Expatriates in the Philippines

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Boracay at sunset. Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Walkway. Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Lion fish. Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Early Morning. Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Dancing star fish? Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Friday, May 20, 2005


Readers: To fully understand the content, read Jim’s earlier letters:

Testing the water. He floats!
Hi, Rik!
Well, wonder of wonders! Here it is Thursday, and not one peep about unfaithfulness, or imaginary girlfriends, or any other reference to my faithfulness! I really didn’t think she could do it! (Talaga!) So, as of now, she is still here, and she has been thoughtful, and done my ironing and cooked each evening meal, and been what has passed for normally sweet, even giving me a kiss when she comes in from work or whatever errand she has been on.
Your instructions/suggestions are of value! She seems to have finally gotten the message, and is ready to accept some house rules, set by me. Thank’s, buddy!

I still intend to retire to the RP in a couple of years. (With or without my Mahal) My Social Security monthly payment is $800.00 per month, not nearly enough to live on here, but ample for the RP; converted at today’s money-rate to P44,000. I should be able to live quite comfortably on that amount… or do you disagree?

Will I, if necessary, take another Filipina to wife? Yes. But in answer to your next question; Yes, I certainly will act differently toward her, and will choose the replacement after I get there, and am settled in my own house. And I’ll use the old rule, “try before you buy”! Does that sound crass? Probably, but it’s the voice of caution, taught by experience! I’m truly happy for you and Celine! She is a gem! Does she have a sister?

How did I treat my wife? Your suspicion is correct! I treated her as I was taught by my mother. I expected her to be my equal in family decisions, and let her know that. “What do you think, Mahal?” As life goes on, I expect to deal with her now (and with any possible replacement Honey Ko) in the fashion that a Master Chief in the Navy deals with his subordinates. “If I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you!” Now, before you think I’m too off-the-wall, I know I should do it a great deal more diplomatically and with greater sensitivity than that, but that’s the end result, anyway! And if a “new recruit” doesn’t like it, she can take a hike! I’m hoping I can work it out with my Mahal, since I do have deep tender feelings for her, in spite of the pain she has caused me, but the same applies to her.
The land in Zamboanga del Sur (see below: Rik) is in Mahal’s name, and I have “no personality” - meaning NO AUTHORITY - in its ownership. I paid the taxes (and other expenses), and planted 300 Coco Palms there, and the fees necessary for her to have the title to the land clearly and legally in her name. But if the situation deteriorates to the same old stressful grind, I’m willing to write that off, just to be rid of the constant accusations!


Earlier, Jim wrote about the matter of corruption in the Philippines to an editorial writer with a Manila newspaper:

My Filipina wife’s father left her about 25 hectares of land, near Siay, in Zamboanga del Sur, which she holds in trust for her children.
Her half-brother, who lives near the land in question, completely counter to the “law of the land” and the Department of Energy and Natural Resources is cutting down and selling hardwood trees on her land in her absence while she is here in the US with me. He has been visited before by the local authorities (Police) and the DENR and told to cease and desist, but continues his illegal activities, using up the resources earmarked for the grandchildren’s homebuilding efforts with no regard or respect, or trust in the wishes of his father!
… It has been my experience that the endemic, almost arrogant corruption at all levels of society in the Philippines is causing the horrible-to-watch decline of business, artistic expression, moral integrity, and personal pride in nearly all the populace. The corruption itself is not the problem, but the universal acceptance of it that keeps foreign business investors at arms’ length, and caused those who have already invested to close out and run, to cut their losses. The only exceptions I have found are those foreigners who have taken such advantage of the situation as to have effectively enslaved Filipinos in their own country, and can make a profit in spite of the prevailing necessary bribes, or as my Filipina wife calls them “mobilizations”!
This is a situation that can only get worse, until the full collapse of the country into total anarchy, starvation, and moral degradation brings about a sense of the need for basic morality in the common people.
How can I help? I can refuse to take part in “mobilizations”, and influence my family and friends to do likewise, giving up the perceived benefits of paying for what I want twice, in order to get it in some reasonable length of time.


I don’t expect any fair treatment from Philippine law, as regards joint ownership of other properties we have, like our house in Antipolo City that I paid off in the amount of $6,500.00 US. She said the house was registered in her name and mine, on the tax rolls. That’s nice, but if we must part ways, I expect to lose that investment, also. Plus, the more deeply I go into this Dual Citizenship thing, I find that it is a river of muddy water. The RP seems to be OK with it, but the US is not forthcoming on the subject in any meaningful way. You (Rik) can own any land or facilities you chose, but at this time all must be held in Celine’s name. “Ya pays yer money and takes yer chances!”

… hang in there, and keep on tellin’ it like is IS! You’re a valuable resource for all us wide-eyed, naïve, wishful American men. Blessings on you!


Congratulations, Jim; ETP is glad you tested the water and learned you could float! Whatever part I may have played in your taking more control; I doubt it was very much. I only implanted the notion in your mind that things could be different – ought to be different - and you took it from there. You should take the credit for what you did. But, whatever my role was, I’m glad I could be of some help.

Mustering and using your own strength has paid off; you can feel confident and pleased about taking charge of your life, and removing the grip your wife once had on you.
Mahal should have concerned herself with treating you as a husband all along, rather than as a walking bank or useful tool. I’m sure you realize now, that because you allowed it, Mahal seized the opportunity and became little more than a puppet-master above you. You danced, but it’s obvious that you weren’t a willing dancer. It was ruining your marriage. But no more. How does it feel to be your own master?
Jim, you are now a long stride ahead of most of the pack of American men who will never have a truly good relationship. They say, “Behind every good man, there’s a good woman.” I would rewrite it this way: “Behind every American man, there’s a woman shoving him in the direction of her desires.”
From the beginning Mahal needed to know what the rules were, and what behavior was acceptable or intolerable. Without those, Mahal didn’t know what to do, so she did what she wanted without regard to you.
It’s none of my business, and I’m not asking you to tell me, but I can’t help wondering what you did differently and what you said to put an end to her bad behavior. My father used to use the term that someone needed to "get a spine.” I think most American men need to “get a spine” and stop permitting women to walk all over them; and I include myself, though now in the past-tense only.

If the ‘reader’ gives himself freedom to admit that he’s not the perfect Macho Man, he can find a way to admit that it’s we men who’ve have enabled women to take control of our lives. If the reader can do that, then he can take that control back.
Jim, reading your admissions of your trouble with your wife and how she was treating you induced me to write about my own relationship in an earlier article (read the previous article). It occurred to me that it might help the readers to understand just how bad things got for me, and then, how I was willing and able to turn things around for myself. Perhaps they would see themselves somewhere in my story.
In a sense, it was my wife who led me to think about my own failure to “get a spine,” and to take long overdue action to walk a path of my own choosing. I suppose I should thank her for that. For when I took that step to divorce my ex-wife, I said to myself in my mind and out loud, “Never again,” would I allow a woman to control and manipulate me. And I never did.

