Marrying a Filipina can be an amazing experience, but it can also lead to problems.
Many marriages between Western men and Filipinas fail, or, at very least, barely coast, simply because many people dive into this kind of relationship not knowing much about the Filipino culture and naively assuming that, because Filipinos speak English, they are like us Westerners.
The book “Culture Shock Philippines”, by Alfredo and Grace Roces, warns that a Westerner who enters a long-term relationship with Filipino people (whether it’s an intimate relationship or a business one) will find him/herself in a position where he/she and the Filipino/a speak the same language but they are not communicating at all.
How can a Westerner prevent this from happening?
Here are some red-flags to consider (based on my experience):
A Very Different Idea of Affection
We in the Western world like walking down the street hand in hand with our spouse or girlfriend and, perhaps, kissing each other on a park bench.
In the Philippines public displays of affection are often frowned upon, so there is a risk that, by marrying a Filipina, you might bump into one who only wants to limit displays of affection to the bedroom.
Filipinas do love and respect their husband but they also care a lot about their extended family.
So what might happen is that your Filipina is not focused 100% on the marriage but her focus is scattered in many directions, as she might be trying to juggle the marriage and providing financially for her parents, her brothers and sisters, her uncles and cousins and so on in the Philippines.
Constant Interference of Your In-laws
This is known in Tagalog as pakikialam, which basically means “interference”.
If you decide to move to the Philippines with your Filipina, chances are that you will end up living in the same house compound where the entire extended family lives and they will barge into your house several times a day and always dole out advice or criticism about how you manage the relationship and take care of your family.
And if you choose to live with her in your home country there is the possibility that she will pressure you to petition your in-laws and get them to live in same house with you, where you will face a similar situation.
I personally love the Filipino idea of family and I think it has it’s advantages but many Western people are not open to that, so watch out.
Money issues may arise when your Filipina tries to provide for too many relatives in the Philippines.
Money problems may also arise because, by and large, Filipinos think short-term and are rather emotional about how they spend their money.
Many like buying the latest electronic gadgets and eating at fast-food restaurants almost every day and cave in to the impulse of doing these things very irrationally and often end up not having any money.
Too Much TV and Internet
Filipinas are constantly nakatutok sa screen, a Tagalog expression meaning that they are addicted to their cell phones and TV and this might seriously affect deep and meaningful communication.
Lack of Clear Goals
Filipinos have the so-called ningas kugon mindset, meaning that they go about making plans very emotionally and then those plans and goals fizzle out very easily.
Many Filipinos eat junk food and drink a lot of sodas. On top of that many only do their medical check ups when they go to the Philippines on vacation and they never see a doctor while living and working in a Western country and tend to sweep their health problems under the rug.
So, these are some (of the many) red flags to consider when marrying a Filipina.
Hope it helps….