Bangkok, Vietnam, Philippines and England
I have been reading your site for several years now and had never had the compunction to join in with any stories (mainly due to the lack of spell check). Anyway I would like to call this rant, "Bangkok, Vietnam, Philippines and England".
Well what can I say? I have felt pain, sorrow, fear and laughter over the years whilst reading some of the submissions on this site, but now I feel only frustration on the latest opinions regarding the Philippines.
I have been lucky enough to have travelled to many countries and been lost on many occasions in the culture of those countries. Over time I have learnt to put myself in their shoes and adjust myself to their way of doing things.
My first visit to Asia was 1980 in Bangkok at the tender age of 19, and my last visit to the LOS was in 2008. I am now a 51-year old farang who has tried the English way, divorced the English way and now lives happily the Asian way.
I struggled with the culture in South-East Asia to stay too long. They wore me down with the whole Thai and Vietnamese thing that they do. I could never stay too long. My first visit in 1980 was an emotional nightmare. I wasn't able to control the love thing and I fell in love 5 times in 10 days. Then in 2008 I decided to divorce every woman in the West and find the love of my life in Thailand.
I tried, god knows I tried but in the end it was just to bloody dodgy. They were beautiful and bizarre, loving and crazy, caring and scary, sexy and devious they were all wonderful to be with but a nightmare to live with. My plan was to find a good girl, but they were all at lunch when I was looking. Then back in the UK I had some health problems and met a few nurses from the Philippines who told me to visit their home country and find a good girl, a Catholic girl. What a good idea, they speak English they are 90% Christian and there's 70 million of them. So off I went in 2008. All I knew about the Philippines was Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, the Battan death march, some boxer and one of the guys in the Black Eyed Peas. Arrived in Manila, and left Manila, and went to find the Battan Peninsula where John Wayne won the war. Found myself in a place called The City of San Fernando, which is where the death march finished before the Japs put them in cattle trucks and sent them up north.
Clarke and Angeles are a 30-minute drive way.
Anyway, I went to the malls, I went to the churches, markets, clubs and bars and I must admit I didn't much care for Angeles or Clarke, which is where I thought the action was. The girls in Angeles were great, happy, funny, sexy, cute, and unlike the girls in Thailand or Vietnam, they all spoke good or fluent English. You could have a long chat and a joke and some great sex. Angeles and Clarke are not as bad as some people say but there isn't the diversity there. It doesn't have the feeling that a city should have. The Americans just left it, after they had finished bombing the shit out of South-East Asia. I went back to San Fernando and stayed there, only 30 minutes away from the barfine girls.
I had a flash back to Bangkok 1980. Wherever I went the ladies and girls were giggling and laughing pointing and shouting in English I could understand – and this was in the malls, churches and markets. Everywhere I went I was getting attention and flirted with. Great, love it here and no barfines. It is true that most of the girls are not long legged and classic Asian beauties but 20% of them ARE hot and another 30% ARE what you would barfine in Bangkok. I can honestly say that I could have got a date in any store I went into. Then I saw two girls that turned my head very fast. I looked because all the Filipinos were looking, men and women. They were twins, about 3 years old with long jet black straight hair and oriental eyes, gorgeous. Then I saw their mother. F**k ME on a doughnut. I will admit I thought she was a bad girl or a drop dead hot nanny. I didn't do anything and just watched them leave the mall.
Every day I went to 4 malls, getting coffee, lunch or dinner dates, still searching for that one girl who I would feel a connection with. After a week or so I spotted them again in the church which was near to the hotel I was staying in. I quickly bought 2 garlands of jasmine and went over to the girls and gave them the flowers. They promptly ran away and grabbed their mother's long legs.
She turned to me and said thank you, came over smiling and shook my hand. No wedding ring!!!
I thought I was punching above my weight as she was beautiful and then a guy appeared and said HEY JOE. They all think you're American which always pisses me off. I did my usual when you inadvertently bump into a girl's boyfriend. Sorry, mate, didn't realise she was with you but your daughters are lovely. Yes they are he said, they are my sisters. Result! She came over again smiling and asked me what a westerner was doing in church, and I told her, it's Sunday and I always go to church on a Sunday. (A sin, lies in a church.)
I thought I was on a roll so I asked, would you and the girls like to go out some time. Yes she said, tomorrow.
Anyway we have been married for 3 years and I spend most of my time in the Philippines. We travel all the time around Asia very cheaply and visit the islands in the Philippines. It is a very beautiful place to be and they do have it all. If you can get out of the big cities and towns.
YES, they will try it on sometimes, be realistic guys there people have so little and their lives are very very hard.
As is the norm, I will tell you the best and the worst in my opinion.
Live like a king on $1000 a month. Be loved by your partner – they understand how to love. Be amazed by their sense of family and the way they look out for each member of their family. Be looked after in every way you could possibly imagine. Be respected by 90% of the people you meet. Their faith. (blind faith) Their kindness. Their happy persona. The children love school and love to study. Watch DVDs before they are released in the cinema. Laugh with them all the time at their Naivety and their gossip. Laugh when they ask about the werewolves and vampires in Europe, and have you met the Queen. Enjoy the loud music emanating from every store and house. Enjoy Christmas from September to January. Enjoy shopping and negotiate / barter / debate every purchase you make. Tell them your caribou is sick and you have no milk for your babies and they piss themselves laughing. Be amazed by the generosity of these people who have so little. Be amazed at the care and total respect of their elders, even though most of the old bastards don't deserve it. Premiership live football. Cable TV. Beaches that take your breath away. Fishing with dynamite. Mountains, volcanoes and the bizarre minor earthquakes. Watch their faces and then debate when you tell them about Darwin's theory of evolution or that you don't believe most of the bible stories. Debate with them for hours and hours and hours about anything (talk bollocks basically). Tease them constantly. Enjoy verbally torturing the Americans and Koreans. Enjoy the parties that they have on a weekly basis, they know how to party. Enjoy their hospitality and amazing sense of humour. Enjoy the carnage and Russian roulette of their driving skills. Enjoy the fact that no body takes any notice of any rules whatsoever. Drink driving I do not condone, BUT, if you get caught once you get a $20 fine. If you get caught twice you get a $50 fine and if you get caught a third time they will take away your licence, unless you give the cop $20 and then he will take you home and clean the car. Pork chops and pork belly. Massive pork chops.
The poverty. The mosquitoes, ants and other nasty creepy crawlies. Street cats and dogs, get your rabies jabs. The manipulative personalities. The jealousy of the women which they tell me is because they love you and never want to lose you. The corruption. No lamb whatsoever. The heat and humidity. The typhoon black outs and brown outs. The need of a noisy generator. The price of gas and electricity. The mortality rates of the children. The public schools and hospitals. The Catholicism. The American lack of investment, and the abandonment of a people who helped and died with Americans helping fight THEIR wars. The political system local and national. The lack of understanding regarding their democracy and their basic human rights. The lack of British TV (BBC world news only). Koreans.
There is so much this country has to offer and so much it fails to understand, but I love it.
My search for a beautiful and loving, kind, devoted and very intelligent wife, is now a reality, I am a very very fortunate farang.
I forgot my bar girl roots.
The wife loves sex. never refuses and quite frankly the menstruation is a time that I can enjoy the recuperation.