Isabelita Manalastas - Watanabe

Isabelita Manalastas-Watanabe

ADVICE NI TITA LITS: Take It or Leave It

Dear Tita Lits readers:

Excuse your one-eyed Tita Lits. In January 2024, I will continue to be one-eyed; at that time, it will be my right eye that will go under the knife (well, not literally, due to advanced laser technology now). Nothing to worry about—tumatanda na kasi si Tita Lits—ka-de-debut ko lang last November 8, at 70 years old!


Tito Dennis, ed-in-chief and art director of Jeepney Press, had to remind me of the deadline for the promised write-up on the Philippine Fiesta held last November 25–26, 2023, at Yoyogi Park. But I suffered from colds—coughing and fever—after my 2-day exposure walking the grounds of the festival, observing happenings, and of course manning our own booth. IT WAS FREEZING, LIKE WINTER IN AUTUMN! It even rained on the second day, which made the weather worse.

On the first day, when Her Excellency, Philippine Ambassador to Japan, Mylene J. Garcia-Albano, welcomed the guests of honor from the Philippine and Japanese governments, the head of a regional international organization for ASEAN and Japan, diplomats from various diplomatic missions, and all our Kababayans, Japanese, and other foreigners who wanted to experience a Philippine Fiesta atmosphere, it was a standing room only.


But on the second day, when our two (2) top lady diplomats from our Tokyo Embassy spoke during festival opening time, one can count in two fingers those who attended (aside from members of the committees to the Fiesta and some booth exhibitors) to listen because of the rain and the wintry weather coupled with a wind factor, which made it so very, very cold. I was wearing 5 layers of clothing on top, 3 layers of stockings inside my jeans, a knit head, and then my company’s official cap on top, but I still felt cold. I did not forget to shout "Beauty and Brains” twice when one of our top two lady diplomats came on stage. I wanted her to know she had fans like me for being so unassuming and for not wanting to be recognized for what she does for the Filipino community in the course of her work, despite being a graduate of the top state university in the Philippines, a lawyer, and, of course, a career diplomat.

I did not do the same for the other top-ranking lady diplomat. First of all, I did not know her, and my experience with her in the past was a misunderstanding of the time and date I had to speak to the OFWs together with the Treasurer of the Philippine Government during our President BBM’s official visit to Japan. I went prepared and found the place and venue EMPTY! She very nicely apologized when I told the Embassy about what happened. But I also heard from one Filipino professional in Japan, one who is highly regarded for his qualifications and accomplishments as a former Japanese scholarship student and now CEO of a Japanese company, that it would have been nice if he had received even just a two-word appreciation for his assistance during last year’s Fiesta. A two-word “thank you” would have made a lot of difference for one’s exerting a lot of effort at something not easy to do, except for those who are completely bilingual in Japanese and English.


Going back to the cold weather showcasing a tropical country, one Japanese PhD, a professor emeritus at a famous Japanese university, a former UP Diliman professor for PhD students, and the first Japanese social scientist to be sent to the University of the Philippines at Diliman under the Colombo Plan after WWII, commented that it may be more fitting to hold the festival during warmer weather, as we are a country of sunshine, beaches, and smiles. 

Like me, he cannot help but worry about the many Filipina ladies wearing beautiful Filipina ternos fit only for tropical Philippine weather and about being sick and exposed to the elements. But these ladies braved it—smiling, waving, and shouting Mabuhay ang Pilipino/Pilipinas! I am obviously proud to be Filipino and let Japanese visitors know it. Our candidate for Ms. International 2023 was also there, wearing a terno. The performers on stage, all wearing our native Filipino clothes and even shorts, braved the elements and probably gave some feeling of warmth to those watching the program. The program was, all in all, very tastefully presented and fun!


The company I have represented in the past and up until now has always been present, with at least one booth, from the very first Philippine Fiesta held in 1997 up to the present (2023). I can probably rightfully say that I have the credibility to make comparisons between the past and present fiesta festivals. 

In my opinion, this year’s Fiesta is:



CAN PAG and/or OUR PHILIPPINE EMBASSSY CONSIDER MOVING THE DATE OF THE PHILIPPINE FESTIVAL TO AN EARLIER DATE, like EARLY OCTOBER when it is not anymore summer, and therefore not hot and humid, and too uncomfortable, BUT ALSO NOT YET SOOO VERY COLD?


