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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi folks,

It's been quite a long time since I popped on here last but need some advice from some of the more experience Expats in the Philippines.

The Background

I first met my Filipina GF (briefly) way back Dec 2011 during a visit to the Phils as part of a round the world trip. She was friends of friends - we got introduced and exchanged emails and then we stayed in contact as I continued my travels and when I got back to the UK - gradually getting closer and closer.

Anyway, during my travels I got offered a job in Malaysia, which I started in Oct 2012. I took this opportunity to visit my GF (and her family) on a monthly basis before I was able to get a 'dependent' visa for my GF in Malaysia (after getting a Common Law Wife certificate from the British High Comm here) and she has been living with me in Malaysia since March 2013.

Seven very happy months later I popped the question and my GF suddenly became my fiance. We did not have immediate plans to get married (primarily because I wanted to save some more money first in order to do it properly).

However, life has now thrown us a curveball in the shape of a pregnancy. We are both delighted about this (although the other half is now suffering through a variety of pregnancy related issues - and a craving for Dinuguan - which is almost impossible to buy in (Muslim) Malaysia ;) ).

The Current Situation

Anyway, the situation I now find myself in is this. My Fiance is due in Feb 2015.

She wants to have the baby back in the Philippines - as it's her first and she wants to be close to her family - particularly her mother. I have no problems with that although it does mean she has to go home by Mid-November as there are problems with getting flights after 7-months pregnancy. I will obviously miss her - but cannot take so much time off work - and I want her to be wherever she is most comfortable. Sadly she cannot work here on a dependent visa and that does mean that she is at home alone a lot when I am at work - as such I think it may also be better if she has the company of her family in the final few months.

However, what I would like advice upon is the issue of marriage, illegitimacy, surnames, registrations, travel documents etc.

With regard marriage we had intended to get married anyway - but it would probably have been on a longer timescale. As I am Catholic too (British of Irish descent) we were going to get married in a church in the Philippines - but my intention was to save up enough cash to do it properly.

We are now contemplating the possibility of doing a civil service instead prior to the birth - possibly in December or early-Jan.

I understand that I have to get a Certificate from the British Consulate in Manila showing that there is no impediment to the marriage (it costs about 5k pesos) and I understand my fiance needs to get a similar document from her Barangay authorities.

From what I have read the British Embassy will not issue the document for at least 21 days after I visit them in person - which probably means at least two trips to the Phils in advance of any marriage - as well as trips over at Christmas/New Year and then again around the due date.

I then assume that once we both have these documents we can do a civil service in my fiance's home town? Are there any other costs I need to account for?

This whole process - especially the trips back and forth - will be quite expensive and my priority at the moment is more on ensuring I have the cash for health checkups/hospital for my fiance and the baby - and as such we are considering whether we actually need to get married prior to the birth.

Obviously there is/was a social stigma attached to having an illegitimate baby - but I am not sure how strong that still is? My fiance is insisting that she is happy either way - but wondered what you fellas with experience in the Philippines think?

Also, my fiance is quite happy for the baby to have my surname - however I am not sure if the baby can have my surname if it is classed as illegitimate. I have read elsewhere that as long as I am present at the birth and sign the birth certificate then this is not a problem - but wondered if anyone could confirm this is the case in the Philippines?

Finally, is it possible to get travel documents for the child so he/she can come back to Malaysia a mont (or so) after the birth if the baby is illegitimate? Or is it straightforward if the birth certificate is signed in both our names? Someone told us that the baby would need to be baptised before it traveled in order to obtain the necessary Filipino documentation - but I am not sure that is the case. Can anyone confirm/deny?

With regard baptism - is this even possible if we are not married (but both Catholic). I read recently that Pope Francis has baptised kids of parents who are not married - but am not sure if that practice is common in all parts of the Catholic church as I got the impression some of the more 'conservative' elements of the church refuse baptism unless the parents are already married. Does anyone have any first hand experience of this in the Philippines?

