2014 First Post

It’s been two years since I came to WordPress and seven years since I started blogging (old blog at LiveJournal, it’s still up but not quite updated). I have been through ups and downs. I should say that there were more ups than downs and every hurdle I passed made me a better and stronger person. Along the journey I had to say goodbye to some friends and say hi to new ones.

Career-wise, I experienced several changes. Had to say goodbye to mentors and colleagues. But the best thing about the changes that happened this year was I was given much confidence and trust to lead a team and head a department. I am being valued much more now especially that the bosses see what I bring to the company. Thank you. This boosts my confidence and I can see clearly now the path I want to walk on to. I am going to persevere more and hone my skills, get updated by studying further. Hmm… Should I take CMA this year? Oh, Lord, please help me decide.

But more to that, I look forward to what the new year will bring and how much better my company and my career will be. I am claiming that 2014 will open doors to greater heights for the company I am serving and for my flourishing career.

To end this post, here’s the art project I posted several months ago. It’s finally done. I am going to frame this and have it displayed at my workstation at home. I really love Chihayafuru. I hope there will be season three since it’s time for Arata to shine. Crossing my fingers to that. With regards to my drawing skills, well, I should say that I am getting better with it as well. However, I think I still have to learn more about proportions and coloring… Oh right. I am ending this post already.

Happy New Year, everyone!!!

2014 Chihayafuru

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A quick update about this busy bee.

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Oh noes! It’s already the last day of October halfway November. More than a month passed by and I was not able to visit my blog. Well, I’ve got a really good reason. I became so busy with work. Actually, I am still busy with work. I just got this little time to spare coz I am waiting for visitors and dinner to arrive and so I decided it’s high time to update the online world, not that the online world cares about what I do offline.

Anyways, just to tell you about the good news I talked about from my last entry way back in August (I think), it’s about my sudden promotion to a managerial job. Yep! I was promoted last September. ‘Received my papers and increase in salary last month. I’m pretty happy about it. What I just don’t like is that the work load doubled. Geez!!! Though there aren’t quite a lot of processes that I do now, there are a lot of ad hoc reports that I need to prepare lately. Analysis after analysis, day-in and day-out. It’s making me dizzy. (I honestly thought I would just review and manage my staff and their processes. ‘Thought so wrong!)

Plus, I am always being pulled to meetings to which I need to constantly speak in English. Top management consists of foreigners. Gah!!!

Honestly, I am really not that comfortable in speaking in English. I can carry conversational English. However, it wears me down after an hour especially when I need to explain the principles of accounting to a group who are not-so-familiar with accounting and auditing standards. I prefer writing technical reports and narratives in English. But to actually have an on-the-spot lecture in a language that I love using only in reading and writing exercises is totally different.

Oh well! As Uncle Ben said, “with great power comes great responsibility”. I guess, this was how Peter Parker felt in the beginning… OVERWHELMED! Maybe I’ll get used to having this kind of situation soon. Maybe I’ll even get used to talking in English with ease. I may be just feeling smashed right now because the audit of the Ph and HK corporations were being rushed to meet the IRD and due diligence deadlines. Sighs. We’re almost there, thank goodness!

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Taichi and Chihayafuru Season 2

So season 2 has finally ended. I am so happy that things I read in the manga were shown magnificently in the anime. I so loved that the best karuta battles were given emphasis. The season 1 characters we wanted to see again came back in season 2. Those we wanted to play shown great battles in this season as well. Plus, there were newbies in Chihaya’s team, they were given enough time to shine and they did have fascinating stories told.

Tsukuba Akihiro, the hero in his little brothers’ eyes, a master in the second verse karuta game. He is definitely an eccentric character with his slanted eyes and weird gestures. But his love for the game and his want to be the role model for his younger siblings were a fun watch.

Hanano Sumire, the vain freshman who is so enamored with her senpai. She joined Mizusawa Karuta Club to be near the club’s president. But along the way, Sumire developed a love for the game. She may still be in denial but her actions showed otherwise.

Then there are our main characters – the original Mizusawa players. Each of them grew so much in character. Of course we all wanted them to win in their individual battles but no great lessons can be learned that way. At least this season they went home as the National Team Champions, beating the five-time Karuta team champion Fujisaki High.

And as much as I wanted to discuss Wataya Arata’s exemplary display of his one of a kind Karuta game, this season is actually all about Mashima Taichi. Season 2 showed how much Taichi grew stronger and his decision to breakaway from his mentor and develop his own sense of playing the game. His want to support Chihaya in her aspiration to be queen, Taichi unintentionally developed his own desire to become stronger, not necessarily to beat Arata or Chihaya but to be able to play in their level… to be able to play with them.

With that, I am ending this entry with a fanart.

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Here’s Taichi’s favorite poem from the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu:
Poem # 16:
Ariwara no Yukihira
Though we are parted,
If on Mount Inaba’s peak
I should hear the sound
Of the pine trees growing there,
I’ll come back again to you.

Can I reach him?

“… Or, is he still out of reach?”

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When I heard (actually read) those lines, I was so happy I blushed. The first time ever again for an anime couple I am rooting for. I wished Chihaya held out her hand further and touched Arata’s hand. Hahaha! I’m such a fangirl!

With that I was inspired to draw Chihaya. This is the very first time I tried drawing her so I opted to draw with a pencil rather than with a pentablet. She’s so pretty my heart fluttered for her and Arata ♥ I was also inspired by a dialogue she actually said in the manga – “I have always liked Karuta and Arata!”

chihayasketchSo, how about you? What do you think about the romance that is so apparent between Chihaya and Arata?

Karuta, Arata and Chihayafuru

To be honest, I just decided to watch this anime because of the beautifully drawn characters. I didn’t expect to fall in love with the story, its characters and its main theme – Karuta.

Like most of Chihayafuru’s fans, I have no idea what Karuta was until Chihayafuru aired. According to the anime, it is a card game where speed, memorization and sharp listening skills are needed. It’s a one-on-one game where players are given a set of twenty five cards that they are to lay strategically in front of each other. They are to memorize the placements of the cards and once the first verse of each card is read, the players race against each other to tap, touch, or swipe away which card contains the second verse.

You think that’s easy? Well, the type of Karuta in the anime is Uta-garuta. Its cards contain waka (now called as tanka, English translation: Japanese poems) from the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, which is a classical Japanese anthology of one hundred poems by one hundred poets and was compiled by the scholar Fujiwara no Teika during his stay in the Ogura District of Kyoto, Japan between the 12th and 13th centuries. A waka is a five-line poem of thirty one syllables, arranged as 5-7-5-7-7. So, to be a Karuta player, one has to memorize all the poems in the said anthology. Most of all, one should be able to read hiragana because the poems are written in that manner.

Reading my simple explanation of the card game, do you think you’d be interested to watch this anime even without seeing what the lead characters look like? I personally would not be interested. My first thought when I read about this anime was, “I think this would be boring.” If I hadn’t seen the beautiful lead character, Ayase Chihaya, I would not have given this anime a shot. Thankfully, I saw her because if I didn’t, I might be having one of my greatest regrets right now. I might not have seen Wataya Arata, my current anime crush ♥

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Work in Progress: Chihayafuru and Arata

I’ve been meaning to write something about Chihayafuru since last year. However, I didn’t have the time and I can’t seem to find the right words to describe what it is for me. Plus, I wanted to post my “sort of review” of this anime along with a fanart. So, now that I am half way to writing that review cum summary, here’s the almost halfway fanart of the reason why I like Chihayafuru. I hope to finish this artwork by Sunday.

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