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Moving to and living in the Philippines (Finding that Special Filipina)

This is my second part of the series. And now I will talk about another reason people move here and this is about the men.

From my experience, many non-Asian men find the exotic look of an Asian lady very desirable. The long black hair, the almond shaped eyes and the culture of the dedication to their husbands and family so different in their home countries.

I do need to state in the beginning, what I am writing is from observations, comments, stories and my some of my opinions. I am not trying to insult any Expats or Filipinos. This is just to put some thoughts in your mind if you have not yet found your special lady.

Remember, marriage is easy in most countries. Here there is no divorce and an annulment is expensive and not as easy as a divorce in other countries. Also in the Governments eyes, you are a foreigner and will always be a foreigner. When a disagreement comes between a foreigner and a Filipino, it is difficult to win that battle in court.

I know of some men that had their wives in their home country and decided when they retire to move to the Philippines. Not from any experience, but what I have heard from some, it is more difficult for a Filipina who has lived in America to move back to their home country. They had gotten used to the easier life, cleaner streets, shopping and just life in America or some other 1st World Nation and do not want to live in the Philippines again. I am not saying all, or many, but some.

There are other men, who had met their lady online, developed a long distance courtship and wanted to shorten the distance. That is what I did. I met Elena online, chatted and then progressed to using web cam and headsets. Once I decided Elena was the lady for me, I stopped the contact with the other candidates and just get to know her.

I first flew here for a week. We met in Manila and got to know each other in person. Then I had made 2 other trips. I came to Davao, met her family and got to experience Davao.

I originally planned to get Elena a fiancée visa and move her to the US and then move here when I retired. Well my retirement came sooner than planned. But now back to the story.

So, some men married their wives and lived with them in their home country. Some had met them online or some other way, maybe in another country they were visiting or working.

Then there are men who had come to the Philippines either part time or fully living here, and then spent some time meeting, dating and then decide to live with that special lady.

There are many ladies here, single, separated, young, and old. They also have many reasons they are interested in a foreigner for a mate. With the cultural differences a younger lady and an older man is not as strange as you would see in America.

What I am going to talk about now is some of the reasons I have heard why Filipinas, especially younger ones are interested. You need to think of this, the Philippines is a 3rd world nation and there is a lot of the population that are poor. They see a Foreigner as a rich man with savings and pensions. They can have a better life. Some also think of it as a way to help support their family too. I am not saying all, but some. I cannot even give the percentages. It is just something to keep in mind.

I have heard of a girl from the provinces that was told by her mother to go to an internet café to find an American to marry so he would help support her mother and family.

Family culture here is very different than in America. Here, family members help support the family. Children, especially if they work abroad will send money home to support their family.

Once you’re here, or even before you arrive, you might be asked to help out family members. IT might be support, to open a business, hospital bills. It might not be for an immediate family member, it could be for a close or even distant relative.

When you first move here, and are still thinking in your home county’s costs and everything is so much cheaper here, and you want to show compassion for your lady and her family, you might just dip into your pocket and help. Once you open the door, it is hard to close.

Just as when you move here, there is little chance there is anybody here that knew you at home, you can say you were anything back home. It goes the other way too. You meet this sweet, beautiful and loving lady. She treats you better than you have ever experienced before in your life. But you only know what she tells you about herself. Also since Filipinos stick together, her friends will not tell you about the hidden secrets. They might tell each other, but not to you, unless some girl wants to try to steal you.

You also need to realize, since English is not their native language, yes many here speak it to some level, they prefer to speak their language. Of all the social engagements I have attended, if there are 2 ladies at the table, they will talk in their native language. If there is a large group you will see all the Filipinas move to one table and leave their mates at another so they can talk to each other.

If you’re living in a house with your mate, and there are Filipino family members living with you, there is a strong possibility the only English you will here is if you’re directly in the conversation. Otherwise they will talk in their language. I have heard of one friend whose wives son, who knows English, has never talked in English at home.

