting area on time. That being a totally inhumane time for me, bumawi ako by sleeping the entire time until we got to the waterfall.

I have only been to a few waterfalls in my lifetime, but this is definitely a pretty one. Shiraito means “white threads”, and the waterfall lives up to the name. With all the fog and greenery, it makes for a very serene and calming scene.

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While waiting for the tour group to get back on the bus, we decided that we weren’t feeling cold enough so we bought ourselves some ice cream! I got a strawberry-peach twist, and Max and Daddy got WASABE ice cream. Ugh. I got a taste of it and it tasted like… gulay.

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We went on the road again shortly after that, and we stopped at Fuji View Hotel to have our lunch. We had arrived earlier than what was planned, so we decided to look around the property to find a good place for our photo op. XD

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When it was finally time to have lunch, it was definitely worth waiting for. It was an all-you-can-eat buffet of practically everything you could think of! It was the most perfect last lunch in Japan I could ask for. It was almost too bad that I was watching what I eat, it would have been nice to really pig out. Nevertheless, naka-dalawang balik parin ako.

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The trip was taking us to the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji, located at 7,560 ft. No wonder it was so cold there, I was wearing a long sleeved shirt, three jackets, three pairs of leggings, and long socks and boots, yet I still felt a little sting of the cold. It was eight degrees out there!

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It was really foggy that day, and our guide was telling us the entire time that we might not be able to see the peak Mt. Fuji because of that. So imagine our surprise when my dad actually managed to get a shot of the top during a brief moment that the sky cleared up! Granted, he almost got left by the bus because of it, but I think this view is more than worth it.

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We descended down the mountain after that, and got home at around 6pm. We decided to eat at a nearby diner, where I ordered this huge basket of spicy chicken wings, which proceeded in making me sick to my stomach sa sobrang dami niya.  We called it an early night because we had to leave really early for Narita Airport the next day.

Overall, it was a great day to cap off our 10-day awesome trip to Japan! Yatta! :D

———————–

At last, I’ve finished the Ohayo! series. It has been almost a month since the trip, and I daresay it almost feels like a distant dream. Thesis has started kicking in in the rudest of ways, and sometimes I wish I could just go back to Japan and explore more. But at the same time, I’m glad to be back home.

Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to visit again in a few years?

And with that, I bid the country of Japan a hearty “Sayonara!” For now. ;)

Ohayo! Day 11: Otaku Goodness!

I have been an anime fan since my intermediate elementary days. And though I wouldn’t say that I’m as a die hard fan of it as I was since then (I haven’t been able to keep up with anime as of late), I still love it. Which was why I was so excited about this day’s destination.

Akihabara_Dennou_Gumi Does anyone remember this anime? This was one of the first that I ever got to watch on AXN. It was on at 5:30 the afternoon everyday, and I would constantly rush home to catch it on TV (hindi pa ako binabawalan magTV nitong mga panahon na ito). It was Cyberteam in Akihabara. It was the first I ever heard of the place.

OH YES, WE ARE GOING TO THE GEEK CENTRAL OF JAPAN, AKIHABARA!

Max and I have been waiting for this day for the entire duration of our trip. We had even been researching the places that we wanted to go to, most especially him, so it was decided that he would be the one to guide us around the area for the day.

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The scene when we got there was… intense to say the least. Signs everywhere, people rushing to go to wherever they needed to go, and stores selling electronics, anime goods, and a lot of other things, at every corner. Lucky enough for us, there was a sort of counter that handed out free English maps of the area.

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One thing that Akihabara is famous for is their maid cafes. For those uneducated in Japanese pop culture, a maid cafe is a restaurant where instead of ordinary waitresses, the girls who wait on you are dressed up as maids, and they do more than just serve your food. They can give massages, grooming services, and entertainment, though none of the sexual kind. They are almost like the modern day geisha of the otaku, bringing their fantasies to life. (For more info on maid cafes, read the Wikipedia article on them

IMGP0003 A maid cafe girl inviting people to go to their cafe.

IMGP0017            A multi-story maid cafe

 

Aside from maid cafes, we saw a different variety of cafe there as well. A Gundam Cafe! There was a very long line to enter the store, and I wasn’t able to see inside, but Max said that instead of maid outfits, the girls wore the jumpsuits that Gundam engineers and technicians wore. If that’s true, then that is just so… hot.

