Readers' Submissions

Told You So 2 (Marrying – and Divorcing – a Filipina)



Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

So that this submission complies with the rules and can stand alone this is the background. Whilst living as an ex-pat in Cyprus, after a disastrous and expensive relationship with a Thai girl, I met, fell in love with and married in haste a Filipina lady in May 2009 to save her from deportation. The submissions are here for all to see (including a wedding photo I proudly posted). I managed to bring my wife back to the UK but recently filed for divorce. After many weeks of living out of supermarket bags in my brother’s spare room, I moved back into the house I rented for us a couple of days ago and she has left. The divorce is pending (my petition, unreasonable behaviour).

I’ve just read the submissions I posted at the time I married ‘J’. I feel a bit stupid now but in my defence I plead temporary insanity. When you are living as an ex-pat, outside your conditioned ‘life experience’ and subject to sea, sun, sand and beer you do things and make decisions you never would if you had continued your ‘normal’ existence.

Rereading my previous submissions I realised that I have given the information that I’m a retired cop (30 years). This is relevant to my situation (re pension) but also to something else I’d like to mention as a word to the wise. For most of my career I was a detective, dealing with fraud. I commanded a Fraud Squad, was part of national and international groups etc. So how have I been conned so easily? When I was working, I managed to persuade our Personnel Department to let me have an input into the pre-retirement course they ran for cops about to retire. Why? Because retired cops were particularly prone to being the victims of scams. First because they are generally pretty secure financially with a good pension (i.e. money available) and second because they thought they’d seen it all and were ‘worldly wise’. Thirdly, after a career of being cynical, distrustful, etc., they just wanted to retire and become ‘normal people’ again. Somebody (could have been Bill Bryson) wrote something to the effect that we can travel suspicious of everybody and never be ripped off but miss life’s experiences or we can travel with an open mind and be vulnerable and take it as it comes. I choose the latter.

That is my mitigation, m’lud, and now I present the facts as I know them about Filipinas, their culture and ways. I speak as one who married a Filipina (a failed refugee asylum seeker), and was successful in obtaining for her an EU residence certificate and – most importantly for her, at least, – an EEA Family Member Permit which allows her indefinite (i.e. permanent) right to reside and work in the UK. The cost of this EEA permit (a closely kept secret by UK Immigration authorities)? GBP 0. That’s right, zero. And all due to the blessed efforts of Mr. Singh, who took his case against the UK to the European Court and won.

I’ve said before in my submissions that my experience with South-East Asian ladies is limited and is confined to my experience of them in Cyprus (except for my brief visit to LOS to see my TGF). The Filipinas I have experience of are, without exception, those who were working and living in Cyprus (and a brief smattering of some here in the UK) and they can’t by definition be regarded as representative of Filipinas as a whole. So you must take my views with that in mind. I will try to be as objective as possible and here I should state that my feelings for ‘J’ remain strong, I still care for her and wish her all the best in life. I don’t feel bitter, just sad and disappointed.

The comments I make are, of course, generalisations. But I will back them up with real life examples of which I have direct personal knowledge and observations. I won’t, of course, name names and so on, but if anyone finds themselves in the same situation as me and really doubts what I say they can e-mail me.

So here we go, generalisations and all.

In my experience, Thai girls want to stay in Thailand with the benefit of a farang husband who will buy them (or their mother) a nice house in the village and the ‘face’ that goes with it. Filipinas also want a nice house in the village but are more than happy to live abroad and finance the house by remissions back. Filipinas don’t seem to have the ‘my country is paradise’ view that Thais have.

There is a huge difference between Filipinas and Thais because of their religious background. The Philippines were a Spanish colony from the 15 century until 19 century when they became US colonial possessions (I think) and thus were under the control of the RC church. Today most (?90+%) of the RP is catholic and the church holds huge sway. There is, of course, the Islamic inspired uprising in the south but the laws are based on catholic teachings. (My wife, I should say, is not catholic but protestant – despite what I understood and posted previously).

This is relevant, and I mention it only because, there is no divorce in the Philippines. I repeat, THERE IS NO DIVORCE IN THE PHILIPPINES. There is ‘annulment’, which is very strictly limited to (I think) about six grounds which involve marriage under-age, mental health issues, the bride being (undisclosedly) pregnant with someone else’s child but there are very strict laws about this. Generally speaking, if a spouse abandons her, assaults her, commits adultery, whatever, the marriage is still legally binding. To those who need more information, Google or e-mail me.

I have met a number of guys, committed with Filipinas who told me (and I think they believed it) that they were going to marry their girl just as soon as they got her a divorce in the Phils. Sorry guys.

The other point I should mention here is that perhaps because of the religious history there is a distinction between ‘legitimate’ and ‘illegitimate’ children – and they are recorded as such on their birth certificates.

And perhaps that’s the point at which I should end this submission, because it was the birth certificate which brought matters to a head for ‘J’ and I.

To be continued.



Stickman's thoughts:

You can't stop there! More please!