[92] hello~

I don’t know what to call this post. Haha~It’s been a while since my last re/post. I am currently doing my daily duties as a corporate slave in a coffee shop, while listening to the shop’s jazz playlist. I am still the corporate slave slash graduate student.

This school semester, I am taking up Translation Studies. I’ve waited for many semesters for this elective! Most of the required readings are familiar to me  because I’ve been reading translation theories on the side for several years. The challenge for this subject is the language used in the subject. It is in Filipino.

Yes, I am a Filipino who suck in speaking and writing in the proper grammar. Most Filipinos that speak in Filipino uses the colloquial grammar mixed with Tagalized words and regional languages. However, it’s not academic language. My professor is a seasoned translator and writer, who speaks beautifully in Filipino. He doesn’t use the good ol’ Balagtasan nor the difficult words. He uses the proper words that we, normies, would replace with English adjectives or Tagalized adjectives.

For my first essay in class, we were required to read the essays of Dryden, Schoepenhauer, and Schleiermacher in Filipino. I had to look for the English translation of the essays and do an intertext analysis just to understand it in Filipino. It was an embarrassing and a strange experience, especially when I am aspiring to be a good translator.

I really need to improve my language skills (Filipino, Japanese, English). Reading well doesn’t translate to writing well. My research professor gave me a feed back years ago that I have great ideas and can do an oral presentation well,  but my weakness is writing. I must write more.



[FG01] Beyond Gunpla & Bishounens

Originally posted at: FlipGeeks

A.D. 1999- While most girls of my age would declare their love for Tamahome, Hotohori, or any of Miaka’s Suzaku no Senshi, my friends and I spent our afternoons geeking about the pilots and mobile suits of Gundam Wing.

For some purist fans of the series, Gundam Wing was an insult to the Gunpla franchise and was looked down for having bishounen looking characters. They often accuse the series as a mecha series created for girls (Read: Frozen Teardrop). Well, it’s a crime as an anime/manga fan to not have appreciation for good-looking fictional characters, especially if they pilot awesome looking mobile suits.

Back in the age of dial-up connection and prepaid internet cards, fangirling for a franchise whose demographics are mainly males and toy collectors was difficult. I relied on anime websites, and Tokyo Pop serialization of the manga. My interest for plot became my introduction to Japanese studies, as well as  to International Relations. Beyond the gunpla kits, doujinshis, and other fandoms, the Wing series owns a  rather realistic plot. Of course, the fictional roots of the Gundam series was born out of Japan’s traumatic cultural and political history.

The cultural history of the mecha/robot culture in the 1960s was an indicator of the improving economy and industrial technology of post-WWII Japan, which prospered during the event of technological revolution: the television. From here, sub-genres of the mecha/robot anime flourished. Most mecha/robot series (like Astroboy, Tetsujin-28, and early tokusatsu series) promised a bright future with more advanced technology and space age gadgets and vehicles. However, the birth of Gundam in 1979 introduced a different face of the Mecha/Robot genre. Mobile Suit Gundam was “introduced as a sort of paradox: a war show about giant war machines that was in fact anti-war at heart.”  (Hikawa, 5) The series echoed fragments of Japan’s social, cultural, and political memories of WWII and the rebuilding of a nation and its identity after the war.  

Each series is set in its own fictional universe (Universal Century, Future Century, After Colony, Common Era, etc.), dealing with war narratives between fictional nations (colonies), and characters undergoing their own bildungsroman.  The different series and timelines of Gundam does explore different social science issues.

For now, I’d like to concentrate on the turmoil of the After Colony (A.C.) timeline. The A.C. timeline was born out of failed international relations, death of a leader, and twisted obsession for justice and freedom in a form of defense treaties.

The familiarity of the fictional events does not only reflect pieces of history, but a sneak of a possible future. The idea of space colonization began way back in the 1980s. A former member of United States Department of State mentioned in Foreign Affairs journal that colonies will protect humans in case of a global nuclear warfare. This very same idea is used in Gundam Wing.

