Happy 1st, Jami in Japan!

Happy Hearts Day all over the world! In the Philippines, just like in the US and I think in most places, women get bouquets of flowers, chocolates, and all the sweet stuff you can think of. Men are actually becoming more and more creative nowadays. However as some of you may already know, Valentines Day in Japan is the other way around. Women give chocolates to men and get chocolate in return on a day they call “White Day” exactly a month after. Amazingly though, I got a lot chocolates this year too. Thank you to everyone’s sweetness. So much for chocolates. That’s not what I wanna share about today.

Touchdown Tokyo, February 2016.

Last February, I left Cebu with mixed emotions of joy, excitement, sadness and anxiety.

Joyful because at that moment I thought, “This is it. Finally. I’m gonna be moving to Tokyo! Something I’ve always wanted to do since I graduated from the university and my new journey’s about to begin.

Excited because there’s so much more of Japan that I wanted to see and experience. Excited to meet my friends again and those I couldn’t meet during my short trip in 2015.

Sad not because I was gonna miss Cebu but because I had a break up a few hours before my flight. You can see my swollen eyes in the photo above. (Impeccable timing, huh)

And Anxious because I wasn’t sure if we our start up business will actually do good. Pressured at the same time too.

And so time went by really fast that I can’t seem to believe that it’s been a year since I moved to Japan! I’ve experienced 4 seasons for the first time in my life and I’ve learned a lot of things so far.

I joined this company 4 years ago when we were only less than 10 teachers. In a tiny office with not a lot of resources. Now, MBA Cebu has grown. We moved to our own building 2 years ago, we’ve had thousands of satisfied students with some even returning.

Photos from when I started in 2013 and up to the present




And of course, we’re here in Tokyo with our Primary branch in Shibuya. In no time, Fukuoka office opened too and another office is opening soon.

Shibuya Team, Batch 1 above and the next batch below


Looking back now.. One year ago, I recall the difficulty and that nostalgic feeling of being a primary member of a start-up company. It just felt like a flashback right before my eyes when we were arranging and setting up our Shibuya office.
This time, starting the office with just 2 other colleagues was even more challenging especially that we’re in a totally new environment.


Our first month was hectic with trial classes. Every time we remember how we survived that very busy month, we become proud of ourselves. Months passed and we got more and more students, some are graduates of MBA Cebu, some are newbies. We’ve collaborated with a Preschool project and have company dispatches too.


In a year, I’ve met and collected business cards of amazing, smart and even influential businessmen. The people I meet in this job are extraordinary indeed and it’s quite a good feeling having authority over them in the class. (They don’t have a choice 笑) Kidding aside, it’s impressive how determined a lot of students are in improving their English.

I’ve realized one thing. Despite the tough competition of English schools here in Japan, I believe we can make it because… Humility aside, we have the competitive edge and we care for our students and their goals beyond the time we spend with them in the class.

A year has passed yet I’m still filled with those mixed emotions but for different reasons now.

Joyful because despite how busy life in Tokyo is, there are a lot of new things I have discovered and I gained more friends in addition to getting used to living here. Oftenimes, I can navigate Tokyo better than locals.

Excited because I traveled a lot last year and there are more destinations that I wish I can go to this year. I don’t fear getting lost in a new city anymore.

Sad because I miss my family especially my niece who’s so close to me. They were supposed to come here this spring but it will be postponed to later this year.

and Anxious if I can achieve my personal goals for 2017.

But somehow I could pat my own back and say, Good job! You made it through 1 year alive! (Although you got sick quite a lot)

Cheers to 1 year of Japan life!


Til my next post,


この記事を書いた人 Jami

Jami Muñoz
From The Philippines, Currently in the concrete jungle, Tokyo Japan
Passion-drived English instructor
“I’m not telling you it’ll be easy but I’m telling you it’ll all be worth it.”