I was divorced at age forty-five. For the first time in 15-years I found myself back on the ‘dating circuit.’ It was an interesting period of my life, even though it wasn’t much fun. However, as time progressed it became quite humorous for me, as I was again to rediscover the true nature of the American female mind-set.
After my divorce, I continued to live in the USA for ten years. In that time I met only one woman that I believed wanted more than to simply be supported by me. And, although I dated a lot, I almost never wanted to date the same girl twice. Then again, they didn’t want to date me again, either.
It was a time of learning; re-education, you might say. At first it was frustrating, going through the dating rituals, but after awhile it got down-right funny. Here’s the story:

During that period I was no longer able to work, due to my back injury, and I was living off of my disability benefits and a sizable amount of money from the sale of my San Diego home. When I was working, I had made great money and had a comfortable lifestyle. As the years went by, I accumulated some expensive dress clothes, quality furniture, stereo, etc. I also owned a customized 1975 Camaro which looked brand-new. So I ‘presented’ well to the public. When I would meet ladies I made a pretty good visual impression, and I would venture that I looked like I “had money.” On dates, I would usually dress-up in my finest dress clothes and take the lady out to a good restaurant with a soft, romantic ambience where we could leisurely take our dinner talking over candle-light, and have a long conversation with wine afterwards to get to know each other.
When I would pick my date up and they would see how I was dressed, I knew they were impressed with me from the way they looked me up and down and the smiles and sparkle in their eyes. I hoped they were impressed because they could see I was willing to make the effort to look nice, and that I had good manners. They always loved my car. Me, too.
At the restaurant, my date would lean forward and smile and would make all those subtle moves that tell a man when a woman is interested.
The conversation during dinner - pretty much the same each and every time - with slight variations on the theme, eventually became a source of chuckles for me:

SHE: “Soooo, what do you do, Rik?”
ME: “I’m the artistic and creative type. I play guitar at a professional level and sing. I design graphic art on my computer for what business I can pick-up and, using PhotoShop software, I create and sell digital artwork in a local gallery. It doesn’t pay much, but it helps. Mostly I do it because I love performing and being creative. It’s all just for fun, really. It gives me something to do to amuse myself”
SHE: leaning forward more; eyes widening, hands placed close to mine, or her finger touching mine on the table. “Soooo, you don’t make much money at it? Then how do you live? I mean, you must have a profession where you make your real money? I can see that your clothes are expensive and tailored for you… your car…I mean, you must be doing something right?”
ME: “No, actually I’m retired.”
SHE: lights flashing in her head, her eyes rolling around as she assesses me - relatively young, in his 40’s, expensive dresser, custom car, intelligent, articulate, and with a good vocabulary denoting education…
Soooo, you’re very young to be retired. You must have made a lot of money when you did work” – the big smile, the sparkling eyes. “Did you make a killing on the stock market? Own your own company? Are you one of those dot-com millionaires who now devote your life to enjoying your wealth?” she would ask in anticipation.
ME: “No. I’m just retired.”
SHE: unsure and hesitant. “But… how do you live?”
ME: "I live on social security disability benefits. I broke my back years ago in a work accident and I can’t do any kind of sustained work now. I have to lay down a lot to rest my back due to extensive pain.
SHE: eyes going dull, leaning back in her chair, hands no longer on the table, but in her lap. “Oh… I…I see. So you live on... social security. That’s it? How much is that? Can you live on that?”
ME: "Sort of. It’s not much. I’m certainly never going to get rich on it.”
SHE: “……………… ummm. It’s late, and I really should be getting home.”
SHE: at her front door. “Well, goodnight. Thanks for a nice evening.”
ME: “Would you like to get together again sometime?” (smiling inside because by now I know what the answer will be).
At this point I’d get one of two answers.
SHE: Answer one: “Let’s just see how it goes, OK? I’ll call you.”
Answer two: “I don’t think it would work out, ya know?
Both answers were the kiss of death. "Get lost!" I got the same unspoken message every single time. ‘There’s no way I’m going to hook-up with a guy whose sole income is social security!’
In a way, it was a blessing to me. Once again I saw that the key to an American woman’s heart was not through love, goodness, kindness, humor or compatibility. Only with small, dull green pieces of paper would I ever carpet my path the entire way into the heart of an American woman.

Now, I don’t blame any woman for wanting more than a starvation income. But none of my other attributes were ever given any consideration at all. I’m not bitter and I’m not angry. Life is what it is, and people are what they are. But that doesn’t mean I personally have to agree with or accept everything that comes my way.
Anyway, life is funny. What breaks your heart one day can make you laugh on another. The truth is, if I had married another American woman, or if I’d never broken my back, I would probably never have come to the Philippines, and I would never have met Celine. When I boil it all down to its essence, the bad things in my life turned out to be good for me. And I wouldn’t trade what I have now and return to America even if I could afford to live in a mansion with an unobstructed view of the ocean in La Jolla, California. Sometimes cheap is just better.

That was for you Jim, and all the other readers. I may as well share my own bad experiences and burdens if it will help another. The best part, though, is that now that I’ve told my own story, I can let it slip into the fog of the past and get back to being happy today.

The writing was on the wall. I would probably never get married again, unless I knelt down to some trailer trash ‘chick’ who would be happy if she could only get a couple beers in her everyday. That’s not for me. Better to stay single.
And I was all too aware, as my savings ran low, that I could no longer afford to live in the USA on nothing more than SSA. My research on moving to a country where I could afford to live in was in progress. And, to make a long story short, here I am in the Philippines.

In the RP (Republic of the Philippines), I practically need a stick to beat off all the girls and women who constantly flirt and throw themselves at me. If I were the type that loved to play the field, I could have a different woman in my bed virtually every night. It’s a mighty kick and heady experience to have young girls, beautiful young teen-age girls, trying to get me to allow them through my door. Many blatantly flirt with me in front of Celine. They don’t care; they’d steal away what Celine has (me) in a heartbeat if they could.

Fellow’s, one way to put an end to being used and mistreated is to stop trying to get milk from a dry cow. In other words, if you want to be happy stop going through the same revolving door hoping you’ll get lucky enough to meet an American woman who will love you, “just because of who you are.”
I’m not going to say that that kind of lady doesn’t exist in America, but I am saying that they’re almost as rare as flying pigs.

The smart thing to do is to move to the Philippines where the kind of woman you want is not even close to being an endangered species. Or for you younger and less patient guys; if you just can’t wait to retire, marry a Filipina and take her home with you. But if you do, and she turns into an Americunt, don’t yell at me about it, because I don’t really recommend bringing them home. Far better, I think, to stand-up and start demanding that the women in your area learn how to be real women again. Staying single in America, given the options, isn’t all that bad an idea. Dating is always cheaper than marriage. And you can walk away when she starts trying to turn you into her own version of Disco Duck.