I have 3 nieces and a nephew’s fiancée living with us and the only English I get is when I ask them a question or when they need something from me. And those conversations are very short. If feeling isolated is something you think will upset you, think again if this is the right lady or family to be with.

There is always the alternative, learn their language. For me, it is difficult. I am trying to learn, but just a word here and there. I do not have enough knowledge to follow a conversation. I hope someday to feel more comfortable with pronunciations to learn, maybe from a teacher, but now I am not ready.

I am not only warning Foreigners to be careful finding that lady here. I feel Filipinas have to beware too. There are Foreigners that move here that are not completely honest either.

As I stated in the beginning, these are just observations, thoughts and situations I have heard and just putting some thoughts to keep in mind if you’re planning to move here.

32 Responses to “Moving to and living in the Philippines (Finding that Special Filipina)”

  1. Terry says:

    I know how you feel about the language i’ve been trying to learn and remember words too and it is not easy. I guess because i really want to learn bisaya it will help once we are together.
    I have known my finance since May 2008 we talked on cam every day for 2 hours a day and i mean everyday. I visited her in Dec and i am a person who hates to stay at peoples houses even my relatives im just funny that way. My finance insisted we stay at her parents for 2 days and then get a hotel but after being there at her parents and feeling so welcome and comfortable we just stayed there
    the whole time. Yes there are a lot of gold diggers out there that i hear about and my financee will tell me of these girls who are talking to several guys on chat at the same time. I will say this to any man who sends money to any girl without seeing them on cam and has only seen a photo is a FOOL and they get what they deserve. My finance has never asked me for a dime now of course i send her money and have even let some time go by to see if she would ask and she wont. Ive even told her if you need some extra money for something to ask and she says no im not like that. I can only hope that others find true love as i have.

    • Bruce says:

      I am glad you met your special lady. I wish all the best. Even with webcam and visits there are some real women out for the bucks. All I say to them is be careful and like loaning friends money, do not lend what you cannot afford to lose.
      Thanks for reading.

  2. quickroute says:

    Nice site and congrats on moving off of blogspot – wish I had time to do the same

  3. tricia says:

    Several years ago I worked a case (Home Health Care) with a Filipina for five years and got to know her pretty well. Everything you are saying is exactly what I learned from her. She had married an American and moved here to the US. She became a citizen during the time we worked together. She worked two jobs and all her earnings from one she sent home to her grown children to help with living expenses.

    It will be interesting to follow your blog. ~ tricia

    • Bruce says:

      Thank you for your comment. I wrote this article and a “Food for thought” article. I expected many angry comments. I am not saying what I wrote is the exception or a rule, just things to think about before something happens.

  4. gee says:

    Filipnas are really desirable.

    For one thing, we have great values. But I cannot blame if others would say that there are Filipinas that chats with 2 or more men.

    I saw those kinds of Filipinas, but I hope they will find their true love. So they will know that it’s worth the chat without asking money.

    Your blog is wonderful!

    • Bruce says:

      Thank you for your comment. There are many loving Filipinas with great values and some with greed in their minds. I am not singling out Filipinas, it is happening from all over. There are many Russian ladies scamming Americans. As I state in a lot of my articles is how nice and open most of the Filipinos I meet are.

      Thank you also for enjoying my Blog, I hope you continue to visit and please tell your friends. Visitors and comments is what I am hoping for so we can build a group of people to share views and information.

  5. Tom Martin says:

    No need to apologize for calling it like you see it. It may not be the same for all, but it is your site and you have the right to your opinion. It is good if some do not agree makes the site more interesting.

    There are a lot of women doing exactly what you said and their are a lot of foreign men coming to get women they would not be able to get back home because they come here to take advantage of the poverty in a Third World Countriy.

    One thing you said that interest me is when you made reference to some guys coming here and exaggerating what they were, are and had back home. I have met so many of them. Few average Joe’s here, but sure are a lot of brain surgeons, supreme court justices, professors, executives with fortune five hundred companies, promoters, bank presidents, lawyers, all kinds of doctors, etc.

