Meeting my wife for the very first time is a memory that is fondly coming to mind often these days. Recently I have had to come to Manila on numerous occasions and every time I do, it brings me back to that day that that has changed my life forever.

I met Shirley online through one of the more popular dating sites, Filipino Cupid and we had chatted almost everyday for several months while I was still in Canada. She had ticked everyone of my possible relationship boxes, however I had gone through this several times already with other Filipna women. On the previous occasions, I had corresponded with Filipinas, for substantial amounts of time, then eventually hopped on a plane to visit the Philippines and meet in person. Each time I was either disappointed right away or very quickly as they just could never meet my expectations. Some were just not attractive as they appeared online, some were too “easy”, some I did not trust, and some were nice but there was just no chemistry. Regardless, every time I had visited the Philippines I thoroughly enjoyed myself and the companionship was always a bonus.

When meeting my wife for the first time though, it was totally different and I knew it right from the first moment I laid eyes on her, even more so after the first little hug.

On that trip to the Philippines, I also had brought a friend along. We had planned it so that we would spend a few days in Manila before meeting my newest girl in order to introduce him to the exotic night life and culture. After a few days of that Shirley was to fly into Manila and we would see where things took us.

On the day she was arriving, I made the mistake of not taking into consideration the Manila traffic and was stuck inching along, stop and go with the flight arrival time fast approaching. I am not  a guy who likes to leave people waiting, especially some one who spent several hours to come and meet me.To make matters worse, I had forgotten to charge my phone and after a brief conversation with Shirley about where she was going to meet me, and what she was wearing, the phone died. Eventually the cab pulled into Terminal 2 about 30 minutes late. Now I had to find her, and not being really familiar with Terminal 2, it was a challenge. Finally I found the seating area where Shirley was to be waiting and off in the distance a see this silhouette in the distance that just might be her. As I approached the entrance gate, I see this stunning woman sitting on a bench and my heart jumped about three beats. What I saw blew my mind and no pictures or Skype chats could have done her justice. Here she was this stunning beauty, no more than 50 mmeters away from me. But,,,,,a Filipino moment quickly intervened. In my way was this 4 foot nothing lady security guard dressed in their usual officially spiffy uniform, and she took her job with the usual seriousness that Filipino security guards usually do. There was no way I was getting through that gate unless hell froze over and even then I might have still had a problem. No amount of explaining and pleading that the girl of my dreams was a stone throws away had any impact. No entrance SIR!!!!. ” You must go around to the other gate, which is up those stairs, around sixteen corners, a trek of about half a kilometer and down another set of stairs, just to get to basically where I was now. No talk of how I might be meeting my wife for the first time made a dent in dwarf gatekeeper. Now about an hour late, extremely conscious of the poor impression I my lateness must be making, I turned around and trudged off on my inter airport journey. I was almost running!

Ten minutes later, entering the “valid” entrance gate, this angel looks up, sees me in person for the first time and smiles a smile that I will remember to the day I die. Catching my breath, I approach her, we look into each other eyes and embrace. Any cynical person out there that claims love at first site is nothing but a fairy tale, I will tell that fairy tales can be happen in real life, and I started living mine that day, meeting my wife for the first time.

Several weeks later, without a single doubt left in my mind, I asked Shirley to marry me.