7 Red Flags of Marrying a Filipina

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.

For many Filipinas going to the beach without wearing a T-shirt is taboo…so are public displays of affection

Scattered Focus

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 Problems

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.

Poor Health

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.

The Philippines is the land of mega-malls which are filled with food-courts and the food Filipinos eat there is not exactly healthy

So, these are some (of the many) red flags to consider when marrying a Filipina.

Hope it helps….

Huwag Pagalitan ang mga Toro!

Ngayong umaga natuklasan ko na medyo delikado lumapit sa isang toro.

Actually hindi ako sure kung baka o toro ang nakita ko kanina: baka’ mga ba’ka sila o baka’ naman hindi ba’ka kundi toro….Isang bagay ay sigurado: mahaba ang mga sungay nila!

Malapit sa trabaho ko ay mayroon isang nature reserve na talagang wild na wild kung saan walang bahay, walang bukid kundi puro mga gubat at libis na punong puno ng lahat ng uri ng mabangis at wild na hayop: mga ba’ka (baka’ o toro…hindi bakla….), mga wild boar (wild na baboy), mga lobo at iba pa.

Dahil midweek ngayon ako lang ang nasa gitna ng libis at biglang nasumpungan ko ang aking sarili pinalilibutan ng napakaraming mga hayop: mga kabayo at mga toro (o baka’ ba’ka)….mabuti at hindi dumating ang mga lobo!

Anyway, lumapit ako sa toro para sana mag-selfie at….naku po….nagalit ang toro! At hinabol niya ako….mabuti at mabilis tumakas ako at nagtago ako sa malapit na gubat at tumawid ako ng ilog kung saan hindi nakadaan iyon….

Huwag kayong lumapit sa toro….may sungay iyon….

Valle del Sorbo: ang isang wild na wild na lugar na malapit lang sa Roma
Malayang gumagala ang mga hayop sa libis na iyan at walang bantay…maganda, kaso delikado…

How to Date a Filipina

Dating “a Filipina” is a rather generic expression because there are several categories of Filipino women and the “category” they belong to affects the kind of man they look for.

Low class Filipinas who would date just any Western guy

The first category is those relatively few poor Filipinas who may use their looks to date just any Joe Schmo with a white skin and use him as a means to getting an entry visa to his country.

Those ones are very easy to find online and one of the reasons why I closed the Facebook page where I used to share the posts of this blog is because I was receiving a lot of private messages from Filipinas who taught I was looking for a Filipina for marriage, and some would continue to message me even if I let them know that I am already married.

Dating this kind of women could result in having a lousy relationship because those women have a rather skewed view of what constitutes a relationship.

I remember travelling to a Northern European country, some 15 years ago, and meeting a Filipina in her mid 30’s who was married to an old Western man.

She talked very enthusiastically about the advantages that had accrued to her in terms of the financial stability she had gained and of how, by becoming the wife of a Western citizen, she had finally managed to get the residence permit in the country, after spending years in a state of clandestinity.

What she never mentioned is whether she had feeling for the man or not.

Although I don’t know the whole story, the fact that she only mentioned the legal and financial advantages of being in that kind of relationship, seems to tell me that there is a risk that if you are old and single, as well as relatively well-adjusted financially, and look for a much younger Asian lady, you might bump into someone who is not exactly looking for somebody to share her unselfish and unconditional love with.

Each situation is different of course, and there might be young Filipinas who marry an old and wealthy Western man with the right motive and not for selfish gain.

High Class and “Sosyal” Filipinas

Rarely do Filipinas who belong to wealthy families look for a white guy.

The famous American songwriter based in the Philippines, David Di Muzio, in one of his videos, said that rich Filipinas are more drawn to Spanish looking wealthy Filipinos and, generally speaking, they avoid the stigma of being viewed like lower class Filipinas who date men with a white skin and they go for a good looking Filipino with a Spanish blood (https://youtu.be/WZ6_NZDBnvA)

Middle Class Filipinas and O.F.W. Filipinas

I live in Italy and what I have noticed is that single Filipinas, who have been working here for a while, and are, as a result, rather financially self-sufficient, usually tend to look for a Filipino husband and many (at least the ones whom I know) would rather go on vacation to the Philippines to look for a husband than court an Italian here.

