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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Being married to a Filipina is great - Part 1

The best day of our lives
Inside the Tabun caves in Palawan

Honeymooning at the underground river in Palawan

Getting our wedding rings in San Fernando SM

A regular staple on Sunday's after church. Bee Happy Jolibee

In a Fil-Am marriage the term "East meets West" definitely comes into play. I have gone through an amazing transition as I adapted from being the "Hey Joe Kano" to a foreigner who not only appreciates the Filipino culture but actually credits it with transforming my life in a wonderful way.

Togetherness is a serious way of life

As I look back on the many years of experiences I have had in the Philippines there are a few things that seem to be universal when it comes to relationships between Westerners and Filipina's.  One of those things is the immersion of the Westerner into a family oriented culture. This "pagkikisama" togetherness culture of the Filipino is something that most Westerners are just not used to.  Most Westerners including myself at first will feel like their personal privacy has been invaded as they learn the art of togetherness in the Philippines. Having people run in and out of the house is as normal as brushing your teeth there. Going to do things in a group is also more the norm than the exception. Even in our own bed we have both our kids there with us. No cribs, no extra room for our daughter, just togetherness. I would not have it any other way now. But honestly took some getting used to it.

It's not about me, it's about my family

There are many reasons for the difference. The most basic is how we are raised. In the West, especially in America the wild wild West spirit of independence comes into play. We are taught from  the very earliest stages of our life that to be strong is to be independent. In the Philippines it is quite the opposite. To be strong you become one with your family and find strength in interdependence. This difference is seen by the foreigner when he tries to figure out why his honey is constantly in contact with her family or needs to be around people. I have learned a wonderful and valuable lesson as I have come to understand how we gain strength in interdependence. I love it now!

Hot oil protection

Fried food again? Ha ha ha .... as a foreigner I was amazed at how much my wife used to fry foods when we first got married. I was wondering if "Sunog" was par for the course when it came to cooking meat. Little did I realize that my wife was actually saving me by cooking in that way. It never dawned on me that the meats from the local market that are not refrigerated would pose a serious threat to my well being. Little did I know that if they were not cooked in a way that would end the existence of any harmful thing then it would pose a serious risk to my health. Thus I no longer question why things are fried. Rather I am just grateful she loves me enough to protect me. Ano pagkain natin ngayon? Frito ulit? ha ha ha ... meaning, what are we eating now? Fried again? 

Note: My wife who is standing here beside me as I write this wants me to put on record that she also does her best to serve me non fried foods and as much western cuisine as possible. That is true and she truly loves me enough to do her best to make me happy. Whew, I think I just dodged a slap on the head! 

Why it takes hours and hours to wash clothes

I was amazed the first time I saw my wife washing clothes. First of all I never knew a person could even break a sweat washing clothes. I had come from a push button instant wash culture. I don't think any young lady in America even knows how to wash clothes by hand. I thought it was an injustice to allow my wife to wash clothes by hand when we could afford a machine but she took so much pride in our clothes being cleaned she refused my offer. She would not have it any other way. Having clean clothes that are properly washed are a super priority for her. And I am a direct beneficiary too. It is a fact that hand washed clothes are cleaner and last much longer than machine washed clothes. The only issue is it takes hours and hours to do a family's laundry. Oh well, I'll go for the clean over instant any day.It will be interesting how we will manage this kind of washing once we are back in the fast paced life in America. I will write you all about it if and when that day comes.

Being married to a Filipina is a wonderful experience which has given my life many new interesting adventures in culture. There is a balance that most Filipina's hold in having been born into the unique culture of the Philippines where East meets West in so many ways. I heard that in the U.S. the lowest divorce rate of any mix marriage class is between Filipina's and their Western husbands. That in itself speaks for the strength of intercultural marriages between Filipina's and Westerners.

I will write more on my experiences of being married to a Filipina. She is priceless!

A pic taken at Langoggan Beach



  1. I'm not certain the place you're getting your info, however great topic. I must spend a while studying more or working out more. Thank you for great info I used to be looking for this info for my mission.
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    1. Hi Zenaida, the info came straight from my experience being married to my wife.

  2. "Ano pagkain natin ngayon? FRITO ulit????"
    -Super laughtrip and it's definitely priceless! =D
    May God bless you both :)

  3. Very inspiring thank you for sharing this experience to many people, i am also filipina and im proud to say i met my fiancee in real and soon to get married. For bout 3 years relationship i can say that we both lucky to have one another.Although we had many trials yet our relationship keep stronger. More power and GOD BLESS YOUR FAMILY!!!

  4. You made me smile because of your love story. I'm happy for both of you. Regarding the hand washing of clothes, I can relate with it because my mother would really insist of washing the clothes by herself and she's very particular to the cleanliness. I think it's a sort of a family custom because my grandmother is also very strict in terms of that. I think it's really a worthwhile journey to know and understand both culture. I wish you a more happy marriage and better understanding. God bless! :)

  5. so nice....your story is really wonderful not because you married a Filipina but the fact that you love each other so much. Its great to know that you try to understand each others differences, appreciate each others values and love each other everyday!!!
    God Bless to the both of you and to your family!!!

  6. As I get ready to marry my philipina woman in July, its nice to hear positive things instead of rederick from other people. Thanks , good reading.

  7. I'm into a relationship with a Brit for 7mos now (paths crossed through an online game,lol), and hopefully we will finally meet soon. Stories like these inspire me.. from a filipina's point of view, i personally am hesitant at first about this interracial relationship coz of the different cultures. But love is too strong.. I'm not from a poor family, but the stigma that Filipina's are just after the foreigner's money still is there.. i wanna show my man that I'm different, and we both will make it last. Thanks for this fine read :) - timmy

  8. i hate filipina she is a single mon still i love her and her kid too and i help her sending money for her child education . but suddenly she broke my heart. suddenly she is saying from today we will be friends . its hurt me lot. i think her ex bf who taking drugs have leave drugs because of new government and he come back so she make me friend . i hate her .it hurt not because of i lost money but becasue of pain she give to me. so please forginer please be carefull .its ok donot love filipina truely first after meet and marry i know they will be faithfull to u