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2020 Project 366, Day 4: Nengajō

Photo #4: January 4

Some of my loyal students showed me their “nengajō” or New Year’s cards, and sending them to family, friends, co-workers, clients, etc. is a big thing in Japan. This one stood out because the student designed it himself, plus he included an actual message, not just the usual “Happy New Year!” He wrote about watching Japan vs. Scotland at the Rugby World Cup in Yokohama and being excited about the upcoming Olympics and Paralympics this year. Lastly, he thanked me for another year of teaching him, so I feel like I “received” this card, too! 

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Arigatou and Sayonara, 2019!

2019 is probably my most expensive year, but everything’s worth every peso/yen. I am rich in memories and friends!

I went to Japan thrice: Fukuoka & Nagasaki in March, Yamanashi in July, and Tokyo in November. The first one was planned for almost two years, while the latter ones were unexpected, especially the latest trip. Having a multiple-entry visa is both a pro and a con: on the one hand, it’s so much easier to schedule visits to Japan, but on the other, I feel this constant itch to go there repeatedly! I know I will visit again, just not anytime soon. I need to recuperate financially, but I don’t have any regrets. Every experience is unique and just makes me love Japan even more. One of my dreams is to visit all of their 47 prefectures, and so far, I’ve been to just 6 (including Chiba and Yokohama). Slowly but surely! ^^

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The UAAP basketball season was shorter this year because of the SEA Games. I am proud to say that I was present at all of the UP men’s basketball team’s games! That meant various extra expenses: tickets, transpo fare, gas/parking fees, food, merchandise, cheering paraphernalia, etc. No complaints, though! I’ve been cheering for them since 1999, and I have no plans of stopping. In addition, I found new friends who share my passion and energy for supporting the UPMBT and UP in general. I don’t recall exactly how it happened, but people now call me the “patron saint” of UP fans! Hahaha! Not sure if it’s because of being a long-time supporter, helping people get tickets, or both?! 😀

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Because of my Japan and UAAP basketball experiences, I’ve become much closer to a few long-time friends. I also gained a new family thanks to the #UPFight community on Twitter, particularly my core group: Grace, Bea, Tiff, Golda, Mark, Li, and Phim! Despite meeting most of them just this year (Bea and Grace in college), I feel like we’ve known each other for years! Moreover, a few players followed me back on Twitter and Instagram, including *gasp* Shaun Ildefonso of NU!!! Basketball fan goals!!! (sobrang kilig ko dito hahaha di pa ako maka-get over!!)

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Of course, all these won’t be possible without my job, so I will never get tired of saying I am forever grateful to RareJob! Here’s to more lessons, Japan trips, and school support in 2020!!!

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2019 Project 365 Day 357: Godzilla Capsule Toy

Photo #357: December 23

One of the things Japan is known for is their wide variety of capsule toys! Today, I learned that they are more popularly called “gacha” toys because of the sound the machines make when their knobs are turned. Anyway, what I thought was a character from My Hero Academia turned out to be Godzilla! I was a bit disappointed at first, but when I finally assembled it earlier, WOW IT’S SO COOL!!! 500 yen – worth it!!!

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2019 Project 365, Day 332: Kawaii Omiyage

Photo #332: November 28

Kawaii omiyage from Ate Jen who’s a fellow long-time UP MBT fan, and also #GalingUPIS. So sweet of her to include a hand-written note. ❤️💚🥰 I also started using the Hello Kitty tape for simple gifts for some UP friends. 🤩

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