Living With a Filipina – Chapter 6
And her Family
Writing this article about Living with a Filipina and her family, I expect to get a lot of reactions from all over the board. It can be a real touchy subject as just about anybody who has been in a relationship with a Filipina has probably got a strong opinion based on their own experiences. Some are good, some are bad, and some are just plain disturbing. In my case I have two which are from both sides of the spectrum.
The first Filipina that I met online then had visited here in the Philippines and had a brief relationship with, had a family that I would say fit snugly into the “bad” catagory. A short while after my initial visit to meet the family, the requests for financial help started to roll in. Her mother wanted to run for Barangay Captain (had no clue to what that even was at that point) and lamented how only a cash infusion from her perceived new foreign benefactor could make that dream a reality. I sat through hours of sad tales of the how downtrodden the local people were due to the corruption and ineptitude of the vulture currently in office and how I could be the catalyst of change, bringing about a brave new and prosperous world for the community. lol, I am sure some of you experienced expats in the Philippines who have had relationships with Filipinas are laughing as hard as I just was looking back on it, but be gentle on me and remember that I had just stepped off the plane in this strange and brand new world. It was a passionate pitch and which caring individual amongst us would not have seriously considered changing a whole village’s future for the better?? Leaving the golden opportunity given to me to be a political “kingmaker” aside, the focus then quickly changed to my been given the chance to better the lives of this Filipina’s siblings and all the generations to come after, by paying the measely sums required to secure their necessary documents for overseas work. Of course only after I paid for a new internet connection and computer so that they could search for that amazing new overseas job opportunity. Honestly I don’t remeber how naive and experienced I was and whether I actually donated to the cause of betterment of family and community, but I do remember feeling that I had got way more than I bargained for with this Filipina, and not in a good way. Selfish as it may sound to those who may want to judge me, my simple goal was to find a woman to love and who love me in return. I did not set out on my journey to the Philippines to find a way to change the world for the better. If the latter was my intent, I would have probably checked out the websites for the many good organizations doing charitable work here, rather than Filipino Cupid? In the end, I did not pursue a long term relationship with this Filipina, and I believe a major part of that decision was because I recognized and realized I did not need to settle for being nothing more than a ticket to prosperity.
The familial relationship with the Filipina I am now married to is completely different than the initial one I found myself in. While we were “courting”, I cannot remember once ever hearing a sad story of need from her about her family, and our relationship developed strictly between us. I fell in love with her without the family ever entering into the equation and when it invariably did, the family I found was one that I realized I had wanted, yet missed, my entire life. Shirley’s family, like most in the Philippines is huge. The immediate family includes 7 sisters, 2 brothers, a mother, father, and too many uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, and in-laws to count accurately. A family gathering is a huge affair and at some, when I have made a feeble attempt to count the number of attendees, the number has run into the hundreds.
Contrary to what some other Expats with Filipina partners have experienced, I can not say that there is ever any demands put on me , financial or otherwise. My family is not rich by any means, but though there is always “need” there is never ever demands. Shirley and I have been through some challenging times, with financial difficulties and illnesses and through all those times, the family has been there to help and support in any ways they could. As they have been there for us, I will always be there for them, however that is because I want to be , not because they ask me to be.
Going beyond my own personal experience, I believe that any man that comes to the Philippines looking for a partner should be aware of the importance of family to a Filipina. Family is a major part of Filipino life and culture and whether your new family turn out to be good or bad, they probably will in some way affect the relationship with your (hopefully) soon to be partner.
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Some resources about Filipino families