How a small dream can take you far

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  • Post last modified:08 September 2019

Featuring the 2018 Nihongo Speech Contest Student Category Winner Sofia Abigail Sanches

Let me tell you a story.

One day, someone thought of a small dream. This dream was a result of her being inspired to Sailor Moon, Sugar Sugar Rune and other anime series that made a mark in the childhood of most of us 20-somethings.

She keeps that dream as she studies.

One day, she was given the opportunity to address her “small dream” to a large crowd, in a place she has rarely been to.

All of her practice paid off, as she is hailed as the first-placer in the student division of the 45th Nihongo Speech Contest held at Nihongo Fiesta 2018 held last February 17 at Shangri-la Plaza, Mandaluyong.

This is how Sofia Abigaile Sanches’ journey went so far.

“A lot of people will try and bring you down, but those are just challenges in life we will always face. At the end of the day, its all about you and your dream.”

A few weeks after the contest, I was able to get Sofia to answer a few questions for this post. Here’s how it went. (Slightly edited for clarity)

Q: Do you have your unique way of practicing/memorizing Nihongo?

As embarrassing as it sounds, it’s because of anime why I got to speak “fluently.” I would take down notes of what they were saying and copied the way they talk. That went on until now for 6 years… and now, I took up BS International Studies major in Japanese Language and Studies at the Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku here in Davao.

Q: Aside from Akiba or Tokyo, which place in Japan you would you like to visit for a day?

Aside from the two, I would totally go for Ikebukuro or Hokkaido. Why? Most likely I’ll live in Hokkaido because of my aunt, but the yearly Sapporo Snow Festival’s the reason why I fell in love with Hokkaido again.

Ikebukuro on the other hand is a place for fujoshis. I would totally go to otome road soon!

Q: Any advise for those who want to follow your footsteps? What are the important things that they need to know?

“Never give up in life” would be ironic coming from someone who tried to give up in life countless times, but each and everyone of us has this dream right? We live only once and we should totally live the best out of it!

A lot of people will try and bring you down, but those are just challenges in life we will always face. At the end of the day, its all about you and your dream.

As I said in my speech, nobody has the right to take your dream away from you. Always remember that the most important thing is you, your happiness and your dream. Lets work hard in achieving our dreams and let nobody stop us from achieving it yeah?

From the bottom of my heart, ganbatte kudasai!! 頑張ってください!!


I would like to thank Sofia for sharing a few minutes of her time for this story. May this story find you inspired. I shall write once again soon.