Japan

It will be almost a year since my coworkers and I went to Japan last November. I’ve always wanted to go to Japan and it has been on my bucketlist for as long as I can remember so I was really excited when our boss announced that he’ll be sending us to Japan. This was also my first out-of-country ever since I went to study abroad in Xiamen way back in 2009 when I was just fourteen. Anyways, looking back, our 6 days in Japan went by real quick, it almost felt like I was dreaming when we were there.

11.11.2016 Day 1: Shinjuku, Ginza, Yurakucho

Tokyo Narita Airport.

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We took the Airport Limousine Bus on our way to our hotel in Shinjuku.

JPN

Saw Tokyo Tower 🗼 on our way from Narita. I thought that I just had to go there before we leave Tokyo to Osaka (because OP feels 😭).

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It took around an hour to get to our hotel in Shinjuku. We stayed in Hilton and this is our view from our hotel.

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Shinjuku Street.

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It was freaking cold outside. I think it was around 10 degrees at that time.

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Saw this building when we were walking and was fascinated on how tall the building was. I searched for the name of the building and realized that it was Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, a 204-meter 50-story educational facility. According to wikipedia, it is the 2nd tallest educational building in the world and 25th tallest building in Japan.

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We also rented a pocket wifi in a not-so-nearby convenience store since we forgot to rent one while we were at the airport.

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It was already 4pm when we opted to have our lunch in Itamae Sushi Shinjuku.
* The tiled photos below are not mine.

As soon as we rented the pocket wifi, we had our lunch in this nearby resto because we were starting to feel hungry. We weren’t disappointed tho. The food tasted really good!15129565_1507225522625794_6478879235399697379_o

We still roamed around the streets of Shinjuku after we had lunch. I remember going inside on this department store and each of us bought umbrellas since it was slightly raining. After that, we road the subway going to Ginza.

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We spent the rest of the night roaming around the streets of Ginza. Ginza is a high-class major shopping district in Tokyo.

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The largest branch of Uniqlo in Japan. It has 12 floors!15179174_1507225665959113_7236192324612518302_n15122936_1511569735524706_6949874071285783115_o15137629_1511574262190920_4349521326055309877_o

It also houses the infamous Hattori Clock Tower in Wako Building. (I often see this in mangas I read lol).

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The evening was chilly and it was only 6pm when we decided to take a rest from all the hustling and bustling and had coffee in Le Cafe Doutor.

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Sipping coffee as we watched people hustle.15135992_1507225702625776_1093598155628800871_n

My officemate also suggested that we try this resto somewhere in Yurakucho, which accordingly had good reviews. It was a good long walk and we got lost as we explored our way on foot. According to Google Maps, it was supposed to only be a five-minute walk from our last stop, but we got lost on our way finding it. I don’t actually remember the name of the establishment where we dined in but I do remember walking underneath train tracks, tunnels and alleyways.

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Lol at the unnamed roads.

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Lol at us struggling to find the place. I remember walking around in circles!

15122863_1511579552190391_8815277109109145444_o15137425_1511594452188901_5894311336175202551_o15167648_1511594328855580_1375367212806464598_oWe went back to the hotel via taxi afterwards. We were surprised to find out that traffics here were infrequent. And also, taxi doors open automatically lol. 15235371_1511576165524063_5968302011004324680_o

 

11.12.2016 Day 2: Asakusa, Shibuya, Harajuku

The next day, we went to the infamous Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, which is also known as the oldest temple in Tokyo.16107109_1585553794792966_7274113598690207038_oWe went from Shinjuku Station to Asakusa via the JR line.15972751_1585551741459838_7943486504726765049_o15591084_1585542591460753_6438842150657964828_o.jpg

It would have been quite a walk from our hotel to the Shinjuku Station but luckily, we found out that Hilton actually has a shuttle bus which could take us directly to the station. While inside the bus, I couldn’t help but take photos of the beautiful surroundings of Japan.

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I didn’t expect to see a lot of people flocking in and out the temple. It was really crowded.15123062_1511674315514248_6285456780382223237_o15168785_1511674485514231_4610694590959930322_o15123446_1511674808847532_2030143887029131423_o.jpg15168823_1511674965514183_3092784759013308570_o15156890_1511677508847262_6774700828113797532_o

I saw a lot of locals wearing traditional kimonos as they strolled through the streets of Asakusa. There’s actually a kimono store nearby wherein you can rent them for a day but we opted not to since we didn’t plan on staying in Asakusa for so long.15078634_1507227745958905_8751697295873338225_n15027585_1507227415958938_7277008619147437431_n16114905_1585553691459643_7978170646146635627_n14732352_1507227225958957_5727963872049893598_n

They sell a wide variety of Japanese fans, Katana swords, etc. All of which are some of the cool things to buy in Japan while you’re at it – that is, if you’re a fan of the Japanese martial arts.14054293_1511675512180795_8405709079290535752_o15194344_1511675402180806_3897877536080414251_o15167735_1511676055514074_7766927871731710425_o

We tried this one since this drew the most attention plus it’s only around Php80 when you convert it. I’m not sure what it’s called but losta people were actually lining up for this street snack. To be honest, it wasn’t as good as people hyped them up to be. It has a sweet taste but the sauce was super sticky and it can get all over the place.

