Last day of the month and February literally passed by with only twenty eight days. I was on half-day leave because I attended a conference/workshop regarding aging and migration in UP, with guest speakers from different countries, especially in Asia.
The venue was at the University Hotel and it was then that I realized that I have never entered that area of UP before. Finishing both my undergrad and graduate degree, I still haven’t visited a lot of places inside the campus and the University Hotel was no exception. I thought I arrived late, but good thing that the event did not start until 1:30 PM. I overlooked the schedule of activities, wherein 1:00 PM was just the registration proper.
The theme of the workshop centers on aging and migration in 21st century Asia. The primary organizer, Prof. Yoneno-Reyes, sent an invitation/announcement to everybody last Sunday. She was also my professor in aging and migration three years ago, and I still find the topic interesting and compelling. The moderator of the event, Prof. Sevilla, was also my professor in a West Asia course. For the whole afternoon, three speakers from Japan, China and South Korea presented their papers. Two of them were from Kyoto University, while the other one was from SungKongHoe University.
One by one, the three guests presented their topics: from the concepts of intimate work, ‘housewifization’, to ‘a new woman’; as well as marriage migration chains in East Asia to South Korea’s changing policy on multiculturalism and migration. But if I were to be frank with my observations, it was quite frustrating having to follow and grapple with the discussion. Aside from the looming presence of the language barrier between the speakers and their audience, the faulty sound system made matters worse. I felt really embarrassed for the guests, especially when another discussion from the next-door’s conference got transmitted and broadcasted in our room in the middle of the speaker’s discussion, due to mixing up of wireless microphones’ signal. I wanted to hide under the table.
I looked at the list of guests and saw that Gabriele Vogt was present. I was really eager to see her because she wrote one of our required readings in class before. I even cited her in one of my essays for comprehensive exams.
If there is one thing I have learned about myself from the event, it was my tendency not to socialize with people I do not know. There were only two people in the room who I knew, and they were my previous professors who were busy with the workshop. I just sat at the end of room, next to the refreshments (coffee within an arm’s reach, yay!) beside two formidable-looking ladies. I did not start a conversation with them, until I decided against the awkwardness of the situation. I was stunned to know that I was seated next to the dean of the College of Nursing of UP Manila. O_O Good thing she was very approachable and even started asking questions about me. There will be another session tomorrow, but I’m not too sure if I would be able to attend. I really need to seriously start reviewing for another exam two Sundays from now.
Just as the day turned 28, I found out that our grandmother (my father’s auntie) passed away due to stroke. She was in a nursing home in Alberta, Canada and I haven’t seen her since the late 90s. She died at the age of 88. May you rest in peace, Lola Soling and we love you so much.