IT, Cyber Security Operation Center of Japan/Filmmaker
Tokyo, Japan
27 October 2017

Joey Manalang is a filmmaker who also works as an Information Technology (IT) technician at the Cyber Security Operation Center of Japan in Tokyo. He has bagged multiple awards in various music and film festivals worldwide with his short film “El Diablo” and music video “Sabay sa Ihip ng Hangin” (As the Wind Blows), of which he was both the music composer and film director of the music video. He also worked in several Hollywood film productions such as The Last Samurai (2003), Lost in Translation (2003), The Grudge (2004), and his latest, Equals (2015).

In the interview, Manalang shares his struggles coping up with his new life in Japan during the first few years as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), and how he triumphed over his adversities, and realized his dream.

“If you are better, much better ka ngayon kaysa doon sa dati, I think success iyon na na-overcome mo iyong mga challenges mo in the past, na ikaw na iyong better person. I think iyon ang success eh, kasi mas mapi-feel mo iyong happiness na kuntento ka sa life mo na wala kang problema,” he said.

“Pagtinanong ka ano gusto mo maging – gusto mo maging doctor, maging doctor ka – ikaw ang pinakamagaling na doktor na maging. Kasi pag paligoy-ligoy iyong landas mo, hindi ka mapupunta sa maganda,” he added.

In 2016, Manalang won the Rising Star Award at the Canada International Film Festival for directing his short film “El Diablo,” starring Jai West. In that same year, he also won Grand Prize in the POLO-OWWA songwriting contest in Tokyo for his original song “Sabay sa Ihip ng Hangin” (As the Wind Blows), a song dedicated to OFWs everywhere.

In 2017, he produced a music video for his original composition which earned him a bronze medal at the Global Music Awards, and several titles for Best Music Video at the Barcelona International Film Festival in Spain, Best Pop Music Video at the World Music and Independent Film Festival, and Best Music Video for the Moondance International Film Festival, all held in the United States of America (USA).

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