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Me and my siblings literally went crazy over the stores. Imagine, buildings of seven or so stories dedicated solely to manga and anime merchandise. It was bliss, I tell you. We spent hours inside stores.

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It was too bad that my dad didn’t get to take much photos inside the stores themselves, although I guess that would be a bit embarrassing, as they were commercial establishments. But just imagine, racks and racks of anime goodies. And floors and floors of manga! And a whole section for hentai manga, hehehe. >:)

We were reserving most of our money for this particular day, so we really went wild. Max disappeared for most of the day, going to a music store then getting lost inside Kotobukiya during the latter part of the day. He managed to buy a posable figurine of Konata from Lucky Star, as well a couple of hentai manga. HAHA.

Zoe went crazy as well and bought herself loads of manga! I kept reminding her that they were all in Japanese but she didn’t seem to mind. And when I went home, she had already started putting English translations in them. Matiyagang bata.

I, on the other hand, had three particular goals in mind:

1. Buy Dale his Doraemon item.

Doraemon-Ambulance Dale gave me a strict budget of 400 yen for his item, so even if I did see a lot of Doraemon stuff for the past days that I’ve been in Japan, I couldn’t really buy them because they were way over the price range. I was really banking on Akihabara, and it didn’t fail me. I found this at Tokyo Anime Center, and though it was a little over the budget (it cost 500 yen), I think sulit naman. BTW, photo from Dale’s multiply site.

2. Buy any Domo item for myself.

AAAADIu5HxQAAAAAAKXh2g I managed to get myself this exact one from Kotobukiya. It’s originally a magnet, but I made it into a pendant instead. Since I lack a decent camera, I couldn’t really take a photo of it.

3. Buy Lando’s awesome pasalubong.

I think that this will more than suffice for the sidebar.

I’m embarrassed to admit that when this day came, Lando was the only one I didn’t have pasalubong for. I couldn’t really think of what to get him, not because I didn’t see anything he would like, but rather the contrary: everything I saw I thought he would like. And I couldn’t decide what to get him.

When I asked him about what he could possibly want, Lando told me that he wanted something “geeky and anime-related.” So I decided to leave it until we went to Akihabara. And by then, I was sort of panicking.

As I said, we spent hours in the stores. And most of those hours, I spent looking for pasalubong. What was I supposed to get him? Something from Bleach? One Piece? Naruto? I was actually feeling a bit dizzy from going around the store so much, until I finally decided on these:

chopsticks_vader_rei2-899x600Lando practically worships the entire Star Wars franchise, so I figured that I couldn’t go wrong with some lightsaber chopsticks. I got him the exact ones because I remember him telling me that he liked the red ones the best.

water-body-bottles-evangeli (1) He is also a really huge fan of Evangelion (as well as the female body WAHAHAHA) so I bought him one of these sexy water bottles. And I can’t resist throwing in a quote from the website I got this photo from: “…they simultaneously satisfy your thirst for water, anime and sex. It’s like a water jug…with jugs.”

And in relation to anime girls, look at this!

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We managed to catch this cosplayer promoting the new manga Broken Sword. She’s portraying Shigyun Erusuteru. Ang ganda ganda niya!

 

By the time we were finished, it was already early nighttime and everyone was exhausted, including the parentals, who seemed a little overwhelmed with everything that was happening. But I still managed to get a photo of myself in the busy district. Yes, I am vain when I want to be.

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We went home tired and happy, ready to call it a night. We had to sleep really early this time around because we have to get up at the crack of dawn for the last leg of our trip, Mt. Fuji! :)

STAY TUNED. :D

Ohayo! Day 10: Seasick

Landlubbers, I suggest you close this page now. You have been warned.

We had only one destination on our itinerary for today.

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I had never heard of this DisneySea place until a few weeks before we left for Japan, and I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about the place. Call me a kid at heart but I will always be excited over the world “Disneyland” and “DisneySea” didn’t really sound as appealing. But sometime during our stay here, I managed to look at DisneySea’s Wikipedia entry and here are some interesting things it had to say about the theme park:

  1. It is the fifth most visited theme park in the world.
  2. It was the fastest theme park in the world to reach the milestone of 10 million guests (307 days after its opening!)
  3. It is also the most expensive theme park ever built (costing over U.S. $4 billion).

