We met Keiko surfing in Siargao Island several years ago and then later again in her home Salon Studio in our island neighborhood – she inspires us with the way her being glows and radiates happiness and kindness.
Read our interview below to get a glimpse of a day in the life of Keiko Tsukamoto.
Who is Keiko?
My name is Keiko, I’m from Tottori, Japan.
I have been living oversees the last 15 years.
New York, China and end up here in this beautiful island Siargao, Philippines.
How did you first discover the island of Siargao?
One day when I was still in China,
a friend of mine told me about this beautiful
remote island where we can surf in the Philippines.
At that time there were flights from Cebu, 2 times a week only.
I thought to myself "Well,, Oh yes sounds quite remote...."
How different is life in Siargao from your hometown in Japan?
My home town in Japan is quite far away from the big city.
Most of the people work for somebody else and has an 8am-5pm job.
Either at an office or hospital, some are farmers and fishermen.
There are many old people and students.
Things do not change so many for years.
People there dont usually move out of their houses.
There are only about 100 foreigners who live there.
The nature surrounding my hometown is beautiful - oceans and mountains.
There are some traditional Japanese hotels beside hot springs areas.
We also get snow in the winter.
Compared to Siargao, it’s quite different.
What made you decide to settle down in the island?
What comes to mind when you think about your first year in Siargao?
What comes to mind when you think of Siargao now?
I moved to Siargao 10 years ago, and now,
I can still describe it as the same, beautiful ocean and nature,
you will see many smiles that make your day better,
and we have such a nice community.
I Feel good to live somewhere that I fell completely in love with.
Yes it has changed a lot compared to my first year in Siargao.
When you drive the road,
you will find many developments now compared to before.
It surprised me that this many people also fell in love with the island.
Change brings many things, good and bad. Always.
You won’t be able to stop it, so we try to just observe and learn from it,
make most out of it and try to enjoy.
Complaining and being negative is the last thing
I want to do at the end of the day,
because we are still living in a beautiful place ❤️
How did you choose your career and what is your favorite part about it?
I was interested to look for a job as a craftsman.
I’m still glad that I chose this career.
I love to see people’s smile and become happy
by how they look after a fresh cut.
It’s make my day and gives me good energy for my soul.
Most of them inspire me in many ways as well.
Everybody has their own way of attracting others.
I just like to help them by hair styling.
Describe your relationship with your partner in one sentence.
it’s like a bubble gum in the rainbow under the moon.
Many special moments with him.
Were you ever afraid of change?
(Settling down, building a house, becoming a parent)
I’m not afraid of change, it always comes and goes.
I feel comfortable to have this
slow moving life with beautiful friends and family.
The best part of this life is that we always end up leaning something new.
What three events would you say has shaped your life for the better?
1 - When I moved out from Japan (out from my comfort zone) 15years ago
2 - When I started surfing 13years ago. Surfing really changed my life.
3 - When I moved to the island and was blessed enough to have a baby boy
What do you think the world needs more of right now?
love and the spirit of sharing. Being happy for others.
Solution for the garbage system. And more forests. 🌴
What are you most thankful for?
I am thankful for the moon and the sun and mother ocean who give us waves.
I am thankful for clean air.
Thankful for all the things that human cannot create.
Photographs by Quincy Alivio
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We would love to listen to them all and share them
to inspire and empower others ♡