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My Filipino Family

Recently I have heard stories and read articles on other blogs about the relationships between a foreigner and a Filipina and how their extended family act or make demands on the relationship.

I am not going to write about what I have heard and read, that has been said in many places.
What I am going to write about is my family.

As I have written here that I had met Elena on an online site. The site was Cherry Blossoms. There are many other sites to meet ladies but I only used one. I met Elena about 3 ½ years ago.
Before meeting Elena I had corresponded to some other ladies but they were not what I was looking for. There were different reasons; age, background, education, attitudes and many others.

What I liked about Elena was she was educated, had good morals, was in her late 30’s when we first met and besides all that I thought then and as now she is beautiful and a figure that attracts me.

Elena is one of 7 children. Unfortunately 2 of her siblings has passed away prior to me meeting her. Her mother instilled in all her children what was instilled by her mother, which is the importance of education.

One of Elena’s sisters had 5 children. The oldest 2 are boys, Amar 26 and Peter 25. Then there are 3 girls, Merliza 22, Monaliza 20 and Riza 18. The 3 girls live with us. This is because, when Elena’s mother was alive, the grandchildren would live with her while in College if their parents lived in another city which is the case with the girls.

Amar had a full scholarship and is a graduate of a Business degree in marketing. He has been working as a Sales Representative with a distributer of Proctor & Gamble and is soon to take a better position as a Sales Representative for San Miguel Corporation. He lives here in Davao and visits us regularly.

Peter is a graduate with a degree in Marine Engineering. He works for a shipping line and travels all over the world.

Because of Peter’s job and higher salary he pays for his sisters’ tuition at the University since they are all in school for a Nursing Degree. Amar covers their allowance which includes books and supplies for school, commuting costs and cell phone loads to be in touch with us all.

Because of the closeness of these nephews and nieces to Elena and then with me, they are more like sons and daughters to us. Even though you get some attitudes from the girls at times, which all kids do as they grow up, they love and respect us both as parents.

When I decided to move here to the Philippines, Elena told her nephews about me coming here and the circumstances of me coming and that my monies will not be as large as we had hoped.
Amar, who does not make a large salary, promised an amount for us if needed and Peter told us not to worry, except for a small allowance for himself from his salary and after the girl’s tuition is covered, we can have the rest to help cover the food expenses for the girls. He also told Elena not to worry, he will always help us with any support we need and as soon as the girls graduate he will also buy us a house.

There is one other nephew with us, his name is Karem. Karem is the son of one of Elena’s sister-in-law. His father, Elena’s brother, passed away years ago. Karem recently passed his Boards and has his license as a Midwife. He is currently looking for a position in his field or as a Nurse’s Assistant. Karem younger brother Jun Jun is coming this summer to stay with us to complete his last 2 years of High School here since it is cheaper here than in the Provinces where he lives and the schools are better here.

Karem told me if he cannot get a job in the medical field, he wants to get any job to help support his brother’s expenses and his for living here. That earned a lot of respect to him from me.

So, with all the negative things said about how Filipinos think of foreigners and how Filipinas are out for foreigner’s money and not love so they can support their family, I have found the opposite. I have found a loving family that treats me as loving as I treat them. I actually get more love and respect from my Filipino family then I do from my American family.

I am truly a LUCKY MAN!!

14 Responses to “My Filipino Family”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am happy to read your comment about my fellow filipina and your new family.You are indeed a lucky man to have met an educated ,well bred woman. unfortunately,it is true that some foreigners are just unlucky to find Filipino women with families who become parasites and bleed them dry.And thats a very sad reality in our society. More power and congratulations to you and Elena.

  2. Bruce says:

    Thank you for writting and your nice comments. It is not only the foreigners who have the problem, some are the filipinas. I have heard of young girls forced by their familys to go online to find a foreigner so she can get money to support the family. The man, the filipina are both being used and the girl loses some dignity too I would think.

  3. Anthony says:

    Bruce, Yes i have experienced the needy side of that fence in reguards to support for my wifes family. What i have and am preparing to do is give the parents and brothers jobs in business there so they can live a true ” filipino Dream” of perhaps becoming successful in their own country which i hope will build self esteem,confidence, and to ultimately become self-relient.