Even I couldn’t argue with facts as amazing as that.

We left the base really early because we had a few really long train rides ahead of us. It took us more than two hours just to get to the JR Maihama Station where we could ride the Disney Resort Line to the theme park.

Yes folks, hindi kayo namalikmata. Disney has its own freakin’ train line! (Hong Kong has one too if I’m not mistaken.) It has a number of stops, including both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea as well as the other Disney hotels. And in typical Disney fashion, ang dami talagang not-so-hidden Mickeys, sa train palang.

IMGP0002 The windows were shaped like Mickey heads…

IMGP0006 Yung mga hawakan ganun din.

IMGP0008 Here I am, getting a bit sick from all the Mickeyness.

We arrived at the park no later than around 10AM, but there were already a lot of people there. Luckily, the ticket booth lines weren’t that long so we were able to get in almost instantly.

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During our Hong Kong trip last 2006, I was the self-appointed timekeeper and navigator, and I ended up doing a really good job of it because we managed to watch every single show and ride every single ride we wanted in the span of one day. I decided to take on the job once again in DisneySea, although how successful I was going to be, I didn’t really know yet, because the park was way larger than Hong Kong Disneyland, as you can see from the map.

The plaza right after the entrance featured a HUUUUGE globe, not much unlike the one in Mall of Asia. We of course just had to take a photo with it showing the Philippines.

IMGP0018 Can you see where it is?

Once through the plaza, the first area, was the Mediterranean Harbor. It was basically the equivalent to the area where the Disneyland castles were, only here it was… err… a volcano. And tons of water. And so begins the weirdness that is DisneySea. (more coming up soon)

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We decided to go clockwise around the park, which meant that the first area we got to explore was the American Waterfront, basically a recreation of the US in the early days.

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We came across an attraction that had a really long line, and without even checking what it was, we fell in line immediately. Only then did we see its name: Tower of Terror. HAHAHAHA.

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It was a free fall ride, supposedly everyone was inside an elevator being controlled by a ghost or something. I couldn’t really understand the backstory narrated before we got to ride because it was all in Japanese! Talk about selfish. What about the tourists? And sad to say, hindi rin ako mashadong natuwa sa ride. The scare and shock factor was really hyped up, but the ride didn’t last for more than a minute or so. Boo. But kudos to the part where the ride went all the way to the top to peek out at the park, ang scary.

There was this really big structure made to look like a ship, which was where we went to watch the noon show of Sea of Dreams. But not before we had lunch. Hotdogs yeah!

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It was a bad choice to see the show. Not only was it in Japanese yet again, but it was so cheesy and corny that I was starting to think I shouldn’t have had that hotdog for lunch. Blech.

IMGP0206 IMGP0101 The one upside was that the women were really pretty.

IMGP0111 I guess they couldn’t find a Japanese guy with huge muscles who could work for Disney.

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We had to rush back to the Harbor right after this to catch the Legend of Mythica. By then, I had just about given up on the possibility of understanding anything that was happening in the shows, so I just settled for enjoying the great spectacle of it all.

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After that, Zoe, Max and I decided to wander off for a bit to ride some other rides, so we didn’t have a camera. But we managed to go to StormRider, which was actually just a cooler version of Rialto in Enchanted Kingdom. Moving seats + water.

My first failure as our timekeeper came when we missed the show at the Lost River Delta by mere minutes. On the bright side though, at least this gave us some time to relax a bit and just enjoy the place, which we hadn’t really been able to do since we got there. We also saw some Disney characters along the way!

IMGP0216 Look, it’s Mrs. Incredible! (Yes, that’s a real person right there.)

IMGP0222 Talk about adik. But I sooo want to do this with my bag as well. PROJECT!

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Nagpabili kami ni Zoe ng Mickey-shaped orange pops. Zoe didn’t seem to happy about it though. She even bought a Tiramisu ice cream sandwich after.

