SEELS is featured in “Kyoto Journal,” a storytelling article about how SEELS has evolved and what social stigma Filipino communities face in Japan
24 September 2013
Sendai, Japan

SEELS is featured in “Kyoto Journal.” This is a great storytelling article about how SEELS has evolved and what social stigma Filipino communities face in Japan.

The article describes bitter life experiences Filipino women have had after they migrated to Japan, how the Great Tohoku Earthquake impacted their life, and what challenges SEELS faces on its operation.

Many Filipino women migrated to Japan to work in nightclubs in 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s with entertainer visas, and often their workplaces show violence, coercion, debt bondage, and, in some worst case, sex-slave-like treatment. What makes their situations harder is Japanese prejudice and bias toward Filipino women. While SEELS works hard to make life transition for those women from entertainers to English teachers through its training program, many Japanese still consider most Filipino women as hostesses and do not much differentiate hostesses from prostitutes. One Filipino woman was even fired as an English teacher because she worked as hostess as well.

In addition, even though many Japanese now consider obtaining English proficiency is essential for internationalization, often ‘Internationalization’ for them is rather ‘Westernization,’ resulting in choosing American, British, and Australian English teachers over Filipino English teachers.

Cesar Santoyo, President of SEELS, has tackled those obstacles and challenges in managing and operating SEELS, and he keeps empowering those Filipino women everyday.

Source: “Kyoto Journal,” and for the full article, please click here.