The creation of the Lagrange colonies by nations served as migrant spaces for fleeing nations due to rising international disputes, These space colonies are not just scientific, but political and economic as well. Each colony in the Lagrange point is composed of different nations, with economic similarities to the ones they have on Earth. L1 colony is an island-type for multiple colonies (nations), L2 and L3 were undescribed, but composed by multiple nations, L4 cluster is similar to the Middle-East and is occupied by oil magnates, while L5 owned by a clan exiled from  China. The identity composition of the colonies somehow represents the present economic standing of different nation-states. However, economic stability doesn’t equate to political standing.  The supposed to be governing body between nations and colonies, in the form of United Earth Sphere Alliance (UESA) became the very fuel of the continuous dispute by the funding of Romefeller Foundatiion, a conglomerate that keeps a secret military  known as OZ (Order of the Zodiac).

If we further dissect the fictional history of Gundam Wing, we’ll definitely find that the series is a political thriller, with complex characters masking different political agendas. (The character back stories can be further explored in the Frozen Teardrop arc.)

The romanticism for war, obsession for power, and the thirst for change have always been catalysts for historical disputes. In the wise words of Mariemeia Kushrenada in Gundam Wing~Endless Waltz~, “History is much like an endless waltz; the three beats of war, peace, and revolution continue on forever.”

Relating it back to the traumas of war, as experienced by the Japan, Gundam is probably the Japan’s alternative war narrative- where in war atrocities were not part of their history and with the constant hope the peace will always reign and remain.


___________“A Cultural History of Robot Anime”. Japanese Animation Guide: The History of Robot Anime. Commissioned by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs Manga, Animation, Games, and Media Art Information Bureau, 1 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2015. <http://mediag.jp/project/project/images/JapaneseAnimationGuide.pdf&gt;.

Halle, Louis. “A Hopeful Future for Mankind.” Foreign Affairs (1980). Foreign Affairs. Web. 17 Mar. 2015. <http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/33959/louis-j-halle/a-hopeful-future-for-mankind&gt;.

Sumisawa, Katsuyuki. Gundam Wing. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1995. Print.

Sumisawa, Katsuyuki. Gundam Wing: Battlefield of Pacifists. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1996. Print.

Sumisawa, Katsuyuki. Gundam Wing: Episode Zero. Tokyo: Gakushukenkyusha, 1997. Print.

Sumisawa, Katsuyuki. Gundam Wing: Frozen Teardrop. Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 2010. Print.

新機動戦記ガンダムW(ウイング. 7 Apr. 1995. Television.

Translation 01: Murakami

Translation post!


Over a decade ago, I read Murakami’s “On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning” from ‘THE ELEPHANT VANISHES’, and translated by Jay Rubin. I became a Murakami fan, then. reading the text reminded be of the anime Boys Be. It’s a love story from the male POV: layers of emotions from a herbivore male. And, I think the term herbivore males were not yet a think in 1981. Also, it’s good to note the story was written only years before Japan’s economy bubble burst and Harajuku was starting to be the fashion district (vis-a-vis Shinjuku).

Anyway, I wrote this translation for a class back in 2013. I used the text from 『カンガルー日和』(A Perfect Day for Kangaroos), to capture the purest translation possible.

Comments are welcome. 🙂

Source text: 『4月のある晴れた朝に100パーセントの女の子に出会うことについて』- 村上春樹

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[90] Expressway to Stress & Rage

For people who are friends with me in my other social media platforms, they share and now my daily commute struggle. Several friends have suggested that I should compile my tweets/status messages and write about it.

Actually, I have a blog dedicated to my commute struggles: Expressway to Stress & Rage. I created this 2 years ago, but rarely posts anything. It’s easier to vent out my rage on Twitter and Facebook. Several friends, including my professor, voiced that they find my posts interesting and funny. I actually didn’t know what to feel because those status messages were written real time. The comic relief probably comes from the sarcastic tone of my posts or the raw rage translated in written words.

