Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Growing up in a tropical country and watching movies and TV shows with snow sparked my interest about winter. With all honesty, I didn’t see myself working abroad while I was still studying, well, even in my early working years. I used to work in a manufacturing company but after the owner decided to cease its operation, I was hired as a cadet engineer for an engineering design firm. And this opened my idea about working outside of the Philippines.

In less than a year, I was assigned in Japan for a certain project. It was my first time to go out of the country. It was a bit scary but I get used to it as I was assigned almost every after 3 months. But anyway, since Japan has four seasons, I was able to experience spring, summer, winter and autumn finally.

Despite my curiosity about snow, I was never excited about winter, well except for the very first snow experience I had. We played like four-year-olds while the snow is falling. And that was December 29, 2004, my 27th birthday! You can’t blame us, it’s a first for us then. Haha! But after that, I was no longer interested with snow and winter.

From 2003 until now, I usually got an invitation for joining winter ski package. My friends always told me that I should try at least once. Skiing seems a challenging sport but for the sake of experience I decided to at least abuse myself about the possible tortures skiing would give me. And I was correct.

About two Saturdays ago, we went to Gala Yuzawa for the ski trip. At first, we just asked one of our Japanese officemates if she knew a good place for skiing, later did we know she was already finalizing our trip. And since we were up for an adventure too, we said yes and off we go.


an unnerving nerve
illicit love with nature
a frozen crumple

I must admit, seeing mountains of snow while inside the shinkansen brought back bittersweet memories. But no need to expand on that. We went to the ski area, registered, took all the ski equipment and changed appropriately. Changing of clothes was a challenge already. Those heavy ski shoes (I don’t the term), oversized pants and jackets. Walking towards the sky lift was another challenge. We felt like newly-circumcised men, walking like penguins with skis on our hands. The lift, despite the visible awesome landscape, was still nerve-wracking. As I said, I am afraid of heights.

As soon as we arrived on the mountain, a ski teacher met us and wasted no time in having us in stretching mode. I knew she hated me as I have my tripod and camera during the lecture. My priority was to take photos and not to learn the ski. But of course, she must be followed, she forced me to put my photo paraphernalia inside the locker, which I complied.

The training was fun, full of slide, glide, brake, split and so many other terms that I couldn’t remember. My mind is wandering looking for a good spot to take photos. And I am hoping that the two-hour lecture will be over soon. Well, I guess I failed that lesson. Haha!

It was a long day. Muscles were stretched but it was a great Saturday! We all had fun but if given the chance again, I won’t be doing it again. I can be there just to take photos, but to ski, no way.

I’m just relieved that all my bones are still intact.



  1. personally its my fave line on the haiku :-)

  2. Like how you couch the haiku in commentary. Enjoyed the essay as much as the poem.

  3. laughing - 'frozen crumple' I can relate to! Good post...

  4. Really like your blog. I lived in Tokyo in 1983-84, working for Pac Stars & Stripes, but never made it to any of the ski areas. Like what you did with the words, and appreciated the essay as well.

  5. i like your haiku and essay writing. i am not a fan of snow myself. i have been living here most my life but still feel like i belong in a tropical climate! you've done more than me.. i've never gone skiing either or lived abroad.

  6. @TW, glad that made you smile

    @Thom, thanks, appreciate your kind words.

    @floreta, oh, really. you should explore your area :-)

  7. I loved 'frozen crumple' too...what a perfect description. I went skiing once in my life, and those two words describe my physical state perfectly while on the bunny hills.

  8. @FP, i think one time is enough after all the pains we get from skiing hehe

  9. love the haiku, "a frozen crumple" - love that thought

  10. weee, i can relate now, grabe, damang-dama ko pa, wait ka muna sa mga pix kc di ko camera, hahaha...ang masasabi ko lng sa skiing: "kahit bayaran pa ako, AYOKO NA", hahaha...eto, kakainom ko lng ng alaxan, bwehehe...


  11. weeeeee wala kang camera haha. sabi ko sa yo, tama na ang isang beses sa ski e hehe

  12. haha, i can relate with you John, I do not like skiing too, in fact, even sledding, I just hate speed going down the slopes fast, if you have fear for heights, I have fear for speed that could go out of control. Anyway, I love snowshoeing though, it is a lot just like hiking, allows you to tread on snow grounds, walk farther into the woods and up the mountain slopes, and yes, take a lot of pictures. But at least, you tried it once and you knew it is not for you. My activity is also always geared towards taking pictures :))

  13. ms beth, we need to meet up soon. and abuse our cameras till it run out of batteries hehehe.

  14. Amazing Blog! You really show your passions through your entries.
    Glad I stopped over. I too love the camera and writing.
    Or is it writing and the camera...
    they go hand in hand for me.
    Thanks for sharing

  15. great blog mai! kudos. haven't been in a ski area. hooh when can i visit one.

  16. @daryl, thanks. go visit one ski area now.


any thoughts to distill?

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