Edaya Kalinga Interns' Journey to the Place of the Rising Sun (Intern: Marjonette Dunol )

The team - all ready to fly.

Mixed emotions attacked me when we entered the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). I felt nervous thinking about the plane. What if something went wrong when we are already in the sky? Would motion sickness attack me while on the trip? But at the same time, I’m also excited about what it feels like to be flying and also to see the land mass below.

However, everything changed when we entered the immigration. Anxiety is already embracing me because they asked us too many questions - like they are doubting my identity and my purpose on travelling abroad. It is very frustrating for me, but I tried to consider that maybe because this is my first time travelling abroad. I felt the more frustrated when after a lot of explanations, they still don’t believe me even if I was answering their questions honestly. Rage also began to fill me when we got subjected to secondary interrogation. The fact that we are already tired walking back and forth inside the airport and we haven’t eaten anything since the night before doesn’t help.

Good thing I was able to show them the page of EDAYA and our Facebook group and that was the time they believed us and let us enter the boarding area. Our plane was already ready for takeoff and they were just calling late passengers on board. We dashed off to our plane and thank God we’re able to catch our flight.
The view of the sunset and the Tokyo skytree.
Seen on the bus on the way to Tsukuba.

The ride from the Philippines to Japan was fantastic. All my worries and anger automatically disappeared when we reached the sky. The view from atop was just majestic and I filled my eyes with such great views until we reach our destination.

Upon arrival, cold penetrated my body and I was then convinced that I’m now in the other part of the world. I just wowed on everything that I’m seeing that time. The airport alone is far different from the airport in the Philippines and it reminds me news on television that the NAIA was the worst airport in the whole world. And so I approved that to myself.

The bus that we took going to Tsukuba is also new to me. It is very different from the buses that I have seen in the Philippines. The trip to Tsukuba was so fun since we saw different views which are new to us like the skyscrapers and the architectural design of buildings.

When we arrived in Tsukuba, we stopped by a convenience store and bought something to eat. I thought the food in the store would taste weird but I was wrong. Ayaka-san also bought us the Onigiri which we are amazed of  because it is somewhat similar to our traditional rice cake which is the inallagupa. After eating, I told myself that I would enjoy Japanese food. 

First dinner in Fujino, Japan.

During our stay in Tsukuba, AIST specifically, Satoshi Murao shared us some information that amazed us. Such as, all building that we passed by going to our training room is owned by AIST. The compound is just like one campus of a university in the Philippines.

Together with Jane Ferlyn, we explored some things during our stay in the Sakura-kan. We enjoyed our stay in our room, the facilities though we have seen some of them in the Philippines; the design is different and is more "techy".

Our training on the ASGM study project was also great since we learned a lot. Our trainer (Hide Fumi Yokoo) is also kind that we didn’t feel awkward conversing with him at all. Our trainer shared to us some of his researches and we are happy that the paper he shared is basically about the Philippines. We learned new ideas such as E-waste and some information about the garbage dumping sites in the Philippines. It’s just funny that we are not aware about the big dumping sites in the Philippines and that a non-Filipino is the one who informed us about it.

EDAYA team with Murao-sensei and Yokoo-sensei.
The trainer also shared us a book which is very good to read especially when you are really interested in researching. The book is entitled “The Power of Survey Design”. Specifically, we discussed chapter 5 of the book which is about Respondent’s Psychology and Survey Participation. After discussion, the trainer let us do a role play using what we learned in the discussion.

The training also extended at the Japan Space System where we acquired a lot of ideas about mapping, Global Positioning System and Spectral Measurement using Field spec. Our trainers are Kazuyo Hirose and Tomomi Takeda. We were able to try manipulating the field spec and the handy GPS.

We went around Tokyo tower using the handy GPS and try to track our way back to the training center. After doing the tracking, we downloaded the data to our computers and our trainers thought us how to map the area. We are very thankful that they printed our works as our remembrance. 

Training at the Japan Space Systems.
  Takeda-sensei accompanied us to the Tokyo tower for our lunch. We enjoyed our food that time. Takeda-san is an approachable man that we did not felt intimidated. He also offered to take some photos of us.

All in all our three day training was all great. Our trainers are all kind and generous in sharing information to us. Murao-sensei also was a good company that he led us all the way throughout the trainings. We learn a lot and we were able to meet great people.

Our events in Japan also gave way for us to meet new people and see other places. We enjoyed a lot from the events especially the event in Fujino wherein we were able to meet adorable kids. Our experience in Fujino is really awesome because we felt that we are very much welcome. The snow also makes our experience more memorable since it is our first time to see snow.

Fun with snow.

During our stay in the hotel in Fujino, we are also happy that we see a hotel like that. It is very artistic that we are amazed when we passed by to a hallway and we heard some sounds. We were a little bit frightened only to find out that the hall way is also censored and that sounds will be heard when you passed by the speakers.

One of the memorable experiences during our Japan trip was when we went to the Onsen. Initially, we refused to enter but Wryneth and Ayaka-san encouraged us to try it. And so we forget our awkward feelings and entered the Onsen. That was just a memorable experience that I will never forget.

Our Japan experience was just so great that we will treasure it for the rest of our lives. It may be a short one but it was full of great memories. I hope someday I can travel more places to experience more about life.


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