I know a lot more Italians who unsuccesfully tried to court Filipinas than Filipinas who tried to court Italians.

And I guess the same applies to middle-class Filipinas in the Philippines: those who have a good job and higher education would more likely go for a Filipino husband than try to court a Westerner.

So, the bottom line is (at least based on my experience) that very rarely do Filipinas who have a measure of financial stability look for a Western husband.

Another reason why dating a Filipina is not easy is because, especially in large cities like Rome, where tens of thousands of Pinoy live, Filipinos tend to associate with other Filipinos only and rarely do they widen out.

Their usual form of entertainment is going to Filipino social gatherings where the only Westerners are people who are somehow related to the Filipino community (like someone who is part of a religious organization) and rarely do they blend with local people.

Filipinas who might be interested in dating a Westerner

So, apart from a few low-class Filipinas who would marry a random white “Joe anybody” just to get an entry visa to the West, dating a Filipina is not that easy.

Nevertheless, there are Filipinas who do like Westerners more than they like Filipino guys.

Some Filipinas, for example, cannot stand heavy drinking and the macho-machunurin (macho masunurin or “submissive”) attitude of many Filipino guys who seem to only be able to act out macho qualities when they drive a car or when they binge drink but in a family setting it is often the woman who takes the lead.

Many men in the Philippines are less educated than their wives who often have a better job and end up being the ‘actual’ family head.

I know Filipinas in the Philippines who are college professors and their husbands are tricycle drivers.

Even here in Italy there are Filipinas who easily find a job as maids or as nurses while their husbands barely work and, as a result, their man get put “under the saya” (or “henpecked”), and all the more so because there are Filipino men who, on top of not being able to find work, have serious drinking problems.

So there are Filipinas who view dating Western men as a better option than ending up being married to a macho machunurin.

Those are probably the ones who are easier to date.

Finding a Filipina who might be interested in having a relationship with a Westerner is one thing, meeting the challenges of a Western-Filipino marriage is quite another.

In my blog I have abundantly written about some of these challenges, like, for example, dealing with the extended family and dealing with culture-shock.

Such challenges can be so energy consuming that before asking yourself “how can I date a Filipina” you’d probably better ask yourself if you are ready for a multiethnic marriage and to go through years of stress and tension.

I can safely say that right now I am successfully meeting the difficult challenges of my interracial marriage but it took me years to pass some of the humps that characterize this kind of marriage.So make sure first that you have enough openmindedness to be in a long-term relationship with a person who comes from a culture that merely has a very thin Western veneer, underneath which there are layers upon layers of cultural traits and habits that can drive a naive and unprepared Westerner crazy, and then keep in mind that dating a Filipina (I mean one who is interested in having a serious relationship) is not as easy as many Westerners assume.

How to Love a Filipina

Few months ago I wrote an article about the role of acceptance in an interracial marriage.

Some Westerners who marry Filipinas (or who otherwise interact long-term with Filipinos for some other reasons) begin to shoot upon the reality that they themselves have willingly chosen to embrace, or as the “Culture Shock Philippines” book puts it, develop a frustrated and antagonistic attitude toward their culture and live “marching to the beat of a different drummer in a place where there are no drums”, thereby feeling ill at ease.

The only cure is acceptance and almost all relationship experts talk about it.

Acceptance vs Tolerance

But what does acceptance really entail in an interracial intimate relationship?

Many Westerners who marry a Filipina probably go through the process of getting to know her without seriously weighing their readiness to deal with the inevitable culture shock that is going to show up before long.

What makes things trickier in a relationship with a Filipina is what the above mentioned book says in the introduction: “the elements that produce culture shock for the foreigner…are often extremely subtle and microscopic. Only upon accumulation does the full impact reach the bone”.