My readers, will you turn and go you own way, or will you not? You have gone to the Internet in search of something different, something better and more satisfying than what you have had to endure from the women of your homeland. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading my web log at this moment. Now you must learn to do things differently - even if that means moving to and living in the Philippines in order to find a woman who’s truly interested in being a good wife to you, who’ll work beside you to make a happy life for you both, rather than shove you around from behind where you can’t see what’s really going on. If your a more mature man I shouldn't need to tell you the following. But if you're a young man; When you finally sit still long enough to use your brain instead of your tool to think about life: all the money, and all of your toys, your stereo, your cool car, the house with the pool, the trips to Jamaica, the 65-inch flat-screen TV monitor - you fill in the rest - aren't worth worth anything. Having a woman to love, and to be loved in a real and meaningful way, as a good companion and trustworthy and dedicated advocate, as well as a good lover is all that's ever going to make a sustained and important impact on your life.

Jim, while it is possible to live in the Philippines on $800 a month, you can’t live the high-life on that amount of money. But you can be comfortable, pay all of your bills, and still have a little spending money to do things for enjoyment. You won't be able to live in a very large and fancy house, but you can adapt. If you go back to my article, “How And Why The Philippines - Cost Of Living,” you can calculate about how much you need to get by. It doesn’t apply to living in a city like Manila or Cebu. Like most cities, it costs a lot more to live, but where the quality of life is less.

You’re thinking more clearly, now, Jim, in saying you’ll treat either Mahal or another Filipina in a different manner when you retire to the Philippines. Neither statement about “try before you buy,” and using the technique of a navy chief to make you wife behave properly is crass or wrong. I understand that you don’t intend to be mean or abusive, but are just venting through an idea, after all your troubles with Mahal (By the way, readers; Mahal means, “Love,” in the Tagalog language).
Thanks for your wishes of happiness for Celine and I. To change the subject momentarily: How about this? Celine is currrently menstruating and having extremely bad cramps (the worst she’s ever had, says she). Poor girl, she’s really suffering this month. But is she making me miserable, as well? No way! She still laughs, and we’ve been kidding around all day. She just got up from the couch a few moments ago for no other reason than to come to the room where I’m working to give me a kiss and a hug, let me squeeze her oh-so-finely-shaped behind, then returned to lay on the couch and watch TV. What a sweetie! I’m such a lucky guy.
Yes, Jim, Celine has five sisters, but not one of them is like her. They were never disciplined as strictly as Celine was and have developed tempers and poor attitudes. The two married one's have husbands that behave like women, so the girls are the boss.
If you really love Mahal, and haven’t simply grown used to having her around, stick with her. However, I recommend talking to her a lot now, both to teach her that her current behavior is going to be permanently changed, and that you will not tolerate her previous bad behavior one more day - in preparation for moving her back to the RP. The kind of talk (action) I mean is to make her understand that when you two move back to the RP you are going to be very strict with her as Pinoy custom dictates. Also tell her that she will be severely disciplined by you in the RP if she doesn’t obey you. Include spankings or whatever other methods of discipline you feel comfortable with. Although the crazy laws in America now prohibit physical discipline, such things are not uncommon in the RP. Which is better? I won’t argue that, but I’ll point out that, in general, children, teenagers and the older youth in the States have become uncontrollable, unbearable selfish monsters since the right to implement strict discipline was stipped from parents and power was handed over to all of those insane Phychiatrist-Gods, who's noxious psycho-babble is a big contributor to the slow but inevitable self-destruction of the American family and society.

It’s my opinion that it’s vital for you to assert permanent control over Mahal immediately. If you don’t, when you get back to RP, she may throw away all of your money showing-off to family and friends just how rich and American she is, and demonstrating how she gained power over you by learning to be a hard-nosed feminist.
Speaking of money, you should give thought to also taking away her credit cards, etc., and train her to to live in a cash only environment, with you controlling how much money she gets - not as a monthly allowance, but as she needs it.
Since my arrival here four years ago, I have never used a credit card, and I have only used checks to deposit money from my American bank to my local bank. It’s a cash society in the RP. Besides, you’ll need to control the flow of money once you live here permanently. It will also benefit you in your training of Mahal to obey you.

You have a lot of work ahead of you in training Mahal to think and behave differently. I don’t suggest you mistreat her. To the contrary. I recommend treating her well, and with love – but strongly and strictly. She’s not sure at the moment where she stands with you and is most likely worried about what her future would be if she had to fend for herself. Now is the time to seize the moment to develop strict guidelines for her and to incorporate your new discipline regimen.
Thanks for the information on foreign property rights. I knew some of it already, but I’m sure I could learn more.

Readers, you more-or-less have no property rights in the Philippines. As I understand it, you can own one lot of 600 square meters in your name. Add any more property to your holdings and you will pay for everything, but your wife will be the titled owner. And she can sell it out from underneath you if she chooses to. That’s another good reason to train your filipina to be loyal to you and obey you through strict discipline. As part of the receipe of discipline, I recommend lots os laughter, joking, tickling, kitchen dancing (attention paid to your Honey Ko when she's cooking or washing dishes: a kiss on the neck can go a long way). I always sneak up on Celine and tickle her waist, kiss and lick her ear, and tell her, "You know how much it drives me crazy when I see you with soap on your hands!" Or any number of other excuses. Discipline isn't about being tough, it's about love and caring and responsibility from both husband and wife.

I hope you’ll keep writing and keep ETP aware of how things are proceding for you, Jim. And, as always, good fortune to you.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

At ease. Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Blood sun on the sea. Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

A bevy of beauties. Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Tropical garden. Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Snakey Sneakers Posted by Hello Click to enlarge


Hey Rik,I just found your site and have really enjoyed reading.I think it great that you have built such a nice life for yourself. Celine is a lovely lady. She reminds me of Raquel, a nice Mexican girl I was courting. I almost brought her to the US for marriage, but she got cold feet at the last minute.
I am 39 years old (a little too young to retire / stop working). I have been fascinated with the idea of leaving the US. Asian women really grab my attention. I love America, but I have gotten bored with the rat race. Do you have any more info on income opportunities in the PR? Do you know anyone at the University in your area? I have a Bachelors degree in accounting and a Masters in management. Teaching for a year at a university may be a good way to move somewhere interesting, while not fully dropping out.Keep writing!John P