    • Bruce says:

      I wish you the best with your future business. I know your wifes family will be happy to get a good job. Just count the hub caps each night. hahha

      If the taxi company works out, will you have a good job for me? hahaha

  4. Marvin says:

    I feel real bad about what I couldn’t to for my nephew from the province. I have a small dormitory for ‘females only’ going to college. I let any girls in our family board here for free if they wish to attend this college. But I can’t allow boys, even if they are a relative. We’ve had parents request that their daughter’s brother or cousin stay here with them, we had to refuse them. There are other less strict boarding houses that allow it. Anyway, my brother-in-law asked if his son could stay here and go to high school in the city while his sister was here, also going to high school. I politely said no can do, sorry. Well, my niece moved out and went back to high school in the province and they told everybody how unfair we were. This happened about a year after I paid for a new stage and covered area in the province for their graduations.

    • Bruce says:

      I am sorry you learned the hard way. Many times extended family members here expect you to handle everything for them. In my home we have 3 nieces. Two just graduated from nursing school and one just started 3rd year. They have two brothers, one here in Davao and one who works for a shipping line as a Marine Engineer. They are like our children. Some times nieces or nephews from the family ask to stay here too or for us to help support something. Elena tells them we cannot afford it since I am not on a pension. If it causes anger towards us, it is there problem. We cannot afford to board or support others. We even receive some support from the two older brothers of the girls with us.

  5. Sam Cason says:

    wow I like this. this is the first forum I have seen paying tribute to the good Filipino families. Trust me when I say I have seen all the bad Filipinos I want to. but there is good ones also. I am 58 yrs old and my wife of 5 years is 26. We had a rocky first year but our last 3 years have been great. I met her in Davao and fell in love with her humor and personality. We have 2 sons a 3 yrs old and 1 yr old. She is amazed everyday how different our sons are from Filipino kids. They are wild ass Texans who have never been to Texas. They are very tall even to American standards. They both wear the same size clothes except for pants. the oldest is 2 inches taller than the 1 year old. During our 5 years of marriage I lived one year in Davao with my wife and 1 year with me in Kuwait and her in Davao and the last 3 with all of us in Kuwait. My wife is a accountant and will make a penny squeal. When we first got married I opened a travel agency and after 3 years we closed it. but at the same time she started a tricycle business and put all the male members of her family to work there. Brothers and brother-in-laws. She had one rule. We make money they make money. sweet and simple. We have 16 tricycles now. We deposit money each week. Not a lot or getting rich but we could live on it if we had to. then we branched out into other things. all small things. but each one a family member runs it. each one we make a little money and they make a good salary. My mother-in-law and father-in-law watch everyone and keep them honest. Trust me I have seen what happens if one gets greedy. Its not pretty. They are booted out and it takes years to get back in their good grace. Momma used used to be the driving force but sometime over the years I was pushed into that position. When we go home they will schedule a meeting for all managers, me, my wife and momma and poppa. We discuss the business just like a board meeting. They tell me any problems they are having with different family member work habits and i can voice any concerns I have. We even discuss my nieces school and if some need a little help we give it but we make sure its temporary. My word is the final word on everything. My wife’s family is my family. They treated me better than my American family ever did. My mother-in-law cries every time we leave. She used to cry when it was just me leaving. My nieces pamper me and our boys. If they see my glass is empty they fill it immediately. They placed a big stuffed chair in the yard at our tricycle shop for me. They move that chair all over the yard to keep me out of the sun. They are very insistent about it. they don’t realize that Kuwait is 50 to 60 degrees and I am out in it for roughly 12 hours a day off and on. But its nice they worry about me. I have friends in Davao that envy me for my Filipino family.

    • Bruce says:

      You are very lucky to have a loving wife, good children and a Filipino family that understands hard work has its rewards. I wish I had the means to start a business. I have a few architectural projects in the possible process, but in the past, have done an initial design and then the client never contacted me back. Another in the works might die to land disputes. From you and your family, and the love they have for you is wonderful. You are a lucky man.

  6. annmarie says:

    Greeting of the LORD be with you both,,Wow,,it’s great sharing here in your forum,,,please understand my english i am not good as others,,i am simple woman only,,fell in love to one of your fellow american from texas,,we live together for 4yrs here in cebu,,we put business and thanks god business doing good and picking up..busy everyday,,,after 4yrs of living together i found out he cheated and lied to me,,after i found what he did,,i told him to leave my house and never come closed to my shop..Thanks GOD when he proposed married to me,,i refused because i felt that he will never be good husband to me,,,,i think i made the right decision..i am better off alone,,i know most american are friendly and nice,,maybe i am not lucky,,

    • Bruce says:

      Ann Marie,
      Thank you for your good wishes to me. Yes I am a lucky man having Elena as my wife.
      I am sorry your relationship did not work out. In all countries and all relationships there is good and bad. We just need to be careful when we allow someone into our life. It takes time to try to see the real person.
      I wish you a Happy and Healthy Holiday season.

