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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

History Of Alex Gonzaga’s Controversial Caption ‘Japan, Japan, Sagot Sa Kahirapan’

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This is the history of the controversial Instagram caption of Alex Gonzaga, “Japan, Japan, sagot sa kahirapan.”

Actress and vlogger Alex Gonzaga received criticisms just recently because of her caption on her Instagram post, “Japan, Japan, sagot sa kahirapan”.

Some netizens find it offensive and a bit demeaning for those Filipinos who are working in the said country.

Alex shared a photo on her IG which showed that she was with her mommy Pinty in Japan. It is known to many that the actress vlogs her travels and this one was also documented.

Alex Gonzaga
(Photo source: @cathygonzaga IG)

Her reply to criticisms was, “Sorry if that’s how you feel but I’ve been hearing that phrase ever since I was young. Most of the time, Filipinos move overseas to have better opportunities. It’s how you interpret that phrase and the joke is kunwari we’re moving to Japan na with mommy Pinty. Hehe.”

On the other hand, several fans of the actress defended her from the negative comments.

Based on the article published in Interaksyon, there were netizens who pointed out that the said phrase had been used by many Filipinos for so long now.


Details about the exact origin of the phrase is still unknown until now but it was said that it became popular back in the late ’70s.

During that time, there was a bandwagon in Filipino diaspora (dispersion or spread of any people from their original homeland) that started during Marcos’ time.

The Martial Law era pushed Filipinos to find a more stable job in other countries such as United States, Saudi Arabia, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.

And then, the term “Japan, Japan, sagot sa kahirapan” was born. A phrase pertaining to the hope of Filipinos to have a better life by working and earning a better salary than what they had here in the country.

Based on the article, a record showed last year that there are 260,553 Filipinos working in Japan.


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