Omg! Omg! Super excited! The day has finally come! I have had my interview answers back from Rainbowholic!!! So excited! Just to make this post extra long, here is a copy of her “narration” of how she got to Japan.
It all started with dreaming. Imagining myself dressed up in lacy lolita or colorful dresses.. strolling down the streets of Harajuku.. and of course, with a camera lugged around my neck. My older brother who shares the same passion as I have, had already established himself in the land of my dreams. Compared to what I have gone through before coming here, he had done so much more. If this note is a two-pager when printed, without any doubt.. his would be a five-pager. Or even more. I think people should know his story. : )
Okay… back to the point.
My two-pager started when I have decided to quit dreaming alone and to start working on it. Who reaches his/her dreams by waiting and just dreaming? If you are filthy rich, that would be easy. You can just buy an airplane ticket, secure your visa without worries, beg for some pocket money from your parents.. and after that, you can enjoy the cherry blossoms and sushi restaurants in Japan as easy as that! But for someone like me who has a big family that has an average (and sometimes insufficient) household income, the word “easy” is not even part of the dictionary. The plane ticket, the hellish visa requirements (++ sleepless nights that you get after passing your application), the first-world kind of standard of living… it’s like Japan was a dream country to me. Too different from my kind of reality before. But as they always say, not all things come easy and instant (this is a comforting fact, haha). Then… with a bit of financial aid from my brother, I enrolled myself with basic Japanese language course that I juggled every Saturday’s of my sophomore/junior year of my university life. For an advertising management student, that was some tough stuff to do. Though I must admit this fact, I was not exactly the best in our little Japanese language class (third to the worst student? hahaha). Nonetheless, knowing my basic Hiragana and Katakana plus plus bits of kanji was all good. I even tried out the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) N4 that time! I did not pass but the experience was worth it. At least, I got to try it!
After my JLPT N4 test, with the best of our (me and my family) efforts, I applied for a “visiting a relative” visa to Japan. Only God knows how much I’ve done to get all those required information… >_> And what I got in return? A blank passport without a Japanese visa. My heart was broken into multiple pieces! At least my first heart break was not because of a boy..! Huhu why Japan Embassy… and the saddest part about it was, I cannot apply again within 6 months. Ouch.
The trouble that came after this was I had already signed up for my leave of absence (LOA) from my university. I was going to have a 1 term break + summer vacation (which totaled 6 months!) without attending school. Up to this time, I consider this part of my life as one of my bravest acts! I was the type of student that would still attend class even if there was a typhoon just for the class attendance. I guess that this was one of the most confusing parts in my life. So for that period of time, I engrossed myself with Japan hallucinations (what) and helped my brother & father with whatever skills I have attained (webpage design, SEO). Thankfully, our online projects have gained fruits and money for the family during my 6-month break from school. There were days that I cried like a baby in my room because I really wanted to go to Japan and visit my brother. But then again, God decided to teach me how to be patient. I may be bitter about it at that time but right now, I am just more than thankful for that.. rite of passage-like period. It was a humbling experience.
THEN.. Fast forward, my brother then suggested to me to apply for the annual government scholarship that the Japan Embassy / Government would be sponsoring. I did my best with the requirements but.. I failed the test. It was so discouraging! Good thing I had a busy university life that I got over my depression about it. After that, I had no choice but to focus on my university first so that I would graduate on time with my batchmates and friends. In which I did! So blessed.
I can still remember that long phone call from my rented apartment room during my last two terms of college. My brother asked me seriously if I really wanted to go to Japan. I said yes and after that, he spent almost all his days working hard for my expensive language school tuition fee. My Japan dream would have been still a dream (a “cloud” in my mind) if it weren’t for my brother Eric. I owe all of my “dream-come-true” Japan-related dreams to him.
And so right after my last completion of requirements (a.k.a. OJT and thesis).. I was bound to study Nihongo in Japan. I can still remember the day when I got my passport with the Japanese visa, I cried so much! My number 1 dream from my Novena prayer book (God was a big part of all of these, He has all the credit) was crossed out on that day. It was such a happy day!
I may have missed the cherry blossom season upon my arrival but sakura can definitely wait!
“I am now in Japan!“, and that was the only thing in my mind.
Months later, I received a response from Tokyo Fashion (like an acceptance letter but funnier, haha) that they would want me to join their team. The next thing that flashed in my life was— I was having yakiniku dinner with them during our first meet! In addition to that, I now maintain a blog about my (mis)adventures here in Tokyo, produce videos for Tokyo Fashion, help out my brother with work and of course, can finally understand a few Doraemon episodes. I spend my Sundays in Harajuku while dressed in my best attire without a f.cking care in the world just like how the Japanese are “cool” with whatever crap you wear. Sometimes, everything is just too good to be true. Surreal would be the best adjective.