  7. mark says:

    Hi fellas- I’ve truly enjoyed the comments. I just want to tell you all my situation, and get some feedback from you if possible. I have a GF from the phils that I’ve been communicating via internet with for 2 years. I haven’t yet even met face-to-face with her yet. My financial situation isn’t too good,(trying to sell a house), and I can’t afford the trip until my finances improve. I don’t necessarily see it as a bad thing, since its given us more time to know each other well before any physical attractions cloud our judgments. The “issue” I’m having is that although I’ve discussed my financial situation with her, and she understands, is that we can’t come to terms as far as support towards her family. I told her early on that unless she wanted to wait 5 years or so to marry and immigrate here, which I’m willing to wait for, she will have to work just so we can provide for ourselves and our son, (not mine biologically, never even held her hand). She has explained her feeling of indebtedness towards her family for providing her tuition and living expenses for college. I completely understand, and have said that I feel we should repay them for those expenses, only we would have to begin with lessor amounts until or situation improves. I have also explained the high cost of living here,even shown her my bills, and explained that we must immediately start saving for retirement( we’re both in our 30s, and I have had illnesses that have not allowed me to contribute much towards retirement. I’ve also explained that it is impossible for our son and future kids to afford paying for us in our elderly years. What made me write here other then the MANY other sites I’ve visited is the discussion about starting a family business there. My suggestion has been that we slowly pay off her tuition debt to her family, and then save until we can provide a business that could provide employment and income for them. She doesn’t agree, and insists that we should provide a monthly “allowance” for them. This kind of offends me, although I understand somewhat her culture. We discussed finances early on, and when she made those statements in the beginning I admit I thought she was just a “gold-digger”, (very poor at it since I’m broke), but instead of educated myself somewhat about cultural differences, thankfully so as she is so good for me I feel. My problem is, how can I make her understand that we must save for our future? And, I guess, anyone have suggestions as to how to explain my desire to create a business there someday for my someday in-laws? I guess I’m trying to prevent future problems, because I know that if I’m here working my butt off, it will insult me greatly knowing some hard earned money will be going towards people so they can sit on their butts and do nothing. Kind of the give a man a fish feed him for a day, teach a man to fish….for a lifetime( bad analogy when discussing the philippines..I know!). Can someone help me out here, or maybe give me a better understanding of her arguments?…by the way..during these discussions I’ve asked if her family would help us here in return if w needed….there was silence on the line…….

    • Bruce says:

      I had my wife read your comment for her advice on an answer. She told me to make all things clear and agreed. If you do bring her to the US, get a pre-nuptial agreement. We have heard of many Filipinas that marry an American as a stepping stone to the US. They will marry anyone willing, use as much as his savings as she can and then divorce him after the 2 year minimum to keep her green-card.
      I am not saying all Filipinas are this way and do not know the percentages but it is something to be aware of. Yes there are stories of true love, but also disaster stories too.

  8. mark says:

    Thanks Bruce- maybe I just needed a place to vent! Ha! I will be sure we come to terms with the family assistance thing BEFORE we pursue anything further. I have already discussed with her, and will require a pre-nupt. She was confused about what that was, and after I explained she became angry. Could I ask, do you feel her anger at my requested pre-nuptual agreement was just lack of her understanding it? That has been our latest conflict, she says that if we will keep our finances separate through a pre-nupt, then she can give all her salary to her family if she chooses. I’ve already explained that currently I can barely afford to care for myself, let alone two more people. This whole monthly allowance to family makes me so damn mad! Bruce, as an american, you understand the need to save for a rainy day, and save for retirement here, but so frustrating trying to explain to her. I’ve also told her I want time for her son to become adjusted here, and grow to love me, and I don’t feel we will be ready to begin having more kids until at least 2 1/2 years :>)

    • Bruce says:


      I read and discussed your story with Elena. She said many Filipinas marry and move to America as a stepping stone to life here and freedom. There are many possibilities I cannot say with is true in your case.
      My thought about the separate finances, if she thinks her income is hers to do with, tell her fine, as long as she pays 2/3 of all household expenses if her son lives there too and any costs of his schooling her responsibilities too.
      Then look for a new lady and start this game all over.

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