Defying Odds

June’s journey to Japan has been anything but smooth sailing. A botched relationship and a failed business attempt (his pet shop went belly up just three months after it opened) were the final straw that pushed him to make a change. “My mom was already working and living here in Tokyo when she convinced me to leave Manila and follow her,” he said. “I’m glad I did since things weren’t really working out back in the Philippines.”

But June soon realized his newfound home wasn’t what it was cracked up to be at first. “It took me a year to adjust. High-paying jobs weren’t easy to come by,” he said, remembering how he had to scrape the bottom of the barrel just to get by.

“I did everything—from housekeeping to bartending to dry cleaning—and then some.”

A more exhaustive list of June’s past gigs would include working at a call center, managing vacation home rentals for Airbnb hosts, and teaching English.

Today he’s on a quest to build his own brand. “I’m planning to launch a website and social media platform to market fashion, lifestyle, and events. We’ll also produce original content like those DIY videos you see everywhere on YouTube.” When asked what his strategy is, he said he’s found a team of talented people and that he’ll leverage the power of open-source software.

June keeping it real in Harajuku

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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