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A Filipino Returnees' Stories

Name: Marco U. Intal
Sending Organization: The Greenlife and Forest Foundation, Inc.
Training Field: Machine Engineering
Training Period: From July 2000

Mr. Intal graduated from the Cavite College of Arts and Trades in March 1999.  He and his classmates heard about the Greenlife and Forest Foundation, and its affiliation with a training program in Japan.  They became interested in the project, thinking that it would be a great chance to test their skills; an opportunity they had been waiting for!

Mr. Intal had been unable to pursue his dream of becoming a machine engineer due to his financial condition.  Both of his parents were from Pampanga, and weren't affluent enough to let their son, 8th of nine children, receive the highest education while trying to make ends meet.  His father was a diesel machine engineer and his mother a dressmaker.

After college graduation in April 1999, Mr. Intal began helping in his brother's retail business.  He also applied for a part-time job and was accepted as a machine engineer at San Technology, Inc.

Five months later, the Greenlife and Forest Foundation contacted Mr. Intal for a pre-training screening interview.  Mr. Intal immediately went to the office in Makati, Manila, for the interview.  He passed the interview, went through the health check, and created the required documents.  Once completing all paperwork and an interview with his guarantor, Mr. Intal was instructed to join a Japanese class.  The class was very tough, but Mr. Intal studied his hardest to learn the language.

Since Mr. Intal did not have a stable full-time job, it was very difficult for him to pay his transportation expense from Cavite to Makati every day for his Japanese classes, so his brother assisted him financially.

In April 2004, a position offer for a trainee with engineering skills was announced.  Since he held a degree in machine engineering, Mr. Intal was chosen and sent to a company in Aichi prefecture on July 26, 2000.

This was Mr. Intal's first step in realizing his goals and dreams.  His goals were to improve his techniques, learn new skills, assist his family financially by having a stable job, and to become the best machine engineer he could be!

As a trainee, and later as a technical intern, Mr. Intal experienced many things.  The time spent with his accepting company was so valuable.  He learned the new skill of heat processing different types of steel.  He became acquainted with machines for various purposes: general-purpose lathes, cylindrical grinders, heck-sawing machines, flat-surface grinders, turret lathes, all-purpose milling machines; and, vertical milling machines.

Mr. Intal passed Basic Grade 2 on the Trade Skills Test in the Lathe category.  By living in Japan for three years and communicating with his Japanese boss and colleagues everyday, Mr. Intal learned to speak Japanese fluently.  He also passed Level 3 on the Japan Foundation's Japanese Language Proficiency Test in 2003.

Mr. Intal made a lot of friends in Japan, both Japanese, and from other countries.  He was able to visit many beautiful places, which he never thought he would have the chance to see.  There were, however, tough times such as when he felt homesick, or suffered from a high fever and severe stomachache.  His memories from Japan, he says, are mostly positive ones.

Even whilst training, Mr. Intal never forgot to send money back to his family.  In his first year of training, he renovated his old home in Pampanga, and assisted one of his brothers in going back to college.  In the following year, Mr. Intal purchased two motor tricycles for his family and paid for his nephew's school tuition and other expenses.  In his last year of training, Mr. Intal lent money to one of his brothers who was starting his own business, and he also saved some money for his future.

In July 2003, after three years of training, Mr. Intal went home to the Philippines with newly acquired skills and techniques.  He envisioned applying his new learning in the field and to teach people who wanted to improve their skills in machine engineering.

Mr. Intal's accepting organization commended his results in training and outstanding work ethic, and recommended that he join the Greenlife and Forest Foundation.  Mr. Intal made three trips to Japan as a supervisor, monitoring international trainees, then he was assigned as a machine engineering instructor at the Phil-Nippon Training Center.  Now, he is happy to share his knowledge with others by teaching at the training center.

Succeeding as a trainee, he achieved most of his goals.  Even after acquiring new skills, learning about new technologies, assisting his family, and holding a steady job, he still dreams about becoming a machine engineer.  Mr. Intal is looking forward to the day when he will realize this dream.