Family ties

A couple we assisted with their divorce in the Philippines almost two years ago (Adam and Jessie) now living in the USA, recently came back to Davao to visit their family. They contacted us to say hello and we agreed to met them at their hotel. We then decided to go to one of the day trip resorts and decided to go to Blue Jazz for lunch as it is very easy to get to. I have been there previously during the weekends and it was busy and an enjoyable spot to relax. Unfortunately when we got there we discovered that one of the main attractions, the water slides, were not operating so that was a big disappointment to them and an embarrassment to me as I had recommended the water slide to them.

We had a reasonable lunch although the service was very slow. So often the case in the Philippines! Jessie had met a Filipina friend there so they were very busy chatting and spreading local gossip. Adam and I sat slightly apart from them so were able to talk without being distracted by the ladies.

I asked Adam if his marriage was working out OK and he said it was great and that Jessie was a wonderful wife, a great cook and handled the housekeeping budget very carefully. At first she was amazed at the cost of the daily commodities as she was comparing them with Philippine prices. Once she got over that surprise and became familiar with what was available she began to look carefully at the markets to get the best deal. She also got to know the local small shop owners who treated her with respect and showed her the best specials they had that week.

Adam said that there were some downsides to having a Filipina as a wife/partner. Specifically he mentioned the other Filipinas that met at his home from time to time for coffee and chat sessions. When they left his wife always became very quiet and reused to speak for several hours and that concerned him. If his previous wife had occasionally kept quiet, he said, they might have still been married! He finally discovered that during those chat sessions the woman talked about their husbands and what they had given them and how much money they could send back to their families in the Philippines.

Before they left the Philippines for the US they had agreed verbally that they would provide 5,000 php each month to her mother. Her two brothers both had full time employment in Government offices as civil and electrical engineers receiving good salaries and the family owned a comfortable and spacious home and lived at home so there was sufficient money coming in.

The other Filipinas claimed their husbands were sending much more than 5,000 php per month to their families so that made her feel unhappy. He said that had caused some issues between them so he increased the monthly amount to 8,000 php.

A few weeks later he was told that some other women were sending 10,000 pesos each month.

He got annoyed and on the next due date he did not make any bank to bank transfer at all. Nothing was said so the following month he reverted back to sending the agreed 5,000 php. He has been doing that for the past six months and no one has complained.

He asked the husband of one of his wife’s friends about the amount he had been sending each month and was told that they sent $50 US each month and nothing like the 10,000 as claimed by the woman.

It appeared that these women during their gossip sessions were simply trying to outdo each other as to the generosity of their husbands. This is a trend that occurs with almost every foreigner’s wife’s family and other foreigners have related similar stories – but none have wanted to exchange their wife for another!

All marriages have to be based on give and take and next time I will relate a story about a foreigner who married a Filipina nurse. It has a very nice end!

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