A Cultural Walk in Shuzenji

A soul who fancies culture and heritage should visit Shuzenji Onsen for day. This small hill complex in Izu, Shizuoka will make you feel like you’re time-traveling back to the 1800s. Its streets are packed with old shops and houses. Their ancient temples still proudly standing. Their old hotspring resorts are easily accessible to visitors. All of those on top of a hill in the middle of Izu that is Shuzenji Onsen.

Excited to know how my 1-day Cultural Walk in Shuzenji went? Read ahead!

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The Unli-ride Day in Itō

I didn’t intend to travel to Itō. Right after my day in Atami, my sole intention is to sleep the night in Itō then head off to Shimoda to surf. But when the universe conspires, there’s pretty much nothing you can do but to enjoy the ride!

Today is a story of my day trip around Itō, Shizuoka last September 2020, when the winds were still not as cold as today while I’m writing this. This is a narration of my stay in my favorite hotel by far and my scary walk in a forest just to find a place full of New York lamps. Excited with all of that? Read ahead!

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The Magical Autumn of Yamanashi

Yamanashi is one place in Japan that I’ll definitely go back to over and over again. I had one look at it over the Internet and I knew that I had to visit this prefecture once every season because it offers various picturesque views as the season changes.

In my journey to discovering Yamanashi, first on the list is visiting it on Autumn, and that is what’s in our story today. If we talk about Autumn in Yamanashi, you definitely want to direct your focus to Fujikawaguchiko. This town will definitely let you bask on the Autumn experience that you’re looking for! I spent a day in Fujikawaguchiko last November 15, 2020 and this is how my day went. Read ahead!

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The Ryokan (旅館) Experience in Itō

I didn’t really know that Ryokans still exist in Japan. To be able to stay in a 100-year-old Ryokan for a night and experience the cultural immersion it offers is such a privilege.

A Ryokan (旅館) is a traditional Japanese inn. Now that Japan is very much modernized, one cannot expect that Ryokans still exist. However, we are lucky that Japan treasures and preserves their cultural relics dearly that even centuries old inns still survive up to today. I am privileged enough to have met and stayed in to one last September 2020, and this is my experience. Read ahead!

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A Day in Atami

If you want to spend a worthwhile day in Atami City in Shizuoka, this article is for you.

Atami City is one of the darlings of Shizuoka. It might not have a closer view of Mt. Fuji, but it sure does have a lot of things that people would definitely need to try and visit. This article is for those who wants to learn about the must-goto places of Atami, specifically those would are asking what locations would be perfect for a Day Trip to this popular beach city. If you are dying to know all of those, then read ahead!

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Dropping by Atami’s Akao Herb and Rose Garden

A person who wants to see some nature to escape their busy cities should visit Akao Herb and Rose Garden.

If you are in Shizuoka, Atami City will surely appear in your radar. After all, Atami City is a popular city during Summer because of its beaches. However, once a person is in Atami City, you will only hear about their famous Onsen 温泉 (Hotsprings). After all, that’s what Atami is most popular for. When I went to Atami, I decided to stay there for 1 whole day (read here: A Day in Atami), so I had the time to tour the city. I did not expect to find a huge, and I say hugeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, garden housing variety of flowers, trees, and many cafes. The place is called Akao Herb and Rose Garden (アカオハーブ&ローズガーデン).

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Dear Strange One

I’m one of the odd and strange ones, and I think that’s okay.

One huge reason of having a personal blog is to take my readers to my journey with me. I want to share every bliss, every heartache, every lesson learned, every failures, and every success to every reader who cares. Why? Because I want to remind everyone that you are not alone, that you got an ally in me, and that I am with you in this journey. Today, I am again sharing a part of my journey that will again make me look vulnerable. A part of my journey that will once again unveil my struggles. I am being brave today in the hopes that this honest confession will also give courage and company to those who need it the most.

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Modern Cages: Is this all even worth it?