Hi John, and welcome to ETP, I’m glad you enjoy reading the articles, and I hope the information is of use to you.
My years and life with Celine has proven to be, by far, the most satisfying. It’s been amazingly wonderful to be more precise. In 38 years of dating and marriage in the USA, my love-life and relationships with women were mostly ones of frustration and befuddlement; due to the mind-games, power-games, control games, and the manipulation-games girls and women practice in the States. American women have created a well-rehearsed management system of keeping men off-balance, and always wondering where they stand with their girlfriend or wife. It works wonderfully, and is highly beneficial to the women. Keeping her man stumbling and bumbling, never sure how solid or elastic his relationship is, and always wondering if his woman is going to leave him or stay, the Americunt holds on to the power, and can manipulate her man in any way she wishes.
The culture of playing men for what a women can get for herself begins in childhood. With methods passed down from mother to daughter, aunt to niece, older sister to the younger, by the time girls are in her late teens, most are experts at deception and manipulation. What do woman want when they look for a boyfriend or husband? You’ve heard it all; you’ve seen it all played out repeatedly on television and in films. The high school girl wants the jock for prestige and status, and/or the guy with the cool (read expensive) car, and plenty of money to take them places and buy them things. In college they graduate to wanting to marry the doctor, lawyer, CEO, or dot.com millionaire. Mom, wants to know what the man’s profession is and, “How much money does he make?” when the daughter informs her she’s “in love.”
So, what do you think Betty Sue is really interested in when you ask her out or to marry you? Is it all about love? Is it all about making a good and happy life together? Is it about giving or is it about taking?
What I most observed in my own and other American style marriages was that the wife was more intent on establishing authority and separation of responsibility, and independence from the husband, than she was creating a viable, long lasting and soothe running American marriage.
My own American ex-wife was deliriously happy with everything about me when we were dating. I was Mister Wonderful. I didn't learn until much too late that my wife was heavily into deception to hide who she really was inside; a person filled with self-loathing, afraid to look at herself. Far worse, she turned out to be a Contrarian; one who likes, hates or says or does the opposite of someone close to her. Even if she agreed with me in her heart, she would disagree with me vocally. If I liked something, she would hate it. Later, if I was to say that I hated the same thing, she would would insist that she loved it. What I wanted, she didn't; what I didn't want, she did, and so on. There were many times that I thought a good whack on her head with a Prescription Hammer, claw-end down, would have been just the ticket for what ailed her. Instead, I endured through the slow decline and collapse of a fifteen-and-a-half year relationship that had never made it past those first hope-filled opening days of my marriage.
Not long after our wedding day, the way I dressed, in shorts and T-shirts, or Jeans and T-shirt, sandals or hiking/walking shoes was no longer considered acceptable dress. She started dressing me up – like a doll – to make me look “presentable.” That was in the late seventies, so I went from the loose hippy-look to Disco-Duck, complete with polyester pants, ugly print-shirts and gold neck-chain, before I knew what hit me. Nothing short of a complete make-over would have satisfied my sweet and dear darlin'. Now there was very little if anything about me that she liked. I required “readjustment.”
That stage didn’t last long. Unfortunately for her, I was not going to be rearranged like a piece of furniture, and I quickly refused to be sanitized, at her whim, to what her fantasy husband should look and act like.
While my “darlin’” considered me married to her and therefore responsible to and for her in every conceivable way; she, on the other hand, held that she was independent and bore no responsibility whatsoever to or for me. If she wanted something, a glass of water or clothes, etc., she would tell me to get it for her. If I asked for something, a cup of coffee, dinner, or most often, for her to pick-up after herself – since she was the biggest slob I ever had the misfortune to live with – she would tell me, “Do it yourself!”
My darlin’ demanded whatever she pleased of me, and always made it abundantly clear when she was unhappy with this or that about me, then demanded that I stop, change, or do for her.
When it was me that was unhappy with something about her, and I told her that I wanted to talk about her slavishness and laziness, her tacit refusal to participate in the marriage, she, as usual, flatly refused to have any discussion with me about any of my "complaints" - period. If she demanded of me, it was because I needed correcting. If I demanded anything of her, I was nothing more than a constant complainer. For the first thirteen years of marriage we had not one single “talk” though I tried to initiate hundreds. But I sure heard plenty from her.
One evening, after she had eaten her second piece of cake and drank her second glass of milk – each requiring fresh dishes, silverware, and napkins – and she had left them on the coffee table to be ignored (for days or weeks if need be) until I carried them to the kitchen and washed them for her, I finally had had enough. I wanted to talk, “No, I don’t feel like it,” came her familiar refrain.
This time it wasn’t going to work. I told her we were going to talk or she wouldn’t sleep all night; that I would pour cold water on her, if necessary; but we were going to talk!
“All right, say what you want and get it over with!” she said in a tone of voice that indicated she could care less about anything I might have to say.
“Blah, blah… and why do you behave as if there’s two Books of Rules for our marriage; one for you and one for me. One book says I have to answer to you for everyything and do whatever you tell me to do; the other book that says you don’t have to answer to me for anything. It’s as if I’m married to you, and totally responsible to you, but you aren’t married to me, and owe me nothing! … and... why do you refuse to pick-up after yourself, throw your clothes to the floor to rot, and never put anything in the same place twice… and... why won’t you clean-up after yourself or help with washing the dishes or wipe the counters or… anything?!
Tired of listening to me, I suppose, she offered as her answer the craziest reason I'd ever heard to explain why a woman shouldn't help out in the daily maintenance of a marriage.
“All right, I’ll tell you why I won’t wash the dishes, or anything else. It’s because I don’t want to set a precedent.” She paused, looking at me with hatred and defiance in her eyes.
“Pardon me?” I said. “Just what do you mean by that statement exactly? What the hell does refusing to wash dishes have to do with setting precedence’s in a relationship?”
My sweet darlin’s sharp reply: “Because, if I wash the dishes once you’ll expect me to wash them again, and I’m not going to fall into that trap!” … Huh?
“Yet, you don’t mind if I do all of those things for you," said I. "You demand that I do all those things; pick-up after you, cook, wash dishes, etc., but you can refuse to have anything expected of you? I have to answer to you, but you don’t have to answer to me; is that what you’re saying?’ I asked.
“That’s right. And I never want to talk about it again.” And off to bed she went.
Well, John, I don’t know what would be going through your mind at that moment as darlin’ stormed off to bed to turn her back on me in anger, but my mind was telling me that I had just wasted over 13-years of my life on a cold, self-absorbed, selfish, hateful sociopath, who never gave a thought to me or my needs, or even my love for her.
"Why would he stay so long with a woman like that?" I can hear you asking. Well, because in the beginning I loved her so much, and it was she I wanted to be married to. And I took my marriage seriously. I was also 30 years-old and she was 18 when we married, and I made a lot of excuses for her: she's young - she'll learn - grow-up - change over time. I was also, after-all, a pretty well-trained American male. I had seen a lot of that in other relationships. What one sees all one's life is considered to be normal, not strange or even bad. Mostly, though, I was, and still am, a loyalist. I believe that something like a marriage requires work and dedication. A good marriage isn't created overnight. Ah, well; I lived and I learned. Life isn't what we expect of it; it's what we each make of it for ourselves. My ex-wife's philosophy was to make my life a living, miserable hell. And me? Once I realized beyond any doubt that nothing I ever did was going to please my ex, and that she avoided happiness like it was the plague,I high-tailed it out of there. And, as it came to pass - my divorce was the best part of my marriage.