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I’m pretty sure Max isn’t the only one who’s into Japanese schoolgirls.

This was taken incognito (wish my mom posing for a decoy photo) so that Max could have some of these that he could ogle back home. But I’m preeeeetty sure Lando would like it too. Hell, even I like it, and I’m a girl. The both of us are way into anime and manga, so for me, this is like seeing them personified. ANG HOT LANG SHET.

The Lost River Delta’s main attraction was the India Jones and the Crystal Skull ride, so we had to endure yet another long line. Being a UP student has taught me so much, and that includes being patient with lines. Besides, it was fun to see the stuff around it. I can almost imagine working as an architect for an amusement park. It would be awesome to design worlds as intricate and far out as these!

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The ride was the first one that I found really great for the entire day! We were riding on these jeeps just like what Indiana Jones used. It was exciting, especially the end when there was a huge boulder chasing us! We even bought our photo from the ride.

30054_1438364753332_1059400517_1311115_4428663_n Hahahaha. We seem to be the only ones who actually reacted. T_T

Our next stop was the Arabian Coast.

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There was this ride called Sinbad’s Story Voyage, which seemed to be DisneySea’s equivalent to Disneyland’s It’s A Small World. I’m all for being nationalistic and everything, but Arabs singing in Japanese? Come on.

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After that, we also tried the Magic Lamp Theater, which was an attempt to combine live theater and 3D effects. A valiant but futile effort. By this time, I was getting a bit bored of everything. So bored that we actually rode the carousel after, and even that was a bit of a disappointment, because we didn’t get to ride on a genie. :( (photo is taken from the interweb)

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The next stop was the Mermaid Lagoon, where all the kiddie stuff was located. No one was really that interested in any of the rides there (except maybe Zoe) so we just hung around there for a while to enjoy the sights.

IMGP0299 I had a really bad hair day.

IMGP0296 More pretty Japanese girls! Tee hee.

800px-Mermaid_lagoon_at_Tokyo_Disney_seaWe didn’t get to see this anymore, so I got this off Wikipedia. It’s supposedly how the lagoon looks at night. Pretty!

Our last area to visit was Mysterious Island, which was actually located inside the volcano shown in the earlier pictures. We lined up at the Journey to the Center of the Earth attraction, and was wondering why no else followed, since it looked interesting enough. Being know-nothings in the Japanese language, we had no idea that the ride itself was actually closed and all that was left was a tour! So we had to endure a good fifteen minutes or so of the tour guide yapping to us in Japanese, none of which we understand. Naawa naman ako sa kanya.

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The last ride we got to go on for the day was the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride. My dad didn’t get to take any photos, but it was actually pretty cool, simulating us going under the sea in this sort of submarine and seeing all the marine life. I got a photo off the internet again just so you could imagine what it looked like from outside.

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By then, it was almost night time and all we had to do was wait for the final shows. We decided to grab some dinner and walk around the park until it was time to start. The park is beautiful at night time. The lights were just amazing, especially the ship!

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It was almost time for the main show so we got ourselves a good spot over at the Harbor. It was time for BravisSEAmo!

IMGP0351 IMGP0365 BraviSEAmo! was thie extravagant over-the-water lights show that told of the love story between Bellisea the Goddess of Water (aka white thing) and Prometeo the God of Fire (aka firey thing). Everything was just spectacular and amazing, the Japanese really know how to use their technology to the fullest. I couldn’t say that I really enjoyed it however, I was just a little lost at its significance to Disney. But then again, DisneySea really isn’t owned by Disney at all, so I guess that’s where all the weirdness and randomness come from.

And as with every amusement park in the entire world (as far as I know), the park closed with fireworks. I had grown accustomed to seeing such amazing fireworks displays from MOA (when they hold the Fireworks Competition) and with the UP Lantern Parade’s fireworks that I was a little underwhelmed with DisneySea’s. Hahaha ako na ang jaded.

