It's a nice reading and I wish you all the best for your future.Balmung wrote:I add my experience as another data point.
I started looking for a Filipina online this spring. Ultimately, I found a woman that I feel is a great choice, and I visited her this summer, and already am planning another visit at Christmas time.
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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
From the time I started on the website till when I was chatting with only her, it was about one month. From chatting with just her till I met her in person, about 4 more months.
An important question! I didn't meet any of her family members this past trip. There were a couple reasons for this. One was logistics: she is from the semi-rural outskirts of a small-ish city (30k people I think), about an hour and a half away from the provincial capital that she moved to for a job. I didn't have that long in town, so going down there would have been a juggling act. But even more, she and her family are a little conservative (not overly so, but more so than most Americans)- she's said she wants her father's approval for any man she's seriously dating. She does already call me her boyfriend, and says she's sure her father will like me. Note that she's already told her parents about me, so this is more a formality I think. But I believe she didn't tell them about me until after she met me in person. She wanted to see if I was what I claimed to be, and wasn't going to go through that if I wasn't sincere. I understand that.
Now that we know what we feel for each other, our plan is for me to meet the folks on my next trip. This also gives her time to arrange an outing, and make it a real event, which should be quite memorable.
In some ways yes, in some ways no. I'd never been to the Philippines before, so I didn't know what to expect. That said, I've traveled to other countries in Asia and elsewhere- I think some guys who have never been to the third world are shocked by it, and when the Philippines is their first exposure to it, they can't get over the poverty and squalor. I've visited countries that are even poorer- India and Cambodia come to mind. Even places in Latin America don't seem much richer to me... shanty towns in Bogota or Mexico City don't strike me as much better off. And the general chaos of a poor country doesn't get to me. I didn't get the sense there that there was as much bureaucracy for its own sake as some other places (China, India, Vietnam).
As for the people... given how much s**t some people talk about the Phils, I never got the sense that it was any more poorly run or maintained than any other poor country. And I felt more welcomed than lots of other places. (OK, sure, I was with a woman that was really into me.) Filipinos struck me as overall very polite, on par with other Asian countries known for that (Japan, Thailand). One interesting thing: not only was my being with a local woman not a problem, I actually got a lot of support from locals. Waiters were all joking about us as a couple (in a friendly way), even random guys on the street gave me smiles. On multiple ocassions, old ladies were talking to us and encouraging me... one said (in English) on the 2nd day I was there: "Of course he loves you, he came all this way to see you, right?" Another old lady, I don't know what she said exactly, but my girlfriend later said she remarked on my "handsomness." Given the old lady's tone and expression, I got the feeling it might have been slightly more off color than that.
I'm not sure what country you're based in, since that will certainly effect things, but for many places (including the US), it will be impossible or nearly so for a Filipina to get a tourist visa. So it may be impossible. And even beyond that, I'm not sure it would be even a good idea. Bad girls might just want a free vacation. Good girls (and even some bad ones) might be concerned about if you're some nutcase before they meet you. If you're on her home turf, she'll be more comfortable, and frankly I think more likely to develop real feelings for you. Besides, if you bring her over to your country before she's totally into you, she'll see all the guys in your area, and you'll lose the foreigner novelty value that you get in the Philippines.
Balmung, we might be separated at birth brothers! Just went through exactly what you have done and shared the same experiences and insights on the Philippines. 1) met online late winter 2) 2 months later I was in Cebu (first time traveling there)3)30,000 facebook messages and counting4) Loved the people...never seen so many smiling faces in my life4)I saw the same riff raff you alluded to, made me feel embarrassed to be an American5) Going back at Christmas for a month. I took a big leap and proposed. We are getting married next year there. Best decision I ever made. Sometimes the best choices you make in life are the ones you make instantly. I decided two days in advance to go. Good luck to you!! If you are in the C area around Christmas send me a message meet up for dinner
There are a number of Philippines expat forums that are probably better able to have cost of living info than here. Of course it totally depends on where you live in the Philippines and what type of lifestyle you are looking for. If you want to live the same lifestyle that you have in your home country (Western food, car, nice house/condo) the cost will not be that much lower. If OTOH you can adjust your lifestyle, the Cost of living can be considerably lower.
Check out forums like:
Living in Cebu
Philippines Expat Forums
Check out my blog @ http://www.marriedafilipina.com