Oh, and one more thing: I completely understand that we, commercial booth renters and food booth renters, need to pay for participation in the festival. But did you know that other country festivals like India’s, Nepal’s, Indonesia's, and Vietnam's (where I have first-hand information) charge only around half of our commercial booths’? JPY150,000 as opposed to at least JPY300,000 and more for the food booths?



There was a group of Peruvian food booths nearby, on the exit going towards NHK/Shibuya, and we asked how much their charge for one food booth was—only JPY50,000 in the basic fee. (Note: the size of the booth is smaller, and I do not think the booth renter can have big stoves to use for cooking.) But there is no harm in contacting and asking, as a possible alternative, or for small booth renters who cannot afford the minimum JPY400,000 or so for a food booth.


Mr. Saito Hiroyuki, tel. 090-5563-9930; fax: 03-3395-0284; email:

Lastly, it will be nice if the Filipino community can be privy to the full accounting of expenses and revenues earned, and so be happy and proud that, directly and indirectly, we Filipinos in Japan have been instrumental in doing some good deeds for a good cause!



Isabelita Manalastas-Watanabe

ADVICE NI TITA LITS: Take It or Leave It

Jeepney Press  September - October 2023 Issue

Dear Tita Lits readers:

There is a TV program dubbed NegoSHEnte.  Interesting…

It is broadcast on GMA's digital stations. Replays are also available on the TV station's YouTube channels: GMA Public Affairs and Kapuso Stream. It is also shown on the GMA Life International Channel.

Sa tingin ko, patok sa mga OFWs ang programa, kasi we can all learn from the experiences of the interviewees. The TV host, Ms. Rhoda Castro-Caliwara, is a Pinay local entrepreneur, and is an FWN Global 100: Most Influential Filipina Women in the World awardee in 2021, and one of the authors of FWN’s 4th leadership book, Being.

The first episode was an interview of the young, talented and charming (and looks like still a) millennial, Mr. Steven Tan, President of SM Supermalls.

What a contrast between the two interviews in the first episode and the first speaker in the second! The first possesses youth and technological savvy, while the second possesses maturity and experience. Their advise has undoubtedly been favorably received by the viewers.

This Filipina woman entrepreneur was courageous enough to tell viewers about her experience as both father and mother to her kid, as well as the guilt she felt while raising him. The boy proved to be not just a kind and loving son, but also successful in his own right. Her conclusion is that it is the QUALITY OF TIME SPENT WITH OUR CHILDREN that is most essential, not the LENGTH OF TIME SPENT WITH THEM. Di-ba, TAMA?

Congratulations to the show's producer, Ms. Sony Dela Calzada! She was unwell and in agony during the filming, but she was able to supervise it remotely.

Here are some comments from those who have viewed the second episode’s Momtrepreneur interviewee:

“The answers showed depth, authenticity and were inspirational. You left a lasting positive impression on the viewers for sure”.

“The story is inspiring.  It’s hard to be a working mom. I also experienced guilty feelings about being a working mother. Eventually, I realized that if am happy in my career and passion, I will be a better mom to my kids”.

‘Ang iksi naman. Hindi niya na-emphasize the rigors she probably went through setting up her company. Plus hindi ko nakita yong present situation of the company – that it is big already and with many branches”.


“Very inspiring for OFWs especially for the single moms”.


“Bitin, ang ganda ng interview, biglang pinutol.  Sayang, sana may kasunod pa!”


“Most beautiful and great mother to guest in NegoSHEnte”.


“Looking very relaxed and cool. Must be a wonderful inspiration to young Filipino women. What keeps you going? Admirable”.


“Ambitious and courageous. Two things needed for success”.


“Oh wow…heartwarming sharing!”.


“I was crying after you told your story”.


“I watched it several times… really inspiring… you really deserve all the love and care... sana humaba buhay natin…”.


“Thank you for sharing your story with me and to the rest of the Filipina dreamers out there”.


“The Lord continue to bless you coz of your strong faith and good heart”.

And so many more, which Tita Lits can’t print for lack of space.