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Zoe was intent at buying a souvenir so we went over to the biggest shop we saw, and everyone else seemed to be frenzied as she was. The place was packed! And everyone seemed to be really into one item in particular…

3358768791_4e1706b8ff Ladies and gentlemen, meet Duffy. Who is she? Until I stepped into DisneySea grounds, I had no idea. But apparently, he/she is a Disney Character. In Japan anyways. And everyone was just going crazy over him/her! Aside from having a wide range of sizes, you could also buy her clothes and items, like a Barbie or something. It was appaling how people were eating this  right up, some even buying two or three bears! Japanese consumerism is just crazy sometimes. But oh well, they have the money, so baket hindi?

We finally went on home after that, and arrived really late at the base, exhausted and just ready to get a good night’s sleep, because tomorrow, we’re going to a place that Max and I have been raving about since we got here. Stay tuned.

In summary, DisneySea was interesting in a variety of ways. It was definitely not your typical Disney theme park, but this fact had both its pros and cons. To experience it was good enough, because where else could you find such rides and sights? But I’m not sure if I would want to go there again. Corny and redundant it may seem, I still prefer the traditional Disneyland, with the castle, princesses, and Space Mountain. I would choose going to Hong Kong Disneyland over going to DisneySea any day. But hey, that’s just me.

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And with that, I bid all of you a good night! (:3 (imbento kong smiley na may mouse ears kunwari)

Ohayo! Day 9: From Ghibli, With Love

When I first mentioned to some of my friends that we were planning to go to Japan, Camille immediately urged me to go to Ghibli Museum, from the people of Studio Ghibli who brought us the likes of Howl’s Moving Castle, My Friend Totoro, and Spirited Away. Being a fan of their movies myself, I enthusiastically agreed and researched weeks before on how we could get there and how we could get tickets.

Two days before, we had already managed to secure vouchers from Lawson, and we were reserved for the 12NN entrance. The museum was located in Mitaka, so we headed over there directly from Fussa. I was really excited; this was my day, my special request that was included in the itinerary.

Studio Ghibli is like the Disney Studios of Japan, and Hayao Miyazaki is like their Walt Disney. So it was no wonder that there was already a significant amount of people lined up at the bus stop, waiting for the bus to the museum.

IMG_0292 IMG_0297 IMGP0008 The bus is just too cute!IMGP0007 Just like these two adorable children!

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This particular shot reminds me of a time way, way, way back when Lando and I were still just starting to hang out. Everytime we got to take a taxi to Katipunan, he would always say to look out for the building which he dubbed “gubat na tinubuan ng building”, and it looked very similar to this. Haha wala lang. :D

IMGP0012 The vouchers we had were still going to be exchanged for tickets inside the museum. Here I am hardly able to contain my excitement with what we were about to witness.

Sadly, we weren’t allowed to take photos inside the museum, so I can’t show you how cool the stuff we saw inside were. I don’t think I can do them justice by simply recounting them thru words, so.. punta nalang kayo to see for yourselves? XD

We also saw a short featuring the Bus Neko (Cat Bus) and May, the kid sister in My Neighbor Totoro. It was just so cute! You couldn’t not like it because of its utter cuteness, despite the fact that it was totally in Japanese.

On the brighter side, we were at the very least allowed to take photos outside the museum, which we tried to take full advantage of.

IMGP0019 Look at what I saw in one of the windows! My dust bunnies! :D

IMGP0026I forgot which movie this was from.

IMGP0036Giant Totoro!

The trip to Ghibli Museum was more than enough to make my day (truth be told, I was aching to go home), but the grownups decided to go to Ome to check out another park. I was a little lazy by that time, but i perked up when Zoe bought…

IMGP0055 …this really yummy strawberry cream puff! YUUUUM! She shared it with me, thank you. <3

I can definitely say that Ome is the rural part of Japan. The station was almost deserted when we got off the train, and everything was just really quiet and peaceful.

IMGP0047 IMGP0049This movie poster is so old school!

Unfortunately, isang malaking fail ang aming pagpunta ng Ome. Instead of a park, all we really managed to see aside from this crazy old lady who was talking to a stuffed animal, was this.

IMGP0053 So much for parks. The park was really high up and no one was in the mood to hike all the way there.

We just decided to go back to Fussa and go back home. But not before we dropped by another Daiso store for some shopping! Zoe and I finished early and found these photo booths that the Japanese are famous for, and we couldn’t resist not trying them!

