How I started learning Japanese


Back in 2017, I visited Japan for the first time. Japan was definitely at the top of the list of countries I want to go to for so long. So when I learned that there would be a month-long training by JICA in Japan, I tried my luck and got in! That trip made me appreciate Nihongo on another level. I loved hearing the train announcements, the greetings from convenience store workers, even the elevator announcing what floor are we in. But most importantly, I admired Nihongo more because we were guided every day by our Nihongo-English interpreters—Junko-san and Kaori-san. I was always in awe listening to them translate. During our breaks, I would even ask them to translate phrases for me, and they would also teach us Japanese slangs. My favorite was めっちゃ (metcha) which means “very / a lot”.

I tried self-studying Japanese after that trip. I downloaded the free version of the Duolingo app and would do some exercises. I felt that my learning at this time was very shallow. I didn’t feel like I’m absorbing these words I’m hearing. However, during a trip back to Japan in 2018 with my parents, I was able to somehow spew some Nihongo when we stumbled upon a restaurant with no English menu. I wish I could say it made me motivated to study harder, but it didn’t. I still wasn’t committing to learning Nihongo at that time.

Sometime in 2019, I realized that I should enroll in a class. I felt like I’m just not cut out for self-studying Nihongo at this point. So I went to UP Diliman and registered in the Linguistics department. Come enrollment, I didn’t push through. I realized I might not be able to commit to attending classes regularly since I had to commute to UP. But then the pandemic happened, and the department started offering their classes online. There’s no excuse for me anymore.

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My Swab Test Experience

If you have COVID-19 symptoms within the past two weeks and want to get tested, I might have some information you are looking for.

This is my experience with the Chinese General Hospital’s walk-in RT-PCR test or what everyone knows as the swab test.

The testing area is open 24/7 and located on the second floor of the building to the right of the main one if you’re facing the hospital from Blumentritt Road.

The location of the testing area in the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center compound.
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