The senior citizen was “discovered” by the program’s host when she spoke in a conference in Makati last July 27, 2023, on “The Human Resource Value Chain – Harnessing Filipino Workers for the Global Market*.  It was organized by the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee Inc., with Mr. Richard Albert I. Osmond, the President, giving the Welcome Remarks. It was supported by Japan’s METI (Min. of Econ., Trade and Industry).   


The Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Koshikawa Kazuhiko, and H.E. Philippine Ambassador to Japan, H.E. Mylene J. Garcia-Albano delivered their Messages during the conference. 

The senior citizen was given a Certificate of Appreciation “… in grateful recognition of her invaluable contribution as Plenary Session Keynote Speaker” during that conference, for the topic “Adjusting to the Japanese Culture and Way of Life”. She was approached soon after her speech on July 27, 2023 by the GMA TV program host, and asked if she would agree to an interview. 

OK, OK. Too long a write-up, and Tita Lits might have bored you already! You have been kept guessing ‘til the end. 

Clue:  Ka-OFW natin siya sa Japan! To view the full second episode, check out YouTube link:

Happy viewing!

Tita Lits

ADVICE NI TITA LITS: Take It or Leave It

Jeepney Press  July - August 2023 Issue

Dear Tita Lits,

Magandang araw po. Gusto ko lang po kunin ang iyong payo tungkol sa karapatan ko bilang empleyado ng company.

Permanent resident po ako sa Japan. Meron nang more than 20 years akong naninirahan dito at more than 10 years sa company ko as Seishain (full time) employment. Problema ko po ay nagkasakit ako at sa kasalukuyan ay nasa medical leave through the health insurance. Ngayon, kinausap ako ng boss ko na kailangan akong mag desisyon soon kung babalik pa ako sa full-time work, o mag papapalit sa part time position, o mag quit na lang daw.

Medyo nabahala ako kasi seishain po ako. Kasi, kung gusto nila akong alisin sa company, eh di dapat they should fire me, diba po? E, may sakit pa po ako at kailangan ko ng medical paid leave. Why do they want me to change to part time or even quit? After all the years I worked for them? Parang I feel it's power harassment? Sa tindi po ng sakit ko, I think I need a few more months to recover. Sabi rin ng doctor ko na hindi pa rin ako fit to return to work. Nahihirapan pa rin akong lumabas ng bahay.

Ano po ba ang karapatan ko bilang isang worker, and even a seishain worker sa isang company? Alam kong para na rin akong useless sa kanila dahil sa sakit ko at hindi na rin ako nakakapasok sa company for a few months na. Kawawa naman ako kung mag re-resign ako at walang makukuhang benefits. Ano po dapat ang magandang gawin?



Dear Lucresha:


Hindi ko alam kung ilan ang total employees sa iyong company. If more than ten (10), and pagkakaalam ko ay dapat mayroong kayong Rules of Employment na dapat i-submit to local labor office na may jurisdiction sa company ninyo. Doon ay nakasulat ang mga internal rules and regulations ng iyong company including paid leaves, etc.  Iyon ay legal na dokumento na magiging basihan ng iyong company sa kanilang various decision-making.


Kung less than 10, mas mahirap maghabol kasi walang mga written rules na naka-sumite sa local labor office.


Kahit seishain (permanent employee ka na), normally may provision sa iyong employment contract na pwedeng i-terminate ng company ang iyong employment provided may advance notice (30 days is normal) sa employee. At siyempre, dapat for valid reasons ang dahilan. Kahit naman part-time worker ka lang, depende sa number of hours of work mo in a day/week/month, may entitlement ka pa rin to have paid leave.


The annual paid leave calculation period for non-regular employees (contract employees and part-timers) is one year from the date of commencement of the employment contract. Part-timers can also take annual paid leave even if the contract period is 1 month or 3 months.


Paid leave for part-timers (who work less than or max of 30 hours a week)

Palagay ko, tinanong ka ng company mo kung babalik ka pa as a full time worker, or part-time, or resign na lang, dahil hindi clear sa kanila hanggang kailan ka a-absent sa trabaho. May limit din naman, under the law, ang paid leave mo. Hindi naman pwedeng unlimited period na naka-leave ka, at bayad ng company mo ang iyong leaves of absences. Hindi lang ito – kung critical sa kanilang operations ang iyong trabaho, dapat silang mag-plano rin kung dapat may mag-take over ng iyong work responsibilities, at kung kailangan nilang mag-hire ng additional na staff para dito. Kasi sabi mo, for a few months ka ng hindi nakakapasok, and you think you need a few more months to recover. Kung yong doctor mo makapag-issue ng medical certificate na you are not yet fit to go back to work, at ma-i-estimate niya hanggang kailan pa bago ka fit na bumalik, i-submit mo ito sa company mo.


