BEING AT HOME WITH PINOYS With KYOKO KIMURA
Interview in Filipino by Yosuke
Japanese pop singer Kimura, Kaira’s “Ding a ring ding dong” song would probably ring a bell among the young Japanese. However, there’s another lady who is very much a household name among the Filipinos she became acquainted with.
KYOKO KIMURA is up and about as she goes through a day working at the Philippine Department of Tourism, Osaka Field Office. If not assisting her bosses Tourism Attache, Araceli Soriano and Administrative Officer, Ms. Lorelei Cruz at tourism seminars and exhibitions, she is on the phone answering queries in Japanese, English, and oh yes, in flawless Filipino complete with “po” and “opo.”
Five years ago, right after graduating from the Osaka University of Foreign Studies
(now Osaka University, School of Foreign Studies), she was hired by the DOT Office. In an event organized by the PCCC in Shiga-Ken, Kyoko attended to distribute questionnaires for her graduation thesis. She met Mr. Val Cabansag and Ms. Lorelei Cruz who needed part-time workers in their office. Luckily, she got the job that gave her more opportunities to speak the language she majored in. But a few months before graduation, she was accepted to work at a big clothing company and started training. But DOT needed someone like Kyoko in their staff so they requested her to work with them again, which she did. Explains Kyoko, “I have always wanted to work with Filipinos because they always make everybody feel at home. Our office is like one big happy family. We work hard and then we go out to have fun after the work is over.”
As a student, Kyoko traveled to the Philippines on several occasions. She joined a study tour of an NGO group in Kyoto where they had culture exchange activities with
Filipino children in Apelo Cruz in Pasay. Later, they also went to Alabat island in Quezon Province to experience farm life. Her encounters with more Pinoys never ended there. As a second year student in Gaidai, she studied at the University of the Philippines and stayed in nearby Teachers’ Village and became close to her homestay family she affectionately calls Kuya Dan and Ate Val. Later, she moved to remote Alabang Island to work as a volunteer at the ACCE office there. The stylish city girl lived among the islanders and some curious monkeys. “Gusto ko talaga na laging may kasama dahil noong maliit pa ako, madalas akong nag-iisa dahil solong anak ako,” wika ni Kyoko.
It was in Alabat where she got the inspiration for her thesis on “Mga Salitang
Ginagamit ng mga ‘Gay’ “. Before graduating, she became close to the family of visiting professor, Pia Arboleda. She brought her family to her hometown in Hiroshima to experience traditional Japanese lifetyle including wearing the kimono.
Occasionally, she accompanies Media and Travel Agent Representatives on Familiarization tours to the Philippines, most notable of which was the feature article about the Philippines in SAVVY Magazine, where she guided model and TV personality
AHN MIKA to Tagaytay and Manila for 1 week. Last spring holiday, she went to visit friends in Nueva Ecija and Vigan with YO-chan. “Mahiyain masyado si KAICHO. Lagi na lang nagbabasa ng libro, pero nang natuto na siya ng konting Tagalog, ayun ok na.”
He played a lot with the 5 year old brother of my friend. YO-CHAN said that he was inspired with the way Kyoko-san communicates in Filipino with their host family.” It is as if she belongs there… as if she is one of them “ as if she is a family member coming
home. She gives out a sigh. ”The Philippines is more than a hometown for me because I know that my Pinoy friends will welcome me like their own family.”
INTERVIEW IN FILIPINO:
1. Taga-saan ka sa Japan?
2. Ano ang trabaho mo?
STAFF ng DOT, Osaka
3. Gaano ka katagal tumira sa Pilipinas?
4. Ano ang nami-miss mo sa Pilipinas?
MGA KAIBIGAN KO.
5. Ano ang di mo nagustuhan sa Pilipinas?
LAGI NA LANG MAY “RING TONE” NG CELLPHONES KAHIT SA LOOB NG SINE AT MGA RESTAWRAN. DITO SA JAPAN MAY “MANNER MODE” ( SILENT MODE) ANG MGA “KEITAI”.
6. Ano ang gusto mong ugali ng mga Filipino?
MASAYAHIN, MADALING KAUSAPIN AT PARANG KAPAMILYA KA LAGI.
7. Ano ang magandang bagay sa Japan na maaaring maituro mo sa mga Pinoy?
MAAYOS AT MAGANDANG PARAAN NG PAGBABALOT NG MGA SOUVENIRS NA NABIBILI SA MGA DEPARTMENT STORES
About YOSUKE SHOHARA…. YO-CHAN, SHO-CHAN, KAI-CHO is a Second year
Student majoring in Philippine Studies at the Osaka University, Minoo Campus. He was the chairman of the student council at the Uenomiya Taishi Gakuen and a member of the calligraphy club. He wants to be a teacher in the future so that he can inspire young Japanese learners to study other foreign languages to get a better perspective of cultures outside Japan.