MANILA, PHILIPPINES – In a recent vlog of celebrity host Toni Gonzaga, she interviewed Jenela Tuguinay, the person behind the famous “Jenela in Japan” vlog.
Toni stated that Jenela is like Teddy from “Four Sisters and a Wedding.” Her family thought she was working as a nurse in Japan. In reality, she was working as a care worker in an elderly care facility.
Jenela shared that Japan was her dream country, but then her parents wanted her to work in the UK or US because of the opportunities given to nurses.
She struggled to find work in the Philippines amidst the pandemic, but through prayer and fasting, she got an opportunity to work in Japan, despite the challenges.
Jenela disclosed that she left her country at the age of 24 and made numerous promises to her family, only to find that her life in Japan did not align with her dreams. She manages to save 4 thousand pesos from her salary each month, with the remainder going to her family. During these challenging times, her husband provided her with much-needed support.
Jenela never informed her parents as she didn’t want them to worry. Living in Japan required a lot of courage. She mentioned that Japanese people often lack a work-life balance, so she had to adjust accordingly.
Regarding the success of her vlog, “Jenela in Japan,” she shared her insight that life can be challenging without money.
“Ang hirap tumulong pag walang pera,” Jenela said.
“Gusto ko po magbigay, pero syempre uunahin ko po ang family ko kasi kailangan nila ng pera,” she added.
Vlogging greatly benefited her, allowing her to reveal her actual profession to her family and construct her dream house with her husband.
She recalls a time when her grandfather fell ill. The experience, particularly as a nurse, was traumatic for her. It underscored the importance of financial stability, especially when dealing with family health crises.
When Jenela was asked about her message to the viewers, she said, “Hindi po biro maging OFW sa Japan.”
Jenela also shared that she was stingy when it comes to herself. Toni and Jenela also shared their realization as a breadwinner in the family.
“Mas masaya sila kapag yung pera nila nagamit nila sa pamilya nila, kaysa sa sarili nila,” Toni said.
“Kapag nakikita ko pong masaya sila yun na po yung reward,” Jenela said.
“Mas masaya yun kaysa bumili ng sapatos para sa sarili mo, pag nakikita mong nabili mo ng gamit, sapatos yung pamilya mo, tapos natuwa sila, yun ang kasiyahan,” Toni added.
Jenela admits that the happiness she sees from her family and from those people she helped was her reward from all the hard work she had been through.
Toni highlighted that the definition of real happiness is when you make someone happy.
Jenela decided to work in the Philippines for good but she will continue to travel in Japan to create more vlogs where everything started for her.
She also shares advice with other OFWs who have had similar experiences, reassuring them that their time will come and they will be blessed by God just as she was. Despite starting with nothing, she has achieved success in life through perseverance and prayer.