There are always reasons to say NO, Reasons such as I am not a good speaker... I am shy to be in front of lot of people (oh, this is not true.) But I would like to say YES to this kind of invitation because I am not going to learn instead of teach others. Then, yes I did learn from the conference.
What I presented?
Japan's distinct work ethics and progress :An outcome of its teaching – learning practices was a given topic. It is challenging to discuss because I have to operationalize work-ethics and progress and limit usage of teaching-learning practice only in two social institutions such as family and school.
How did I approach this topic?
I did approach this topic through interview, existing documents and observation to see whether there is a relationship between work ethics and progress (in terms of economic development).
If I prove this, then I also mention where ethics came from.
I thought social conformity is very suitable in this context by knowing collectives of Japanese people. But I felt it was not good enough then I add concept of "Mura shakai (village mentality)"and Wa-spirit. These two concepts are strictly speaking not "theories" but I believed these needed to be discussed.
I also refereed two works of big name: The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture by Ruth Benedict's work and protestantism and spirit of capitalism by Max Weber.
What I found out?
Ethics are fruit of socialization which is the life-long process to be a member of the society. In Japan, we have strong sense of normality. Normality such as being punctual, being honest, being responsible especially words/statements what person said in front of others s/he may not be able to cancel it.
Ethics are assured by societal structure. I did not mean that ethics leads to build the societal structure. Wow, it is quite Marxist view. The system such as seniority system, guaranteed lifetime employment ...
Japan's employment practice is premised long-term employment. This causes a low fluidity in a society. Another way to say, it creates predictable relationship. The relationship in the institution will be long-term as well. Eventually, the company successfully withdraw strong commitment of workers. On the other hand, the ethics will be served as "law", which may helps in creating the mood not regulating corruption.
Public > Private
There are tendency Japanese prioritize "public" matter. One of the person whom I interviewed often goes to work on Sunday. His job require irregular and additional work not only weekday but also weekend. He eventually goes for work. It is job..he said. If your excuse being late was sending their children to nursery, the boss may say something bad.
Q. Is there no competition in Japan?NO, there is fierce competition. But it is not obvious as here.
Competition start as early as kinder level. Entering good high school is peak of the competition of teenage. Interestingly during these period, grade/evaluation in the school won't help them to enter "good school". Therefore, in high school level, students go to cram school and focus on entering "good school". Students tend to not attend the classes because school evaluation won't help "their life to be better"
So, on the surface, there is no obvious competition but there is indeed competition.
Q. What do you think what value Philippines have to keep?If I am allowed to say, "sabay sabay spirit". My impression of this country is collective and communal way of doing. I thought it is problematic since I also observe sort of dependency. But if this country move forward, no one must be left behind. Inclusiveness, may be one of values "we" must keep as one of practices.
Q. (in your future, once you have children,) what cultural traits do you want your children to have, Filipino or Japanese?
Hybrid but 70% must come from Philippines, 30% Japan. What I appreciate Philippine culture in terms of character (based on my observation)are affectionate, lovable, romantic, sensitive and religious.
Q. You love people in the Philippines!
It was not actually question but comment from a person after my presentation. Love towards Philippine and its people first or love towards my husband extends my love towards this country?
I am deeply appreciated that I was given that opportunity which made me share my culture, learn and meet new friends. What I liked was presentation of another speaker and sharing of participants. I was inspired by what they shared.
Story behind the storyI was a goofy because I assumed I know the venue. I did not check it. If my friend did not come and fetch me, I might end up going their school.
In so many way, I am very thankful.