Well, anyway~ I’ll be blogging those old posts here: Expressway to Stress & Rage.

[89] desks etc.

Unlike my mom and most of my friends, clutter doesn’t bother me. I can survive with piles of paper and tower of books on my desk, given that it’s my own clutter and there are no dirty dishes. Whenever some of my friends tease and call me ‘dugyot’ (untidy in Filipino), I emphasize that my ‘dugyot’-ness is limited to clutter and not in terms of hygiene. I personally love alcohols, aerosols, linen sprays.

But, there are several things that I am extreme OC:

  1. Computer files – I hate it when their not arranged in folders. This includes my iTunes Library!
    These days, I admit I have pending folders and file names to fix.
  2. Books/manga – I rarely lend books to people because I am extremely careful  with my own books. I believe that books are as precious as gold and diamonds. My book OC-ness extends to the same book edition, book cover design, and book sizes!
  3. CDs– Yep, my JPOP cds are arranged by artist and by single and albums release dates.
  4. Notes– I re-write my notes when I don’t like how it’s arranged, especially for my language notes.
  5. Keyboards/cords – I clean these at least once a month.

Continue reading “[89] desks etc.”

[88] paper weight dreams

This is not Thought Catalog. So, if you are expecting an uber-optimistic advice stop reading this post now. This is just my personal thoughts about dreams and goals in life.

The most cliche advice one can get is to chase your dream, stay passionate, and follow your heart. Then, the cosmic universe will open the doors for you. 

Unfortunately, that’s all a lie. 

If you are familiar with my old posts, I often talk about my love and interest in Japanese culture, politics, etc. It’s something I’ve been passionate about since I was 10. I liked it so much that studying was easy and fun. I failed Level 2 of the proficiency test, but I never felt bad. I was passionate enough to try again until I passed, after 2 takes. I know the local news, trends, and even some things that locals don’t really know. I updated myself because I like it. Again, passion. 

But, for the past decade, I’ve also been trying to be a scholar of the field. I tried various scholarships, but got rejected each time. The closest one I got was from Waseda University. My topic on globalization and soft power was accepted by the department. The university sent me the letter and the requirements for my admission. However, there was no scholarship. I had to decline because I cannot pay for it. The following year, I wrote a different proposal and I got accepted for the interview. My topic was, again, on culture and politics, and I had to present/defend my topic in front of 5 professors from different Japanese universities (Keio, Waseda, Todai, Kyodai, and Tokyo Institute of Technology). They chose the paper on economics. Then, after a few years, I saw people getting scholarships similar to my proposal. 

Yet, I never gave up. I stopped applying for programmes, but enrolled in graduate school.  I continued to juggle being a graduate student and a corporate slave. It’s difficult, but I always thought it’s for my goal. For the past 3 years, I did not apply for any scholarship. I entered 2 graduate schools. My first one was a continuation of my undying interest, but I ended up getting mocked by my own professor. My ideas were not accepted. I decided to look for another field that could help me improve and I can learn new things. But, this second graduate school made me feel insecure because I always felt I couldn’t catch up with my lessons and classmates. There were months where in I wanted to quit. Reading a lot of texts was tiring and depressing. I had to catch up to join the class. “to join” was my operative verb because i was only listening and listing down things that I needed to look up to catch-up. 

To further ruin things, I’ve been through a lot of issues at work and I failed another scholarship. I hate comparing myself to other people because I believed that there’s something better for me. I just need to be patient. 

But, you know, one day you’ll realize that passion is not important. Timing and opportunity are factors to back that passion up. Failures are okay, but sometimes you must learn to give up. For me, a decade has been long. The dream to be so-called scholar has become a heavy burden to me. To let go, I locked all my papers in a box and hid it in my room. What I need to do is to reset my ‘passion’ and just go back to being curious.