Japanese-Filipino Marriages: Nurturing Fatherhood


Japanese-Filipino marriages can be life-changing.  The two cultures are different and similar all in one breath and this can be seen starkly when a couple like Saburo and Edna decide to migrate to Australia and try how their lives will be there.  Just the two of them and their children.

Saburo used to be a salaried worker in a major electronics firm in Tokyo.  When he met Edna in one of his assignments in Manila, they got married and lived in Japan after the wedding.  His heavy workload meant that he had to stay away for long periods of time – not really having time that he wanted to spend at home as ideally as he wanted to be.

What happened for some years was that he’ll be home by 9 p.m. and he’d miss having dinner with his wife and daughters almost every day.  This brought on some feelings of regret and it tugged at his heart.  He was missing the time when he should be there while his children were growing up.

Edna fully understood what was happening and made sure that the little time Saburo was with them, she made activities and plans for quality time.  When the kids were younger, she made sure that weekends were spent reading books to the kids or just cooking a simple dish with them all together.  Even errands like doing the grocery was created as an adventure that the family can look upon as fun and something to look forward to.

Finally, the time came when Saburo resigned from the company when he reached mid-forties and migrated to Australia. Edna has also found work as a data processor and can have flexible work hours for she was working from home.  With the finances a bit easier and his time a lot less rigid, Saburo was able to bring his daughter to and from school every day.

He now can join his family for dinner and enjoys the company of Edna’s sister and brothers who also reside in the same neighborhood as well as relishes a close relationship with his in-laws.  In his words, “It just took my decision to come to Australia to have a quality life. Now I can enjoy my “after five” [after office hours] to the full extent.” Thus, the quality and quantity of time spent on the family led him to develop closer ties with his wife and children.

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