Kung tingin mo naman ay power harassment ng company itong pagtatanong sa iyo, mas mabuting mag-konsulta ka ng isang abogado na tutulong sa iyo. Dahil gagastos ka sa professional fee ng abogado, i-work out mo na wala kang babayaran at magbabayad lang kung ipanalo niya ang kaso mo, at i-share mo a certain percentage ng makukuha mo sa company kapag nanalo kayo, sa iyong abogado.


Nag-research ako, at nakakuha ako ng information tungkol sa Japan Health Insurance Association. Heto at kinopya ko lang ang mga nabasa ko:


Payment conditions.


Injury and Sickness allowance will be paid when all of the following conditions (1) to (4) are met.


1.    Absence from work due to illness or injury due to non-work related reasons

Not only medical treatment received as a health insurance benefit, but also medical treatment at your own expense is eligible if there is proof that you are unable to work.

The period of home care is also covered.

However, work-related or commuting accidents (covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance) and those not considered to be illnesses (cosmetic surgery, etc.) are not covered.


2.    Inability to get a job

The status of being unable to work is determined based on the opinion of the person in charge of medical treatment and the content of the insured person’s work.


3.    Being unable to work for 4 or more days, including 3 consecutive days

Benefits will be paid for the 4th and subsequent days of absence from work after 3 consecutive days (waiting period) from the date of absence from work due to illness or injury due to non-occupational reasons.

The waiting period includes paid holiday and public holidays such as Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, so it is irrelevant whether or not the wages have been paid.

In addition, if you are unable to work due to an illness that occurs during work hours due to non-work related reasons, that day will be counted as the first day of the waiting period.

The three-day waiting period does not work unless you have three consecutive days off from work.  If you are absent from work for two consecutive days and then return to work on the third day, the “waiting period of three days” does not apply.


No payment of salary for the period of absence

Since this is a system that provides livelihood security for the period of absence from work due to illness or injury due to non-work related reasons, injury and sickness allowance will not be paid while salaries are being paid.  However, even if the salary is paid, if it is less than the amount of the Injury and Sickness Allowance, the difference will be paid.

Injury and Sickness Allowance will not be paid for illness or injury that occurs while you are a voluntarily and continuously insured person.


Period of Payment

From Jan. 1, 2020, the period during which the Injury and Sickness Allowance is paid has been changed to 1 year and 6 months from the date when the payment started.

However, if the payment start date is before July 1, 2020, the maximum period is 1 year and 6 months from the payment start date.


Amount of Injury and Sickness Allowance to be paid

For those who have been enrolled for less than 12 months before the payment period start date, the payment amount will be calculated using the lower of the following amounts:


(1)  Average standard monthly remuneration for each of the most recent consecutive months prior to the month in which the payment start date belongs.

(2)  Average standard monthly remuneration of 300,000 yen: For those whose payment start date is after April 1, 2019 average amount.


Continuing benefits after loss of eligibility

You have been an insured person for one year or longer until the day before you lose your eligibility (such as retirement date), and you are currently receiving, or are eligible to receive, an Injury and Sickness Allowance on the day before you lose your eligibility ((1), (2), (3)), you can continue to receive payments even after you lose your eligibility.  However, once you are able to work, the Injury and Sickness Allowance will not be paid even if you become unable to work.


Sana kahit papaano, ay makatulong naman sa iyo Lucreshia, itong mga impormasyon.


Tita Lits


© Isabelita Manalastas-Watanabe 2023

Isabelita  Manalastas-Watanabe

ADVICE NI TITA LITS: Take It or Leave It

Jeepney Press May-June 2023 Issue

Dear Normita (from Koiwa):

Maswerte ka, dahil hindi lang sa last (Spring 2023) issue ang sagot ko sa iyong katanungan tungkol sa franchising business. Binuo na ni Tita Lits ang kailangan pang malaman mo (at lahat tayong mga OFWs sa Japan), kung papaano ka/tayo matutulungang magkaroon ng franchise sa Pilipinas.  