Am I happy with Celine, who is a complete partner, who loves to care for me, who enjoys serving me, participating totally in a ‘marriage’ with me, loving me with her entire body, mind and soul; always smiling, always happy, always pleasant, always willing, always giving?
Do I actually need to answer that question?

John, perhaps you can take solace for your loss of your Mexican honey, by noting that Mexican women are known for having fiery tempers, and their jealous rages are renowned. Also, by virtue of the amount of lard, fat and butter Mexicans use in their food, or after the first baby comes - even the slimmest of Mexicana’s can become very round, assuming that having a slim woman might be important to you.
I do prefer slim women, and you can see by her thin-bones and narrow hips in Celine's photos, she will never become fat. If a slim woman is important to you, you should consider looking for those two features in all of your future prospects.

I can understand your fascination with both the Asian world and with Filipina’s in particular. However, at the youthful age of 39, you face a predicament as far as living here in the Philippines and having gainful and financially substantial employment. In truth, I’m unsure how to advise you. If it weren’t the Philippines you were specifically interested in I would advise you that you could probably easily get long-term employment as an English instructor in China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia and other Asian countries. I would think that you would be required to speak a foreign language, however.
English is the official language of the Philippines, and although they don't speak it as we do, it's still fairly common.
There are agencies in the USA that specializes in hiring English instructors for overseas employment, and you can look into that.
That would at least allow you to physically be here and familiarize yourself with Asia and the cultures of the region. You would also be ‘local’ enough that you could travel from country to country on short trips to experience Asian life and culture, look things over and also meet women that you might interested in through Internet email, or Pen-pal and personals services.
As for Universities in Puerto Princesa, Palawan; I don’t think you could find a position here. This is a back-water province, and not a area that would require that sort of need from a foreign source. But I could be wrong.
There are foreign company’s that do business here, Nestlé’s, Bank of America, Unilever, Proctor and Gamble, and so forth. You could look into international businesses as a source of employment. Or, if you have the money, you could consider opening some kind of import store catering to foreigners, or buying, shipping and selling rice or specialty fish, squid, octopus, etc. throughout the country. The exportation to america of mango's and other specialty fruits to the USA might be an option. It’s difficult know what to suggest as I don’t know your interests or abilities beyond your education.
As you might expect, with the economy in the tank and wages ridiculously low, you couldn’t possibly compete with Pinoy for jobs. You simply couldn’t afford it. A doctor, or attorney, or judge makes an approximate monthly salary of around P25K – P40K ($485 to $800). In Manila, living in under circumstances and housing that small amount of salary would afford would simply appall you.
The best advice, I would think, would be to go with your strengths. As I see it, that would be accounting, business management or teaching. There are lots of schools, colleges, Universities in Bagio, Philippines, that cater to foreign students that you might look into for teaching positions. Do some research about Bagio on the Internet. It’s high in the mountains and can even get quite cold there. There are lots of pine trees - it’s the one place in the Philippines where strawberries are grown and sold, and it experiences a lot of cold fog. The Philippines presidential summer palace is there, and the place is filled with foreigners from all over the world. But, that also means it’s more expensive to live there.
Whatever you do, don’t even consider buying a bar in a place like Angeles City, Pampanga. Don’t buy one, period. You’ll only wind up being cheated and ripped-off at every turn and lose all of your money. Leave that to the Pinoy and the few savvy foreigners that have the fortitude to wade through the craziness day after day.

I hope I have been some help to you, John. And I hope you use your brain, instead of another portion of your anatomy, to find a Filipina that you can trust and who’ll treat you as you deserve to be treated; with love and respect.
Keep ETP informed as to your progress moving over this way and let ETP know about your experiences, both good and bad, with the Filipina’s you encounter on your journey through the world of Asia.
Good fortune to you, and thanks for visiting ETP: Expatriates in the Philippines.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Welcome to the Philippines! Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Philippines and Filipina's

You’re planning to retire or live in the Philippines.
Maybe you want to marry and take a Filipina back home with you.
You’re hoping to find a Filipina for love and happiness.
You're sick of Western women who only use you.
You want a woman who will treat you with respect.
What you need now is real and useful information
about sharing your life with a Filipina; so you can make
rational decisions and good choices.
You need to ask questions and get answers.

Read... ETP: Expatriates in the Philippines

Monday, May 16, 2005

Chocolate Hills, Bohol Island. Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Nudibranches. Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Falls and pool. Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Playing life's hand. Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

A desperate crab's home. Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Male Call: Jim

Light At The End Of The Tunnel...
As Viewed From The Dark End

Hi, Rik!First, let me thank you for the photo of you in your cowboy hat! It's always nice to be able to visualize the person to whom you are writing, or with whom you are holding a conversation...Now, about your last instructions to “Anonymous...”You couldn't be more correct in all that you say. I send you this confirmation, so that others who are inclined to "take up" with a Filipina don't make the mistake of saying to themselves "Well, Rik is just a hard-nosed dude, and I don't think I will have to be so tough." That would be a LARGE and important mistake. Our society thinks that being what our Americunt’s have taught us is nice, (but) is not, in reality, all that nice!
I have the misfortune to have been a victim of this pre-programming, and am now paying for it. For the past nearly four years, I have had to put up with constant suspicions and accusations from my wife, concerning my infidelities, which are, I assure you, completely imaginary! I have never been in any way unfaithful to her, - a Filipina, by the way - and have no intention of ever being. But after DAILY, and sometimes many times daily, accusations, (all unfounded) I finally got enough today, May 15th, and told her to get out of my life or to control herself enough to NEVER mention even any suspicions concerning my faithfulness. I suppose it is a Filipina trait that both I and Rik have had threats to pull a "Bobbit" on us, if ever caught.
I'm expecting to go to the lawyer on Thursday or Friday of next week, to start divorce proceedings, since I cannot feature her being able to control herself well enough to stop the accusations. After over a year immediately following her arrival here, I put up with constant harassment from her, ("If you don't put my name on the papers, I'm not your wife!") I finally went to the courthouse, and signed a quit-claim deed, and included her (with me) as the owner of my house, which I had paid off before she even arrived here from the PI. (Philippine Islands; better known as RP, The Republic of the Philippines. Rik) Now, according to her, I will have to get an order from the judge to recover full ownership of my house in the process of the divorce. Please don't let this happen to you! What's yours, when she becomes your Honey ko (I call mine "mahal"; meaning “love”, in Tagalog) should remain yours! Plus, in Florida, at least, when we married, my house automatically became our house legally, although I retained the right to sell it if I decided to. Now, I must go through the courts to recover the right to sell it.She says "I will go home to the Philippines", as if that's a threat to me! I have told her today, "Pax vobiscum", and "Are(n’t) you gone yet?" I refuse to be brow-beaten any more. Four years of it is enough!I'm ashamed to find myself in the position of being the Horrible Example, and a little embarrassed, but if I can help someone else avoid all this heartache and financial trauma, then I guess it'll all be worth it. Blessings on ya, Rik!Jim

Hello Jim, and welcome to ETP. Are you the same ‘Jim’ that’s been sending me the other messages and emails from Florida? I’m getting a number of ‘Jim’s’ and it can get confusing.
Oh, boy… I’m sorry to read about your unfortunate experience with your jealous Honey Ko. But I thank you very much for sharing your problems with me and my readers. It was good of you. I know that no one likes to look the fool. So for you to be willing to help others under those circumstances is commendable.

