A Year and a Half in Japan

In the English as a Second Language program at Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis, Patrick was both an administrative assistant and a short-term or part-time lecturer. He has a master’s degree in Elementary Education and a TESOL Certificate. Sometimes he still thinks about teaching overseas, although he’s almost sixty-five. Recently he’s been working as a private chef. We spoke via Skype when he was in Indianapolis and I was in Manila. Thanks to Patrick for the photographs.

Patrick’s story

In 1999, after teaching international university students part-time, I decided to apply for a full-time job in Japan. I’d liked working with … Read More

A Filipina Vocal Group at Tago Jazz Café

At the end of October, I went to the Tago Jazz Café in Cubao to hear the vocal group Baihana (pronounced bye-HAH-nah), which means “girl” or “woman” in Cebuano. It was wonderful sitting four or five feet away from world-class musicians singing close harmony. I almost fell off my seat when I heard “Jeepers, Creepers, Where’d You Get Those Peepers,” one of the songs my parents sang and danced to before I was born and in my early childhood. 

Not long afterwards we met for an interview in Mrs. Graham’s Café in the Tomas Morato district of Quezon City.

Mel Read More