    In my opinion when you weigh all the pro’s and con’s of both sides neither side gets better than the other. The men who come with good intentions generally get a lady with good intentions and those that come to con generally get con.

    • Bruce says:

      I agree, with some that rush to the alter, they get what they asked for. I have seen similar things in America but more so here in the Philippines.
      In some ways I do not blame the Filipinas. With the poverty and the high unemployment people have to do what they need to do to survive as long as it is not illegal.
      I hope and pray, someday population will decrease to a better level, economy will improve and people will not have to resort to such tactics to survive.

  6. Yes! its really true so they have to be very observant first both party should be cautions_think 10x!

  7. Jackie says:

    hi nice to know your in Davao. Wish Im home. Im from Davao too and missing my place so much. Goodluck on your journey. Regards to Gmall ok?hehehe

    • Bruce says:


      Thanks for the Kind words. I tried to visit your site but it is not working.

      I am at G-mall so much they think I work there. I will tell them they are missed.

  8. This is a very interesting topic. I have been travelling around south east Asia for almost 20 years now. I have met quite a few men that have lost all their life savings on cheating Asian women. When I get the whole story from them it shows that they were usually very naive from the beginning til the end. Of course that doesnt excuse taking advantage of them. I have also met so many happy mixed couples, and that is really nice to see! I myself have been asked for money many times from girls I have gotten to know, and also many that don’t ask at all. Usually those out for foul play don’t take long until they show what their intentions are. Just never send money to someone you never met, is the best advice to start with. If the person on the other side keeps insisting, then just end the relation. The worst stories is those relations that were good for a long time and then the whole family starts to take advantage of the foreigner. Working together. But this is a thing that happens in my country too, without any poor parties involved! There are good and bad people everywhere, but when extreme poverty is involved it is not strange that things like this happens!

    What irritates me here in the western world is that there are so many people that have a one-sided attitude towards this, they think all people in countries like the Philippines are out to get their money! Usually those with this opinion have never been travelling out of their of home town in their life!

    • Bruce says:

      Thank you for your comment. You are right, this happens all over the world. In the past, when I lived in California I heard similar stories from Mexico.
      As you hint and I mentioned, but be cautious and be careful where and how you use your money.

  9. Bruce, I discovered that when clicking on Jackie’s link you get directed to “” and that doesnt work. Adding www in front will make it work. “”. Sometimes it works without www in some cases and in some not. Some should not have www, so it is a bit confusing.

  10. Sometimes the web browser takes care of it if u left “www” out. The browser usually fills it in, but not in the case above. 🙂

  11. Dutchie says:

    I hv never thought of myself as an expat when I moved from Singapore to The Netherlands after marrying my dutchman. I’m dutch by this association n to become one, I had to focus on mastering the language so that I don’t hv to rely on hubby for every little thing. It was a great relief when I got myself a job n was financially independent.

    My culture shock is the mentality of some here who seemed to hv lived a life in a cocoon n cares nothing from outside the perimeters of their home !! Family here thought I would fleece my dutchman, not knowing that I came from a 1st world nation, where life is at least 10x beter than what they will ever hv.

    Then there is their need to impress upon me to be frugal, to the extend of being such a stinge *sigh* I hv learned quickly never to be the last one holding the bag at any social gatherings bec they wouldnt think twice abt taking advantage of my inborned asian hospitality n let me pay for the meal, over n over again (shame on them, isnt it ?). I find most of them self-centred n indifferent, which is big no-no in my chinese culure. In my family, we care for one another, always putting their needs ahead of my own. There is give n take n we know when NOT to overstay our welcome.

    Due to all the negative vibes n feelings I had with my in-laws, a rift arises. It just went from bad to worse, so we avoided seeing one another.

    Hubby once said that it took him a week to bond with my family, what he never experienced with his family in a life time, which is sad bec life is lacking if one does not hv a family who truly embraces u thru thick n thin.

