Category Archives: General Information

Filipina Dating and Money Matters

One of my readers sent a question about his Filipina girlfriend and financial responsibilities/expectations. He is dating a young woman who works as an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) in another part of Asia. She gives most of what she makes to family and even friends that ask. His concern was what would be expected of him if ever he brings her to the USA (via spousal or financial visa).

I wrote about this a long time ago, but I figure this would be a good time to write a more detailed article about it. Let’s start with an introduction to Filipino families and money.

Filipino Culture and Sharing Money

Money typically flows in one direction in Western families–from older to younger. Parents raise their children, maybe put them through college, and then the kids will (hopefully) get jobs and start families of their own. Grandparents then spoil their grandchildren with gifts. It isn’t unusual these days for parents with grown children to continue giving a helping hand to them. That’s because some members of “Generation X” have ended up making less money than their parents (reversing the trend from previous decades).   But even this is part of the older-to-younger money flow.   There are exceptions to this, of course, but that’s the way it usually works.

It’s different in Filipino families. Parents are expected to support/raise children, but the children are often expected to contribute to the overall well being of the family once they are old enough to earn money (or once they finish college, etc.). This may mean helping siblings (or even other relatives) get through school and even sending money to make sure aged parents are taken care of. Filipinos have a sense of obligation called utang na loob–the idea is helping those who have helped you (even if it was their responsibility).

Filipinos also tend to have close ties with extended family members, and money can flow through these relationships as well. An aunt may support the studies of her nephew, and he may be expected to support his siblings once he has finished school. I think you get the idea.

This is the primary way families combat the high rate of poverty in the Philippines: they try to make sure no family member gets left behind. It’s a trait I admire, though sometimes it can be abused or cause family dysfunction (more on that later).

Learning to Compromise

Family is everything in Filipino culture, and a Filipina will want to make sure hers is doing well. You need to be aware of this and prepare to adapt to it if you want to date or marry a Filipina. But adaptation goes both ways–she will also have to adjust to your culture.

Here’s another way of putting it. You (the Westerner) need to be willing to help her family out financially. Asking her not to do this would be like asking you to disown your own children. She (the Filipina) will have to understand that your funds are limited and your primary responsibility is to your own immediate family (her and your children).

The way some couples handle this is the Filipina works and sends most of her income back to the Philippines while the (Western) husband supports the immediate family (the wife and children).   This is fine, but keep in mind that she may not be able to work immediately if she comes to your country on a fiancée visa. And there may be circumstances in which she can’t work (has a new baby, etc.).

Advice

Here are a few suggestions for navigating this issue:

Be sure you talk to your girlfriend or fiancée about this before you get married. This sounds like common sense, but some guys see a cute, young Pinay and forget that marriage requires hard work and communication. Both of you need 100% agreement and clarity on what would be expected of you in terms of financial support to her family. This may mean sending a monthly amount or putting her sibling(s) through college. It may simply mean sending a little money for Christmas or in case of emergencies. Whatever the arrangement, be sure both of you are clear on it.

Be ready for these boundaries to be tested. Her immediate family may be fine, but it isn’t uncommon for people to come out of the woodwork and ask for money once they find out your wife has made it to the “promised land.” Distant relatives may start thinking your wife can pay their bills. I know of a Filipina who started getting money requests from old high school classmates she hasn’t heard from in years after moving to the States. Your wife will need to be prepared to say “no.” She needs to start practicing if it isn’t part of her vocabulary.

Beware of “toxic” families. As I mentioned, the Filipino system of sharing among families is admirable. But it can also be really dysfunctional. Some family members feel they are entitled to part of every dollar their son/daughter (or nephew, grandchild, etc.) makes. It’s often referred to as a “crab mentality”: the one family member with some form of stable income ends up getting dragged down by everyone else.   This kind of family will probably make your life miserable–especially if your wife has grown up believing it is normal and doesn’t know how to have reasonable boundaries.

Money management will make or break any marriage and yours will not be the exception.  Keep this advice in mind and it will go a long way towards helping you make good decisions.

Dating and Marrying a Filipina: The Five Greatest Challenges

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I am extremely happy with the life that my Filipina wife and I have together.  I can’t imagine being with anyone else or being married to someone of my own race/culture.  Our love is a beautiful thing that has enhanced my life in ways I could never fully describe.

But I never want to present being married to a Pinay as some kind of panacea or fairy tale.  All marriages require work, and mine is no exception.  Marrying a woman from the Philippines, in fact, will come with some unique challenges that you wouldn’t face if you just dated someone from your own country.  Here are a few that come to mind:

Challenge #1: Choosing with Limited Information

This isn’t always a big factor for those of us who have spent time in the Philippines and dated while living/visiting there.  But most Filipino-American couples first meet online.  Usually this means the man joined a dating website (like Christian Filipina–the one I recommend), met a pretty Filipina, and started communicating via email and chat.  This works out well for most of the couples that I’ve met, but it is arguably more risky than being able to meet/date in more traditional or conventional ways.  In other words, the men usually have to make a decision based on very limited face-to-face time with their girlfriends.

Challenge #2: The Visa Process

Let’s say you do find a great woman (as so many do) and are 100% sure you want to marry her.  The next challenge is enduring the process of getting her spousal/fiancee visa so she can move to your country and (eventually) become a citizen there.  The process is doable but it does require a lot of patience on your part.  The government agencies involved get your tax dollars regardless of their inefficiencies and can be frustrating to deal with.  I have recommended a service to help you do things correctly, but it takes a few months even under the best circumstances.

