Memoirs of a Genji

Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Japan

June 25, 2009

A long long time ago…in a land far far away…there was a lady with powdery-white face, blackened teeth, and brows in the middle of her forehead. She retreated to a mountain temple and came up with an epic tale “on the night of the full moon.”

Lady Murasaki in Ishiyama-dera

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The Samurai Castle

Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan

June 24, 2009

I had seen posh palaces, towering temples, and formidable fortresses, but a castle complex eluded me – until I got to Himeji, a quaint little city near Kobe. Himeji-jo (jo being castle in Nihongo) was completed in the early 1600s, yet it stood as the best-preserved castle in Japan, even emerging unscathed from WW2 bombings.

Himeji-jo: White Egret Castle

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Swine Flu over the Pacific Rim

Osaka, Japan

June 23, 2009

Less than two weeks before my flight to Japan, WHO declared the swine flu, or A(H1N1) flu, outbreak, a pandemic. By then, the virus had circled the Pacific Rim, having started in Mexico on that side of the ocean and now spreading like a viral Susan Boyle video in the Asia-Pacific region.

Cindy and Cebu Pacific

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Serendipitous Serenity

Subic, Zambales, the Philippines

February 15, 2009

I had never been a Subic person. I didn’t mean the town, but SBF (Subic Bay Freeport Zone), which I found a tad contrived.

The bay area was a Spanish arsenal repository more than a century ago, and more recently, it housed the controversial American naval base. When the Americans left in the early 90s, the area was converted into a commercial and entertainment development zone.

The Lighthouse Marina Resort in Subic

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