My First Sakura 

I desired Japan for sakura (cherry blossoms). I came as a scholar for the Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities (ACAH2016) held at Kobe Arts Center on the first week of April. I experienced Kobe & Kyoto as a pilgrim.

My first sight of sakura on the way to the conference, along the Nunobiki Bashi River. Then during a walk to the Herbs Garden, 15 minutes away from my hotel. Three versions of a haiku-like poem came to me in Tagalog. Here’s one: Naglakad ako sa ilalim ng mga puno ng sakura./May mga karatulang hindi ko mabasa./Umaawit ang mga ibon at ito ay sapat na.//:)

I enjoyed more of sakura during the post-conference tour of Kyoto. Like this one at the Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist Temple which means “pure water” for beauty, longevity, success. I came home with the thought of Japan as my place of calmness. 

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