Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Something to ponder on

Hear ye, oh dear parents out there! Here's a little note for you to reflect on what kind of behavioral environment your children (you want them to) live with.

Children Learn What They Live
by Dorothy L. Nolte

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, thely learn to be shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn what envy is.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement, they learn to be confident.
If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to find love in the world.
If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous.

If children live with honesty and fairness,
they learn what truth and justice are.
If children live with security,
they learn to have faith in themselves and in those around them.
If children live with friendliness,
they learn that the world is a nice place in which to live.
If children live with serenity,
they learn to have peace of mind.

With what are your children living?

Again, let's ask ourselves, "with what are our children living?"

What we teach them will largely shape their thinking and attitude. If all children live with good environment, then, we'll surely have peace that we all aim for our society. When will that be? Only heaven knows. But as parents, we can start in our home, can't we?

Peace and happiness to all!

Source: Chicken Soup for the Soul (yep, we bought a copy, pikit-mata)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pinoy nurses and caregivers bound for Japan

And so the reports say so. Starting next April, Japan will accept 400 nurses and 600 caregivers from the Philippines under the bilateral free-trade agreement, which was signed over the weekend.

The offer seems luxurious, but the entry level is tight. Japan requires that
Nurses and caregivers will have to pass exams in Japanese to be certified to work here.

According to the (Japanese health) ministry, Filipinos who want to work in these professions will be required to take Japanese-language lessons for six months when they arrive. They will then undergo specialized training to work at Japanese hospitals and facilities for the elderly.

After arriving, nurses will have three years to pass the licensing exam and people who want certification to work as caregivers will be required to pass the exam within four years. People who pass the exams will be allowed to work in Japan indefinitely.

I like the phrase "work in Japan indefinitely." And I want to be optimistic that, someday, Pinoy health care professionals will fluck the land of the rising sun. But before we dream of that "someday", I'd like us to consider first the current situation. First, Japan's entry level is quite tough and strict. One can not learn the language overnight, and the time when these Filipinos "attain the same level of linguistic capability as their Jap counterparts" is largely dependent on the individual. I must say that learning Nihonggo is REALLY difficult. Believe me! I've been here for two years now and I could not even complete a sentence. My husband has been studying for three years now, almost finishing in fact, and yet his Nihonggo is still barok. Hmmm, Japan might have to think twice with its requirements. Because I am almost sure that, with the language barrier in mind, my fellow Pinoys and Pinays would really think twice in coming here and working for the Japan's largest population group -- the elderly.

Secondly, think of the competition. Japan is in need of help, no doubt about that. But it has to compete (elbow to elbow, perhaps) with other wealthy nations that can afford to offer higher salary to and eventually attain better living conditions for these Filipinos -- without any trouble in communication/language. Countries such as the US, Great Britain are a favorite, and most Filipinos can earn from these countries about US$4,000 per month. Can Japan beat that?

As I said, I want to be optimistic. Someday, Filipinos in Japan will not only be known as either Japayukis or language teachers, but also one who gives care to those who need them.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Adobo with white chocolate

my adoboAdobo is no doubt the national dish of the Philippines. And there are many different ways of cooking it, and side ingredients to go with it for added flavor, aroma or look. Either you're using chicken, pork or any vegetable, you're sure to have a boost in your appetite.

Mine is just about the ordinary way of doing it, thus, the picture doesn't look extra-ordinary. The only extra in my version is the Hokkaido white chocolate bars on top, slowly melting its sweety-and-sweaty way through the meat. It's even sweetier and sweatier as it melts into your mouth. The chocolate's sweetness adds to the already flavorful pork adobo. The picture may not look so appealing (I'm still using my old digicam), but I sure feel each slow bite to the max! ;)

Happy eating! ;)

Monday, September 11, 2006

My cornflake chicken

Here's my take of the crispy and tasty cornflake chicken, an idea I got from Keeping the Castle, a homemaking and housekeeping blog authored by my good friend Maricar. ;)

I plan to try other recipes, too, as I get bored sometimes with the usual dish I serve in the dining table. I am not a good cook, only a good eater. ;) But I'm on my (rather late) journey of experimenting new ways of cooking with a dream of turning an ordinary dish into a one-of-a-kind stuff that would make my family munch with great satisfaction.

Good luck to me! ;)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

It's a boy!

Princess KikoU-oh, not me. ;)

Japan's Princess Kiko gave birth to a 2558-gram healthy baby boy, Wednesday morning via a C-section in one of Tokyo's finest hospitals. Princess Kiko is the wife of Prince Akishino, younger son of Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. They have two daughters, Princess Mako and Princess Kako.

And so, the long wait is over. Or is it?

The birth of their third child has been on the spotlight since Princess Kiko's pregnancy was announced last February. It was at this time that the Japanese legislators were considering revising the Imperial House Law to allow an Imperial female member to reign. The baby is the first male heir born to the Imperial family after 41 years, the time when his own father was born. He will be the third in line to reign the Chrysanthemum throne, next to Crown Prince Naruhito (eldest son of the Emperor), and his own father.

More than the joy and delight felt by many after the great news of the birth, issues concerning the Imperial family (and Japan, in general) still linger around. Here are a few, if not all.

1. The birth of the Imperial baby boy does NOT guarantee assured succession in the (not-so-far) future. It is possible that he may be the last in line.

2. With that in mind, some believe that the succession law must be revised to allow female heirs to the throne. Currently, the 1947 law posits that only males with an emperor on their father side can ascend to the throne. If the law is revised, then Princess Aiko, only daughter of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, will have her chance to reign as an empress.

3. Another greater part of the Japanese population, on the other hand, wants to preserve the traditional succession as it is today. It has been a major part of the Japanese culture that largely shape what Japan is now. Preserving such customs is like paying respect to where we (the Japanese) have come from.

4. On the othe side of Japan is the more modern one, and those who belong to this kind if thinking frown with the thought that Japan is still backwards when it comes to gender equality. Is it, really? The succession law is one concrete example. Another is in the male-dominated business world, where female workers rarely assume managerial/higher positions.

As a non-Japanese, I am just trying to take in all the points raised. Neither do I agree nor disagree. Each side has its own pros and cons, and largely debatable.

This country is faced with several challenges at this time; the succession law is just one of those. But whichever way it goes, it will certainly do some sacrificial moves. Whether left or right, whether here or there, whether change or not, there will be some things that must (need to) be left behind. But I sincerely believe in Japan's innate capability to intelligently decide and take on the path it rightly wants to go.


Monday, September 04, 2006

Click, click!

Smile! You're on camera. ;)

Yesterday, we went to Akihabara after church, and here's what we brought home. ;)

Sony DSC-R1The latest model of Sony digital camera, fixed-lens type but works like most SLRs, and in a high-powered resolution of 10.3megapixels. Here's the latest review from DCRP:

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 ($999) is arguably one of the biggest revolutions in consumer digital photography in recent years. While most companies continue to pile more and more pixels into small sensors (Sony has been guilty of this too), the DSC-R1 uses a new CMOS sensor that is dramatically larger than what most cameras offer. How much larger? Find out here...

According to Sony, the DSC-R1 camera "changes your view, and your mind." Hmm, how's that possible? Stand by for the next posts...;) In the meantime, read more here.

Oh, can't wait to press the shutter and make those clicks here and there. Say cheeze! :)