In other words the real magnitude of culture shock is hard to discern in the early stages of the relationship and so many Westerners go through the relationship underestimating the challenges that lay ahead and perhaps thinking “I’ll figure out how to deal with it somewhere down the road” and, sure enough, because it is not quite that simple to “figure it out somewhere down the road”, a culture shock that they didn’t quite anticipate hits hard and they find themselves ill-equipped for it and many react by putting on an antagonistic attitude.

The Filipino culture is filled with things that create friction in a long-term relationship with a Westerner, and in my blog I have abundantly mentioned many of them, from the bahala-na approach to things, that Westerners view as serious, to the relationship with the extended family and many others.

Yet, a Westerner may seek out relationship advice and stumble upon this nice concept of “acceptance” that may appear a little outlandish at first but it kind of begins to make sense as one dwells on it and tries to figure out why it is important.

Unconditional Love

So a Westerner may go: “I have made my mistake there is nothing I can do to change this situation I don’t like but I care about the relationship so I’ll find the way to accept the unacceptable and tolerate bahala-na, the role of the extended family etc”.

But you see, this is not acceptance: what you are doing here is you are tolerating and showing resignation”.

You are no longer “bashing the environment that you have chosen to inhabit” openly but you are still doing it in your thoughts and that is everything but acceptance.

Mere tolerance is a form of resistance: it doesn’t matter if you don’t broadcast your resistance. Resistance is still resistance even if we keep in our thoughts and don’t go around broadcasting it, and when we have thoughts of resistance or mere, and reluctant, tolerance for a behavior of our partner that deep within we struggle to fully accept, that thinking gets in the way of real acceptance which is unconditional love.

If I love my partner unconditionally won’t she and her extended family walk all over me?

Let me share a powerful quote from the book “Communication Miracles for Couples” by Jonathan Robinson: “I’ve noticed that many people are afraid to accept their partner unconditionally. They think that such a shift in attitude would lead to their partner walking all over them. Yet, the opposite is true. When people feel fully accepted, they do their very best to make their partners happy”.

The book goes on to say: “We tend to think we’ll love someone more once they change in some manner. It’s common to think, “If only my mate were nicer, thinner, richer, neater, and so on, then I would really accept him.” The result of this way of being is that your partner never feels fully loved, and therefore never fully accepts you”

And this really what works with a Filipina spouse: in much the same way as a parent (and all the more so if you are a steparent like me) is more likely to get his kids to do the right thing if the kids sense that they are being loved “flaws and all”, as kids (and especially stepchildren) become even more set in their ways when their parents come across as frustrated, a spouse (and this particularly applies to a Filipina spouse) is more likely to part with at least some of her “nasty behavior” if she senses that she is being loved unconditionally.

Unconditional Love in a Relationship with a Filipina Requires a Leap of Faith

In the process of learning to love a Filipina unconditionally and successfully deal with the Filipino mentality a Western partner may lose some money or suffer some other kind of damage, as the Filipino mentality doesn’t lead to prosperity and, more often than not eats away at it.

So loving a Filipina unconditionally requires a leap of faith.

But, there is no way around loving a Filipina unconditionally if what you really want is a thriving relationship.

Resisting your Filipina’s ways or merely trying to tolerance them, while having a lot of resistance inside, is like trying to drive your car with one foot on the accellerator and one on the brake.

This attitude won’t get you anywhere and will lead to a lot of frustration in the end.

So the only attitude that works in an interracial marriage, and with a Filipina in particular, is unconditional love.

Having gone through 20 years of dealing with a Filipina what I can say is this: “marrying a Filipina, especially one who has a very deep-seated “Pinoy mentality”, is a huge challenge so either you abstain from entering this kind of relationship of you accept the challenge of going through the sacrifices and the trials that are required to love her and her ways unconditionally.In the long run unconditionally loving her, flaws and all, will pay off immensely and you’ll enjoy an amazing relationship.

