Age and tow­ers

Cebu Daily News - - OPINION - CRIS EVERT LATO-RUFFOLO

Tokyo – Back in high school, kids called me a “walk­ing en­cy­clo­pe­dia”. I car­ried the moniker around cam­pus both as a curse and as a badge of honor.

“Walk­ing en­cy­clo­pe­dia” came with the word “nerd,” a term which dear Mer­ri­amWeb­ster dic­tio­nary de­fines as an “un­stylish, unattrac­tive or a so­cially in­ept per­son” and “one slav­ishly de­voted to in­tel­lec­tual and aca­demic pur­suit.”

There are mean kids in high school; that I can say is a con­stant in an ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem where tu­ition, book and mis­cel­la­neous fees have the propen­sity to change – in­crease! – ev­ery year.

In my time in high school, between 1999 and 2003, it was un­cool to be a called a nerd. Who wants to be unattrac­tive and un­stylish, right?

I be­came a nerd any­way and car­ried the ti­tle up to this day. But I de­cided to strip “un­stylish, unattrac­tive and so­cially in­ept” from the def­i­ni­tion (sorry not sorry, Mer­riam-Web­ster!) and flaunt the word like it is the coolest ti­tle in the en­tire Milky Way gal­axy.

Op­por­tu­ni­ties like rep­re­sent­ing the Philip­pines in an in­ter­na­tional pro­gram is one of the times that I am proud to flaunt my “nerd­ness.”

Seated at the sec­ond row of the Koto Ward Cul­ture Cen­ter gave me all the nerd feels and I loved it! Be­ing in Ja­pan to rep­re­sent the Philip­pines as part of the Ja­pan-East Asia Net­work of Ex­change for Stu­dents and Youths (JENESYS) gave me the op­por­tu­nity to be here and lis­ten to the lec­ture of Dr. Hideo Kimura on Ja­pan’s econ­omy.

JENESYS is spon­sored by the Ja­pan gov­ern­ment through the Ja­pan In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Cen­ter and in part­ner­ship with the Philip­pines’ Na­tional Youth Com­mis­sion.

I have been to many eco­nomic fo­rums and brief­ings and you bet the lec­tures have the ten­dency to be bor­ing, but Dr. Kimura is an ex­cep­tion.

He talked about Ja­panese cul­ture, food, sports, karaoke and tea be­fore div­ing to the sub­ject on Ja­pan’s econ­omy.

In 2015, the pop­u­la­tion is at 127 mil­lion. In 2044, the pop­u­la­tion is ex­pected to be at 100 mil­lion or a de­crease of 27 mil­lion peo­ple. Dr. Kimura said this is largely be­cause of Ja­pan’s aging pop­u­la­tion. One-fourth of the pop­u­la­tion is 65 years or older. About 65,692 in­di­vid­u­als are over 100 years old. I asked what are the plans of the gov­ern­ment to cush­ion the im­pacts of an aging pop­u­la­tion and the good pro­fes­sor said the di­rec­tion has been to open the coun­try to Filipino and In­done­sian nurses.

There was no time to in­ter­act with the pro­fes­sor as our del­e­ga­tion – com­posed of young pro­fes­sion­als from the Philip­pines and Brunei – had to rush to Haneda Air­port for our 2:25 p.m. flight to Na­gasaki.

I would have wanted to tell the pro­fes­sor that in Cebu, Duros Land Prop­er­ties Inc. re­cently launched the five-bil­lion-peso real es­tate de­vel­op­ment, The Wood­lands in Barangay Yati, Liloan, Cebu. One of the five con­do­minium tow­ers is called One Tec­tona Tower is sold to their Ja­panese part­ner Kazu­nari Naka­mura of NFKG Con­sul­tancy.

A CEBU DAILY NEWS re­port quoted Naka­mura say­ing: “By 2025, it is ex­pected that there are more than 30 mil­lion Ja­panese cit­i­zens who will be re­tir­ing or fac­ing their senior years. Cebu of­fers the best place for the re­tirees with the year-round warm weather, friendly lo­cal com­mu­nity and lo­cal cui­sine.”

We, the Ruffolo fam­ily, live five min­utes away from the Wood­lands. It’s safe to say that in a few year’s time, we will be graced by the pres­ence of Ja­pan na­tion­als in our vil­lage. How this will af­fect the lives of the lo­cal peo­ple is a dis­cus­sion on its own. I heard it’s go­ing to open more job op­por­tu­ni­ties for the lo­cals. It might be high time to learn Ja­panese and for them to learn Visayan.

If there’s any­thing that this trip has made me re­al­ize is the fact that every­thing comes full cir­cle in due time. I mean go fig­ure, I’m here in Ja­pan learn­ing about their cul­ture and econ­omy. Back home, there’s a de­vel­op­ment near the house which caters to the Ja­panese.

I will be in Na­gasaki un­til to­mor­row (Sun­day) and I’m most in­ter­ested to visit the Na­gasaki Atomic Bomb mu­seum. There is so much room for learn­ing and ad­ven­ture. My grat­i­tude and love to Jeff for stay­ing home for two weeks to look af­ter the three mu­tants while this Nanay spreads her wings. I’m a blessed woman.

Nanay Says cri­sev­ertruf­folo@gmail.com http://www.read­in­gruffo­los.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.