For a change, this blog entry won’t be about me.
When I was around 9 or 10 (?), I remember waking up quite early one school day morning. My second oldest brother Eric, had arrived from Japan.
My mom told me Kuya (older brother in Tagalog) had presents for me from his Japan trip. He was sent by his school to participate in a science convention (astronaut-related, if my memory does not fail me). Kuya Eric has always been an achiever so we weren’t that surprised when his school decided to send him off for Japan. After all, he was once a valedictorian and president of the student council.
I was so happy. I got a Japanese-style fan and my first ever tamagotchi! And it was from my brother, which made it more special.
After that trip, we knew that something had changed in Kuya.
My brother started to tell us about what he saw in Japan. Anime shown in local Philippine channels was my only portal to imagine this wonderful country.. until my Kuya’s stories. Kuya was only a highschool student that time so by the time he was in senior (or even junior) year, he was planning his future already by applying for college government scholarships here in Japan. Unfortunately, he applied for a really difficult course related to engineering through the Japan Embassy of the Philippines…. and he failed it. But that did not stop my brother, he applied for a one-year exchange student program and he got accepted! This is why he knows Kyoto well like a tourist guide. : )
I can still remember when we had a phone conversation and I asked him about snow and sakura, if he had witnessed those already, etc. He described his experience to me and that was my first time to want to go to Japan as well.
And, I really missed my brother that day.