Itong information below, ay galing derecho sa Bank of Commerce (BankCom), isang affiliate ng San Miguel Corporation (SMC).  So tingin ko, safe bet kang mag-save thru BankCom para mag-qualify ka (o ang iyong beneficiary sa Pilipinas) kung dahil man lang sa untarnished reputation of SMC.


Helping Filipino migrant workers return home to a secure future

Bank of Commerce seeks to create a sustainable positive impact in the lives and families of OFWs.  This program was designed for Overseas Filipinos and their families who would like to have their own business for retirement or once they return home to the Philippines.  This program will enable them to generate revenues and savings to fund a business investment for a financially stable future.

OFWs can select from any of the following SIKAPPINOY ASENSO variants:


• This program is for OFWs who want to build savings for the purpose of acquiring a franchise 

• Bank of Commerce will endorse the OFW to U-franchise for client assessment and franchise selection 

• Once OFW has been assessed and a franchise is selected, he/she is endorsed to Bank of Commerce for account opening

• OFW will open two (2) Sikappinoy Accounts :  one account for the remittance and the second  account for settlement (refer to list of Document 

• Requirements below).  If OFW, has an existing Bankcom account, he/she will only need to open a Sikappinoy account for franchise fee settlement   

• Bank of Commerce facilitates the account opening and enrolls the OFW account in the eBanking facility (Bankcom Personal)

• Using the eBanking Facility, OFW will program auto-debit payments to his/her Sikappinoy Account to save-up for the target franchise 

• Once the franchise fee amount is reached, OFW shall coordinate with Bank of Commerce to finalize the franchise application

• Once the franchise application is approved, OFW settles the franchise fees with franchisor through debit & credit arrangements with Bank of Commerce


• This program is for OFWs who already have savings and interested to immediately acquire a franchise 

• Bank of Commerce will endorse the OFW to U-franchise for client assessment, franchise selection and application

• Once OFW has been assessed and the franchise application is approved, he/she is endorsed to Bank of Commerce for account opening

• OFW will open two (2) Sikappinoy Accounts :  one account for the remittance and the second  account for settlement (refer to list of Document Requirements below).  If OFW, has an existing Bankcom account, he/she will only need to open a Sikappinoy account for franchise fee settlement   

• Bank of Commerce facilitates the account opening and enrolls the OFW account in the eBanking facility (Bankcom Personal)

• Using the eBanking Facility, OFW send  the franchise fee to his remittance account and shall coordinate with Bank of Commerce to  arrange for settlement of the franchise fees with franchisor


• This program is for OFWs who would like to apply for a back-to-back credit facility for the franchise acquisition 

• Bank of Commerce will endorse the OFW to U-franchise for client assessment, franchise selection and application

• Upon approval of franchise application, OFW will :

- Open two (2) Sikappinoy Accounts :  one account for the remittance and the second  account for settlement (refer to list of Document Requirements below).  If OFW, has an existing Bankcom account, he/she will only need to open a Sikappinoy account for franchise fee settlement   

- Submit an application for the back-to-back loan

• Bank of Commerce facilitates the account opening and back-to-back loan

• Once account is opened, Bank of Commerce enrolls OFW account in the eBanking facility (Bankcom Personal)

• Bank of Commerce releases the loan to the OFW 

• OFW shall coordinate with Bank of Commerce to  arrange for settlement of the franchise fees with franchisor

Franchise Opportunities for OFWs

Bank of Commerce has a special partnership with U-Franchise to provide OFWs and their families over 200 franchising opportunities in different business categories.  

For more information, visit:

Document Requirements:

1. One valid photo-bearing ID  (PASSPORT IS YOUR BEST ID)

2. 2x2 Photo

3. Any one proof of OFW status:  Work Permit, Visa, Overseas Employment Contract (OEC), OWWA ID, Seaman’s Book, CFO Certificate, or PDOS Certificate

4. For Asenso and Express programs, OFWs should submit a Bank Statement as proof of Sufficient funds for acquiring a franchise

Hintay pa tayo ng kaunti.  Baka magbisita sa atin sa Japan ang BankCom SIKAPPINOY ASENSO TEAM.  Kung magpapa-seminar sila, huwag kalimutang dalhin ang ORIGINAL PASSPORT NINYO JUST IN CASE MAY PA-FILL UP NA INFORMATION FORM AS A FIRST STEP SA INYONG PANGARAP NA MAGKAROON NG FRANCHISE!

