Thursday, February 23, 2006

So You Have a Penpal From the Philippines?

Yesterday I wrote a note warning those from the Philippines about getting involved with their penpal & internet friends. Not to tell them don't do it but to be careful and aware of the hazards and the differences between our ways of life. Now I reverse it.

Again, I know many couples who met this way and they have happy marriages but I have seen people who lost quite a bit of money to those with ulterior motives. Again always remember, it is much easier to put up and keep up false pretenses via letters & the internet and during the brief time you might actually meet face to face.

I don't want to say don't do it, but do it with your eyes open and please, please, please, do not blind yourself.

  1. Philippinos have very tight family ties. Expect to help in the support of mother, father, grandfathers, grandmothers, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews etc.

  2. At Christmas time even though their family is far away they are still important. Be ready to send money for Christmas.

  3. If you are in a cold climate, try to bring them to the States in the late spring or summer. This gives them the chance to slowly adjust to winter. Make sure they have enough winter clothes and tell them when (at first) they need to wear warm clothes.

  4. Start up a savings fund to fund a trip back home on a regular basis

  5. You may feel poor but in relation to many in the Philippines your well off.

  6. Understand they have different tastes in food. Locate all the Asian foodstores in your area and try to find the nearest Filipino food store.

  7. Re-read the above item, and learn about tuyo or dried fish. It has a powerful odor that lingers after cooking. They like it, deal with it! I used to be an ex-pat and after missing my friends and family the 3rd item on my miss-list was good ole American food.

  8. Try to locate your nearest Filipino association and get involved. Introduce your Filipino spouse when they arrive. This helps, they can help a lot with getting your spouse over culture shock and adjusted to the climate.

  9. It would be a good idea to learn the language and the culture from which your spouse is coming from. Culturally speaking the Philippines has much we are familiar with but just as much that is not familiar to us.

Don't Blind Yourself

If your "spouse to be" in the Philippines keeps asking for money. Money for this, money for that, money for the other thing etc beware. Yes, some in the Philippines are desperate and may be taking advantage of you as a gold mine. Don't blind yourself with "romantic fantasies" there is a possibility your penpal is stringing you along just to get money or to get in the US. I have seen these cases firsthand.

Again let me reiterate. I am not saying don't pursue your relationship with your penpal from the Philippines, I am saying do it with your eyes open.

If your spouse from the Philippines is good you have found a jewel beyond worth do likewise and be a jewel beyond worth to your spouse!