Izu Peninsula, Shimoda City

I’ve been to Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Singapore and Bangkok during the summer but I didn’t able to enjoy what I really wanna do during the hot season- GO TO THE BEACH! That’s why when my friend Sayoko told me that she’s gonna go to her father’s rest house in Izu, which was located by the beach, I immediately asked her if I could join. I thought it was the perfect way to end my summer.

We took the express train from Shinagawa to Izu Shimoda station. Shimoda is located at the southern tip of the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka prefecture which is famous for its coastline. Historically, it’s where Commodore Perry’s ships landed which marked the area of Japan’s era of isolation and started to open its shores to the world and have relationships with the USA. (japan-guide.com)

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The best way to explore Shimoda is with a rental car and that’s what Sayoko did for us. We went there with our friends Koko and Yosuke.

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Shimoda is famous for its good seafood so Sayoko took us to her favorite restaurant, the Mida Resthouse.

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I love the wooden panels that serves as a divider for each table in the tatami area of restaurant.

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For our appetizers, we had sazae or turban shells. You take out the inside part of the shells with a toothpick and eat it normally. It can be bitter for some but this ones were really good.

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It was a hearty meal of sashimi, miso soup and a big shrimp tempura. The best I’ve ever had in my entire stay in Japan…seriously!

Something terribly embarrassing happened to me when we were about to pay the bill. I looked at my bag to look for my wallet and realized I left my wallet at home. I had a train pass going to work which I used to go to Shinagawa so I didn’t need to buy a ticket. That’s why I didn’t realize that I left my wallet home. Ashamed of myself, I asked Sayoko to cover up for me first and told her I’d pay her once we go back to Tokyo. Lesson learned there, kids! Always check your wallet in your bag.

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20 Facts About Me

So my Lookbook superstar of a friend, Kiko Cagayat, tagged me to do this 20-facts-about-me challenge on Instagram. I wanted to do it but I think making a proper blog post is much better. Moreover, it’s also right to do it now since it’s Kiko  who took these shots for this post. So here it goes!

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H&M hat, glasses and ring, personalized Uniqlo UTMe t-shirt, GU Japan denim shirt, D&G skinny jeans, Prada brogue shoes, Dolce & Gabbana and Diesel bracelets

1. I’m a guy of many names. My name is Gervin. My family and relatives call me Gev. My closest friends call me Gerv and Gervs. A teacher who’s not with us now usually called me Paulo. My theater friends call me Macey which is a cuter version of my surname. My Japanese name is Jebin and among others.

2. I love dogs and cats but I’m more of a dog’s lover. I love bigger dogs than small cute dogs. I always enjoy dog photos and videos in social media.

3. I wanna travel the world but I also want to have nice clothes, bags and shoes. Both makes me poor. Doing it both will make me go hungry. Hahaha!

4. I have the same birthday as my dad and two of my workmates.

5. I never felt so lucky in some things. Then, I noticed that I had a birthmark on my butt cheeks. Having a birthmark in that area is sign of bad luck in Filipino superstition. True? I don’t know.

6. I’ve never been in a serious relationship ever. That’s one of the unlucky things about me, my love life.

7. I was bullied in grade school. My classmates teased me for having a long chin, which I don’t really buy until this very day. I remember them going on the whole day having a good laugh while ridiculing me and some of our poor classmates. Plus, there were a number of bullies who were telling me ugly things like I lacked love in my life and grew up miserably because of my family background. They also told me I had no class because I grew up in Tondo (a well known nasty and dangerous  area in Manila) and I didn’t have nice things with labels on them. I also remember my teacher telling me that being gay was a sin and I should stop being one and be a boy. All those painful memories got stuck in my mind and I promised myself that I will never get bullied like that ever again. I promised myself that I should always be strong and ready to protect myself.

8. This will sound very bad to other people especially to Filipinos but I consider myself more of a friend person than a family person. I find more in hanging out and helping my friends more than my own family. I technically grew up with my grandmom. My mom and dad broke up and mom decided to work here in Japan while my dad did his own thing. I felt I was alone even if I was living with my grand parents so I found solace and comfort in the presence of my friends. That’s why I love them so much and I get a funny feeling of betrayal whenever they decide to settle, get married and make their own families. I know that’s stupid but it’s just the way it is.

9. There is one great love in my life and he will always be that one. I don’t know where he is right now and I don’t know what he’s doing but I wish him well. I believe he’s one of the saboteurs in my head that makes me not able to let go of the past but I have accepted the fact that we wont be together. But he will always have a special place in me.

