Saturday, June 24, 2017

Last day at Work

Yesterday, 23rd June 2017, marked my last day with the Company. It had been four and half years of stress..but beautiful stress that contributed to my professional growth.

I was surprised to have not cried during the last day while giving my speech of farewell. Not because I cared less but because I had the whole month prior to grieve over everything. My notification was relayed a month before and the days after that, I found myself teary-eyed over almost anything that I would miss. 

My colleagues were nice enough to give me a card full of sweet messages.

The office.

With the women of Dynamic team

Equipment Purchasing

(Clockwise from left) Nakamura, Moriya, Kiyohara, Yamakawa, Ishitsuka, Yasu, Oomori, Makihara, Hijikata, Yang, Hiramatsu, me, Onozuka and Mizuno.

Outside work, I have taken a few photos of my neighbourhod. My home from December 2012 to 3rd July 2017.

My mama bike. Amber used to ride the backseat. Even without her, I still kept the backseat.
Speaking of the neighbourhood. It is typical quiet suburban, wherein you could barely hear any blasting music from neighbours. The buildings are old but the surroundings are made child-friendly with the presence of pocket parks and playground. 

Keiyo Line is the first train I hop on for trainhopping and the only line that leads me to work. 

Ginza, where I get a little relief from stress!

The iconic Wako building.

Me under the Inagekaigan marquee.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Prelude to Farewell

I am leaving Japan soon. My departure from the land of the Rising Sun is expected but the timing is not. Early this year, I was all prepared that it may happened for my contract was to expire by the end of March; however, it was extended for six months. So I stayed and settled myself that I may be staying here until a better opportunity comes or until my preconceived early retirement.

Well, it did come..unexpectedly. It was all due to a phonecall in early April that suddenly left me with a decision so difficult that it bothered me badly. I had to weigh the pros and cons. Although the opportunity is not as financially rewarding as my current, I just decided to simplify the process by following my instinct, i.e. to be with Amber.

For more than 2 years, since Amber left Japan in February 2015, our reunions were limited to short holidays here in Japan or Cebu. So fleeting that every time I leave for Japan, it breaks my heart to see her cry because I always insisted on being accompanied to the airport by her.

For the professional growth, I do see that in my current but maybe not as expansive as I wanted it to be. I respect the organization and in terms of growth, I did grow; however, I would like to see how further can I grow considering that at my age, my options are getting limited. My current company has been very nice and the experience I have was overall amazing. I have nothing but appreciation and respect to my colleagues.

Since my days are getting shorter here. I come to realize that as of this writing, I spent most of my adult life here in Japan. I first came here at 23 and now in my late 30s, I am leaving but hopefully, come back.

This place is my second home and will soon become a distant memory. So, in my final days here, I will revisit those places which I love and will soon miss. Distant places not possible due to time and budget constraints. So, a walk around Tokyo will do just fine.

My only regret was not having the guts to climb Mt.Fuji. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


T and Amber came to Japan just in time for Golden week. Since I had a whole week of no work, I began to think of ways how to spend it with them. There was no way that there would not be any travel outside Tokyo or Chiba.

We chose Nagoya because Legoland just recently opened its doors to fans like us and that travelling to Nagoya will not take much of our time as long as it was via Shinkansen.

Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. 

Knowing Japan, they have this eccentric way of designing their manholes. This one is a water manhole with Water Strider design. According to my research via google (ahhh, the wonders of technology!), Water Striders are known to live in clean waters only. Meaning that the water inside this manhole is clean, safe and potable.

Nagoya Castle used as background for my mandatory ice cream selfie.

 Legoland was around 30 minutes by train from Nagoya station. 

I have to say that the price was too expensive (500 JPY short of Disney resort tickets) considering the park was not huge. On the plus side, the variety of food are many and kids below 10 will appreciate and enjoy the attractions more.

It Girls

A scale model of Tokyo Station and famous skyscrapers of Tokyo metropolis at the back. Just a few of the many scale models of Japan's famous landmarks.

Amber getting along with a Lego family

So secluded that we were one of the two sets of tourists strolling around.

The rotary just in front of Nagoya Station

We just stopped by the Science museum but did not have much time to get in after having seen the long queue!

Amber teaching me how to pose ala Little Pony. If I remember correctly, she changed her name to Apple Jack during this trip. She was Rainbow Dash during her birthday. As of this writing though, her name has changed again.

Overall, Nagoya may not be as famous and unique as Osaka but it was the experience that really made it special. At the risk of sounding cheesy, it was one of the best trips I have had because Amber was at the stage of getting funnier and wittier. She turned 5 a couple of weeks before this trip and her ability to retain information and attentiveness to details were amazing. I know this is nothing special for kids her age but I am her mother so to some it may be an exaggeration.