Expression

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.

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This Place

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Like a good movie, I never get tired of seeing this view.

I always like coming here. Perhaps, because I always have good memories of this place. From when we used to have picnics here when I was a kid, to the high school retreats, to the day or overnight trips with my family and friends. You could even say that this is where I fell in love.

Or, okay, of course, I’m being melodramatic. But shouldn’t you be, when talking about love?

This was the backdrop when he and I first looked into each other’s eyes and knew. And perhaps we’ll never know if it was the reason why we felt the things we did–I mean, who looks at this view and feels the cool breeze and hears the quiet in this place without thinking of romantic things? But does it really matter?

am a bit saddened by the fact that it seems they’re overdeveloping this place (if they haven’t already, and really, I might say the same for the rest of the world). And the next time I come here, or the next time anyone comes here, the atmosphere of wanting to fall in love would be gone. Already, instead of respite from the city, I can hear the screams of people on the roller coaster at the amusement park next-door. Not that that can’t be a good backdrop for two people falling in love either.

So, yeah. I always like coming here.

It’s not over yet!

Didn’t I just welcome September four blog entries ago? And, didn’t I just welcome 2014 yesterday?! Why does time move so fast? I didn’t notice November go by at all. I don’t know why I always feel this way when it’s almost the end of the year. I think it’s because this is the time I realize that I’ve run out of time and haven’t accomplished anything. Again. Well, at least 2014 was way better than 2013. First three quarters. Those were a rough nine months. But the latter part of 2013 were some of the best months of my life, I have to say. Oh. Is this the blog entry where I recap the past year? I didn’t mean for it to be, but I guess now that I’m typing this, that’s what it’s going to be.

So. What has happened this year? I went to a lot of places. I really did.

I’m going to start with February because that was the time I went on not one, but two (!) beach trips with my sister. And we went to Boracay and Bohol! A mere two months after having spent time in Palawan for my brother’s wedding! And that was after I went to Europe with my parents (and my sister and brother-in-law, too)! Really, I can’t complain about my life. #ReallyBlessed 😀

Then in the summer, my friends and I went to Borawan in Quezon, and because we went on the day before the holiday, it felt like we had the island all to ourselves. And we ate seafood, played card games, and talked, nay, laughed about our feelings. It was great.

I also went to Phuket, Thailand with my parents. And we stayed at a different hotel each night and it was a lot of fun. Despite the really really sick-inducing boat ride. Everyone: Don’t go to Phuket in June. It’s just… Not good for your stomach. You know where you should go in June, though? Baguio. Two weeks after Phuket, I was in Baguio with my friend M and it was Baguio like I’d never seen before. Not too many people and the cold weather that’s not too cold but not warm like you’re not in Baguio either. And sure it rained in the afternoons, but that’s the best atmosphere for reading a good book while drinking strawberry hot chocolate!

In August I went with my pre-school barkada to Malaysia. To Legoland and Hello Kitty Town (and Malacca and Kuala Lumpur)! It was actually our first out-of-town trip together and I’m glad it was a success. Because we did it as a joint celebration for our 30th birthdays (We all turned 30 this year!) so it was imperative that it be successful. Otherwise, we’d all be stuck with horrible memories of our 30th birthday celebrations. But we all had fun and now we’ll always have something great to look back at when we think about the time we turned 30. 🙂

And just last month, I was in Cebu with M2. And not just anywhere in Cebu, but in Plantation Bay! One of the best resorts, if not the best resort in Cebu! It was a really great experience. I was able to go parasailing for the first time, was able to eat CnT lechon and try Zubuchon, too!

Oh, and did I mention that this is also the year when my cousin B celebrated her 18th birthday, my parents had their 35th wedding anniversary, my brother & sister-in-law celebrated their 1st, at one point I got the top rank in our office, I won a free movie ticket just from sending stickers in WeChat, I was named godmother to one of my closest friends’ first child, I went on three semi-spontaneous trips to Tagaytay with different friends, X and I watched Wicked at CCP, my former officemates and I tried out different restaurants on Aguirre Ave. in BF Paranaque and Kapitolyo in Pasig, and The Walking Dead started its best season yet?

Looking back at my 2014, I feel really really happy. I mean, sure, there were still sad events that happened, but there are some people who go through entire years without taking one out-of-town trip or seeing old friends or spending time with family members who live abroad, and I got to do all of those!

It’s great to be alive! What a wonderful 2014 it’s been. And it’s not over yet! 😀

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I went to Malaysia!

Hey everyone!

This seems as good a time as any to tell you all that I actually have a travel blog!

Now, I am aware that I have entries on this blog that are about the places that I go to, so you might be wondering why I have a separate blog that is supposed to be for the blog entries that are about the places that I go to. The reason is: Because I can. 😛

Also, because I was supposed to take travel writing seriously, except most of the time I feel more like writing about personal/mundane things, so instead of putting entries in my travel blog, I put them here where things are more informal and comfortable.

Anyway, I spent August 9 – 12 with my best friends in Malaysia and I wrote all about what we did here: 3 in 4: My Trip to Malaysia

I hope you all visit and leave a comment. 😀