Why am I here?

“ What brings you here?? “ — is a curious question I often get when meeting new acquaintances in Japan. And given that this is the first of my series of blogs, please allow me to take this chance to respond by sharing with you my journey that brought me here.

I first set foot in Japan six years ago. Since then, I realized what my heart truly desires. At the time, I determined my dream job — to work in Japan, and yeah in the concrete jungle Tokyo, to be precise.

“ Dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them. “ — Walt Disney

Pursuing this ambitious dream of mine was not a walk in the park. Securing a decent teaching job especially in Tokyo is pretty competitive due to some factors — proper working visa is one of them.

This is because most companies would prefer to hire candidates who already have a valid working visa at hand. In my mind, I’ll be able to get one if I’ll do my best in terms of having good skills and a precious teaching experience. And so I did everything that I could in order to surpass this obstacle.

I used to work for Japanese owned ESL schools in Manila, there were mostly Online Schools then. Plus a certificate in teaching English abroad seemed to be essential for me as well, therefore I obtained one.

Yet working for online schools didn’t seem to suffice the requirements for an English Teacher in Japan, I considered working for a man-to-man school where real interaction with students takes place. And the only choice attainable for me was to move to Cebu where the Japanese people go to acquire good English skills.

Apparently, relocation was tough, it’s tantamount to getting out of my comfort zone. I had to be away from my family, adjust with a new environment, not to mention the language was unfamiliar ( yes, understanding Cebuano was a little bit of a struggle for me, haha ) I had to use up my savings, needless to say, change my lifestyle.

In other words, I had to make a sacrifice even that means starting all over again, it was all going back to zero for me. Having said that, at 26, I decided to make a fresh start.

“ You reap what you sow. “

After a couple of years of effort in reaching that dream, all the hard work paid off and it eventually turned into reality last year. At long last, I got a job in Japan.

Hence, going back to the question, “ What brings you here? “ — well I’d say… it’s my passion. The passion that I possess to teach English along with my fascination for Japan, its people and culture are primarily the reasons why I’m here.

“ Everything is possible for one who believes. “— Jesus

One of the many things that I learned in this journey is that persistence, having a steady faith that one can do something optimistically despite intricate circumstances, coupled with courage to take actions are unequivocally vital to achieving your dreams.

Perhaps next time, I’ll be the one asking what brings you here!

In my next blog, I’ll be sharing about my company Atrae and why I chose to belong to this organisation.

till then!