So how did we end up here in Japan?
Well, we started as programmers for a startup IT company in Makati in 2010. They assigned us to work for a Japan-based company as remote developers. My boss at that time included me in those projects probably because I mentioned during my job interview that I’m interested in going to Japan and learning Nihongo since I like reading manga and watching anime and would like to watch anime without subs someday like everyone else. 😂
During that project, we got to interact and work closely with Japanese people. I only knew very little Nihongo back then from watching subbed anime, so I talked to them using my barok Nihongo and sometimes barok-ed English since that’s the only way we can understand each other. I sometimes think if Japanese people study English just to be able to watch English movies without subs, too (this was later confirmed to be true 😆).
We were fortunate enough to be sponsored by the company to study Nihongo at the Nihongo Center Foundation Makati campus. That really helped us during the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) which is held twice a year in the Philippines. Anyways, for those who are curious, I currently have a JLPT N3 certification and Adrian has N2 (the highest is N1). This certification is something you should really consider aiming for if you want to work in Japan.
After some time, we decided it’s about time to move on to a new company which, of course, also offered a higher paycheck. We were able to secure multiple-entry visas and save up for several trips to Japan.
We went to a Bump of Chicken concert in Yokohama during one of those trips and, like any excited tourist, posted a picture of it on Facebook. Incidentally, one of our Japanese clients from our previous company saw the post and invited us over for lunch. He told us that he started a game company and he would like us to come work for him if we’d like to, and that was that.
It wasn’t really a hard decision to accept his offer, and I’m personally happy that we did. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I want to enjoy it while it lasts. It was our dream after all to be able to come and live here, and now that dream is finally coming true! 🤓