Breaking the 4th Wall: Envizion Teachers Visit Japan

“What goes beyond the screen and out the blue light is something difficult to imagine. Does it end once you sign out? On that day, we were able to break the 4th wall by meeting the faces behind Envizion’s success.” These words from Envizion teacher Rorhy Geonzon best describe the feeling of having been chosen as one of the select few Envizion has sent to the Land of the Rising Sun.
The Envizion Cultural Exchange Program or ECEP is a company initiative where selected center-based tutors are sent on an immersion trip to Japan to experience its rich culture and customer service. It is an all-expense paid trip of five to six days.
Let’s read on as these five Envizion employees recount their stories of drinking matcha, walking in Kimonos, and relaxing in an onsen – naked – all the while experiencing hospitality and attention-to-detail the Japanese way.

Rorhy

It was a challenge trying to encapsulate and put into words the taste and feeling of having been chosen as one of the three 1st ECEP Ambassadors. The pressure made it all the more challenging but drove us to do our best the Envizion Way.

The best part of it was meeting our students from various schools. We have always been “students first.” Understanding their anxiety in learning a new language and fear of committing mistakes, and listening to them improve through our service melted our hearts. Often times we take for granted how easy it was for us to understand English. I know most tutors gradually become annoyed and frustrated but let’s try to put ourselves in their shoes. It doesn’t fit right? It’ll probably be difficult for us to walk in them. That’s why although it’s cliché, smile and understand.

The following days were a “more than tsada” experience and it was not a chore to “enjoy everything” at all! We got to experience Japanese culture and tradition. I fell in love with onsens or hot springs. Who wouldn’t? Relaxing with friends and co-workers after a long day of walking and working in a hot bath, naked, is a one of a kind experience. Onsens and baths are important aspects of Japanese life. Koga-san/Midori-san told us about Hadaka no Tsukiai or naked communication/relationship. In an onsen, you remove all your clothing, make-up, and accessories. You just really present who you are. Stripped off with all of life’s pleasantries and formalities, you’re able to become more honest with yourself and the people around you. Making way for clearer communication and deeper relationships with yourself and others. But be careful, tattoos are a big no-no in an onsen specially in traditional ones. But you get to wear a comfortable yukata and eat all sorts of Japanese food.

Lastly, allow me to tell you that the Japanese are probably the most polite and respectful people in the world. They’re clearly mindful of others. Their omotenashi or hospitality is top-tier.  According to my research, omote means public face- what you wish others to see and nashi means nothing. Add them up and you get an honest service that’s from the heart- no pretenses. Just giving out what’s best for you. This is something I’d wish for us to personally exemplify not just for the sake of business but as a way of life. Imagine that kind of world.

Tina

It still feels surreal—my entire stay in Japan. Though still being a business trip, I, with my fellow colleagues, was fortunate enough to have been given the chance to represent our company and, hopefully, the Filipino culture along with it. We were all greeted with wonderful memories and experiences that we will hope to bring along for the rest of our lives from. I thank fellow JP colleagues for giving us a warm welcome and for making sure we enjoyed our stay—and we surely did!

As a participant of this program, I have learned a lot from this trip. We were able to experience walking through the streets of Tokyo which were bustling with various experiences. We tasted the rich delicacies Japan had to offer. We experienced first-hand the Japanese hospitality. We were also able to meet the very students we are teaching, which made it bitter-sweet as some of them have become our friends and we couldn’t stay as long as we wanted.

Nevertheless, the whole experience was one of the best I have ever felt and will stay with me for the rest of my life. Thank you, Envizion Philippines, Inc. for giving me and my colleagues the opportunity to be part of this program.

Rhanie

The Language we use creates the reality we indulge in on a daily basis. It is an essential aspect for us to be united. Language is the key to connect people from different countries, culture, race, and ethnicity.

I am overwhelmed to experience first-hand the involvement of our teaching English language as a tool to global communication. I have seen how indefatigable the Japanese people are to learn the English language in all age groups.

As an ambassador, my goal was to observe, understand and produce a more systematic yet fun way of learning. Observing students from our school clients gave me a great impression that they’re learning the language with eagerness and motivation. Understanding their expressions and emotions as they were learning was even more impressive. So, I hope we will constantly provide effective teaching for effectual learning.

Knowing the Japanese culture through books, articles or TV shows helped me understand their eminent culture and characteristics. Furthermore, experiencing it made me become aware of how Japan became the greatest country for people like me who appreciate discipline, perseverance and success all over the world.

I am grateful to be part of a prestigious company that allows tutors to grow and to be at their best along the process; where hard work, dedication and excellence are valued.

Robe

It was such an honor to be one of Envizion Philippines, Inc.’s representatives in the recent company business trip to Japan. The five-day Tokyo experience was one for the books and an event that surely left a huge significance to my professional growth.

The cleanliness, the scenery, the well-disciplined and hospitable people were only a few of the things that captivated me. My experience of the Japanese culture is second to none. Contrary to the stereotype that Japanese people are shy and timid, I have experienced first-hand that they are very much helpful and friendly towards foreigners. One specific instance was when my colleague and I got separated from the rest of the group and a Japanese couple noticed the seemingly anxious expressions on our faces that gave them the idea of us being lost. The couple took initiative and assisted us to our hotel. They were very kind to ensure our safe arrival.

Japan is rich in history, yet, very technologically advanced. It was amazing to see how the old and new co-exist. Each day was truly remarkable as we got to experience the country’s traditional and modern cultures. We visited many tourist destinations and educational institutions making it impossible to choose which among the two was the highlight of the entire trip.

The places we visited, the things we tried, and the activities we did will always be memorable. The best part of this whole trip was meeting the Rarejob staff, especially the dynamic and dedicated School Business team. Their hard work and dedication are truly admirable. I learned that in Japan, respecting the elders is very important. They even taught me how to properly pour a drink into an elder’s or a superior’s glass. Also, I admire their vitality; even if they had a long day, they always saw to it that we enjoyed every minute of our trip in Japan.

I’ll forever be grateful to Envizion for this experience. It could be your turn to experience Japan in the coming year if you stay focused on your goals and fulfill them together with the team.

Maricar

“Hello! My name is Mars and I will be your tutor for this class.” This is my usual line everyday as I teach my students. In my work, I talk to Japanese people every day and get immersed in their culture. With this kind of daily experience, I think it’s natural for all tutors to think of visiting Japan someday.

During our stay in Japan, we visited the RareJob office and met the RareJob staff. It was nerve-racking at first but I was relieved because even though everyone was so quiet while working, they were so friendly as well. We also had a welcome party prepared by the RareJob School Business team.

We also went to some schools namely Shukutokuyono, Adachi, and Toho All Girls School.  I was able to witness the tutors who wore their best smiles while teaching and who were very patient with their students. Watching the students during the online lesson was so inspiring because they are learning from Filipino tutors of Envizion! Isn’t that amazing? You can already imagine how proud I was (like a proud stage mom) observing our very own CBTs.

All my experiences in Japan were truly wonderful and worth cherishing. One thing I realized was the importance of English in the growing society of Japan. From the moment we landed at the airport, until we reached the restaurants and schools, the need to learn English among the Japanese was very obvious. I noticed that there was a limited number of Japanese people who can speak the language. However, the good thing about them is that their ability to communicate in English doesn’t affect their hospitality towards foreigners. And that makes the Japanese culture admirable. With this, I also realized that my work is very important to my students, and to Japan as well. I hope all tutors of RareJob would also appreciate the value of their work and will continue to be dedicated to their task in changing the lives of their students.

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