For those you who aren’t familiar with the term, “Bobbit,” it refers to a man whose last name was Bobbit. He apparently was having an affair with another woman, and his wife, enraged, waited until he went to sleep, then, using a kitchen knife cut off his penis. Taking it with her, she drove off in the car and threw his penis into a field she happened to drive past.

Jim, I gather that when you first met and then took Mahal back to the USA, you treated her as you would most any American woman; that is, as a woman who would normally demand special and superior treatment from a meek and malleable (look it up, guy’s) American male. In other words you handed Mahal the keys to the Kingdom.
It should come as no real surprise to any man that that type of woman can live in any part of the world. Filipina’s, if given the chance, will assert themselves as the boss once they discover they hold an advantage over men with what they keep in their panties. Foreign men with foreign customs are most to blame for the emergence of Filipina’s-with-an-attitude. Too many come to the Philippines pre-programmed to please and be subservient to women. The bar girls get the picture fast. They realize that they can manipulate men and they use that knowledge. What's worse, they share the information with their girl-friends and sisters back in their home village.
In America, as in the rest of the Western world, we men only have ourselves to blame for the ridiculous and humiliating way we cater to females.
You have to hand it to American ingenuity, however: Americunt’s have taken their power over men to a whole new level of shameless manipulation. If you have any doubts about how it works, and since most Western men are, sadly, unwilling to read books, just rent the movie, “French Kiss,” and learn.
In the beginning of the film you will see a strong and independent Luc (Kevin Klein) slowly change as the minutes tick by until by the end of the story, Luc is stumbling around doing everything for and trying to please Kate, (Meg Ryan) who rules his now silly and womanly heart. Naturally Hollywood (and Meg Ryan, as producer of the film) has to make “Kate” sweet, kind, innocent and un-beguiling. But if you pay close attention throughout the film, you see that she’s learning more and more how to manipulate men. At the end of the film, Kate gives her money to Luc for no reason she can explain; but it soon becomes obvious that she's purchased her way into getting what she really wanted for herself. After all, she was broke, had no job, no man, no country, and nowhere to go. You may well be tempted to think she got what she paid for, as an investment, under the guise of giving something away for nothing.
I wonder if she let Luc keep smoking cigarettes and drinking his wine after the wedding.
Men, you can even watch the film in front of your wife or your girlfriend, and they won’t get angry. To the contrary, I guarantee that they will tell you what a great movie it is, and will probably compliment you on finally renting something that they enjoy! It's actually a fun and enjoyable film, and I enjoy watching it. But that doesn't mean I don't keep my eyes and my mind open.

Western men have been asleep for at least half-a-century. If you wish to stay asleep, it’s your business; you’ll get no argument from me. However, I woke up, and I like to see clearly. Better still, I enjoy the riches of being awake and living the way I now do with Celine, my Filipina Honey Ko. I, in turn, get no argument from her, because she clearly enjoys her position and status, and enjoys living with me. Need I say more to convince you to open your eyes and caste off your shackles? I do? Then read the rest of the web log.
The priority for any foreign man who comes to the Philippines to live with or marry and take home a Filipina should be to de-program himself first, and to learn how to think differently about his relationships with women. Once you have learned to change yourself, you then need to decide how you’re going to act and behave in future.
Filipina’s can be very jealous and they are not afraid to threaten you if you allow her the freedom to. Jealousy is a harsh form of control, and women understand its affect on men. We cringe and writhe, then beg forgiveness for something we had probably, as in Jim’s case, never done. Have you, the reader, ever noticed that in times of a jealous rage or anger, Western women feel themselves justified and think it appropriate to hit, scratch, and/or to throw things, and physically hurt their men?
You Western men just try to do that to your Sweetie Pie, and you’ll wind-up first in jail and then in the dog-house. Have you ever asked yourself how that double-standard came to be? I can tell you for certain it wasn’t invented by a man. Is it programming? You bet it is! Now, try to wake-up if you can and see behind the veils of illusion that women have been draping in front of your eyes for so long now, as they trained you in so many ways to worship and fawn over them and do as you’re told.

Setting your rules and establishing dominance in the very beginning of your relationship with your Filipina is essential, before you sign the marriage documents or let her through your door with her clothes and make-up.

Jim, your “misfortune to have been a victim of this pre-programming,” isn’t an isolated event; and maybe you can take some comfort in knowing that. You have a lot of company. Most men take for granted the way things are in the Western world between men and women. That’s what makes for truly successful programming! Just as Neo, in the first “Matrix” film didn’t realize he was nothing more than a sleeping battery providing power to those who controlled him; most American men just drift in a fog, hoping in their sad dreams that they can either find or have a woman who will love and nurture them. Once either is accomplished, they spend the rest of their lives working to maintain their woman’s pleasure, and walking on eggshells in hopes of keeping her satisfied enough not to leave them. It sounds pretty pathetic, doesn’t it? It should, because it is pathetic. Can’t you see all of those Macho Cowboy’s sitting in the bar, crying in their beer, and listening to a, ‘She left me n’ my heart’s broke…’ song on the juke box? How macho is that?!
You’ve done well, and perhaps better than most others, if you have awakened to your own strength, and the opportunities offered to men to live the proper way with a Filipina in their own environment, in her own country. I do not, nor will I ever recommend taking a Filipina back to the West. You still have a chance to enrich your life, if you cast off the old way you did things and begin anew. There are uncountable numbers of Filipina’s that would love to treat you with respect and honor, and serve you as her master and husband if you’ve learned well enough how to properly proceed with you future relationships.

I understand your feelings of shame and embarrassment at how you allowed yourself to be treated. But, I would suggest to you, that you can’t see what isn’t shown. In other words, when you live in a society where every man has been trained to be subservient to women, you really couldn’t be expected to behave any differently than you did. If you’re awake now, and you continue to allow yourself to be controlled by women, you will have no excuses left to hide behind.
Thanks again for sharing your story, Jim. Please keep ETP and my readers updated on how things go for you in future.

Now, go forth – to the Philippines - and be happy.