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We also often get dehydrated after all the walking lol. But we didn’t have to worry because vending machines could be found almost everywhere. They’re all over the place. A bottled water costs ¥100 or equivalent to Php45.

15994418_1585555588126120_8603712734437464704_o.jpgAfter leaving the temple grounds, we decided to do a little detour and go to Tokyo Sky Tree because we all thought that it was already very nearby since the tower was already visible when we were roaming around the streets in Asakusa. 16113441_1585552624793083_5887969952416605046_o.jpg15965781_1585553551459657_5076272400751143706_n.jpg

On our way, we discovered that there was a Studio Ghibli store. My sister wanted a Totoro music box as a souvenir. When I entered the shop, I was lucky enough to find a music box. I didn’t want to let the chance slip through my fingers when it was already right in front of me so I bought it right away. I got her this one, which was around ¥5,000.

We had a chance to walk past Azumbashi Bridge in Asakusa which was only a walking distance from Sensoji Temple. Our itinerary didn’t even include Sky Tree at all. Our next stop should have been Meiji Jingu, but whatever, curiosity kills the cat! The Sky Tree just drew all of our attention into it.15179182_1507228772625469_8088367760978340100_nI saw this one passed by under the bridge but I’ve actually no idea on what type of marine vessel it was lol. 15094385_1507231342625212_3692161243485884659_n (1)After crossing the bridge, we rested for a while in the Sumida Park. This was also the last time we got to get a glimpse of the Sky Tree and the closest to where we could get to it. My officemate told us that it still seemed quite far if we walked from where we were so we got back to our original itinerary – which was Meiji Jingu. 15138328_1511678875513792_1365704279794282735_oGoodbye Sky Tree! I’ll visit you when I get a chance!15230722_1511589972189349_4768997435594266303_n

To get us on track, we rode the subway station. Lol at us eyeing those cold drinks vending machines!15123258_1511590035522676_5505918663597985246_o15123365_1511590288855984_7696976988761713338_oI recommend trying this one. It’s cheap but the flavor’s good. Fun fact: Did you know that Georgia Coffee is the world’s highest-grossing, ready-to-drink coffee brand? According to wiki, it was launched in 1975 by Coca-Cola (Japan), named after Coca-Cola’s home state of Georgia. It has since expanded to markets in Singapore, South Korea, India, Bahrain, and the U.S. And they don’t have this in the Philippines.15037291_1507234532624893_8085338589508608986_n

Unfortunately tho! It was already closed by the time we got there. It was 5pm and I think the place closes at 4pm. Lol super fail.15129415_1507237262624620_2361748174352753083_o15977814_1585552814793064_1336955508104929091_n

