Trusty Nippon

The BBC Reel documentary about Japan’s impressive lost & found scheme and system is true.  I have personal accounts and experiences about how remarkably honest, decent and trustworthy the Japanese people are. 

During our family’s second visit to Japan, one of the inexpensive yet enjoyable lunches we had was at a self-service keiseki-like (keiseki are like tapas of Spain or the small dishes of Japan) eatery in Osaka.  I can clearly recall that after we have stepped out and we’re like 200 yards away already from that eatery, we noticed that the old and short lady who worked in that establishment was actually running after our group.  Gasping for air when she reached us, she then handed a small bag to us. 

Without me understanding what she was saying, my now-niece-in-law (Alexis) then noticed that the bag the old lady was handing over was his.  He then realized that he actually left behind his pouch-bag inside the eatery which contains his cash, his credit cards and his valuable passport.

Another remarkable experience my family had in Japan when it comes to trustworthiness was when we had a winter adventure in Sapporo.   After a short flight from Osaka to Hokkaido, my family chose to reach our hotel via subway from the Sapporo airport.  The subway train station near our hotel was actually just beside a park, the Nakajima Park.  When we got out of the train station towing and dragging along our huge suitcases, out in the street, we noticed that the magnificent park beside the train station was filled with soft and fresh snow. 

My family lives in a tropical country where no snow falls.  Here in the Philippines, the weather is either hot or hotter.  Thus, it is but thrilling for us (a snow-deprived-family) to see, smell and touch those fields of frozen and icy hexagonal-shaped crystals.  And as if my family suddenly transformed into little naughty children we run towards the park and were unmindful of leaving behind our huge bags and suitcases right there in front of the train station.  We spent about half an hour inside the snowy park – making snow angles, snowball fighting, creating our very first snowman and gasping at how magnificent the snow formations are on trees.

the nakajima train station right beside the park.  that’s the very spot where we left our suitcases! haha!

After mellowing down and when we regained our adulthood back, only then that we realized that we actually left behind our suitcases right there at the train station’s entrance/exit platform.  We were gone for more than half an hour and when we went back to retrieve and get all our bags and suitcases, all of it were surprisingly still there!  Do that here in my country, all of our luggage will be gone in less than a minute and you got no one else to blame but yourself.

Japan is beautiful, its people are incredible and exploring Japan has been a worry-free type of adventure.  Because of these, this country has been my family’s most visited country.  I won’t be surprised if after the pandemic my family will again venture for another trusty Nippon adventure. 

A Rare Retail Experience in Pasay

I grew up in one of the most notorious and crime infested cities of the world, Pasay City.  The gang-infested town of New York, the dynamic human trafficking in Belize and the exploits of crime at the favelas of Brazil seem all so tame and subdued if to be compared to the felonies and transgressions that occur in my home city.

That is why I was so surprised to find out that right in the middle of dangerous Pasay, runs a rare and unusual Honesty Shop.  Honesty stores and shops (unmanned establishments in which the stores cash sales are relied upon the honesty of its patrons) thrives in some of the most nonviolent, remote and/or progressive spots in the world.  In fairness, there are actually 2 stores that I know that runs an honesty shop here in the Philippines, one is at the remote and peaceful province of Batanes while the other one is at the high-end and affluent university here in the Philippines. 

henry hotel

Enough with the topic diversion!  The store in Pasay that I am talking about is Honest Henry, an  honesty shop inside a compound where Henry Hotel is located.  I found this place when I and my family was about to have a hearty lunch inside Henry Hotel. 

nephew luis checking out the stuff inside the store 

proudly philippine made! 

stuff for sale!

this is how you do it!

The even rarer fact about this store is that it is not just selling cheap snacks and knickknacks.  It is selling locally-made pricey-looking crafts and souvenirs.  I was so surprised when I was checking all the merchandise!  Those were not cheap, shoddy and substandard! 

Honesty Shop at Henry Hotel was something so pleasing and refreshing for Pasay City.  It gives me the positive feeling and perspective that there still exists some glimmer of hope to the city where I grew up.

Anesti is the best palisi…