Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Saturday at Chuo University

中央大学 Chūō Daigaku
Last Saturday, I met up with Boom and Klao at Tachikawa station then together, proceeded to Chuo University (Tama-Hachioji campus) to meet up with Karen. The 3 UP undergrads are currently enjoying 1 year scholarships here in Japan, sponsored by different universities. Boom and Karen had been my classmates in Hapon 12-13 while Klao is a co-member in TennisUP. (click to enlarge pic - frm. Wikipedia)

Chuo University was having its school festival and so there were food booths almost everywhere. The Tama campus is very much close to nature. It is located along the mountain side and has a park or something that has a good line of autumn trees. Damn, I'm not good in describing things and I regret not being able to take lots of pictures around the campus.

Anyway, here is a few shots I took using my PDA camera. The left pic shows the Chuo cheering squad (Ret's go tse-oh!). On the right is a pic of the school's flowing fish pond (people are watching the pep performance in the far background).

Karen actually extended for another sem with Chuo, since her term should have ended last Sept. Although tuition and other miscellaneous fees have still been waived, she no longer receives the usual monthly stipend given to her during her first year here in Japan.

She is currently self-supporting as she had started taking part-time jobs (arubaito) since Dec 2006. Aside from her course works in Japanese policies and language subjects, she works as an English tutor and also at a yakitori as some sort of a waitress. I admire her independency, as she's able to survive here on her own. Without a monthly stipend, daily meals and rent comes from her own pockets. Imagine, her flat costs about Jpy40,000/month (~Php15,000). Japan gives reasonable wages anyway, so I guess it's really ok. She claims that working at the yakitori helped her improve her Nihonggo, and yes she is indeed fluent already. She already have lots of Japanese and foreign friends, no wonder her stay here in Japan had been a fruitful one.

Flea market (フリア)
Probably most Filipinos think that the ukay-ukay/wag-wag (used clothings market) is onli in da Pilipins (Only in the Philippines) or only probable in other third world countries. But in Japan, flea markets are famous because of bargain prices where most of the items are in used conditions. A flea market was set up in Chuo University's central plaza and since living in Japan is generally expensive, this was the perfect opportunity for my companions to buy some goods. There were a lot of good buys such as 2 mint condition Harry Potter books (for Jpy600 ~ Php200), "Hard Gay" keychain (Jpy100 ~ Php40) and some winter clothes for my companions. I didn't buy anything since I still have a chance to go back to the Philippines this December.
Ukay-ukay in Japan

Filipino Store at Hachioji
Karen brought us to a Filipino store which is a 5-minute walk from JR-Hachioji station. Filipino store, meaning a store selling Philippine goods. It is very hard to notice the existence of this Filipino store since the sign outside is only labeled as "Friend Mart" and is actually located in the 2nd floor. (Right pic)The store sells VHS tapes of recorded tv programs (The Buzz, Kokey, drama stuffs, et al).

Since you are in Japan and the Philippine goods are actually imported, one can not expect the prices to be cheap. It's quite fun to see the typical pinoy goods being sold here. Boy Bawang, Chocnut, tocino, purefoods hotdog, etc. Your favorite Ma-Ling Bilog costs about Jpy300 (~Php100) apiece and a whole buko pie, Jpy1200 (~Php450). I just wonder how they were able to import such products. Is it worth the profit? They even have Goldilocks cakes here.

This day (sat) was my very first 'outing' and I regret not being able to take quality pictures. In fact, WE don't even have pictures of ourselves around the places we had gone to. Initially, I thought my PDA cam would suffice for some travel point and shoots, but the quality is quite unsatisfactory to me. I believe I should make the most out of my stay in Japan. I am thinking of buying a DSLR camera. It would definitely make traveling fun and exciting! deshou?


posted by ScIoN 4:50 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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