Home Tours

This Determined OFW Built a Cozy and Minimalist Home in Japan

Homeowner Rhia Cruz shows us the product of her "sipag" at "tiyaga" in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Shares

 

For most Filipinos, their dream is to have their very own home. All the more if you’re living overseas. 36-year-old Overseas Filipino Worker Rhia Cruz, for instance, was able to buy her very own house while working in Japan, a major investment as many commonly rent apartments or homes. 

 


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW


A product of blood, sweat, and tears

Of course, it was not an easy process. In fact, Rhia has had to work two to three jobs to be able to afford her home. “My life in Japan, it’s hard,” tells the OG team. “Sa ibang bansa naman talaga mahirap yung buhay, akala lang nila madali. Ang work ko dito dalawa, umaga tsaka gabi. Minsan nga tatlo, nagtu-tutor pa ‘ko ng English ‘pag weekend.” Before becoming an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT), Rhia worked evenings part-time at a Philippine club, and then she would work mornings at a factory, sewing car seats. She also worked peeling vegetables and crops such as potatoes and handling garbage.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Recommended Videos

Today, Rhia’s home as proof of her sipag at tiyaga. Outside, the parking area can fit five vehicles, while a lawn with artificial grass serves as a play area for her daughter. Stepping inside—after removing one’s slippers or shoes, Japanese style—one is greeted by neutral-colored interiors and an accent wall decorated with brick-design wallpaper. The house made use of colors gray, beige, with pops of orange and blue. “My idea of a home is a place where you can relax, yung bahay na very inviting, welcoming, kaya ang gusto ko sa bahay ko, neutral colors lang,” Rhia says. 

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

 



The realities of buying a home in Japan

Rhia describes her home as an open-concept house, with an adjoining living and kitchen area. To make her small kitchen feel extra spacious, Rhia did away with kitchen cabinets and instead installed counter cabinets. Veering away from the typical Japanese home setup, she chose to use a tatami room as the dining area.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

 


 

Just like any foreigner living in Japan, it’s extra difficult to purchase a home if you’re not married to a Japanese citizen.  “Kunwari contract signing, do’n pa lang challenge na kasi ‘di ba wala kang alam dahil nga medyo mabibigat na Japanese na yung gamit at ‘di naman ako nakakabasa ng Japanese din,” Rhia notes. She also stresses that maintaining the house is hard especially as there’s no man in the house to look after errands such as replacing the gas and changing lightbulbs.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

A few steps away is the toilet and bath and laundry area. Although small, Rhia can rely on a high-tech Japanese washlet with convenient features such as heated seats.


A well-deserved investment

The second floor, meanwhile, houses the bedrooms and Rhia’s study area, where she prepares lesson plans and does her research. A key piece in Rhia’s room—the master bedroom—is a bed which she made sure to invest in.

 


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

 

“Nag-invest talaga ‘ko sa malambot atsaka magandang klaseng bed kasi ito yung time na maipapahinga ko yung katawang lupa ko so hindi ko talaga tinipid yung kama ko,” she says. All in all, Rhia’s house cost P20 million yen—a hefty price by Philippine standards, but just average in Japan.

 


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

 

The lot size measures 200 square meters while the floor area is around 113 square meters. “Actually, mura pa nga ‘to. Mas mahal pa kung talagang mas bobonggahan mo, yung mas malaki yung space.”  

Watch the full video feature here:

 

 

OG (Only Good) Channel is Summit Media's first-ever video brand with its own channel on Youtube. OG features content that gives ONLY GOOD vibes with entertaining and informational video series about Amazing Staycation Destinations, Unique Homes, OPM Music, Buhay Abroad, Popular Memes and Trends, and Real Stories about Real People. If you need a dose of good vibes today, visit and subscribe to OG Channel.

More on Realliving.com.ph

Read more stories about

Latest Stories

This Event Stylist Turned Artist Built Her Dream Home With Her Artwork Earnings

Step inside the lovely home of an artist and a photographer and be inspired with its modern details.

This Dyson Cordless Vacuum Is Especially Engineered For Homes With Pets

The vacuum is perfect for capturing pet hair.

Travel Back In Time In These Houses Reminiscent Of The Old Days

Celebrate Filipino culture and history when you stay at these homes inspired by old Spanish houses.

Want to Travel in Comfort? These Camper Vans Have Everything You Need

Check out the cool features of these customized trailers that let you relax and hit the road in style.

Don’t Miss This: You Can Score Tim Ho Wan’s Famous Pork Buns for P8 per Piece

The regular price of the famous buns is P170 for three pieces or P56.66 per piece. If you're buying it for P8 per piece, you're saving P48.66!

Vicki Belo unveils Queen Bee-themed Christmas Tree

The ornaments come with four-to-five-digit price tags!

Holidays in the City: Where to Stay in the Metro for Christmas and New Year's Eve 2022

We've gathered our top picks for staycation choices within the Metro this holiday season.

The Most Affordable Noche Buena Food Products According to DTI

We found a price list of all your favorite Noche Buena ingredients.

It's Going to Be an Expensive Christmas for Filipinos Thanks to Inflation

Filipinos are feeling the effects of inflation.

Mitsukoshi Fresh Just Opened and Here's What You can Get

Here is some food finds at Mitsukoshi's supermarket.
Load More Stories