Filipinos in Japan: My Pinoy Life In Kobe
Since when have you been staying there? Can you recount briefly why you moved there?
I’ve been travelling repeatedly here for short term business trips since 2006. But since May 2010, my employer (Fujitsu Ten) sent me to our head office as an intra-company transferee. Being able to stay here in Kobe for quite a long time, I have learned to embrace the Japanese way of living.
Tell us something about your place?
Kobe, Japan is a beautiful city. I think it is the perfect combination of city and nature. I can be in the middle of the city and then hiking in the mountain trails in no time. Living here, I feel like I’m on a tour every day. Having photography as my hobby, I never run out of subjects.
If anyone is looking for a different level of experience, this place is a “must” visit with its diverse culture, superb food, endless beauty and its great people.
Here is some trivia about Kobe city:
Kobe City was completely destroyed in 1995 after an earthquake that shook the whole area. But now, the city has been completely transformed into a beautiful tourist destination.
The longest suspension bridge in the world, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge can be found here.
One of the world’s most expensive and amazingly delicious meat, Kobe beef, is from here.
This year, Kobe has been listed as No. 9 in the world’s most expensive cities to live in.
Even though I have been here for years, this city still surprises me in many different ways. Its rich culture, great food, polite people, clean surroundings – the good things are endless.
But at the end of the day, of course I still miss the Philippines. My home.
What do you do for a living?
I’m a car audio electronics Hardware Design Engineer. My job is to design and develop car infotainment systems for most Japanese and American car manufacturers.
I work with a team of Filipino and Japanese Engineers. Our designs are being manufactured and sold worldwide, so to all Filipinos out there, you can proudly say… that car’s audio system is designed by Filipinos!
Is there a Filipino community there?
Yes, our company sends many Engineers here on a regular basis. Being a Filipino in Japan, I never feel alone here.
Tell us about your life there?
Life here is simple, peaceful and enjoyable. The Japanese people work really hard during the weekdays, but they definitely know how to get a dose of fun during the weekends and holidays. I have learned to embrace that kind of living. I work hard and play hard.
What cultural practices/behaviors have you acquired from your host country?
One thing that amazes me the most is the discipline of the Japanese people. They do little things that make a big difference. Like not crossing the street when the “don’t walk” signal is still up, or whenever they set foot on an escalator, they all stay only on one side so that people in a hurry can have enough space to run if they need to. If there is one thing that I would really want to acquire, it’s that level of discipline. Sometimes I wish I can see that kind of discipline in Philippines too. I wish.
Your greetings to Filipino across the globe?
To all my fellow Filipino around the world, I hope you all continue to put your heart in everything that you do. That’s what makes a Filipino shine anywhere. When we do something, we do it well with utmost sincerity.
Also, whenever we bump into another Filipino anywhere, let’s not forget to greet each other and at least smile. Whatever kind of job we have, whatever status in life.
Kudos to all the Filipinos out there!
Planning to visit Kobe? Find out more from the Kobe Official Travel Guide