    I know there r some dutch who r warm-hearted, but I hv not met any in 2 decades that I’ve lived here *sigh*

    • Bruce says:

      I am trying to learn the cultural differences. As you mention, family relationships are so different. Same as respect. Here in Asia an older person gets respect automatically since they are older, in western countries you have to earn it. You mention “left holding the bag”. Here Filipinos see a foreigner as rich and always expect us to pay. I got tired at Christmas time hearing from anyone you know “Where is my Christmas Present”, I would reply “Where is mine?”
      There is also 2 unofficial prices here Filipino and Foreigner.
      I know, with all the differences you will enjoy life, Holland is a beautiful country. I have never visited but I have relatives there outside of Amsterdam and I have always had dreams of visiting there.

  12. Juliana says:

    Hi! Bruce

    This is a very engaging article. Having been born and raised in the Philippines makes me cringe upon reading the many different types of Filipinas. And yes, the gold digging type have become very apparent because of the general belief of most, that foreigners are loaded with dough. Have you even think about why SUCCESSFUL career women in the Philippines are not looking for an American or foreigner to marry?

    I was not looking for that man to come into my life when I met my husband. I did not meet my husband online nor any chat room, I met him in person when on vacation here in NY through common friends. Even prior to settling here, I was a frequent US traveler already. That makes me totally unaware what happens at chat rooms as I have never taken part in any.

    I can understand the feeling of not being able to communicate in the dialect. My husband on the other hand, never have to go through the same situation whenever we are with my family because thankfully enough my family speaks English fluently and they are aware how inappropriate it is to talk in a language that my husband can’t understand when he is around. And, no, my husband didn’t have to throw me a dime when we were still unmarried. And thankfully enough he nor I never have to throw a penny to my family even now that we are married.Not that we don’t want to, but it is simply not needed.

    Oh, and my husband knows how I love to go back home. I was raised in the North of Manila in Luzon, and went to school in Manila and worked for 20 years in Manila. Makati has been my home for more than half of my life. I will go back in a heart beat because I love my life in the Philippines. And that is the reason why we have a business right there,now managed by trusted professionals, something to fall back on when we’re tired of the life in New York, something which I think will be coming sooner than later.

    Good luck and keep the articles coming!

    • Bruce says:

      Thank you for visiting and commenting.
      That is the difference, you have a higher education and moved to the US. You were just an exotic looking lady in America.
      I have noticed most of the Filipinas living here looking for a foreigner husband online and most that are already married to Foreigners are from the Provences. Of all the ladies I have talked to who were raised in Davao, none of them are interested in a foreigner.
      I hope you will continue to visit, read my older articles and will tell your friends to visit too.

  13. Vicki says:


    Don’t feel too bad about having a hard time learning Tagalog. My late grandfather was an American of German descent (from Ohio) who retired to the Philippines when he married my late grandmother (who was Irish-Filipina). He lived in the Philippines for over 30 yrs, but never learned to speak Tagalog. His reason – everyone he dealt with spoke English. He saw no reason to learn Tagalog! So my siblings and I spoke English as our first language. Ironically, when we migrated here, I was hesitant to speak English because I didn’t think my English was good enough.

    Two of my brothers were very young when we migrated here. Although they don’t speak Tagalog anymore, they still understand. I guess that’s better than nothing.


    • Bruce says:

      I would like to learn one of the 2 languages spoken here. I want Bisaya since it is most widely used as a first language, but if I learned Tagalog I could understand the TV shows. Probably Bisaya so I can know what my family is saying about me. :-))

  14. laagan says:

    Hi Bruce,
    I love your site. Mainly because I used to live in the Davao. I went to a catholic university there. I miss davao..i love its people, food, culture everything….

    I have become an avid reader of your blog and please can you feature new things about the city? I was home last year and stayed in davao for 3 days, very short time indeed.

