Apr 19
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Sad stories of Filipina entertainers in Japan

Author: Aster Amoyo
Column: If I Know

TOKYO , JAPAN — THE big news among the Filipino communities in Japan is the story of the Filipina chop-chop victim Honiefaith Ratilla Kamisawa, the second victim of the Japanese suspect Hiroshi Nozaki. The first victim was also a Filipina but Nozaki was only jailed for three years.

The Japanese killer is in jail but justice has yet to be served to the gruesome death of the two Filipina victims.

A lot of our countrymen are encountering similar problems in Japan, many of whom are battered wives of their Japanese husbands. There's one Pinay who decided to take her life instead of opting to go to jail.

We had a chance to talk to two battered wives who had been separated from their Japanese husbands.

Meraline B. Shibahara (34) went to Japan as an entertainer in 1995 using a fake passport. On the same year, she met her Japanese husband.

In the Philippines, Lyn had a love child, a son, by her former boyfriend. When she got married to her Japanese husband (a computer engineer), she was able to convince him to adopt her 10-year-old son named Lord Cedrine so he now carries the surname Shibahara.

The desire to give her family a better future prompted Lyn to work as an entertainer in Japan. She was the eldest in a brood of three and she was still young when her father left them for his third family.

When she got married, Lyn stopped working as an entertainer but there came another problem. Where will she get the money to send to her mother and two siblings in the Philippines?

Since she didn't have a job, she just relied on her husband for support. But since they were living with the parents and siblings of her husband, they often had conflicts and fights. It was in 2006 when she finally separated from her husband after he drove her and their son out of the house.

Since she didn't have money and didn't know any other job, Lyn worked as an entertainer again until she decided to enroll at TCA ( Tokyo Caregiver Academy ) for a three-month training. After her training, she immediately got a job at a Rogin care home. By grace of God, Lyn and her son are now staying in a decent home. Her son is already in third year high school. She's also able to send financial help to her family in the Philippines .

"Walang stability ang pagiging isang entertainer kaya naghanap ako ng isang alternatibong pagkakakitaan at ang pagiging isang caregiver ang naisipan kong trabaho," said Lyn.

Another battered wife whom we were also able to talk too was Cynthia. She's a college graduate. After college, she became a trainee in a company in the Philippines where she first experienced sexual harassment from her co-worker.

In one of their performances in Manila , a Japanese promoter saw them and convinced their manager to bring them to Japan to perform in hotels. That started Cynthia's work as an entertainer in Japan .

After three years, Cynthia was able to put up a talent agency and this was when she met her husband who was two years younger than her.

After being together for two years, Cynthia's woes started. Her husband became possessive and jealous, especially if he sees her talking to other Japanese promoters. He even accused her of infidelity, and started maltreating her physically.

One time, she and her husband argued inside the car and he hit her on the forehead which gave her a scar. In another time, her husband hit her with a baseball bat. But despite the verbal and physical abuse she suffered, Cynthia was strong enough to bare it.

"He was having fun cheating on me when I was pregnant. Dumating siya sa bahay habang naghahanda ako ng hapunan. Minamadali niya ako at gutom na raw siya. So 'yong sabaw na kaluluto ko pa lang ay hinigop kaagad niya. Napaso ang dila niya. Sa galit, ibinalibag niya ang mesa at pagkatapos ay sinipa niya ako sa legs," related Cynthia.

She was pregnant with her second child and was almost due to give birth when her husband kicked her. Because of this, she gave birth prematurely. After recovering from childbirth, she left home with her two kids.

Now Cynthia is working in a TV production outfit in Japan in charge of marketing and is rearing her two children on her own.

LAST Monday, May 12, I met with singer-actress, Jobelle Salvador, together with seven-year-old daughter Julina. Mother and daughter are staying in the Roppongi area which is walking distance from the Philippine Embassy-Tokyo.

Jobelle goes occasionally to Las Vegas where she also has a house. Also staying in Las Vegas is her first son Mico (by journalist Erik Espina) and her mother. If there are offers, Jobelle is willing to revive her acting career in the Philippines . Acting is truly in her blood. After all, her father is the late actor-director-producer Leroy Salvador Jr. Phillip Salvador and Ramon Salvador are her uncles, while Maja Salvador is her cousin.

Her daughter Julina (by her ex-boyfriend who is a Japanese businessman) is cute and smart. Although she and her boyfriend are no longer together, her ex-bf supports her and daughter, even providing them with a condo unit and a car.

IT has been three years since actress Juliana Palermo first set foot in Tokyo , Japan . She first went there when she performed with Jenny Miller at the Independence Day celebration of the Philippine embassy in Tokyo in 2005.

On May 9 (Friday), Juliana came to Japan to do an investigative documentary titled "Buhay Japan " for Japan Pinoy TV.

She was supposed to stay there for one week but she needed to come back to the Philippines last May 15 since she didn't want to miss the birthday of her younger brother who turned 21 last May 16.

Source: People's Journal