10. Though a son of an OFW, I wasn’t one of those children who were showered with lots of material things as I was growing up. My mom provided me the things I needed- food and education- but she didn’t spend anything for luxury. I wanted her to buy me a nice cellphone or a laptop but she would always tell me that I could buy things for myself if I finish my studies and fly to Japan. I think that explains why I spend a lot of money for myself. I felt I was “deprived”. That’s why I spoil myself in reasonable amounts. Ok, I spoil myself too much!!! LOL!!

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11. I believe I have the gift of tongue. I can easily learn a language even by just immersing myself in the environment. I didn’t go to a Japanese school but I was able to speak “survival” Japanese after 3 months because I was only speaking in Japanese with my stepdad and my siblings.

12. I have this hipster kid inside of me. If something is trendy and everyone is doing it, chances are I’m gonna go against it.

13. I’m often misunderstood because I’m sharp tongued. I can be really tactless but for me it’s just honesty without an evil intention which is taken badly. I’m trying to be better now but I was way worse when I was younger.

14. I love RuPaul. She’s not just the most famous drag queen and the supermodel of the world. There’s more into him underneath the glamazon persona that she portrays on TV. He’s a wise soul and everything that I believe in life right now comes from his words. Try listening to his podcast with his bestie Michelle Visage. And you guys don’t correct my pronouns because drag queens don’t really care if you call them a he or a she…even it.

15. I’m not scared to die young. I would like to die young not only because I don’t wanna get old and I wanna die beautiful and fabulous. Some people will say that it’s such a pity when someone passes away young because he/she could have achieved more and more. However, I’m in a stage of my life right now where I feel like I’m totally okay and I don’t really mind if God suddenly decided to take it away from me. I think death can be a beautiful thing. It’s a start of a new life (if there really is) and it takes you away from the pain of what this world can bring. I’m just scared of how I will die.

16. I’m a very sensitive person. I get really sad with dramatic movies (even small dramatic scenes in comedy or action films) and heartbreaking music. When I was in high school I even get sad when friends don’t invite me to lunch with them even if it was a given that we eat lunch together everyday.

17. I had all the reasons to rebel when I was a child. I was bullied in grade school and by my relatives because of my sexual orientation, grew up in the most notorius area in Manila and was surrounded by bad influence. But I chose not to destroy my own life and took control of my destiny.

18. I didn’t really want to live in Japan. I’ve planned my life in Manila where I wanted to be a professor in my university. But then, everything changed with a sudden twist of fate. It was hard for me to adjust because things weren’t going the way I wanted them to be but then, living here opened new doors and opened my eyes to different things that I won’t be able to experience back in Manila. I somehow have regrets but I’ve decided to live in the present and make the most out of it.

19.  I’d rather work with people with THE attitude but is really good with what he does rather than with someone who’s nice and all but just adds up more workload because they can’t put all their shit together.

20. I believe that life shouldn’t be taken seriously because everything is nothing but a fleeting moment. Knowing that will make you teach a thing or two about humility and being strong when the walls start to break down.

*chu*

photos by Kiko Cagayat

Bangkok: Day 4

My fourth day started by saying goodbye to Apprelle because she had to catch her flight going to Cambodia. It was a sad moment but I think I was too sleepy to let a tear fall from my eyes. LOL! After a few hours, Joy and I also parted ways because my flight was earlier than hers. She went to the Chachutak Weekend Market and I headed to the Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Here’s the interesting part. When I arrived at the Suvarnabhumi airport and checked in, the airport staff informed me that there were no seats available because the flight was fully packed. I quite sensed that this would happen because it was a Sunday and it marked the end of the Obon holidays, thus the exodus of Japanese tourists going back to Japan. To make up for the inconvenience brought by this circumstance, Thai Airways offered me an assured seat for the next day in business class plus an overnight accommodation in the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel with complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner tickets. Ok, I was really worried because I needed to report to work the next day and I hate being absent from work. However, I saw this as a blessing in disguise so I made an overseas call to my boss, apologizing that I couldn’t make it to work the next day and accepted Thai Airways’ grand offer to moi! Hurray for an extra day in Bangkok!!!!

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A car service took me to the Novotel Airport Hotel which was 5 minutes away from the airport and while on the road, I saw a sign saying that it was ranked as the 5th best hotel airports in the world. Well, well, well! This is too fortunate for an unfortunate event.

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The only thing that I hated about the hotel is the lack of complimentary internet service.  Wifi is only available for paying customers. I thought that was weird for a high ranking airport hotel.

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Since I had an extra day, I decided to go the famous Chachutak weekend market and see if I could buy something there and to take my chance bump into Joy there. Lady Luck wasn’t in my favor because I didn’t see my friend there.

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