It was just another night in my apartment. I’m alone, and miles away from my home. I’m in such a great place in terms of career, but I’m lonely. I’m not worried about what my next meal is going to be, but am I geniunely happy? I’m not sure. There were nights when I reminisce memories of myself munching my favorite Tinolang Manok with my family in our make-shift wooden table back at home in the Philippines. We would talk about victories and problems. We would laugh and quarrel. We only have a roof without a ceiling over our heads, but I can remember how happy and content I felt in those moments. My sister and I would then do the dishes while we sing our favorite songs, our voices echoing in the woods. I miss my family. There are also nights when I think about my man and those days when I get to see him everyday. Now we’re both far away trying to make a living. Every time my thoughts direct to him, I feel a clawing pain in my chest. I no longer remember how it feels to be squeezed in his tight embrace. It’s almost a year now since we last saw each other personally. Everytime I mull and rant about this kind of life of a constant long distance relationship, he just comforts me with the assurance that once we already saved enough fortune, we can both go back home and live normally like we used to. I would just try to relax just so he can stop worrying, however, the thought of having these limitations just never stops flashing back.

Every time I tuck myself to sleep, all I feel is the pain of longing for people and the pain of knowing that I don’t have a choice. It’s funny how I’m lamenting over this. Going far away for work was my personal decision. I told myself it was for a dream. I told myself it was for a future worth fighting for. However, recently, I’m starting to question if this is all really worth it. Is it really worth sacrificing the present in order to prepare for an uncertain future?

I know that I am not the only one. You are going through this, too. Majority, if not all, of us are sacrificing and gambling our present just so we can prepare for a future that we don’t even know will exist. Many of us are giving up our chance to live in the moment just so we can make a living. There are too many of us who are forced to sacrifice things just so we can fullfil society’s expectations. We are all inside modern-day cages. Have you ever wondered if this is all even worth it? Have you ever had the mad idea of escaping the loop, and just say “Fuck! I’m so done with all of this!” As for me, I have.

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This is how our Mentors save Us

Our mentors can make or break us. I’ve seen this first-hand while working as a professional in the IT industry for almost 6 years now. Apart from my own experiences, countless times I was a witness of my colleagues’ struggles at work because of unreasonable mentors. In contrast to this, I have also seen many who achieved exponential personal and career growth because they were blessed by mentors who nurtured them right. It is very rare to find mentors who will stick with you through thick and thin. Mentors who are passionate enough to bring you to the top of your game despite the long and tiring process. However, once you find one, you are definitely up for a journey full valuable lessons, a journey that you will always be grateful for.

In my journey to starting a new career in a foreign country, I did not expect to be blessed with a mentor who was willing to go through my struggles with me just so he can push me to the top of my game. Today, I will be sharing this journey with you. This story is my discovery of what real mentorship and leadership are all about. This is a story of heroes who are not wearing capes, but are still saving lives.

This story is for mentors and for those who are being mentored. May this resonates with you in whatever journey you are going through. Read ahead!

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Skilled Workers remain preyed by Capitalists

The world is no longer surprised when issues on Capitalism surface. It is as if people being treated as merely money-making machines is already the norm. It is as if we all have accepted our fates that we will forever be slaves to this kind of a skewed system. The mere act of thinking about it sends me shivers of disgust. Does Capitalists even have a heart?

March 2nd of 2020, the whole Philippines was shocked by a hostage crisis. A former Security Guard of a shopping mall in Manila took 30 people as hostages, just so he can air out his grievances on his working conditions under his previous employer and uphold justice to his unjust termination. While it is right to condemn this heinous crime, it is even more heartbreaking to witness a noble person like him to resort to violence just so he can level the playground with his Capitalist bosses. It is evident in this story that this is not a criminal issue, but an issue on fair employment. Moreover, even up to this day, it is a known fact that many skilled workers all over the world are treated very poorly compared to the actual value these people bring to the table.

As a victim of the same skewed system, I feel greatly for Mr. Archie Paray, the Security Guard mentioned above. Him and me, together with billions of workers around the world actually exist, and this is our story.

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