Saturday, May 14, 2005

Male Call: Anonymous

Rik--I really enjoyed your perspective on American-Filipina relationships. I am going to visit Cagayan De Oro in about three weeks to meet my girlfriend and her family. You give really good advice about the balance of power in relationships, and my gf Divine is very sweet and fun. SHe's quite a bit younger than me, but I understand that isn't much of a problem there. She has told me many times "You're the boss" and that she will follow my direction. But I have noticed a funny thing about her... she will say something like "I am not going to go back to school next semester" and I will agree with her. I'll say, "That's fine honey if that is what you want..." and then she'll get tampo and say "So, you don't want me to go to school then?" I am learning more and more about how to communicate past the culture barrier. She isn't the first filipina I've had a relationship with, but she willb e the first one I am actually going to see. And I need all the caveats I can get, cause I read the gravity of your words when you said "if you marry the first filipina you meet, you'll be sorry". Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. Divine is very sweet though, and very loving. We talk almost every day, and she is always sending me cards and letters and pictures. She's seems like the real deal to me, and I say this after being scammed by several foreign women in the past. Cheers!

Hello Anonymous, and welcome to ETP. Thanks for the kind words. This is about the only place you and others are going to get the truth about the Philippines and relationships with Filipina's... and at no charge! Remember that when you surf to all of the tourist and personal's sites. You'll find no hidden agenda and no hidden charges at ETP. That bit of advertisement is for you new readers.
Anonymous, if you have personal questions or want more personal advice, you can leave me your name and email address and I'll get back to you, I promise. No one else will have access to either if you don't want either known.
I gather this will be your first visit to the RP (Republic of the Philippines). You're going to meet your Honey Ko and, naturally, her family. It's common to be scrutinized by the whole family and there may be dozens of people sitting around staring at you that will probably include grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, neighbors, friends. This will be a good time for you to learn some important things about your Filipina and the nature of her family, so keep your eyes open and pay attention to what goes on between you and them, and watch their faces as they talk to each other. Although you won't understand what they're saying to each other, if you watch carefully you may be able to pick-up intuitive feelings of what's going on.
Soon after the family meeting many foreign men begin to lose their money to gifts and the hand-outs' for fixing the roof, doctor bills, and so on. Your Dilipina may have already made you believe they need financial help from youin the earlier writing stage. You may be tempted by the poverty and poor conditions you see, or subtly coerced, to spend money. My advice is don't. Why?
Because you're going to be buried under smiles and friendliness either way, whether it's because they want to fleece you, or just be friendly. How will you tell which it is? And for your information, you're going to see a kind of poverty that doesn't exist anywhere in the USA, Australia or England, in the whole Western world; the temptation to give and to help will be probably be overwhelming. And although that can be a good thing, it can also work against you. Here's how.
1. If you are busy giving out the money, you won't know whether your Honey Ko really cares about you or your money. And it's important for both your future financial and emotional well-being that you establish, for yourself, the true nature of your relationship with her. If she really cares about you it won't matter whether you throw money around or not. It's all about the love, right?
2. If you find you really care about her after the visit, you should establish with her that you are not a repository of an endless flow of cash. For instance, before I allowed Celine to move in with me, I made it abundantly clear that I was taking on responsibilty for her, not her entire family, and that I would never support them or give them loans. Celine went home and told her family what I said. Good fortune smiled on me in that her family, although very poor, are proud and not greedy people. That's rare. Celine's mother and father said, "We don't want his (Rik's) money, and we won't ask for any. The father also went to all of his and his wife's relatives and ordered them not to bother us, come to the house or to ask me for money. Wow! That's incredibly rare! Of course it didn't exactly happen that way; refusing to take no for an answer, some of the more selfish and greedy relatives repeatedly came to demand money. My answer was consistantly the same. "No!"
It was important to establish to the relatives that they weren't going to be able to use me for their own gain. Before long, no one came anymore. Now, having written that, I have financially helped Celine's immediate family many times. But they don't ask for the help. I choose the times and the situations, and give because I want to, not because it's expected. Again, good fortune has been with me; Celine parents actually tell me they don't want my money and even try to refuse it - but I push it on them, always adding this same phrase, "It's my money and I can do what I want with it." That always leaves the opposite impression that I won't help if I don't want to, and subsequently they have no expectations.
The important thing is that I control the flow of my money. If you make the mistake of helping whenever you're asked to, or give loans (which virtually always means give with no hope of repayment) you are only asking to be put on a treadmill of never ending requests for money and hand-outs. You need to realize that you realy can't really help the people by giving money, anyway. The real poverty that is their daily existence won't change because you give a little money. But they will want you to give again and invent reasons to ask for more. My own, and most others' experience has been that they will not usually spend the money to make their lives better anyway, but spend it on snacks, and beer, rum or gin, jewelry or clothes. The sick child will remain sick and no doctor will see it, the leaking roof will still be leaking long after the money has disappeared. Commonly, Pinoy don't save money. Whether it's a little or a lot, it will be spent as quickly as possible, and on whatever the eyes happen to see first without regard to its importance in their lives.
Although I refuse all requests for money, Celine's parents, sisters and brothers all love me to one degree or another, and hold me in high regard. They admire my strength of character and truly appreciate that I want to help care for them when they have a real and desperate need.
If you show any weakness, Anonymous, you will be exploited. That's a fact, and you can count on it happening to you. If you accept that reality and take steps to protect yourself in advance, you should be all right.
3. Pinoy understand strength and power. They may not be happy with the rules you set, and they may not like you because you deflect their attempts to use you, but they will respect you and treat you a lot better than if they find they can manipulate you. They may come to love you, even though they can't control you. So you will be much better off in the long run.
Pinoy admire strength. Establish yourself as a man of strength, and never bend your own rules. You'll be amazed at the respect you'll recieve for your efforts. You will have established your position within the family and they will look to you to lead and will even seek your advise.
Aside from your obvious superior financial power, you have something far more valuable: knowledge. If they're smart they will tap into that knowledge base. And if you truly want to help them you should put that extensive knowledge that is so casually dispensed to most westerners to good use to give them the kind of help they really need.
You don't need to flaunt your superiority over them, nor am I saying that you should be tough, mean, raise your voice, yell or be commanding to the family members. Just be strong, be friendly, be happy and laugh and enjoy yourself; but always remain strong. You're entering into a uniquely Asian culture. It's far from what you're used to. The level of the Pinoy's ignorance about biology, medicine, the basics of virtually anything, is going to astound you. Use your knowledge to improve their lives - without the money component - and you will stand tall in their estimation of you.
Age issues: Anonymous, age doesn't have the same relevance as in the Western world. Just this morning Celine was telling me about a thirteen year-old female cousin of hers that went, of her own choice, to live with a 38 year-old man. The local version of a DSWD (child welfare) worker went to the man's house and wanted to force that girl go home to her parents. The parents had no problem with the arrangement, but it's the job of DSWD to insinuate themselves, just like in America, into other people's affairs. The girl refused and said she chose to and wanted to be with that man as his wife. DSWD, said, "All right, but if you change your mind, let us know," and left.