I apologize for the rather long narration. I just get this “story” request a lot and I thought that writing paragraphs about “how it all started” would inspire dreamers like me out there! And at last, I don’t have to repeat my story for the nth time because I will be copy-pasting this link now! Yay! Hehehe..
My Japanese language school graduation is another story. Hope this inspires someone as well! : )
P.S. Please don’t ask me visa-related questions, you can do that on your own by googling (yup, I even joined forums before to read about living in Japan stories) or visiting your country’s embassy website. ^^v
And lastly, here’s a big grin to the people who had thought I was being silly / beyond crazy about my Japanese dream. 😀
And one more, with a wink! ;-D
“If you believe, you’re already halfway there.” – Anonymous
Oh by the way, 10 years ago.. I was 11 and an avid fan of Cardcaptor Sakura. Hehe 😀
So, that was the story of Rainbowholic! She is now very successful, and recently won the Peoples Choice Award on ~Kawaii International! Well done Kalia!
So, now you know more about Rainbowholic, without further ado, on with the interview!
what started your love of Japan?
I started to love Japan because of the anime shows being shown locally in Philippines before. I’d say Cardcaptor Sakura is my biggest Japan Love influencer. When I was in that age, I wanted to be like Sakura too, just rollerblading under the cherry blossom trees while going to class… Haha!
how would you describe your style
– I would describe my style as fun & moody. Sometimes I want to be like a boy with all the hoodies and caps but there are times when I want to be really girly with bows and laces. Of course, there should be a touch of kawaii in my whole ensemble. ^^
describe your ideal day out in Harajuku:
– My ideal day out in Harajuku would be a date with a friend. We’d take purikura first, then have a meal somewhere really nice (cute food is a must! usually I really make research before going to the themed cafe), have a great conversation over kawaii noms, go to La Foret / Takeshita Dori for some shopping / window shopping, take lots of photos, and just enjoy the rest of the afternoon.
you talk a lot about dreaming, do you have any personal dreams you hope to achieve soon?
– Haha! Omg yes, I really do talk a lot about my (crazy) dreams. In my opinion, I think that when you talk your dreams to somebody (or even just to yourself, through a personal diary or whatever), you’re already attracting the universe to conspire with you to actualize this dream/this set of dreams. When I was younger, I’d always tell my family and friends that someday, I will be in Japan. Up until now, I don’t know if these things happening in my life are real *___*. Crazy dreams do come true as long as you put your whole heart / 1000% efforts into it.
At the moment, my personal dream that I want to achieve soon is to create this dream job for myself. Slowly, I’m getting there.. I think! 🙂
do you have any favourite blogs or websites that you visit regularly?
what are your handbag essentials?
My train pass card, wallet, phone + earphones!, lipbalm, and money to survive life..? :))
what are your top 5 tips on being kawaii?
1. Surround yourself with kawaii stuff. When you wake up or when you arrive home, your mood automatically becomes positive when you see your kawaii corner/room . I believe that a ~kawaii~ environment really attracts positivity and all those good energies. Hehe 😀
2. Don’t just focus on making your physical appearance as “kawaii”. Don’t be just a kawaii-looking girl whose attitude / personality isn’t as cute as her lacy dress. Be that kawaii girl whose sweetness also exudes from within. ^^v
3. Be creative when you need to be practical. When you want to wear something kawaii and you cannot afford to buy kawaii fashion, this is where creativity comes in. Doing DIY can save you lots of money and sometimes, the personal touch makes your whole outfit more interesting. 😀
4. Get yourself a daily dose of kawaii. If you don’t have a tumblr, you need to make yourself one now. Haha!
5. Don’t try hard. I think “being kawaii” should just come out naturally from you. When you are in your most comfortable self, your own charm will show!
now for the quickfire questions:
what’s your favourite…
place to eat?
– any themed cafe!
– cottoncandy blue
– dog/toy poodle!!
– cardcaptor sakura
flavour of pocky?
– all the flavors in Rainbow Pocky box 😀
How cute is that?! Shes one of my favourite bloggers! And, in her honour I made a hama bead rainbow necklace, and a very colourful outfit coordinate! But I will share that later. Waaaaaa! So excited about the interview! Ok, calm. Is calm. I was also wondering if theres any how-tos or anything that guys would like me to post? Please speak out!
Talk to you soon! xxxxxx