Culture: Valentine’s Day in Japan

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! As the day begins, I online as usual and my timeline was flooded with faces of couples expressing their love and gratitude for each other. Some seems so in love but of course, some are bitter cause this is the time of the year where life slapped into your face how single you are.

Let me tell you about my culture firsts, Valentine’s Day back home is all about the spirit of it. I remember back in college, it’s so normal to see ladies around the university carrying stuffed toys, flowers and chocolates while holding hands with their boyfriends. The main gate in front of school are flooded with flower vendors. But not just in school, everywhere you can see couples celebrating it in the streets, public transportation, malls, restaurants, parks and even on social media. Too bad if you’re brokenhearted, I must say just stay at home if you don’t want to see an eye sore. Filipinos are sweet, warm and romantic so it’s quite expected that Valentine’s Day is big deal and well celebrated.

The Japanese culture when it comes to Valentines is the exact opposite of my culture. I was shocked when I learned that the women here are the one who gives chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Okay, culture shock alert! Since, coming to Japan I learned to be more open-minded but there are things that still surprised me. In the Philippines, if a woman do these ‘giving chocolates on Valentine’s Day to the man’ she will be labeled as ‘easy-to-get, desperate, walang delikadesa, bitch, slut and cheap’ because we’re so used to the norm that it’s always the man who will take actions, do the pursuing and not the other way around. This culture is well-embedded in me. So, the first thing comes into my mind was: “BUT, WHY?!”

I had the chance to ask my Japanese co-worker about it cause I was really curious. She told me that they do it because this is the chance for a woman to do the ‘Kokuhaku’ or in English, confessing your feelings to the one you love or like. I was even more blown away with her answers cause again why is it the woman who will do the confession?! It’s a man responsibility and duty in my own culture. I asked her if they aren’t shy to do it. She said yes, they are also shy about it because what if the man reject her feelings or turn away but they still do it for their feelings to be known.

My conclusion about it is women here are so brave and the Japanese men are living the dream! Imagine, Japanese men won’t have a tough time pursuing a woman cause woman can also do it and it’s well accepted. Women can do the first move without judgments from the society. Japan is also a conservative country but when it comes to dating culture and the like, they are more open and equal compared to my culture where it’s always the man. So, men in the next life pray to God for you to be born as Japanese. HAHAHA lol



Life after College

Graduation. Diploma.

The two words all students aiming for. The day where all the hard-work will be paid off, sleepless nights will be worth it, to give back to our parents for all the sacrifices and start the dream we all have for ourselves. The day when my name was called to receive my diploma in front of my parents and everyone on stage, I felt like I’m on the top of the world. The tears of joy on my grandfather’s face, knowing he is proud of me that I didn’t failed him. Everything feels so right and nothing is impossible. After graduation, I already have a plan on what will I do. I was young and naive to think all of it will come easy. I still remember the day before our graduation where our professors told us that ‘real world’ is way different. Back then, I can’t fully grasp what they mean but now, I completely understand it.

Four years of my college life has gone by so fast, I never knew I will miss the university life cause we all hate school, right? Now, I’m working whenever I see teenagers in school uniforms I can’t help but to feel nostalgic. After graduation, some of my blockmates already got married and started to build their families. While most are like me, still getting wasted every weekend and figuring out what to do with life. Being in early 20’s is so confusing. I feel so lost but must trust the process. I believe where I am right now is where I’m supposed to be.

I still remember the day when our professors used to criticize our hard-earned business plans, products and projects saying it’s too ordinary, not innovative enough and tactless. I thought they are being too mean back then but no, real world is meaner. Humans can be harsh and not everyone will like you and that’s completely okay. Your mother didn’t brought you in this world to please them. Keep focus and mind your business. Let them keep on talking and just prove them wrong.

I still remember the day when I was so brokenhearted when I failed my Law subject, I cried. A lot. I felt like a total failure thinking I can’t graduate on time. But let’s all laugh together, cause I failed my JLPT exam today which is way too painful that I can’t even cry. I want to sing Coldplay’s Fix You at the top of my lungs right now lol. Also, when I failed my Japanese’s driver’s License exam for 9 times. Yes, 9 fucking times! But didn’t gave up though, on my 10th try, I passed. Moral lesson: ‘it’s okay to rest, but never stop.’

I still remember all the body pains we got from working on our Bazaar all day and night thinking how life can be these hard. But no, we’re just a cry baby because now the body pains I’m getting from working is never ending. Sometimes, I just want to cry but got no time for that. lol

Real world is tough. Life is tough. So get tougher. I know there are many things I need to learn more about life. After all, I’m just new in these whole ‘adulthood’ world. I just can’t help but to reminisce how university shield us from all the bullshits of the world. Almost, 20 years of our lives we’re just taught to raise our hands in classrooms and follow instructions. Then suddenly, after graduation we’re given free will with no manuals and instructions. Maybe that’s also the beauty of life, we need bad days to appreciate the good days.

Animo, La Salle!