It's quite common for a 15 to 18 year-old Flipina to marry a man - Pinoy as well as foreign - who is well into his 30's or 40's. If you live here any length of time you'll soon hear about girls 15 to 25 marrying men as old as in their 80's. I won't waste time and space explaining why, except to say that young Filipina's soon learn that they're wasting their time with young, drunk playboy run-arounds'. Filipina's want to have a good man, one they can depend on, and they see that in an older man who's settled and reliable.
Anonymous, you wrote that Devine told you, "You're the boss," And that she'd follow your direction. She was teaching you about Asian culture and society, and how you could expect her to behave. And you did what most any well-trained (by women) American man would do; you relinquished your position as boss, as the one in charge, and your (potential) position as the head of the family. In her eyes, you were also showing a weakness. If you had been reading ETP thoroughly, you would have known that Filipina's expect you to be dominant and to lead. You left her with little choice but to challenge you to stand-up and take charge - I.E: "So you don't want me to go to school then?"
It was a big mistake on your part, but not an uncorrectable one. You will have to learn all over again how to behave with women. You rule... you're the boss... you make the decisions. That's what she told you. And you didn't listen to her! She must ask you for permission to do anything, and you must always make the decisions. You will control Devine. THAT'S how it is! Be kind, be loving, but be the boss. If you can't handle that, then you should stay home and get an Americunt - the European or Australian equivalent - to make decisions for you and to run things her way.
If you'd paid attention to Devine you would have realized that it's up to you whether she does or does not return to school. You tell her - "You will return to school," or "I don't want you going to school any longer."But, whatever you do tell her, also tell her, "You will obey me and do what I tell you to do." And if you don't want her to go to school, explain why - then tell her what she must do instead. That's what she expects from you!
Devine will still marry you, but she'll walk all over you if you hand her all the power. She, on the other hand, is looking to you for your strength and your willingness to lead, guide and, yes, control her. Is that what you really want? If the answer is yes, then you'd better start now. Remember an earlier suggestion of mine; start ahead of time deciding how you will do things, how she must behave, and what you will and will not accept and tolerate. Figure out now what those rules are and then lay it on the line for Devine. "You (Devine) will either accept my rules and how things will be or go somewhere else."
Anonymous, there's one other thing to consider about what or why Devine brought up the subject of dropping her next semester of college. It's possible that she hasn't been attending school at all. The school-scam is nothing new with Filipina's, and there are countless Filipina's using the school-scam to both deceive men into thinking their Honey Ko is intelligent and educated (and therefore probably from a good family). That would also make her a potential second 'earner,' which can be a plus for some men needing more money than can provided from a n often small retirement or disability pension. Then there's school-scam, Part II, about how Honey Ko can't continue in school because she can no longer afford to go - could you perhaps help her a little?
Foreigner's commonly use their own cultural and societal backgrounds to make decisions about their Honey Ko; one of them is education. It seemingly makes sense to want an educated woman - it fits-in with how people percieve each other in the West. Pinay know that. They may be ignorant, but they're not stupid.
That scam, used throughout the Philippines, is a popular ruse with the bargirl/prostitutes in Angeles City, Pampanga. They will usually be studying Computer Technology - more believable because they use a computer and the Internet to talk to you - or Care Giving.
Many men have discovered, after a hasty marriage, that their Honey Ko has no more than a grade-4 education, and that they're more adept at spreading their legs and getting a man's juices flowing than working with spread-sheets or flow-charts.
However, all of the highly educated American and European white-collar criminals stealing the public blind then, when caught, lie through their teeth, ought to indicate to you and others that education only offers opportunity, and doesn't guarantee honesty or trustworthness.
My Filipina wife, whom I'm seeking an annulment from, is college educated, but is both an idiot and manipulative. Celine, on the other hand only made it through grade-3, but is one of the smartest Filipina's I've met - and she is totally honest and has an innocent nature.
I'm not saying that your Devine is deceiving you about her education, but the fact that she is talking about leaving school just at the time you are going to the RP to meet her leads me to wonder, "Is it because she can't fake being a student when you're physically there in the RP with her?"
To be certain, here's what I would suggest you do. Ask Devine to take you to her college to meet some of her teachers, her school director and her advisor, so you can hear what they have to say about her abilities as a student. In that way, you can explain, you can find out her strengths and weaknesses and determine whether she should continue with her studies or not. And tell her you want to see her report cards - so you can see what a fine student she is!
If Devine tells you that the school is too far away for a visit, tell her it will make for a nice trip. If she starts giving you excuses why you can't go, and that her report cards are at her Lola's (grandmother's) house, your intuition should wake you up to the fact that something could well be amiss. Don't let her talk you out of going. It's best that you prove to yourself that she hasn't been or isn't in the process of deceiving you. If you discover that she is deceiving you, ask yourself what other deceptions lay hidden beneath the veneer of your "sweet and... very loving" darlin'.
Lastly, you can hire a Pinoy investigator to look into your Honey Ko and give you a report. It would cost you only a small fraction of what you would pay a P.I. in your home country. Doing any or all of those things would be far, far cheaper than marrying your darlin' Devine and then discovering you'd been scammed.
I'm not just flapping my ethereal lips for the fun of it. You're walking into a new world, a Twilight Zone relative to your Western brand of experience. It's up to you whether you will have a successful relationship. You can't blame her if things go bad. It's completely your responsibilty to protect yourself.
If everything turns out fine and you feel you know beyond a doubt that you can trust her, you can start counting your lucky stars.
Then you can reflect on what Devine has already told you about what she expects from you. And you can get started practicing your skills at being the boss. Don't be the arrogant, jerk boss that everyone hates, but be the boss all the same. The stronger you are the more she'll love you (if she loves you at all). You're going to have to teach her practically everything - so begin practicing being the teacher right away before you leave your home country. In Asia, being the teacher means that you must be a kindly but strict disciplinarian. Accept no substitutes... be firm, strong, dominant.
All of my advice goes double or triple if you are planning to take Devine back to the West. You'd better make her understand fully that if she lives in the States or wherever, nothing is going to change for her. Even so, you should expect that she'll become assimulated by her surroundings, and you'll most likely find that she won't be your 'little Filipina' for long. The Americunt's living next door, at work and elsewhere will see to that.
As for Devine being the real deal... well, time will tell if that's true or not. But, if you do things right by thinking about what you are going to do in advance, gird your loins, set and lay down your rules, then you will stand a much better chance of your 'real deal' turning into a sweet deal.
How, you may well ask, do I know things like I describe will happen? Because much, but not all of it happened to me, or to countless others.
I learned from my mistakes. No one helped me to understand how things work in the RP, so I had to trip, stumble and fall, then pick myself up again. Now I'm trying to help you and others get through the maze without bumping your head in the dark too much. It's up to you whether you heed the advice.
I do apologize if I seem tough on you, but there it is, none-the-less. Welcome to the Philippines and the Asian way of life. Good fortune to you, and thanks for writing to ETP.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Batfish Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Atiatihan Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Downpour in Casiguran Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Creatures of the Water Planet Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Cover-up for the rain Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Rik Posted by Hello Click to enlarge

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Look at that sky! Posted by Hello Click to enlarge