Tita Lits

© Isabelita Manalastas-Watanabe 2023

ADVICE NI TITA LITS: Take It or Leave It

Jeepney Press March - April 2023 Issue

Franchising Galore thru SIKAPPINOY ASENSO!!!

Dear Tita Lits:  

Naririnig ko po ang franchising business pero kahit nag-google search na ako, hindi ko pa rin po maintindihan masyado.  Pwedo po bang ipaliwanag ninyo sa isang simpleng paraan lang?

Normita, Koiwa

Dear Normita:

Napaka-gandang timing ng inquiry mo.  MALAPIT NANG I-LAUNCH DITO SA JAPAN ang SIKAPPINOY ASENSO.  Kailangan mong magkaroon ng ATM/Debit Card ng SIKAPPINOY ASENSO para mag-qualify ka sa franchising program.

1. Ano ang franchising?

Business relationship ito between a franchisor and a franchisee.  Yong franchisee (ikaw iyon) ay bibigyan ng rights ng franchisor (yong owner ng brand), in exchange for an initial franchise fee, to use the brand.  Additionally, pwedeng mag-charge si franchisor ng franchise fee for marketing, royalties, etc.

In doing franchising, si franchisor ay makaka-expand ng business niya in the form of many branches na magiging “pag-aari” na ng bawa’t franchisee.  Franchisor is expected to assist and support the small franchisee to succeed dahil kapag kumita si franchisee, kita din naman ng extra ang franchisor.

2. Ano ang responsibilidad ng franchiser?

Establishes the brand’s trademark or trade name and a business system; training para sa franchisee at sa mga staff niya; advertising; etc.

3. Ano naman ang sa franchisee?

Depende sa franchiser. Siyempre, capital para sa business; mayroong mag-re-require na mag-share ng certain percentage ng iyong kita sa franchiser; mayroong hihingi ng goodwill money, bago ka pa makapg-umpisa ng business; various paper work/documentation, etc.

Very simple actually itong above explanation ko.  Para lang magkaroon ng general idea.  In reality, there are at least around four (4) basic types of franchising:

Single-unit; Multi-unit; Area development; Master franchising.

Most common ang single unit, so dito na lang tayo muna mag-concentrate.  Yong single unit, ibig sabihin, bibigyan ka ng franchisor ng franchise rights para magbukas, at mag-operate ng isang single franchise unit. Kapag successful ka, doon ka na mag-move up sa Multi-unit – several branches ng iyong franchise.

Di-kadalian kumuha ng franchise lalo na at bagito tayong lahat dito sa business na ito.  Hintay pa ng kauting sandali -  by the time the next issue of JP comes in summer, mas marami na akong maituturong proseso. 

Habang naghihintay pa si Tita Lits ng more information, UMPISAHAN NA NATIN ANG PINAKA-UNANG REQUIREMENT NG BANKCOM:

Dumalaw sa any Bank of Commerce branch nation-wide, at MAGBUKAS KA NA KAPAG NAUWI KA NG IYONG SIKAPPINOY ASENSO ATM/DEBIT CARD.  Sabihin mo OFW ka sa Japan at PHP100 lang, Yes, PHP100 lang ang kanilang initial deposit!!!

– Dalhin mo ang iyong passport plus isa pang valid, acceptable ID;

– Kung di-ka makauwi, pwede mong sabihan ang iyong pinagkakatiwalaang beneficiary na magbukas na ng SIKAPPINOY ASENSO account.  Initial deposit lang, tapos, later mo na padalhan dahil kailangan kang mag-save ng certain amount corresponding to the requirements ng gusto mong franchisor; 

– May authorized remittance company si BankCom sa pagpapadala mo ng iyong iipunin sa iyong SikapPinoy Asenso Account (to be announced in next issue kapag kumpleto na ang information ni Tita Lits).  You can also call me at (03) 6869-8555 for initial information.;

– BankCom encourages that the remittance partner nila ang gamitin mo at sana derecho sa BankCom ang pag-re-remit ng iyong savings;

– TUTULUNGAN ka ng BankCom sa pagkuha ng franchise kapag nabuo mo na ang minimum amount.

