Young Leader, Filipino Community in Japan
Philippine Embassy, Tokyo, Japan
28 October 2017

Alden Estolas, a 33-year old Filipino Community (Filcom) leader in Tokyo, Japan, shares his insights on how it is being a young overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Japan for over 10 years, whilst securing a life back in the Philippines.

Estolas, a father of two, left the Philippines for Japan to seek better employment after his wife back then became pregnant with his first child. Both working as medical technologists, it was hard for the young couple to support a growing family.

With the help of his mother, who was an OFW in Tokyo, he was able to transfer to Japan and sought employment in various odd jobs, which included driving, house cleaning, party server, graphic artist, and videographer, of which he still performs to this day.

His mother was also an active Filcom leader in Tokyo and president of the Abrabeian Association in Japan, a multi-awarded charity group of OFWs from Abra. When his mother passed away two years ago, Estolas took over as president and Filcom leader.

During his stay, he supported his wife’s education when the latter pursued Doctor of Medicine at the Ateneo School of Medicine. She recently passed the medical board exam and is planning to be a resident pediatrician to a private hospital in the Philippines. He now hopes to go back to the Philippines soon and be a social entrepreneur.

“Ang idea kasi naming mag-asawa tumira doon sa Pilipinas. Kasi napakaganda naman talagang tumira sa Pilipinas na first class citizen ka. May mga kamag-anak ako sa ibang bansa, mga doctor din, pero iyong turing, di naman sa pag-aano, pero iyong turing is second class citizen pa rin. Kahit gaano kaganda iyong trabaho sa ibang bansa, second class citizen pa rin. Ang gusto naming mag-asawa tumira doon sa bansa, sa home country na first class citizen,” he said.

Currently, Estolas is taking International Business Management units at the Temple University and has recently completed his Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship Program at the Ateneo School of Government.

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