Filipina Modern: “Bad” Filipino Women in Japan

  • Nobue Suzuki


Julie, in her early twenties in the early 1990s, thought going to Japan offered a sure way to acquire the kind of modern appearance that many Filipinas her age desired.1 Faced with financial difficulty, she also decided to go to Japan to earn money to enable her younger sisters to continue their schooling. She convinced herself by saying, “Find some means to raise money. School, school, school. Money, money, money! I’m the eldest and I must be strong!” In the end, Julie went to Japan, got a job as a bar hostess, worked hard, and saved. But she did not give all the money to her family. She gave about 20 percent to her parents and kept 80 percent for herself. After marrying Masaki, a Japanese public employee, in 1995, she began investing in property in the Philippines. As a sign of her middle-class life, human value, and security, she now owns a fancy 4.8 million-peso ($12,000 @ $1 = PhP25) condominium near the foreign embassies, overlooking Manila Bay. For Julie, working and marrying in Japan enabled the realization of her multiple goals of being simultaneously filial and modern.


Single Mother Marital Dissolution Affective Relationship Visa Holder FILIPINO Woman 
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© Laura Miller and Jan Bardsley 2005

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  • Nobue Suzuki

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