Manila + Tokyo

Surprising Manila


Last time I wrote on this blog I was on my way to Manila, Philippines. There I met with my colleagues Paul Sturges and Barbara Jones to present a workshop about Internet Manifesto Guidelines for selected librarians from South Asia coming from Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Laos and of course, the hosting country, Philippines. Stuart Hamilton joined us on time for another workshop for Philippine librarians from all regions: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It was a packed week!


Our Philippine colleagues were amazing. They were incredibly kind and generous. I loved bibingka and pancit. I have little love for durian.

Ah… I had a great time. I met beautiful people. Wonderful librarians J


I posted entries about library services in the Philippines on Multicultural Link, check them out here and here.


I also had the opportunity to visit a few interesting places in Manila like the historic Intramuros, legendary Corregidor Island, and Tagaytay Taal Volcano. That was good to understand the background, history and idiosyncracy of the Philippinos. Some pictures here.




Perfect Tokyo


Tokyo followed to Manila. Barbara Jones and I continue to Tokyo. I was looking forward to that part of the trip. Many friends had said, “check out the clothes, the music; you have not seen anything like it.” Boy they were right. I want to move to Tokyo! I loved the food, sushi, sashimi, herbs, soups, veggies; all the good stuff I love.


Our gracious hosts at the US Embassy, Yuko Ryo and Mayumi Abiko took care of everything and our time in Tokyo was simply delicious because of them. I was able to meet with experts on library health-related services, officers from the Japanese Library Association/ Health Committee, key people from the US Embassy, and librarians from the Yokohama Public Library. It was wonderful.


I must say that our hotel, Hotel Okura in Akasaka was the most superb, exquisite place I’ve ever have stayed– I mean it, ever!! The staff was out of the door of the room- always. There were others outside the elevator greeting people as they stepped out, carrying your bags or purses for you, etc. I even had to almost wrestle someone to carry my own little purse. They won, of course. The pool, the business center, all those things that help you to continue working when you are still dealing with a 12 hour difference, were amazingly good.


I took a quick detour to Kyoto and enjoyed its historical Shinto and Buddhist temples, old palaces, and mystical gardens. I made a note to myself: return to Kyoto to properly explore the city. Three days minimum.  


Tokyo was an entire different experience for me. I was fingerprinted upon arrival. The first time my finger prints have been recorded anywhere. My picture was taken with a tiny camera which I swear was taking pics of my eyes instead of my face – what do I know. I loved the country. I wish it was closer to NYC to visit more often.


I posted entries about library services in Japan on Multicultural Link: Japan: Yokohama Public Library and Japan’s Tobyoki books.



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