Originally Posted by starlightexpress
This is my first post on this forum and I hope I found the right place. I wanted the viewpoint of some people more experienced with the culture there and I really hoped to benefit from your ideas.
Although I am not resident in the phillipines, my fiance is, and I'm considering either living there or moving her here. My concerns actually surround the way her family in the province behaves which I find to be a problem so please let me explain.
I realise that life in the province is difficult. However, at the moment we seem to be receiving demands for money on a weekly basis. We are now refusing to pay these, but this doesn't seem to stop the incessant hassle. Usually the demands are clearly bogus - 'we have no rice', or 'so and so is sick'. The most recent was along the lines of 'X is sick he has dengue fever we need 1000p for a blood test'. We replied 'ok what's the tel number of the doctor you saw and his name.' Reply: 'oh he is away'. After more pressing the true story is 'oh the test is negative'. You get the idea.
We recently paid for and bought a house for her parents to live in. I have no problem with that. However I do have a problem when there is no 'thank you for the house' and in an argument the most recent statement that REALLY offended me was 'That house wasn't even a million pesos. Our neighbours daughter had a foreign boyfriend and he did this and that...' It seems like there is just an expectation all the time. It gets very wearing to be treated as an ATM machine the whole time with no 'thank you'. I of course have no problem helping people who are hungry - or giving gifts - but it really upsets me that there is an expectation that I have to pay for them and they aren't helping themselves.
So far my policy has been so say 'no' to almost everything. However my fiance finds it difficult - so hard I am worried her head will explode. She has constant arguments with them on the phone with lots of shouting. The province believe that its her duty to support them, and support her siblings too. We have a situation where the mother and father aren't working, several brothers and sisters aren't working either, and the allowance that she WAS sending [she sent 4000 a month for the past ten years and basically sent everything she had to the province whatever they asked for] was being spent, I suspect mainly on alcohol and lavish meals, and then there were still always constant demands for more money. Since of course 'the forgeign bf' has come on the scene - the demands have worsened and become more frequent.
In the past she has send them money for a "rice business' - that lasted about2 weeks - money for 'a fish business' - that lasted a few weeks - money for medical conditions that I suspect weren't real - and the list just goes on and on. Although she is getting better she seems to have a real blind spot when it comes to her family who seem willing to say and do almost anything to just get money using any means at all. I admit that I'm at my wits end and alarm bells are ringing loudly.
I wonder have any people here had similar experiences? What did you do? This really doesn't sound like reasonable normal behaviour to me - is this because of a culture difference between myself (working in a bank, educated, western) and the province (not educated, living in bahai kubo) or is it just simply that this family is ruder and more idle than most? What are people's experiences?
I know the following:
a) Life in province is difficult.
b) Culturally a lot of people expect the kids to support the parents.
c) Everyone thinks that westerners have money to burn.
d) Filipina women are close to their familes.
But at the same time I'm finding it hard to match that to my own expectations that:
a) I don't mind helping someone who is working and helping themselves.
b) I'm not working to support people who sit and do nothing but drink red horse all day and constantly ask for handouts.
c) I do expect a 'thank you' and some gratitude for buying someone a house rather than 'that house wasn't even a million pesos' - I mean - am I being unreasonable when I think this is really very rude?
Any opinions, experiences would be most welcome - gleaned from either life there, or life abroad whilst dealing with the phillipines.
What province does your fiancé family live in? Cost of living varies a lot based on where one lives. Buying the house was a mistake. I would consider it only if we were physically together. Age discrimination is paramount in the Philippines so it might be difficult for her parents to find work.
I live in the Philippine with my wife. My wife receives a substantial allowance from that she sends money to her family. I do buy her everything she needs except cell phones and loads. She gives them to her family!
Long time ago a long time expat in the Philippine told me to choose a girl first by her family. Seem you are heading for trouble…