We went to ride a cab going to Harajuku afterwards. My officemate really wanted to check some place out. She told us that she couldn’t afford to miss it.15037137_1507238122624534_4875521741418021417_n.jpgWe found out that she was particularly interested in shoes. There were quite a number of shoe stores and they sell a wide variety of brands/models/colors, etc. Most of them were discounted too. I wasn’t quite of a fan of shoes in particular and we were only on the second day so I urged myself not to splurge.15134597_1507238152624531_6529841403036668793_n.jpgWe also tried Eggs n’ Things. And we had pancakes for dinner lol.Capture.PNGBut boi was the line long! I think we waited for around 45 minutes just to get in. At first we were supposed to stay outside the resto but we requested to eat inside since it was really cold (but not as cold as the first day).15994374_1585541771460835_8859565699633431784_o.jpgAfter eating, we rode a cab again and went to the infamous Shibuya! As soon as our driver dropped us off, we were amazed on how bright the city lights were!16113361_1585542118127467_7901849539838554560_o.jpgAnd you know what happens next? We took multiple photos of us crossing the streets non-stop lol! We were all jiddy and happy, and we’ve never been this excited to cross a street! I’ve a video stored in my phone but I can only posts photos here so-15056221_1507240462624300_8732148229416341562_n15037123_1507239782624368_764228295808339666_n15178218_1507239449291068_3400587148703414444_nI think we’ve crossed the streets a dozen of times but we weren’t the only ones.  15156745_1507242735957406_1371736707619031838_o15975310_1585553134793032_1985509924065366736_oWe saw a woman in a long red gown having her pictures taken while she was crossing the streets of Shibuya. I think it took around 30 mins or so since we spotted her from the moment we stayed in Starbucks until we decided to go home. (Tho it isn’t in the picture)15171049_1507247092623637_7512743628824301075_nForeigners stopping by to have their pictures taken ob the Shibuya Crossing seemed pretty normal to the locals there. I’m sure they’re already very used to seeing them.15195990_1511681832180163_147239109688812181_o.jpgIt was 11pm+ by the time we got back to our hotel. We didn’t have our pocket wifi with us and by the time we got off Shinjuku Station, we got lost but the locals were very kind to help us find our hotel. They sent us a bluetooth of the image of the map from where we were going to our hotel. It was already very dark and we happened to pass by this eerily dark street and there were a few drunk (?) guys around, and my officemate was telling me how it wasn’t really a safe place but okay I was starting to feel scared and it was just the 2 of us because our other officemate met up with her friend that night and we left her the wifi since she was all alone and what if her friend didn’t show up? Lol to cut things short, nothing really happened that time. I’m just saying how hard it was for us to go by without the pocket wifi lol. Tho in our last day, I managed to go around in Osaka on my own without having to depend on any wifi connection. It was hard but I managed and I felt proud of myself lol.

Btw, there were a lot of handsome guys in Shibuya haha that I just couldn’t help but secretly stare at them! 

11.13.2016 Day 3: Meiji Shrine, Tokyo Disney Sea, Tokyo Tower

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11.14.2016 Day 4: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Government, Dotonbori

11.15.2016 Day 5: Kyoto Inari Shrine, Dotonbori

11.16.2016 Day 6: Universal Studios

11.17.2016 Day 7: Dotonbori

 

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RIP Phone!

I just lost my third phone this college.

Last Thursday, after my grad pictorial, I went to the comfort room to pee, and remove my make up afterwards ( I don’t like wearing heavy make up. Oh dear, no.) When I was about to pee, my 6 month old phone fell plunging down to the toilet. Funny cuz, the night before, when my friend’s blockmate and I were going home from school on our way to LRT2, I told her about how my bag slipped and fell on the toilet and I haven’t flushed the pee of whomever it was. She then told me that her cousin’s phone also fell into a toilet when smartphones weren’t invented yet.

Anyways, I found myself almost crying cuz I bought it with my own money. And I even took a loan from my sister in order to pay the half amount. D: Until now, I haven’t paid her in full. xD I oughta pay her right after I graduate, which is only 2 terms away, btw! o.O xD

I forced myself to pick it up from the toilet after 5 seconds or so. Disassembled it and dried it with tissue. I tried turning it on but it wouldn’t. I have such bad luck to begin with. D: Anyways, I’m borrowing my sister’s phone right now even tho I have another phone. My dad and bro brought it in SM Mega the last time Dad visited us here in Manila. But I don’t want to bring it with me to school ever since I’ve experienced my phone getting stolen in the LRT. 4N, 6S, 1N, 2S, 3N. xD

Something I found a while ago. I can’t really understand what I was saying when I’ve just read this. Lol whut. This was for our macro paper. TROLOLOL!

Strategies for Economic Development

 

This section will be divided into three segments which will present strategies needed to be employed and pursued by the Philippines while also showcasing some issues and attempts made by the country in the past; 1) Agriculture or Industry , 2) Export or Import Substitution , and 3) Central Planning or Free Markets.

 

Agriculture or Industry?

 

Like many other developing nations, the Philippines continually dreams of becoming a Tiger Country yet again. With the first tradeoff presented, in which a developing country must choose whether to preserve its economy as a raw material producer, or to operationalize industrialization, the country is sure to be better off if it chooses industrialization over the former. It is obviously the ideal and logical choice. Although there are cases in which industrialization has not brought the benefits that were expected, like in the case of China whose Industry Percentage of its GDP was 49% during 1998, its per capita income only remained at $750 compared to that of U.S. whose Industry Percentage was only 26% yet its per capita income was $29,240, the Philippines could reduce its heavy dependence on the agricultural sector, providing the country with financial affluence, self-sufficiency, employment, and World Leadership in the long run.

