Told You So
Just over two years ago (May 2009, but at the moment I’m too embarrassed to look back over my previous submissions) Stick published my enthusiastic submissions following my marriage in Cyprus to my Filipina princess. I even posted a wedding photo.
I received quite a bit of feedback – and I should say here that I’m always grateful for feedback. Some was positive, with messages of congratulations. Some was less than encouraging, and it is to pre-empt those correspondents that I have titled this submission as I have. You were, dear friends, right and I was wrong.
To update those who may be interested: both I and my Filipina princess are now in the UK. I will continue to style myself ‘Old Bill in Cyprus’ partly because being an ex-pat is more a state of mind than a physical location.
I found and continue to rent a very nice ‘executive town house’, two bedrooms, en-suite shower room, fully fitted kitchen with all the latest appliances, total cost (including broadband and utilities) about GBP 800 a month. It’s in a great location on the edge of a small town with the nearest beach about 6 miles away and in a county with stunning and world-famous scenery. I have a reasonable car, an oldish but ‘classic’ motorcycle, life couldn’t be better, could it? Well, I cannot live in my house because I have filed for divorce. I am occupying a single bedroom at my brother’s house, living out of a couple of supermarket bags. Not an ideal situation and certainly not one in which I expected to find myself at this stage of my life.
My estranged wife, my Filipina princess, is working in a residential/care home. Minimum wage, just under GBP 6 per hour. She works as much as possible, more than 210 hours per month, and as far as I can see she is saving all her earnings for eventual transfer back to the Philippines. We have talked about this but she has never been prepared to tell me just how much her target for savings is.
Along the way I have learned many things. I have spent many hours, a great deal of money, and enlisted the help of several agencies – including the ‘problem solving’ arm of the European Commission – to bring my princess legally to the UK where she now has complete right to reside indefinitely, work, etc.
Currently things are difficult. The divorce is pending (my petition, unreasonable behaviour). She now has a police record for assault following a knife attack on me.
This is, of course, all part of life’s rich tapestry. I would love to say that I am now poorer but wiser but I really could not substantiate a claim to wisdom. Einstein or somebody equally learned defined insanity as repeating the same experiment under the same conditions and expecting a different outcome.
This submission is not intended as a whinge or a moan, rather as a suggestion as to information I have gleaned along the way which may assist others who may find themselves in a similar situation. I have learned some useful stuff about divorce in the Philippines (it doesn’t exist) and how to obtain (proper as opposed to hookey) documents from Philippines National Records Office. I have also learned some things about relationships with Filipinas (and possibly other SEA ladies) which surprised me and have led me to the conclusion that however good (wrong word, maybe ‘straight’ would be better) your intentions, things can go drastically wrong. There is – and this may be politically incorrect but true nonetheless – a fundamental difference between East and West, between the (relatively) ordered and the ‘baksheesh’ culture. I found a number of similarities between the system in Cyprus, such as it is, and the Filipina attitude to law and documents.
One area I found particularly interesting in all this goes back to my relationship with a Thai lady in Cyprus, the lady whom I travelled to Thailand to try and start a meaningful relationship with. I posted submissions about this. I found out – too late as it turned out – that although in the area of Cyprus I was living, at least, Thais and Filipinas had no great regard for each other (Thais said that Filipinas would do anything for papers, Filipinas said Thais would do anything for money) there was a poisonous and noxious connection between a particular Filipina and my Thai lady’s mum. C’est la vie, but it was indicative of many problems with Filipinas – problems which certainly didn’t help my marriage.
Subject to the reception and acceptance of this submission I may have useful information to pass on. To any British citizens wishing to take a non EU or EEA bride to the UK I may be able to offer advice which could save you money.
And to those who told me I was being stupid, you were right and I was wrong. You told me so.
I am sorry to hear it didn't work out. I am sure many readers would be interested in any information you could impart following your experience and hope you choose to put it together for a follow up submission.