Heto right now ang mga logos ng possible franchises ready for offer to OFWs in Japan. SUPORTADO NG SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION ang BankCom so very safe ang ipon mo at ang iyong planong mag-franchise.

Until next issue, my dear readers, for more complete information – like magkano ang katapat na savings ng iyong gustong franchise, etc.

Tita Lits

© Isabelita Manalastas-Watanabe 2023

ADVICE NI TITA LITS: Take It or Leave It

Jeepney Press January- February 2023 Issue

Dear Tita Lits Readers:

Wow! 20th year anniversary na ng Jeepney Press. Congratulations!!! Parang kailan lamang nagsimula ito.

Naisip ni Tita Lits na magpili in random ng mga snippets of my advice ko at sulat ninyo in the past, para maala-ala natin ang mga naging concerns ng ating mga kababayan. Sinunod kaya ang aking mga advice? Nakatulong kaya, or lalong napasama ang situwasyon? One thing is sure – I have enjoyed writing this column over the years, and I hope continue for as long as possible.

Jan 2012



Feb. 2012, from Cora: I am now 45 years old. Gusto kong bumalik sa school to study. Hindi pa ba nakakahiya at my age?

Tita Lits:  By all means, go for it!!!  Walang age limit ang pursuit of knowledge.

May 2012

Tita Lits: Tita Lits is no superwoman.  She has her own problems. She revealed in this issue her innermost feelings, about not having as much time as she wanted with her only son, with one sentence:

Guilt, guilt, guilt.  Tons of it. Tita Lits learned that it is not the length of time spent with your children but the quality time spent with them that is most important.


Sept. 2013, from Belinda:

I don't feel happy working for my company anymore.  People seem to be racing against each other even to the point of doing talking bad about other co-employees.

Tita Lits: Stay ka muna habang walang other alternative. Sometimes what happens to us have meanings which will not be very clear to us at the moment.  Some time in the future, you will realize, “kaya pala…”.  We just have to trust in the Lord.  

2013, from Toto: How do you handle discrimination po when it happens to you? Naranasan na po ba ninyo sa inyong matagal na pag-stay ninyo sa Japan?

Tita Lits: Hay naku, Toto. Maraming-maraming beses na! (na na-feel ko din ang discrimination dito sa Japan, sa ating mga Pilipino).  Sa awa ng Diyos, hindi naman niya ako pinapabayaan. Feel proud na Pinoy ka.  Magaling tayo!


March 2015, from Lito: I just observed that despite the fact that Japan is a very rich and modern country, marami pa rin akong nakikitang mga homeless people.

Tita Lits: May Hapon akong tinanong bakit may mga homeless.  Sabi sa akin, may mga homeless who chose to be homeless, instead daw of following the very rigid Japanese way of doing things.

July 2015, from Cecil (Osaka)

Gusto ko sanang bumalik sa Pinas after 20 years in Japan, para magturo sa college. Problema ko po ay yung daratnan ko sa atin. Corruption, red tape, traffic, pollution, brown out, bagyo, floods, undisciplined people, kidnapping, hold-up... 

Tita Lits: Kahit saang bansa ka pumunta, may maganda at may pangit doon sa bansa na iyon, kahit Japan, Pilipinas, Amerika, Europa, etc. Kailangan mo lang tanggapin right away ang reality na ito. And then try to see the better side.  

Jan. 2016, from Mando (Kawasaki): Masama po ba ang mag-invest ng konting pera sa lottery? Pero nakaka enganyo naman ang malaking cash prizes dito sa Japan.

Tita Lits: Basta’t huwag ka lang magpa-addict (addictive lahat ng form of gambling), at disiplinahan mo lang ang sarili mo (like, bibili ka lang during summer and winter jumbo – twice a year, when the prize winning is huge), siguro OK lang.  Pwede ka namang bumili rin siguro every month, kahit isa lang (JPY 300).  Kung talagang para sa iyo, isang ticket lang ang kailangan mo para manalo.

Nov. 2019, from Minda (Tokyo):

Tita Lits, umuwi man o hindi, grabe ang gastos. Tulungan po ninyo ako!