The Filipino Woman

I am writing this post from the perspective of a foreigner married to a Filipina.

What does the quote-unquote “typical” Filipina look like and what does marrying the stereotype Filipina entail? (Obviously there is a lot of Filipinas whom I know who have little to do with this “stereotype”, but many definitely fall into the category I will be discussing in this article).


Traditionally a Filipina is raised with the idea that she shoud lean toward becoming like the stereotype known as ‘Maria Clara’, the image of a woman who is defined as follows: “shy, demure, modest, self-effacing and loyal to the end. The openly provocative, sexually aggressive female who is frequently associated with the American female image is still comparatively rare in the Filipino culture”.

There are some Filipinas who join Facebook groups for Westerners looking for a potential Filipino wife who do post sexually provocative selfies, but, by and large, those are exceptions.

Filipina wearing a t-shirt on a beach in the One Hundred Islands National Park, Pangasinan

Actually there are Filipinas whom I know who wouldn’t even go to a beach without wearing a t shirt on top of their swimsuit and my wife and others don’t like public displays of affection, not even with their husbands.

But as for “shy and submissive”, well, I am not too sure:  this may appear to be the case on the surface because, while Filipino men play the macho, they drive, often aggressively, while their wives don’t even have a driving license, they drink alcohol while women rarely drink, their wives seem to be somewhere in the shadow or in a corner.

But they are not in the shadow or in a corner to just sit back and be dominated by their husbands. They are in the shadows to run the family, to do the actual work and make up for the negligence of way too many Filipino husbands who are engaged in “inuman”, “kwentuan” and who are often less educated or professionally qualified than their husbands.

So the man often ends up being economically, culturally and socially outsmarted by his wife, and this is quite a thing because, under some aspects the Philippines is even more “evolved” than those countries where women enjoy equal footing with men: in the Philippines it is often the man who is submissive to his wife (at least socio-economically) and this is something that really blows my mind.


To understand your Filipina, if you marry one, you must view her not just as your wife but someone who has been playing different roles imposed upon her by society because the Philippines is a highly family oriented community.

On top of being your wife she is: daughter, sister or ate and mother.


If she is the mother of your kids, she is likely going to try to raise them not as those ambitious Western kids who are raised with the idea that they should be achieving something in life, but rather as an integral part of the kin-group who, rather than focusing on achieving some personal goals or ambitions, are expected to provide for the extended family.

And this may create a friction because, while the Western husband might be trying to inculcate into his child the value of setting personal goals, his wife and the “byenan”, or in-laws, are definitely going to program the child with the idea that he should be focused on paying back his “utang na loob” of debt of gratitude to the whole kin-group, rather than pursuing his own independence and ambition.


As daughters Filipinas are closely tied to their mothers or “nanay”.

All Filipino children grow up with the idea that they will never become fully independent of their parents and that they will basically become the financial providers for their aging parents, but the daughter is generally the one who is particularly tied to her mother and she is the one who is expected to become the chief source of support for the aging mother.

The reason is because the mother is viewed by a Filipina daughter as the main source of advice, and in many cases this is understandable because in way too many Filipino families the mother is the actual head of the family.

As I said, one of the things that really impresses me about the Philippines is that there are many families in which the wife has higher education and a good job, while their husbands are like tricycle drivers, farmers or something like that and, when it comes to providing a cultural and moral example to their children they are often difficult to look up to because many are heavy drinkers and spend long hours idly chit-chatting with their fellow lalaki while their wives are much more “masipag” and busy trying to juggle work and child rearing.

But apart from those extreme cases where the father is a “macho machinurin” (a play of words for macho “masunurin” or submissive, a macho who is only such on the surface but, in reality, is being henpecked by his more socially and culturally evolved wife), even in those families in which the father is hardworking and sets an excellent example the mother is still viewed as the primary source of advice for the daughter and, therefore, as the one who is primarily responsible to care for the aging mother.


