Readers' Submissions

Told You So 11 – A Surprise Visitor



Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

Because these submissions are coming in thick and fast, I hope that Stickman won’t hold me too closely to the ‘stand alone’ rule. Suffice to say that I am now separated from my Filipina wife, divorce is pending, but she’s now got her hooks into a new man with a very vulnerable child and I’m doing my best to get her permission to stay in the UK revoked so she can’t cause any more trouble.

One respondent to these submissions suggested that I just ought to let this stuff go and walk away. Sound advice, as far as my marriage is concerned, and I’ve already done that mentally. My niece wants to introduce me to a nurse she works with – we’ll see what happens.

My life is actually fairly full right now. Yesterday my son and daughter-in-law (they live 5 minutes walk away) produced my second grandchild, another beautiful girl, and I’m pretty busy with grandfatherly duties. (Family was the main reason I returned to UK and I haven’t been disappointed, my daughter is due to produce a grandson in March). The saddest thing about this is that my estranged Filipina wife who purports to love children and could/would have been ‘Lola’ (grandmother in Tagalog) will never see them.

And just for variety, at 8 am today I was shifting a piano. It was a heavy bugger and steps were involved. Nothing like it to get the blood flowing and make you ready for a bacon buttie!

So the stuff with FP is in the background right now. I wait for the divorce to proceed and if I hear one day (and I will) that her permission to stay in the UK is revoked, that’s fine.

But life is never that simple and I have the vulnerable child at the back of my mind. Not my responsibility, of course, and not my problem. Maybe it’s something like the Thai policeman’s view that if the farang had not come to Bangkok and wasn’t driving his car right there, the accident with motosai would not have happened …

I was at home this afternoon when my phone rang. It was vulnerable child’s mother (call her ‘A’). She knows where I live (I’ve described in earlier submissions how she’d found papers belonging to the Filipina) and we’ve met before to discuss things. I’ve helped her with information about the Filipina.

‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ is the famous quote (or something like it) but believe me, you don’t want to get between a mother and her child, and ‘A’ has a custody hearing next week. Mother bears and their cubs (as seen on Discovery Channel) come close . The father is applying for full custody of the child based on the fact that Filipina will do the day-to-day care (she’s been coached in this by the father).

‘A’ had just picked up the child from her ‘Special School’ (less than a mile from my house) and wanted to talk, so I invited her for a cup of tea (this is the UK!). So I met the daughter ‘D’ for the first time. She is, of course, adorable, 5 years old, severely Down’s Syndrome and would melt the heart of even the hardest old bastard of Stick’s readers. (I’ve provided Stick with a link to photos of her, but we won’t pass those on for obvious reasons). I gave her a lollipop from the stash I keep for grand-daughter and settled her down drawing while ‘A’ and I talked.

In a previous submission I talked about relative ‘disposable income’ and I guessed that Filipina may have about £5,000 in the bank. Well, ‘A’ had Filipina’s latest bank statement. (Just a word about scruples and ethics here. I am prepared to show my Filipina the same respect she’s shown me. While calling me in her ‘little girl’ voice about any mail that comes to my house, she’s obviously been savvy enough to change her address with the bank. Fair enough.)

I wasn’t far wrong. She has a balance of about £4,800 – 325,000 Filipina pesos. Some readers, can and will, I’m sure, be able to equate that to Filipina terms but I guess it may be about two years gross salary in a ‘good’ job. ‘My’ Filipina has accumulated this in about five months because I was paying all the bills.

‘A’ is reasonably confident about the Custody Hearing – her lawyer will throw in a couple of things that the father doesn’t know she’s aware of when Filipina takes the stand as putative carer. Easy questions such as ‘Is it true you have a conviction for assault following a knife attack?’ and ‘Is it true that because of your marital status you may be required to leave the UK at any time soon?

But she’s taking no chances (I mentioned the mother bear and cub, didn’t I?). She’s already reported my Filipina to the UK Border Agency (but anyone following the UK news broadcasts will know just what a shambles that is) and decided that she could firm that up by taking the case to our local Member of Parliament. This was her own idea, honest.

I’ve mentioned before that this is a small county. I’ve mentioned before that my landlord knew about my situation and because he’s a friend of my son I didn’t want him dragged into any mess when Filipina left and I took on the tenancy in my own name. He and my son were room-mates some time ago. He’s a good guy. Not long after Filipina started renting the place, my landlord and his girlfriend stopped by and dropped off a dining table and chairs we (I) are borrowing. They met my Filipina and stayed for a cup of tea (this is the UK!). He knows the story.

As it happens, my landlord’s girlfriend (and co-habitee) has a good job. She is PA, whatever, to our local Member of Parliament and runs his office. When ‘A’ called her and told her the story of the Filipina whose visa should be withdrawn because her husband had filed for divorce, she was interested. When ‘A’ went on to give her the full details of the Filipina, the address of the rented house she had been living in and the husband’s (my) name she was, apparently, completely professional but the sound of the ‘penny dropping’ (as we say in the UK) was noticeable, to say the least. It seems likely that the MP will take up this case (and he seems quite a good bloke for an MP, I’ve met him before.)

My understanding and experience of the way these things work is that the local MP will send an intra-parliamentary memo to the responsible Minister asking for information – the Minister sends a memo to her (in this case) senior civil servants who look at the case and send a report which bounces back. Because we know in this case that due to diligent earlier work there are multiple reports on the Immigration computer system about ‘my’ Filipina (and they’ll be enhanced next Monday when my contact returns from leave), there is every hope that her ‘Big Day’ will come soon.

Am I vindictive? Not in the slightest. I’ve got more important things to think about and to enjoy. I hope that she can return to her village with her 325k or whatever with her head held high. (I did think of writing a long letter to her mother and to her brother in California to explain all of this, but there’s no point really, is there.)

Two promises to the Stick community. First, I’ll update things when there’s anything new of significance. Second, when it’s all over I’ll calculate what it all cost me (discounting the emotional stuff, of course) and we’ll see whether I would have been better off with sequential GFE in Pattaya. Can’t say fairer than that!



Stickman's thoughts:

Very interesting update. FP will be going home with a decent chunk of change, enough to set herself up when she gets there. With that said, there’s probably every likelihood the family will get their hands on it and it will be blown in no time.