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Overall, happy happy happy day. :D Tomorrow promises to be another one because we’re going to Disney Sea! Good night! Oyasuminasai! :D

Ohayo! Day 8: The Storm Cometh

If you’ve read my previous post, then you probably know how the first few hours or so of my day went down. I will certainly not be reblogging that again,  but if you’re any reader with even half a brain, then you probably would have infered that I was not at all in that great a mood when we reached our first destination of the day, and I think it will be evident how foul my disposition was in the photos. First time in this entire trip that I haven’t found the urge to smile at any camera being pointed at my face.

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We went to Edo-Tokyo Museum in Ryogoku to get a taste of the rich cultural heritage of the place, and that photo behind us it the really long elevator that took us to the main floor of the museum. I was feeling so down from the loss of my camera that I considered hurling myself from the top to a very bloody death. Yes, sad to say I do have the occasional suicidal tendencies, especially after experiencing something utterly traumatizing.

iphone photos 019 iphone photos 020 The exhibits featured a lot of miniature models of Edo during the different periods, and what was most impressive was that most of them had all these tiny people, which upon closer inspection with binoculars showed that each one of them was unique, as in walang kapareho. Talk about effort.

IMGP0029 We first attempted to view the museum on our own, but everything was in Japanese so we availed the services of the guide, which was offered for free at the museum. She was really nice and knew her stuff, but sadly I forgot her name. There she is on the left.

My dad ran out of batteries during halfway of our trip so he took photos with his phone instead. I was supposed to lend him my spare ones but they were in my bag as well. Talk about inconveniencing everyone. I was also still feeling down so I didn’t really retain much of what our guide was telling us, and even if I did, I think I’m feeling too lazy to recount everything, so I’ll just post some of the fun highlights.

iphone photos 049 iphone photos 048 Edo was said to have experienced a lot of fires due to frequent earthquakes, so a fire brigade was necessary during those times. What Max is carrying is supposedly a signal/symbol for the fire brigade, and it was usually carried by the most handsome man in the group. This is most probably to have more people look at him, and hence, see the signal as well. It seemed pretty heavy from Max’s reaction upon lifting it. Or maybe he just wasn’t gwapo enough, wahaha.

iphone photos 064We stopped by Ginza a few days ago (as recounted in this post), and this was supposedly how Mitsukoshi Department Store looked like back in the day.

IMGP0031Here’s Zoe in a carriage for the richer population of Edo, and this was how they got around, with people carrying her inside.

iphone photos 090This is a depiction of  festival that we supposedly missed by just a day upon arriving in Japan. Sayang, it looks like a lot of fun.

iphone photos 078 iphone photos 080 This on the other hand, is a depiction of a typical scene in a Kabuki Theater. Guess who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy?

After almost two hours of touring the entire museum, we were finally done and were feeling famished. We were determined to have something that was a bit more filling and heavy, and guess what we found? A Pepper Lunch branch! :D

There are actually a few branches of Pepper Lunch already in Manila, franchised and run by Chuvaness, but I had never been to one, so this was a first time for me, as well as for all of us. Steak is just yummy, yummy, yummy! I must remember to get to eat at Pepper Lunch again when I get back. Although I think it’s quite expensive.

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A while back, my friend Abie suggested that if we wanted to see some Japanese temples, it would be best to head over to Asakusa where the biggest one can be found, so we decided to do just that. Along the way, we encountered rickshaws, and I was surprised to see the drivers (?) wearing nothing but short shorts as bottoms! Samantalang ako, patong patanong na ang suot pero lamig na lamig parin. But then again, I guess it makes it easier for them to run.

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There were a ton of people at Sensoji Temple, and it was nearing its closing time so we really had to move fast to get some more time to walk around the place and take photos.

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There were a lot of rituals that were being performed by the people there that I didn’t really get, but being the game people that we are, we jumped right in and did exactly what they were doing!

IMGP0064 This must have been their version of holy water.

IMGP0068Zoe inhaling some incense.

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There were these large shelves with numerous drawers which we learned gave your fortune, so we gamely dropped our 100-yen coins into the boxes to get our piece of paper with our fortune.

IMGP0078 Here we are with our papers. Imagine my chagrin when one sentence in my fortune read, “Lost articles will rarely be found.” So much for hope right?