Because Filipinas are so attached to their nanay or mother, when the nanay becomes your “byenan” (mother in law) she might heavyhandedly dole out advice.

As ate, or older sister her siblings rely upon her basically for life. This is particularly true in those families where the parents work abroad or in those families where the children are orphans.

In such cases the ate is the one who basically raises her siblings and, even when those grow older, she is the one who is primarily expected to provide financial and emotional support to them.

And this is precisely the role that my wife is playing with her younger brother whom she helped to come to Italy and whom she is still helping under many aspects.

So, yes, if you are interested in marrying a Filipina, there are many things you have to take into account.

Many Westerners naively assume that they are going to marry this pretty Asian woman who will primarily be focused on taking care of her husband.

Well, it doesn’t quite work like that. If you marry a Filipina you have to be aware of the intricate set of relationships that she will be trying to juggle and this will definitely have a profound impact on your marriage.

My New Travel Blog/Il mio nuovo blog di viaggi

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic I have discovered amazing places in my own backyard and I am creating a new blog (in Italian for now, but I have a plan to write blog posts in English as well) about the incredible nature reserves that can be found in the outskirts of Rome.

The url is: https://escursioniromane.wordpress.com/

Per i miei follower italiani: sto creando un nuovo blog dove parlo di itinerari escursionistici situati nelle immediate vicinanze di Roma, che ho scoperto durante la cosiddetta “zona arancione”. Per chi fosse interessato l’indirizzo è: https://escursioniromane.wordpress.com/

Kung Papaano Gumawa ng Pinakamasarap na Empanadas

Sa ngayon nais kong i-share apat na hakbang na kailangang sundin para tamasahin ang pinaka-the-best na empanadas.

  • Hanapin ang isang babaeng mahusay sa paggawa ng empanadas bilang asawa
  • Sabihin sa kanya na gusto mong kainin ang empanadas
  • Maghintay habang ginagawa niya ang empanadas
  • Kainin mo ang kanyang empanadas kapag luto na

Ganitong ka-simple…

Gaano Kahalaga ang Buhay ng isang Manok?

2 manok na buo ay ibinebenta kapalit ng 4€

Dito sa Roma karaniwan, sa pader o pintuan ng mga supermarket ang mga karatula kung saan nakasulat na 2 manok ay ibinebenta kapalit ng 3-4 o 5 €.

Mukhang itinuturing mura talaga ang buhay ng isang manok.

Marami sa atin ang nagrereklamo tungkol sa ating kalagayan sa buhay, sa ating pinansyal na situwasyon, sa ating kalusugan o sa ating pag-aasawa.

Paano kung ipinanganak tayo manok na ibinebenta kapalit ng piso lang?

Anuman ang kalagayan natin pahalagahan natin kung ano ang mayroon….

Ang Dating Daan

Dito sa Roma mayroon mahigit 50,000 Pinoy at iba’t iba ang mga relihyon nila at, syempre naman, mayroon maraming “Dating Daan”.

Dito naman sa Roma ang nangyayari ay na, sa loob ng 3 taon marami ang mga dating daan. Ngunit sa ika-apat na taon nagiging ‘bagong daan’ ang mga daan.

Ang dahilan ay na malapit ang pagboboto para sa bagong mayor ng Roma, kaya lahat ng mga daan ay nagiging bago.

Ang bagong daan: ang dating daan ay nasa ilalim ng makapal na bagong aspalto

Babae pala ang mayor ng Roma, Virginia ang kanyang pangalan…pero hindi siya yata umiinom ng gin….

Kaunting (container) Wine…Kahit Isa Lang ang Bote

Dito sa Italya ibinebenta ang mga malaking tanke ng wine na naglalaman ng 5 litro ng juice ng ubas.

Kaya dalawa ang pagpipilian:

Pwedeng ibuhos ang laman ng container sa isang baso para maging kaunti ang container

O…..pwedeng putulin ang leeg ng container para maging kaunting container