Keitai Chess

Keitai ChessKeitai ChessToday, I downloaded a Chess game software for my mobile phone. Unfortunately, there is one defect that I found. (FYI, Chess is not widely played in Japan, though they have this board game called Shogi which is very similar to Chess.)

Calling international toll-free numbers from Japan

I needed to call my bank in the Philippines. Fortunately, the bank has a toll-free number so I can call them without worrying much about the cost. I checked the toll-free number from the website of the bank and this is what is written:

[Intl. Access Code] + 800-8-631XXXX (I changed the last four digits to XXXX.)

Head count, then and now


Wilderness MapSome activities held recently in our Church reminded me of the story of the census conducted in Israel during their journey to the promise land of Canaan after their miraculous exodus from Egypt.

Chirashi, Japanese traditional spam

In Tokyo, and in most Japanese cities that I've been to, there are no widely-circulated local newspapers and only national dailies such as the Asahi, Yomiuri or Mainichi Shinbun are being sold. As the circulation of these national dailies usually reach millions, the advertising rate naturally goes high and this makes it very expensive for small establishments to advertise in newspapers. This explains why there are almost no advertisements for used goods, jobs and grocery store coupons in these newspapers. This is also one of the reasons why store owners resort to using chirashi or flyers that are either distributed on the street, usually packed together with tissue paper, or are dropped into people’s mailboxes.

Movie-going, from Manila to Tokyo

Transformers 2Transformers 2"Patingin-tingin, di naman makabili
Patingin-tingin, di makapanood ng sine
Walang ibang pera, kundi pamasahe
Nakayanan ko lang, pambili ng dalawang yosi"

About twelve years ago, the song with the above passage became popular in the Philippines. It describes the lowly condition of someone who has little money to spend, even on simple things as going to the movies. As a student with a meager allowance at that time, I was able to relate well to the song.

"And the winner is ..."

bowling 2009bowling 2009

Last Sunday, members of our Church in Tokyo held a bowling tournament . I don't know what happened but I got the highest score! Yay! I think I just got lucky. Anyway, it was fun and I took home the first prize - a free trip for two to Europe. Hehehe. Just kidding, the prize was a state-of-the-art electric fan. Cool!!!

How to use NetBeans IDE with an English User Interface in a Japanese environment

If you try to install and open the NetBeans IDE in a Japanese environment, you'll get your menus and messages in Japanese. This is true even if you chose English in the Netbeans download page. The reason for this is that Netbeans is multilingual and will start with the locale of your system -- which is usually set to Japanese Locale for people like me who use Japanese Windows OS.

Annual Medical Exam in Japan

A few days ago, I had my Teiki Kenko Shindan or annual medical checkup. In Japan, employees who are regularly employed by a company are required to undergo annual medical tests, of which the expenses are to be shouldered by the employer.

Rizal and the Japanese Language

Jose RizalJose Rizal
People studying Japanese could benefit from Jose Rizal’s method in learning a new language. According to historians, Rizal memorized five new root words every night.

For those who do not know Rizal, he is the National Hero of the Philippines and he was a polymath and a polyglot. Rizal knew 22 languages including the Japanese Language. He stayed in Japan for about 6 weeks from February 28 to April 13, 1888.

Just how good was Rizal in speaking Japanese? Was his six weeks of stay in Japan enough for him to acquire proficiency in Japanese?

Third Meeting of the Drupal Japan Group

Last May 23, I attended the Drupal Japan Group meeting held in Endo Ward, Tokyo. This is the third meeting of the group for this year and I was fortunate to be given the chance to give a presentation about Internationalization and Localization using Drupal. The attendees were mostly Japanese so I had to do the presentation in Japanese.