Marrying a Filipina

So you wonder where to meet Filipinas. They are all over the place since there are 8 million Filipinos outside of the Philippines.

Most of the Filipinas are working in various jobs and they are in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Israel, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, UK, and basically all around the world. They are commonly called OFWs – Overseas Foreign Workers. In the US, they mostly migrated here either through petitions by family, marriage, work, and other ways. In Canada, it is most likely the same as the US. In the US, it may be tough to find them because it is a large place. There are a few states that have a great population of Filipinos and it starts with California.

This topic will be about you having met a Filipina, you are a US citizen, you’ve decided to get married,  and she is in the Philippines. If you met her online, it is okay but the important thing to do is visit her. At least meet her or you will never get her here without meeting her. It ain’t like a mail-order bride.

So what can you expect from a Filipina? Here’s some of my observations so you won’t get shocked:

Supporting the Family left in the Philippines

You may have read from forums and heard from other guys’ stories – that when you marry a Filipina, you are marrying her family too. Be that it may, it is a fact. Why is that? Well, it’s part of the Filipino culture. Whether they are a man or woman, it is customary to support the family who is left in the Philippines. You can say – it won’t happen to me when I’m with one. You may think you don’t see it but they will find a way to do it - either sending money or items (in a balikbayan box) to send back home. As I say again, this is a custom in the Filipino culture, you just have to understand that part of it. It is best to understand that part of it and be part of it to reduce the friction – if you know what I mean.

Emotional Roller Coaster

It would be best to understand the mood swings. Oh yes, and there will be a lot of it. Most Filipinas are very sensitive and they are moody. Why? No, it’s not that time of the month (in some cases it may), it is how they are. They are not confrontational and won’t say what is wrong or what they didn’t like. They’d keep their problems (issue with you) to themselves or talk to a friend about their problem rather than talking to you. It’s just how it is. You have to find a way to slowly open her up and assure her that you are open to hear about her problem(s) even if it is about you. You are in a relationship and you are going to be together. You might as well start to open her up a little bit. Don’t force her too, at first, because you may just push her away some more. No, the mood swings won’t stop. You just have to know how to deal with it.

The Parties

You will either have them or go to them. Be ready for that. The event may just be a weekend get-together, christening, birthday, anniversary, a friend’s birthday, your birthday, graduation, Christmas, New Year, and more. These parties are usually started with a few friends then it grows to an organization. Food, food, food and a lot of food. Filipino parties are not made up of crackers, cheese, potato chips, ranch dressing and celery. A normal party is when there are about 3 or 4 Filipino dishes with a bunch of dessert. Some bring their own home cooking and pretty soon, your table becomes smaller. If someone cooks lechon, well, you will have one. Why is it always like this? It is in the Filipino culture to have a party (“handaan”) . You feed the unexpected visitors. The friend of a friend comes over and next thing you know, there are more than 50 people in your house.

Church

The Philippines is a 93% Christian country and don’t be surprised. It also depends on how dedicated your Filipina is, Sunday (or Saturday) is church day. Depending on the type of religion they have, you may end up with a cross, Jesus Christ’s image, rosary, a prayer book, the Last Supper, or a statue of the Virgin Mary, the Santo Nino, or saints in your room or living room. If you do have the statue, it will have ornaments and once a year, it will be taken to the church so it will be blessed by the holy water. So, don’t feel too weird when you are surrounded by these images. It’s normal in a Filipino home.

Gossip

There’s lots of it. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a Filipina wife that doesn’t do this but most of them do it. It’s part of the culture and in my opinion, it is because of the oppression that is unrealized in the Philippines. Somehow, they just have to put someone down or be better than the others to make themselves feel or look better. I don’t know what it is but I think life in the Philippines is a lot better than other countries. They just don’t realize it. Hence, because they are in this environment, it just becomes the norm to talk about anybody else but themselves. For the most part, Filipinos are nice and good people. It’s just when a group gets together, they start criticizing other people. Some do it for fun but they don’t realize that they are hurting the people who they are talking about. The person hears about it, then another opinion starts, then it just becomes a fight from there. Most of it is hearsay and it just builds from there. I wish one day they would just become passive and not worry about what others say about them. Can’t fight fire with fire.

Shoes and Clothes

You will start seeing lots of it. Just start showing them the discount stores or outlets. First it will be a few, then it just escalates from there. Somehow, there’s this notion of having to have it. Don’t be surprised if some of them are not even worn. Some of them may be sent home and that’s a good thing rather than sitting in a closet collecting dust or in the same plastic when it was last dry cleaned.

Saving Everything

Once in a while you may end up with a hoarder. Can’t throw anything away because it’s a waste because people back home don’t even have it so it’s a waste to throw it away. They may even save it so “they can send it home” one day. Well, it could sit there for years. Not that this is limited to Filipinos, it can go with other Americans as well. Hopefully, you can show her ways or examples why saving it just doesn’t make sense and it just becomes junk. Maybe introduce them to doing yard sales. At least you will make some of your money back.

Food

You will start smelling, seeing, and tasting weird tastes. Don’t worry if you don’t like it, it is an acquired taste. Some of the food are salty, bitter, peanut buttery, sweet, sour, sweet and sour, fish soup and eyeball sucking, bones, and most of all the dreaded smell of fried dried fish or salted shrimp (bagoong). There will be a lot of rice – steamed rice, fried rice, porridge, sweet rice, and just about any kind of rice flour dessert.

To be Continued …

See Petitioning Your Filipina Girlfriend

 

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