Stickman Readers' Submissions December 26th, 2019

Married In The Philippines

I want to give my take on living in the Philippines. I’ve been here for a couple of years after spending eight years in Thailand. I retired early in life and had no use for American women after 23 years with the same woman. Moving to Thailand was wonderful and I married a highly educated Thai woman. She was perfect for me until my marriage came apart because she wanted children and I didn’t….and couldn’t. She found someone else and today she lives as a very happy mother of two in America.

I moved to the Philippines shortly after my Thai divorce. I spent just over two years with someone who I never really was in love with. I decided that she wasn’t marriage material and finally said goodbye to her. That two plus years with her was spent in Angeles City. I never chased the bargirls and never cheated on her. I enjoyed some aspects of Angeles. It’s near an international airport, historical sites, and close enough to the ocean to make it a daytrip. Manila is an hour bus ride which is convenient. There is always something to do in Angeles; casinos, trivia nights, dancing contests, decent gyms, and plenty of shopping. The thing I enjoyed most was staying up all night on early Monday mornings watching football at a restaurant with 100 other American NFL fanatics. I found friendships easy to make and long-lasting among expats who weren’t drunkards and enjoyed outdoor activities.

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I would never pull a girlfriend out of Angeles. Every woman living there is for sale one way or another. I like deeper relationships. So, I went online two months after dumping my long time Pinay girlfriend. I am always weary of the liars on these websites. They constitute 90% of the membership. Then you have to wade through the other ten percent to find someone you might like to spend time with.

On my third day on FindLoveAsia, a woman wrote to me in a unique way. I paid attention to her because she seemed so different, so refreshingly honest. She wasn’t exactly the prettiest woman on the site, but by the next week, I had dropped writing to anyone else. This woman captivated me. Over the next three months we exchanged many emails and texts and by then I’d seen plenty of pictures of her. Her writing continued to melt me. The photos… well, I’ve seen prettier women.

I decided to meet her in Manila three months after I initially made contact with her. She was going to a university in Las Pinas and we were to meet at a restaurant in Makati. I was inside when I got a text that she was pulling up in a taxi. I exited the restaurant, seeing a taxi with an attractive young woman already outside of it. I was looking for the next taxi to arrive so that I could pay my date’s cab fare. I keep looking… and waiting… and no one came. Then I looked at the attractive young woman who was now staring at me standing outside of her cab. I pointed to her hesitantly, thinking God couldn’t be this nice to me – this woman was a bombshell. She nodded yes and I silently thanked the heavens for my good fortune. This woman, who had completely charmed me, wasn’t the somewhat ugly duckling from her pictures. She was fashionably dressed and absolutely the most beautiful woman that I had ever laid eyes on.

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She turned out to be smart and interesting. Her English was solid and she was off the charts creative. (The photos that I had seen of her displayed her in province clothing and bad hairstyles.) I proposed to her five months later and she’s been the most wonderful wife that I could ever imagine. She’s my best friend and soul mate. We have a 33-year age difference which doesn’t seem to matter to either of us unless people are constantly pointing this out when we visit America.

I had some experiences with my Thai wife that helped me have success with my Pinay wife. 1) I made sure that it would be okay with her not to have children. We would have to go the invitro fertilization route if she was adamant about it. But seven years later, she hasn’t dragged me down that path. There is, however; an enormous amount of unsolicited advice from relatives about having babies NOW! 2) I set limits on what I was willing to do financially for her family. These are really firm limits that I’m not ever going to exceed and she knows that. We’re generous at Christmas time with things that the family needs and we set aside a fixed amount every year for family health care. My wife can use it at her discretion and carry it over to the following year if she doesn’t use all of it. Plus, the family gets a small monthly stipend. 3) I see a lot of pudgy Pinay women who have no ambitions in life. I established two rules for my wife in the beginning of our relationship – Don’t be lazy and don’t get fat. She agreed, and in turn insisted that I show no interest in other women. A fair compromise for me!

The result is that I have a loving, caring, doting wife. She pushes me to be the best person that I can be. We spend half the year in Angeles and half the year in her province farming (I grew up on a farm so I enjoy it.) I get along just fine with my in-laws. My wife has adapted to my Western ways more than I’ve adapted to her culture. I’m well taken care of and my wife and I are building a life together

I want to point out a few of the differences between Thailand and the Philippines that I’ve noticed. Thailand is evolving into an industrialized country, while the Philippines is truly a third-world, impoverished country. Thais have plenty of jobs available to them, while most Filipinos struggle to find jobs. The relationships are much different in each country. In the Philippines, I am number one with my wife – even though she is very close to her family. In Thailand, I felt that I was always playing second fiddle to my Thai wife’s family.

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I can get anything I want in Thailand. Food, furniture, and western amenities. These things can be found in Manila if you look hard enough. Thailand is MUCH more expensive. The baht is strong against most currencies. I got tired of the visa hassles in Thailand and that’s what got me to leave more than anything. The police in both countries are notoriously corrupt. The politicians more so. My wife and I travel to Thailand to seek medical care, finding it much better in Bangkok. We also travel to Thailand for several of the country’s fantastic holidays (New Year’s Eve, Loy Krathrong, and Songkran).

Angeles, to put it nicely, is a bit of a dump. It attracts the wrong types of characters, both local and foreign. But you can find good among the bad. I enjoy my western relationships there immensely and need that type of contact to keep my sanity. I had good friends in Thailand too. But I feel at home in the Philippines and there are plenty of things to do that keep my interest. Plus… no visa hassles and the cost of living is exceptionally low.

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