Sunday, July 28, 2013

Jdrama: Osozaki no Himawari - Late Blooming Sunflower

I'll start by coming clean that I watched Osozaki for Toma Ikuta, its about time that he got a lead role!! Now that its out of the way, I can say that I really enjoyed this drama because of the well written story that hits the spot hello, quarter life crisis and its awesome supporting characters.

Osozaki no Himawari is a drama based on the life of  7 main characters who found themselves in Shimanto, by chance and by choice. Jotaro was a resident of Tokyo who decided to accept a 3 year contract to join Shimanto's revitalization team that aims to improve the area. Kahori studied and worked in Tokyo as a doctor but circumstances led her to go back and work on the local hospital. Then there's her sister, Sayori, the former golden girl who's in an unhappy marriage. Ayaka, is a nurse who moved to Shimanto to forget her former lover’s death. She's living with Hiroki, a former hometown baseball hero. Haruna, is the sheltered daughter while Junichi has no other dream than taking over his family's business.

I enjoyed this drama because it took place and featured another unexplored area in Japan. The beautiful scenery of this countryside area is amazing and the problems presented in the storyline are simple yet very real. Who and how will they take care of Shimanto and their aging population? It's common for younger generations to choose to live in the bustling cities, so it was a great concept to tackle what happens to those who decided to stay.

In 10 episodes, each character's struggle was tackled and resolved.  In the end, each person can have a different way of having a life in ‘full bloom’. Its about finding what can make you happy, being with people that you love and doing your best, on small and big steps, in whatever path that you decided to take.

Each character was able to take a step forward with the help of each other. Good thing that they did not focus on the romance part the dorky kiss scene of Jotaro and Kahori was cute though and dwell on slice of life scenarios. I always wondered how is it for doctors when their patients die. Who could have thought that a sunflower blooming can give such joy and hope? And even the leap of faith when you finally made your choice was cleverly presented. I liked the open ended ending but I'm wishing for an SP or season 2 that's a stretch, I know.

P.S. - The opening credit where the main characters sang the OST was a cool idea :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Is the Philippines anti middle class?

Every payday, specifically after checking my payslip and seeing my tax deductions, I would be sad and think that the Philippines is really anti middle class.

Every election, politicians promise heaven and Earth to their poor constituents. Whatever happened to teaching a man how to fish rather than giving him fish?

I've been wanting to blog about this personal rant and I was reminded when I read a post shared thru Facebook. It really described my sentiments about politicians "baby-ing" the poor and eventually passing the burden to working middle class like me.

I'm an avid listener of Good Times with Mo (unfortunately they are suspended for 5 months lol) and they have this recurring topic about the similarities of rich and poor people here in the Philippines. It may sound odd but come to think of it they surprisingly shared a lot of things. Some of the "generalized" and even childish stuff that they share are gambling habits (casino vs jueteng), firearms (guns vs balisong), goons, mistress, estates (owned vs thru squatting), etc.

My parents worked hard in the market to allow me to study on a private school and now I'm a working girl who fights fair and square. Unfortunately, the taxes are not working for me and I'm not even asking for a lot, just the basic things like improvement on the awful road, cleanliness (political posters are plastered everywhere!!), and peaceful community. Its frustrating to read the news most of the time, there's even a plan to increase the rate of MRT and LRT, I hope the key decision makers would try to ride the train on a peak hour! I've also heard about the government giving 18k for squatters to move out of the area that they don't own in the first place! Wow, don't get me wrong, I sympathize with their situation but I don't think that encouraging them to remain that way will help them in the long run.

Aside from politicians, these tv game shows encourage the poor to have a dream of being instant rich! They stand there and cry in front of the camera because they reached their life goal of being on that game show where they'll have a chance to be a millionaire!

On the otherhand, as a working middle class citizen, every movement will mean paying taxes! There's the income tax that would be deducted automatically. There's VAT on anything that you'll purchase. When you saved enough to explore the world, there's travel tax. There's a tax for owning a house. *kaching kaching!

Oh well. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer so i'll just end this post by saying that at least people are now brave enough to question this issue.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Of White and Plain Lies

Plain: Yesterday, my mom asked me if I had a hair rebond treatment and  I said "keratin". Sorry mom! I knew she's against it and it would trigger her rant about hair fall.

Plain: "Nevermind", I said. Yet, I'm blogging about it now. Honestly, it haunted me for days, it was a whirlwind experience, definitely a sign that I've been single for too long. But after my outburst about it with my bff it suddenly sounded funny and absurd that I was ready to accept that it was a "he's not into you" moment. Emphasis on the omission of "just", yeah, it was that pathetic =))

White: An impulsive dinner with my friend turned out to be a "throwback thursday" moment. I never thought that a white lie that I hid a long time ago affected her deeply for almost three years! I felt sad that the option that I chose and considered trivial made a person dear to me suffer :( Good thing that the truth made her free now, I hope and pray that it really did.