Challenge #3: The Distance

The most difficult thing about being married to a Filipina is you are always going to be far away from either her family or yours.  This usually means being far from hers because of the better opportunities available in America (or other Western countries).  There are exceptions–guys who decide to live as expats in the Philippines.  Either way you’re going to live halfway across the world from someone’s family.  Family ties are extremely important in the Filipino culture, so you can imagine how difficult this can be.  Being able to chat via Skype does help, but the dilemma is still there regardless.

Challenge #4: Money Issues

Money issues are probably the biggest cause of divorce worldwide. This issue can be especially challenging if you’re married to a Filipina because sharing resources with family members is deeply ingrained in Filipino culture.  This is a potential source of conflict if the husband and wife don’t have good communication with each other or healthy boundaries with family members back in the Philippines.  The couple has to find a balance of sharing with family while making sure they are not putting themselves in a bad financial situation.

Challenge #5 Cultural Differences

A Filipina and a Westerner have grown up in two completely different cultural contexts.  Their respective worldviews have been shaped by factors that go back centuries.  This can also be a source of conflict if one of them is xenophobic or can’t learn how to be open to another point of view.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the most significant challenges that come to mind when I think of my own marriage and the other couples that my wife and I have met.  Here’s the good news: I can honestly say it has been 100% worth it for me.  I think there’s a good chance you’ll feel the same way, but be sure you are going into any relationship with eyes wide open.

Filipino Women: Should You Date/Marry a Filipina?

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You may be thinking about meeting, dating, or marrying a woman from the Philippines. Romantic relationships are serious business in my opinion and I’m not going to try to convince to you pursue a relationship with someone halfway across the globe.   I’m just writing this to give you my perspective as someone who is happily married to a Filipina.

Filipino women (more appropriately called Filipinas) have a lot to offer if you are seriously considering a long-term relationship that would lead to marriage. I’m going to repeat some things that I’ve previously shared on this blog or the sake of an easier read (some of my posts from previous years were bit short or choppy). Anyway, here are a few reasons you may want to consider marrying someone from the Philippines:

Filipinas are Beautiful

The Philippines is home to some of the most breathtaking natural beauty known to man: beaches, waterfalls, and all kinds of natural wonders can be found there. But there’s something besides the natural landscape that’s attractive to the eyes: I’m talking about feminine beauty.   Men from the West are often struck by the physical attractiveness of the women there. They tend to have slim, petite figures. Most of them have naturally tan skin along with dark hair and eyes (the typical Filipina is often said to have “exotic beauty”).

Beauty is, as they say, only skin deep. Good thing that there’s a lot more to be said about women from the Philippines.

Filipinas are Good in English

People in the Philippines start studying English in grade school and are used to watching movies (and TV shows) from the West. Their proficiency in English varies according to education and other factors, but you should be able to find a woman who can communicate with you (and her ability to do so will only get better as she practices her English). Here’s another thing to consider: the Filipino accent is very pleasing to the ear when compared to other parts of Asia.

Filipinas are God Fearing

The Philippines is a predominantly Roman Catholic country and religion is deeply ingrained in their culture. You may not find a woman with this outlook on life in other parts of the world. Women from Russia or China may be coming from an atheistic background. People from other parts of Asia may follow Buddhism.

Men seeking women from Asia are usually looking for marriage based on traditional Judeo-Christian values, and similar religious beliefs is one reason they look to the Philippines. Women from the Philippines generally have a sense of devotion to God and the church.

This is not to say that Filipinas are fanatical about the Catholic Church.   They are open other expressions of Christianity (Protestant, etc.) and will usually join your church once they move to the States. It is not uncommon, in fact, to meet Filipinos who are already members of non-Catholic groups (Protestant missionaries have been in the country for decades).

Filipinas are Marriage and Family Oriented

Family is extremely important in the Filipino culture. People from the Philippines believe in putting family members ahead of themselves and doing everything in their power to help their loved ones. You’ll find that Filipinas are incredibly selfless and generous when it comes to their families.

Filipino culture also puts an extremely high priority on marriage and children. Most Filipinas dream of settling down with a good man so they can start a family. They take romantic relationships very seriously because they see it as preparation for marriage. Once married they usually become faithful, loving wives and dedicated mothers.

Filipinas are Open to Marrying Older Men

Another advantage of dating women from the Philippines is you can find younger women who are interested in you. This is especially nice if you are middle-aged but are still interested in having children. Women who date older men are often labeled as “gold diggers,” but this is unfair and judgmental. The truth is that Filipinas tend to look for the characteristics that an older partner can offer: maturity, stability, etc. This outlook goes back to some of the issues I’ve already mentioned: they are searching for life partners, not just boyfriends or flings.

These are just a few reasons that you may want to consider Filipino women (Filipinas) in your quest for a life-long, loving relationship. Living with someone from a different country and culture can be challenging, but may Western men (yours truly included) can attest that it is worth it.

If you are interested in meeting a woman from the Philippines you could always start by joining a website. I’d recommend Christian Filipina because I believe this website does the best job of screening their members and making sure they are sincere. You can just meet them through social media, but your chances of success will be improved by joining a site specifically designed for facilitating dating and marriage.