 

We have seen many of our neighboring countries like Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea in progressing towards becoming an industrialized state by adopting and implementing real industrialization programs. But why has the Philippines chronically lagged in terms of adopting industrialization? Was there any possible misconduct or wrong decisions made ​​in the past by the Philippines which doomed it to never transform the economy into an industrial state and hence, remain as a raw material economy? How has the Philippines during the 1950’s attained its position as the “best performing Third World economy in the Far East, and rated only “second to Japan””?

 

To answer the first question, Article XII, Sec. 1, par.2 of the Constitution is the “mortal factor which guarantees that the Philippines shall never transform into an industrial state and graduate to Newly Industrialized Country Status” (Cited in Lichauco, Hunger, Corruption, and Betrayal in the Philippines). Under the provision, “the State shall promote industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform”. These industries are furniture and carpentry, rice milling, making fertilizer out of animal waste, etc. No engineering nor machine tool and metal industry because such industries have no connection whatsoever with agriculture and land reform (Lichauco). This kind of industrialization, which constitute the core of any industrialization program, on the basis of metal and machine power, will be considered unconstitutional. No president after Marcos pursued any industrialization program because to do so would be unconstitutional.

 

For the second question, by allowing the U.S., being a neo-colonialist state, to politically and economically control our government by means of intervening with the electoral process of the Philippines and subsequently making the candidate a subordinate, has paved way for the Philippines’ “puppet government”. There were many former Philippine Presidents who have served as a collaborator of the United States such were the case of Manuel Roxas, Ramon Magsaysay, Diosdado Macapagal, and Corazon Aquino who conformed to the ideals and motives of U.S. with intervening in the sovereignty of the Philippines by the former’s various programs and policies which have kept our country from industrializing. According to Lichauco, what created the Philippines as America’s neocolony was the Bell Trade Act of 1946. Some of the conditionalities presented was “to allow U.S. citizens the right to exploit the nation’s natural resources and operate public utilities”, and extension of free trade. This policy ended up as a destruction of the country’s economic sovereignty and hence, caused the economy to plunder, making it more impossible to industrialize.

 

There should be a revision on the Constitution regarding our country’s industrialization which should be based on machine power to produce the means of production.

 

Export or Import Substitution?

 

According to Case, Fair, Import Substitution is “an industrial trade strategy that favors developing local industries that can manufacture goods to replace imports”. This promotes and values economic independence from other states and protect a nation’s internal market. For the group, this strategy is more favorable for a developing nation like the Philippines than the other. Although there are many arguments combated with this kind of strategy, one counterargument is to present a valid example to show that this strategy does not always fail.

 

To answer the third question aforementioned during the deliberation on whether to adopt an agricultural or industrialized economy, which was previously unanswered, the only reason why the Philippines has attained its “Best Performing Third World Economy” position and rated “Second to Japan” during the 1950s was mainly because of the former President Garcia’s Filipino First Policy. He concentrated on “training” Filipino manufacturers in producing final goods for the Filipinos. With this policy, Garcia ensured to protect its economy from being overtaken by the influx of iniquitous supply of foreign goods. This paved way for local industries and entrepreneurs to make it big in the business industry. Moreover, Filipino businessmen contributed a substantial amount/percentage to the country’s overall GDP and not the foreign investors.

 

Central Planning or Free Markets?

 

Central Planning lies in its “ability to channel savings into productive investment and coordinate economic activities that otherwise might not exist(Case, Fair 2002).” This would be the more appropriate strategy for the country to adopt as this would enhance the growth of our economy towards maturity by intensively and carefully planning the country’s future potential performance. Although it is more difficult to administer compared to free markets recommended by international agencies, whose reforms included the elimination of price controls, privatization of state-run enterprises, and reductions in import restraints, the former is still more reliable.

 

The group would like to emphasize on the last reform presented which is the reduction in import restraints which already happened during the implementation of the Bell Act of 1946, which was then barricaded during Garcia’s administration(1957-1961) by implementing the Filipino First Policy and system controls, which was subsequently dismantled by presidents after him- Macapagal, a collaborator, through his Decontrol Program, and Aquino, also a collaborator, through her Import Liberalization Program, and presidents after like Ramos and Estrada. With these programs taken into course, the economic fate of the Philippines was doomed to repeat the historic results underlying the Bell Trade Act of 1946. These hastened the influx of import demands in the country under which there were no quota, nor tariffs required for these foreign goods to enter. As a result, with the exorbitant supply of import goods, the Philippine economy became too grossly dependent on them; the Philippines never produced nor manufactured domestic goods. With that said, the case goes if the Philippines were to adopt a Free Market.

 

Consequently, the strategies for economic development for a developing country like the Philippines should be to operationalize industrialization, while opting for import substitution, and concentration on central planning.