Monday, March 05, 2007

Toshiba Chronicles III

The night of the 26th, end of the first phase of interviews, results shall be announced on who are going to stay for the final interview/s. All of us surrendered our plane tickets in the morning. The default date of return was set on March 1. From now on, we would all have different dates of departure from Japan.

After the first phase of interviews, everyone went back to the guest house or to the cafeteria. Rowena (Ateneo) forgot her groceries at the waiting room so she went back. From there, she had met her interviewer from Industrial Systems and she had been tipped that she shall continue towards the next phase. She was giddy during dinner time, while all others had butterflies in their stomachs. It was after dinner time when all went back to the waiting room. The Philippine delegates already had changed into their casual wear, in preparation for a pass or fail night outing. That night was the last chance to have one final bonding moment because for tomorrow, some would already go home.

While waiting, people were trying to lighten up a bit by taking pictures of each other. At one point, Jovilyn (from Ateneo) took a picture of an Indonesian guy at point blank range without even saying anything. She did this because for one: the guy looked like one of their professors, two: her Taiwanese crush was behind the guy (probably she took a decoy shot towards her crush). Since she had not said anything prior the shot, the Indonesian crowd interpreted her for liking the guy. The Indonesian delegates were composed mainly of guys so the two of them were constantly teased upon. They became the main attraction for the waiting period.

Ryo-san, the Deputy HR Manager, finally came into the room. All of us went back to our seats just like elementary students do when their subject teacher enters the room. This is it. They are going to announce the results. We are all in a job screening process, nobody wants out. How many shall they consider out of the 55 candidates present in the room? Is this reality tv?

They started calling out names. Those who were called were instructed to proceed to a designated room. Nobody knows yet if those who were called were the ones who passed. It is probable that those who shall remain in the room are the passers. The Filipinos have a clue, and it was Rowena, but she was not called yet. Candidates were called according to ID number. Candidates coming from the same countries have adjacent ID numbers. One by one, I had studied the faces of the candidates who were called. Do they look like the probable passers?

Then, Rowena got called. Some Filipinos got called. Then I got called. I proceeded to the room containing those who were called. One by one, some other Filipinos came. Sheila (UP EEE) was the last. Others got skipped.

It was until then that they had congratulated us for being able to make it through the first phase. It was a relief, we've made it. However, there were those who weren't able to. Out of the 13 Filipino delegates who came together to Japan, we were reduced to 8 inside the briefing room. It was kind of hard because there were those who were left behind.

Rowena & Jovilyn and Jmer & Rushel (UP) were thesis partners; however, only Rowena and Jmer made it. Jaafgie (UP) almost seemed to be a shoo-in, but he did not make it. Gimel (Ateneo) seemed to be very concentrated during the whole screening process, he actually knows better Nihonggo than I do. Josh (LaSalle) was actually kind of expecting that he couldn't make it since his major was BS ChemEngg; though I knew he proved himself well during the interviews. They all proved themselves well.

Our plan of having a night out was jeopardized when we were told that we had to go back to the briefing room on 9pm. Curfew at the guest house is 10pm; the gates automatically close by then. Since the 8 of us were unable to go out, we had agreed to chip in about 500 yen each for some chips and booze. I think it is very typical for Pinoys to have a kampaian session.

We were given our final schedules and my interview would be the following day already. It also meant that I am to go home the day after my interview which would be on feb28. We had the privilege to call back to the Philippines. Actually, that privilege was good for only one call and I used it to call my Uncle who is my guardian in Manila. I dared to call again and it was to my mother in Cyprus. I told her the good news, and it turned out that she is also going home by feb28. I thank the Lord. This was a happy moment for both of us.

Back at the guest house, the others were able to buy the things we needed for the night. We converged towards Jmer's room and started playing games. Our first game, conceptualized by Jmer, was like a high-endedness game. Each player would state his/her experience and if all others had never experienced it, then they would lose a counter (in our case, we used our fingers... a total of 10 counters). The winner would be the one who still has the most number of counters left.

Our next game was the 1-2-3 pass game. At the count of 3, each of us discard and pass 1 card. Once a player is able to complete a card set (ex: 4 Jacks), he/she lays down his/her hand ANYWHERE. The last person who reaches the pile of hands would be the IT, and would have a shot of alcohol. This game made others scream and shout due to excitement, especially on the part where hands are piled. We had been so rowdy that the dorm manager knocked on the door. As soon as we heard the knock, all of us tried to find a place to hide even in such a small room for 13 people. Jmer had no choice but to answer the door.

The next game, we played cops, killer, nurse, victim and judge. This game is quite new to me. We were randomly assigned roles and these roles remain to be anonymous. This was a "quiet" game, all you have to do is wink. ;) The killer kills a person with a wink. The nurse resurrects a person with a wink. The cops and judge finds the killer. If the cops or judge captures the wrong killer, then he/she gets a drink. Likewise, if the killer gets captured, he/she drinks. If the judge gets killed, the cops drink. The number of each roles depends on the size of the group. As you may have noticed, it was only the cops, killers and the judge who have active roles. After each drink, roles randomly change again.

This was the final night we were to be together in Japan. The one final Japan bonding moment for the Filipino delegates. By the following morning, the 5 should take the bus towards the airport starting 630am. As for me, I shall prepare for my final interview scheduled on 10am. (another to be continued...)

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posted by ScIoN 9:02 PM


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Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

ScIoN is a former Systems Engineer in Japan who specialized in industrial imaging and digital hardware design. He is now back in the Philippines pursuing graduate studies in Finance at the University of the Philippines - Diliman.



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