As we explore the beautiful city of Tokyo, I can’t help but ask why this country has been so progressive and why my country is not?


They are not only hardworking but they love what they are doing. Old men like Mr. Takayama is driving a taxi 3 times a week. He lived a bit far from Tokyo central but is still thankful that he still have work even at his age. Though he can’t speak fluent English, he sure is still very alert and very courteous. His discipline is very evident on how he maintains cleanliness in his taxi. The seat covers are white yet I can’t see any stain on it…  the glass windows are clean and even his ID is still as good as new. Asked what he is doing during the days that he is not driving, and he said he is working at the farm.


Some of the small restaurants and convenience stores in the community where we are staying – Minato-ku near Azabujuban station, are run by old people. Though there are some younger ones but the older ones are early to rise, cleaning the tables and carefully arranging the products in the stores. There’s one day when I needed to call our unit owner and I don’t have a mobile phone. The older lady staff can’t speak English but she tried her best to give me options, showing me how to use the telephone booth inside the store so I can make a call. And she’s even the one apologizing to me as I head out the store (maybe because she can’t converse well to me). I’m just humbled, bowing down to her as a sign of my gratefulness. I felt that their bows and other gestures reflects more about what’s inside their heart… their sincerity and passion, a man full of his mind would find it hard to do.

As they say, inventions arise as an answer to a pressing need. And Japanese people are also really very creative. They just love convenience you can practically see vending machines in many streets of Tokyo. From the sidewalks, to the train stations… vendos are everywhere. From bottled water, juices and coffee products, cigarettes, ice cream bars, instant noodles, etc… everything are available in a vending machine. I felt this was also a proof that crime rate is so low that I think nobody dares to break in to any of these machines even if some of it are placed in a remote area.


Courtesy and discipline; diligence and love for work; and passion and creativity… we also have these as Filipinos… but sad to say we might be lacking this as a nation. A body cannot move with one part alone, as it also aches when even a small part is in pain. Just as a progressive city cannot define an entire nation, each of us has to move and find a way to earn and be productive. All of us should do our job without thinking so much of our salary or positions and loving it as much as we can since it’s the one that gives us food on our tables. These are what Japanese are doing… and that I think what we should also try to do as a nation. Then progress will be felt not because we owe it to the government… but because individually, we knew we’re working our butts off to make a decent living… everyday.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12International Standard Version (ISV)

Also, make it your goal to live quietly, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you, so that you may win the respect of outsiders, and have need of nothing.

Another observation…

Japanese have the attitude of staying at the left side of the escalator to give way to others who are in a hurry. You know its Filipino when they don’t follow (hehehe), actually i forgot to remind them.


1 comment

  1. I do love those vending machines too. Oh ohhhh no stroller on the escalator Exeq, we were guilty of that too when there’s no elevator to be seen.

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