A Church Wedding for the Filipina I Love

Time to Show her I Believe in my heart that our Love is Forever

A church wedding is not something that I have ever laid awake at night dreaming about. In fact as I entered the 5th decade of my life, the thought of having any wedding was the farthest thing from my mind. I had been down the aisle once while in my twenties and only a few years after was visiting lawyers trying to work out an amicable divorce. It was a typical story shared by the majority of my friends,(minus the “amicable” part) and for that matter most of all couples that made that solemn commitment, “til death do us part”. For the next few decades, my cynicism regarding the institution of marriage grew as two by two I saw friends and acquaintances disband their hallowed union seemingly with little care. I grew to be entrenched in my belief that marriages in today’s society were only temporary. With that belief, it was hard to stand straight faced during a wedding ceremony and listen to anybody solemnly swear something like ” to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part.”. I thought that any person who stood in front of a priest and utters such a vow was a naive hypocrite, and I certainly would not be counted among them ever again. Now if I had ever met the right girl in Canada, I might have considered marriage again, but firm in my belief of marriage and relationships as temporary, would probably have insisted on vows more like ” Let’s stay together until such time as one of us gets bored, finds some one else, or it becomes work to work out our issues as a couple”. However I assume that would be the first big fight and I would probably be left standing at the altar.

When I first started coming to the Philippines about a decade ago exploring a different reality, my cynicism stayed with me. Being new and uneducated in the ways of the Philippines, I hung on to my old views. Like most men, tales of woe from men whose  Filipna wife sucked them dry then left them out to dry seemed  plentiful, however the longer I stayed here I have found that those experiences seemed to be in the minority. I now believe that the men who have had a bad experience with a Filipina are simply more vocal than the many that have satisfying healthy relationships. Maybe it is easier for those men to shout to the world how bad their Filipina was instead of seriously and humbly looking in the mirror to see how they might have been responsible for being in their predicament themselves. From what I have seen, most men that have had a bad relationship here, simply ignored many obvious red flags. To those men all I can say is let it go and move on a little wiser. It may hurt to know you made a mistake but it understandable and it is human. Coming from Western society where us guys seem to be put out to pasture as we reach our middle years, it can be overwhelming when we now find a beautiful young girl that now seems interested in us. It is absolutely normal to have thoughts that we have to hang on to her regardless of the alarm bells ringing, but as we get wiser, we begin to understand that there are countless number of women to chose from here and we do not need to ignore the warning signs.

Anyway, I have digressed and should get back to the topic of my impending church wedding. I should tell you first that Shirley and I are already married. We tied the not in a simple courthouse wedding with little fanfare. I do not remember for sure, but while we were reciting our vows, I probably did have some lingering doubts at that time that our relationship would last. Since that time though any doubts I may have had are far removed. Over the past two years we have weathered many storms life has challenged us with. We have faced extreme financial hardship, debilitating illness, cultural differences that seemed insurmountable and the many emotional ups and downs of everyday living. No matter what has been thrown at us, at the end of the day we have stayed together, even more committed to our love and continued partnership. As well, I have seen more and more happy and healthy relationships around me that have drowned out those tales of misfortune from what now appears to be only a vocal minority. What I have come to believe is that a marriage to a GOOD Filipina is something a man can count on being forever. I know the Filipina I am with is one of those good ones, and unless I screw up badly I will be with her until my days on this earth are over. Though I myself have never had the dream for a church wedding, I do know that it is something that my wife would love, and I believe she deserves it. I love her to such great bounds that I am happy to give her this, and when we have our church wedding and stand in front of the priest to recite our vows anew, I will mean mine with all my heart and honestly believe that she means exactly what she says and that it will be “until death do us part”