IMGP0074 IMGP0076 Max and I got the same fortune, but he was more concerned with the “Marriage will be good by half” line. We had no idea what that meant. Would he only be happy half of the time? Or would only half of the things about the marriage be happy? Malay ko. Labo. XD

The remainder of our time for the day was spent browsing thru the shops near the temple.

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We got caught up in the train’s rush hour on the way back, but I still think that this is way better than the crowded MRT. At least people didn’t smell bad or push you.

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The loss of my camera not taken into account, this day was pretty fun. The only thing I resented more than losing my camera was the fact that Max said I looked like a granny in my outfit. XD Bastusan na ito. Hahahaha.

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Good night everyone! And if you didn’t get it yet, the storm = loss of camera.

BTW, wala akong malagay na sidebar for today sorry. :( Didn’t get the chance to take any photos for myself. LANDO I HAVE FAILED YOOOOU.

Ohayo! Day 7: Calm Before the Storm

It was sunny again today thankfully, and Tita Ruthsie decided to come with us! The destinations: Shinjuku and Asakusabashi.

It was an almost two-hour train ride to Shinjuku, and our first order of business was to find a Lawson convenience store where we could get vouchers for our planned trip to Ghibli Museum. We finally found one in this building.

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We decided to have an early lunch there as well, so I split this chicken meal whose name I do not know with Zoe, and also some Coke with Zoe and Max. Ang cute ng bote. XD

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I decided to channel a little bit of Japanese schoolgirl in my outfit today. Medyo fail though. But at least this gives me the opportunity to introduce my sidebar early! XD

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I was a walking reminder of Lando today, because I was wearing his GoodBeer shirt that I practically forced him to give me, insisting that it was already too small for him even if he already showed me that it fit just fine. That was during the time that I kept on wearing large shirts because I was still making an effort to hide my belly that has grown from eating too much. Now, I just like that I have something of his to wear when I want to. XD

The jacket is his as well, I borrowed one of his many so that I would have an additional one to wear while in Japan, and so that I could wear it whenever I miss him. HAHA CHEESY.

There were a few interesting buildings that were really prominent around that area of Shinjuku, and the architecture student in me couldn’t resist taking a few photos of them.

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We went up to the South Observatory of the Shinjuku Metropolitan Government Office to get a sky high view of the entirety of Tokyo. It was amazing! And you could see the little people down below walking around like ants. It was like Sim City or Tropico.

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We then went down to another park, the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. As usual, everything was just impeccably manicured and flawless. I can’t even imagine how much time and effort is put into maintaining such large parks.

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I have to admit though, even if everything’s really all so pretty and whatnot, I was getting a bit sick of parks. How many have we visited since we got here? 4? But oh well, leave it to us kids to always look for the hustle and bustle while for the old people (and I say that with the utmost affection) yearn for the quiet and calming. We dealt with boredom the best way we could: goof off.

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For a change, we indulged my mom’s wishes and went to Asakusabashi where she went hunting for new beads to add to her jewelry making collection. Boy, my mom’s eyes all but popped out of her head when we went inside the stores. Ang daming beads!

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While my mom was nagwawala inside the bead stores, we decided to walk around the area to see what we would find.

100_0731 This I think was what was equivalent to our Pinoy beerhouse and hole in the wall inuman place. All of them were drinking beer and having a good time.

100_0740 It was not uncommon to see buildings as thin as this one, whose frontage must not have even exceeded 4 meters. Imagine how narrow each floor must be.

IMGP0100We discovered a really tasty treat from the many vending machines of Japan, this really yummy cold cocoa drink! See how happy I look. XD

We called it a day shortly after and went home. I was excited to get to talk to Lando and show him what I wore for the day, tee hee.

And with that, I bid you Oyasuminasai! Until tomorrow! :)



Allie has seen many a dust bunny in her lifetime, most of them in her dorm room. She is often mistaken as a 13-year old, further intensified by her weird fashion choices that mostly involve cutesy patootsie rings, colorful knee high socks, and ribbons and bows in her hair. She dreams of waking up one day and finding herself as a character in Star Wars. Preferably a jedi. With a purple lightsaber.

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