    BTW, good luck on you bisaya and to start off. Please translate my blog name..if you get that right you are on your way to bisayadom 🙂

    • Bruce says:

      Thank you for visiting and enjoying my Blog. I am happy when I get a Filipino reader that enjoys my articles. I hope to grow this site and the readers to have more a forum of what you all think and want and can interact with eah other. Maybe someday I start a forum type site for all to communicate.
      P.S. I got some help, but translation is “Always Roaming Around” 🙂

  15. Anthony says:

    I came to the Philippines to just explore another country and while at a Jollibees on the second day of a 2 week trip met my now wife of 3 years while eating fried chicken. She became my tour guide for the rest of the trip replacing my taxi driver. At the time i was single and very hard working in the USA at the time. I was”nt looking for a wife or anything at the time, just R and R. One week upon my return to the states i proposed and by the way no whoppi between her and I during the two weeks. I knew she was special and did”nt want intimacy to influence me and my feelings toward the beautiful Filipina 17 years my junior. The old saying was true for me that ” Dont look and it will find you”. As far as money and the extended family, I just told them NO. At the same time, when i could buy a motor bike, clothes, housing, give money, i have and continue to do so but on my terms. this set boundaries that they have with me and there daughter which they may not be happy with but at least they know where the BUCK stops.Oh, the mom and i did have a few verbal intense discussions pertaining to my expected contributions to my extended family. Seems the woman wear the pants in the Phil and expect the man to let them control the finances. Now everyone is in line with the program, the younger brothers get money gifts for great grades, the mom, well i put her to work, the dad works for me as well, and everyone in the Lane/Lawan family Know that education comes first. Remember be true to yourself and stop fronting and deceiving others and all your dreams in the Phil and elsewhere will come true if you just combine belief and hard work. Bruce,Bob, Hows that for telling it like it is!

    • Bruce says:

      That is a wonderful story. It is also nice how you support her family but on your conditions. When your here and open the taxi company, will you have a decent paying job for me. Well you did call me “Bro” in the past. 🙂

  16. Budzhot says:

    I really miss Davao. Hope you have a great time living in Davao with your family.

    • Bruce says:

      Well someday you will come back to see family and friends. I hope your doing well where ever you live so life is not too bad.
      Also thank you for finding my site and enjoying my writings.

  17. melz says:

    Yes, that’s true for some filipina’s as it is with some women in other countries. Maybe some just got the guts because of hardships in living here. But one thing for sure, filipinas are not fund of divorce or separation from spouse. Most filipinas stick to one or one woman man. As long as they can stand the character of the husband. Maybe marrying a foreigner is an excuse of the hardships here. But it is also a gamble if what the foreigner man saying is true and what the filipina think of marrying a foreigner will lift her standard of living.
    Yes, extended family so big here but it is not an obligation. It is your free will to help. And I say it’s better to give than to receive if you’re abundant. But don’t consider that a need to help. Maybe it is shameful to ask. I am a filipina and I believe it is daring to ask except if voluntary. But still shameful. Anyway, as you said some but not mostly.
    I am from Davao City. How do you find the situation? I love Duterte as mayor there. Drug addiction is what the mayor run after so as the thieves. I like your site.

    • Bruce says:

      First I want to thank you for visiting my site and enjoying my writings. I hope you will continue to visit and comment when you have something to say.

      Yes it is a gamble in any marriage. You never know what the person will be like after the marriage or in a few years. But here many look for a foreigner to marry as a way out of poverty, their country or to help the family. But a marriage based on financial considerations and not love and commitment is doomed. You say it is not an obligation to support the extended family, but many Filipinas will sneak out some money from shopping allowance to save to give to their family without the husbands knowledge.
      I do not know and have visited very little of your country. I came here and live here because Elena lived here. I have seen a lot of Davao and have visited Buda, Kidapawan and General Santos City. I think GenSan is more modern and clean. The part of Davao I like is the safety; yes Mayor Dutarte has done a wonderful job of cleaning up this city and making it a safe place to live. I hope when his term is up, the next Mayor continues what Mayor Dutarte has started. I would like to see better roads and road repair, less crowding and better drainage and sanitary conditions. Sewer system and water treatment instead of street side canals they dump into the rivers.
      This takes time and money, and I hope it is in the future plans.

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