Tita Lits: Hay naku, ganyan talaga ang buhay.  Kung mas masaya kang umuwi ng Pasko, ipikit mo na lang ang mata mo sa gastos.  Isipin mo na lang na marami kang napaligayang mga kamag-anak at kaibigan. Smile, Minda.  You are blessed, kasi binigyan ka ng Diyos ng grasya (good work and good earnings).  Sharing with others your blessings will bring you more blessings.

Aug. 2020, from Liza (Nagoya):

Dahil sa corona, nawalan po ako ng trabaho sa pabrika. Buti na lang po at huminto kami sa trabaho. Parang nakita ko na po ang tunay na tawag para sa akin. Gusto ko na pong gawin itong pagluluto at pagtatahe na maging main business ko sana. Ang problema ko ay hindi ko alam kung saan ako magsisimula para maging legal na business ang ginagawa ko. Saan po ako dapat pumunta at ano po kaya ang dapat gawin? Wala po akong alam sa taxes, resibo, accounting... Baka lusuban po ako ng Tax office dito.

Tita Lits: Tuwang-tuwa ako noong mabasa ko ang sulat mo. Subukan mo munang pumunta sa iyong local ward office para magtanong. May help desk normally, na mapapagtanungan.   Meantime, i-record mo lang kahit sa isang notebook, and iyong gastos at ang iyong sales.  Simpleng pag-re-record lang, basta’t  intindi mo. Para alam mo magkano ang inilabas mong pera, at magkano naman ang pumasok na pera. Siyempre, kung ano ang difference ng sales amount mo, at ng iyong ginastos doon sa sales mo, iyon ang iyong tubo (gross income – kinita bago tax). Good luck and all the best sa iyo, Lisa. Am so very happy for you!

June – July 2021, from MIsha (Yokohama):

Minsan, pag labas ko po ng aking Yokohama condo with a view of Minato Mirai, nakita ko yung katabing neighbor ko nakabukas ang pintuan niya.  Parang may bumulong  sa akin na sumilip ng ever so slight.  Paglapit ko ay bumulaga sa akin ang kakaibang smell.  Well, kakaibang mabahong smell, madam!  And then nakita ko po na ang daming kabundok na basurahan sa loob ng bahay niya. Na “na-shock po ako” is the understatement of this pandemic year!  Nakakaloka. That day, sinabihan ko na agad ang building supervisor about my Smokey Mountain neighbor pero nganga lang and wala naman pong nagawa. Sayang kasi gwapo pa naman siya at type ko.  Medyo natatakot ako pagdating ng summer at maglalabasan ang mga ipis. And I hate ipis!  Or daga. Na mutant! Naku! Kung walang nagawa yung mga iba na tumira dati, ano pa kaya ang magagawa ko? At paano na ang future namin ni gwapong building supervisor!

Tita Lits: Nakakatuwang basahin ang sulat mo.  Kasi ang style ay “bading”.  Sorry, huwag kang ma-o-offend, pero ramdam ko, kabaro kita.  Tingin ko din, hindi mo pangalan talaga ang Misha, kasi pangalan ito na hindi ma-determine kung ano ang sex ng nagsulat.  Frankly, inulit-ulit kong basahin ang sulat mo, kasi parang naririnig kitang magsalita at right away, parang I felt close kaagad sa iyo.  Hay naku, mag-concentrate ka na lang sa pagtanaw ng maganda mong view. Maraming mga condo na walang magandang view, so take it as a blessing na mayroon ka.

Spring 2022 , from Rosarito (Nagoya)

Sino po iboboto ninyo this coming May 2022 elections?

Tita Lits: This is the shortest ever question I have received in my many years of  writing this advice column in Jeepney Press! Whoever wins, as long as it is a clean and clear win, we, Filipinos should do our best to support him/her, respect him/her, and do our duty to contribute, no matter how small, to the betterment of our beloved Philippines, so we could be out of being ( again) the sick man of Asia. May the best candidate who can do the best for our country and our people win!!!

(P.S.  Sorry, Rosarito – I have actually not answered your question!  I, however, continue to pray for Divine Providence - “Thy will be done”).

Tita Lits

© Isabelita Manalastas-Watanabe 2023