Life, People, Short Story, Travel, Writing


Itte rasshai,” he said, right after we kissed.

Itte kimasu,” I replied automatically.

A usual exercise in my Japanese for Beginners class was that the teacher would say a phrase or expression and all the students would give the response in unison.

Arigatou gozaimasu,’ she’d say. ‘Dou itashimashite,’ we’d respond. ‘Tadaima,’ she’d say next. ‘Okaeri nasai,’ we’d answer. These expressions were common and therefore useful to memorize, she told us. And then she told us about the situations wherein they were used. ‘Itte rasshai’ and ‘Itte kimasu‘ were said whenever someone left the house to go to school or work, she explained.

But R said it to me in front of the turnstile at the train station, just before I went past it to catch the Shinkansen to Tokyo.

I gave the expected reply without thinking, and smiled and waved goodbye before turning the corner to get to the platform and disappearing from his sight. I did notice him taking a deep breath after I said it, as though it was something more than a language nuance. But at the time I didn’t think it was important. At the time, I was mostly thinking about catching my train.

When I finally had some time free, I realized I didn’t even know what the phrases actually meant. I knew they were used together, but what did they translate to? I looked them up and somewhere on the Internet I found they were interpreted like this:

Itte rasshai – You’re leaving now, but please come back.
Itte kimasu – I have to go, but don’t worry because I’ll come back.

I’ve previously read about one’s significant other feeling like one’s home. I think that’s already romantic without context, but being in a long distance relationship now, it feels more relevant to me somehow. We have places we need to go and things we need to do, but at the end of the day, we come back to the person who feels like home.

Itte kimasu, Ryuichi. I love you.


Life, People

Video Call City

So for the past 6 months, I’ve been living in New Zealand with my sister and her family, and though it’s been great, there are days when I miss my friends a lot. Enter technology! I have/have had, basically all the messaging apps known to man (LOL) and because most of them have the video call function and my sister’s place has WiFi, it’s really not that difficult to see my friends. Of course, I still have to schedule the call with them, we are in different timezones, after all. But it’s a small price to pay for the ability to see and talk to them relatively often.



K and M at Magnum Opus – K went home to the Philippines from Singapore (where he works) last November and so he and M met up at one our favorite coffee shops. I got so jealous of their specialty coffees, but then remembered that I was in Wellington, the coffee capital of New Zealand! I fixed myself a cup right after the call. 🙂 Oh, and! Cameo appearance by one of my nephews as they happened to call me while I was still babysitting.

Virtual Noche Buena with M – Noche Buena isn’t really a tradition here in NZ and M back in the Philippines didn’t have anyone to spend it with as other members of her family were busy with work and stuff so she called me on Messenger at dinner time on the 24th and we ate our meal at the same time. 😛 Our video chat lasted ’til after midnight so when I realized it was December 25 already, we decided to take a screenshot of our video call while I was standing by the Christmas tree in my sister’s house.

Sunday with R – I am glad that R makes time for me every other Sunday (more or less) because most of the time, he only has one day off per week and he’s kind of a workaholic. And though our video call sessions are usually spent with me babbling about irrelevant things and him occupied with something else on his laptop (read: Morning Musume news), I’d like to believe that this is still quality time spent together as a couple. ❤

Christmas Dinner + ATC Lakwatsa with my Pre-school Friends – Obviously, I couldn’t go to the annual Christmas get-together that my pre-school friends (We’ve been friends since before 1st grade!) and I have, but this is the age of 4G and Z has unlimited data, so! They called me when they had dinner at Sushi Ninja in Westgate, and also while they had their takeaway desserts at the open area of ATC, which as you can see (kind of), is currently beautifully decorated with twinkly Christmas lights. 🙂 It was super fun as they told me how their holidays were so far and showed me the food they ate as well as the gifts they got. It really felt like I was there with them. 😀

Not in picture – All the Skype sessions my sister (and her twins) and I had with our parents (and other family members, e.g. our aunts and brother and dogs). Since we usually talk to them while we’re taking care of the twins, it can get difficult to find a place to put the laptop (where the twins can’t get to it) let alone take a presentable screenshot of the conversation. So, this mention will have to do.

I really am so grateful to technology for making this possible, and of course to my family and friends for taking the time to make the almost 10,000 km distance between us feel significantly shorter. 🙂


Is it really 2016?

Posting this here because I am a coward who doesn’t want to be attacked on Facebook. LOL.

Anyway, I’m really happy for my friends that they’re having a baby, but they chose to announce the sex of their baby this way:


They want to tell the world that they’re having a boy. Or a girl who’s into sports, maybe? It’s a little sexist, don’t you think? I mean, what if their kid turns out to be bad at sports? Or good at sports but the sport he likes is bowling? And why use sports-related pictures to tell people they’re having a boy, anyway? Can’t girls be good at sports, too? How do they know their kid will be an athlete? Can’t he be into music or literature? What’s wrong with just saying the word “boy?”

I feel kind of sad that I saw this posted by people I actually know in real life. And it’s 2016.

Life, People

Tea Fortune

I suppose I could study Tasseography if I wanted to take fortune-telling seriously, but really, I just bought some tea that has pieces of paper with quotes attached to the string of each bag. And because I’m superduperstitious, I’d like to believe that the quote on my tea bag for the day is my fortune for the day. You know, like fortune cookies. Except with tea.

Anyway, here are the ones I’ve gotten so far:

The voice of your soul is breath.

At first I thought this was just about one person (myself) and it means that every time I breathe, my soul is speaking. And I thought that that was fine. Not very interesting for my first tea fortune, but I thought I could spin it like this: If the voice of my soul were my breath, then every time you take my breath away, you take a part of my soul with you.

I was already satisfied with that interpretation, but just before I threw the tea bag out, I read it again and interpreted it this way: The voice of your soul, is my breath. As in, your soul keeps me alive.

I like the 2nd interpretation better now, but I think the 1st one’s not too bad either. As for how it relates to my life, well, that one I’m going to have to spend more time thinking about.

He who wants a rose must respect the thorn. – Persian Proverb

This kind of hurt me a little bit as I was “complaining” all day about how someone I like is acting like someone I don’t like. So this felt like a kind of wake-up call for me. Bottom line: Nobody’s perfect. You take the good with the bad. You must learn to accept people for their strengths as well as their faults/weaknesses, Warts and all, yada yada yada… Right. Fine. Ako rin naman maraming ginagawang hindi amazing. I should stop complaining now.

Your greatest strength is love.

I really didn’t want to relate all the quotes to love, but today I wasn’t given a choice. And because this quote is so obviously about love (It has the word “love” in it!), I now see the ridiculousness of what I’m actually doing here. I mean, of course I know these quotes are actually meaningless and not my fortune for the day. I just kind of wanted to look forward to something before drinking tea. What I’m saying is, I’m sorry, my tea for today, but you are wrong. Because I happen to know that love is not my greatest strength. Love is my greatest weakness.

If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere. – Vincent Van Gogh

Not much I can say about this except that it must be true since Van Gogh said it and he painted a lot of nature-y things. Very well.