Anyway, sorry for the long post.

Am interested in your thoughts.
 

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Marriage in the Philippines

Hi folks,

It's been quite a long time since I popped on here last but need some advice from some of the more experience Expats in the Philippines.

The Background

I first met my Filipina GF (briefly) way back Dec 2011 during a visit to the Phils as part of a round the world trip. She was friends of friends - we got introduced and exchanged emails and then we stayed in contact as I continued my travels and when I got back to the UK - gradually getting closer and closer.

Anyway, during my travels I got offered a job in Malaysia, which I started in Oct 2012. I took this opportunity to visit my GF (and her family) on a monthly basis before I was able to get a 'dependent' visa for my GF in Malaysia (after getting a Common Law Wife certificate from the British High Comm here) and she has been living with me in Malaysia since March 2013.

Seven very happy months later I popped the question and my GF suddenly became my fiance. We did not have immediate plans to get married (primarily because I wanted to save some more money first in order to do it properly).

However, life has now thrown us a curveball in the shape of a pregnancy. We are both delighted about this (although the other half is now suffering through a variety of pregnancy related issues - and a craving for Dinuguan - which is almost impossible to buy in (Muslim) Malaysia ;) ).

The Current Situation

Anyway, the situation I now find myself in is this. My Fiance is due in Feb 2015.

She wants to have the baby back in the Philippines - as it's her first and she wants to be close to her family - particularly her mother. I have no problems with that although it does mean she has to go home by Mid-November as there are problems with getting flights after 7-months pregnancy. I will obviously miss her - but cannot take so much time off work - and I want her to be wherever she is most comfortable. Sadly she cannot work here on a dependent visa and that does mean that she is at home alone a lot when I am at work - as such I think it may also be better if she has the company of her family in the final few months.

However, what I would like advice upon is the issue of marriage, illegitimacy, surnames, registrations, travel documents etc.

With regard marriage we had intended to get married anyway - but it would probably have been on a longer timescale. As I am Catholic too (British of Irish descent) we were going to get married in a church in the Philippines - but my intention was to save up enough cash to do it properly.

We are now contemplating the possibility of doing a civil service instead prior to the birth - possibly in December or early-Jan.

I understand that I have to get a Certificate from the British Consulate in Manila showing that there is no impediment to the marriage (it costs about 5k pesos) and I understand my fiance needs to get a similar document from her Barangay authorities.

From what I have read the British Embassy will not issue the document for at least 21 days after I visit them in person - which probably means at least two trips to the Phils in advance of any marriage - as well as trips over at Christmas/New Year and then again around the due date.

I then assume that once we both have these documents we can do a civil service in my fiance's home town? Are there any other costs I need to account for?

This whole process - especially the trips back and forth - will be quite expensive and my priority at the moment is more on ensuring I have the cash for health checkups/hospital for my fiance and the baby - and as such we are considering whether we actually need to get married prior to the birth.

Obviously there is/was a social stigma attached to having an illegitimate baby - but I am not sure how strong that still is? My fiance is insisting that she is happy either way - but wondered what you fellas with experience in the Philippines think?

Also, my fiance is quite happy for the baby to have my surname - however I am not sure if the baby can have my surname if it is classed as illegitimate. I have read elsewhere that as long as I am present at the birth and sign the birth certificate then this is not a problem - but wondered if anyone could confirm this is the case in the Philippines?

Finally, is it possible to get travel documents for the child so he/she can come back to Malaysia a mont (or so) after the birth if the baby is illegitimate? Or is it straightforward if the birth certificate is signed in both our names? Someone told us that the baby would need to be baptised before it traveled in order to obtain the necessary Filipino documentation - but I am not sure that is the case. Can anyone confirm/deny?

With regard baptism - is this even possible if we are not married (but both Catholic). I read recently that Pope Francis has baptised kids of parents who are not married - but am not sure if that practice is common in all parts of the Catholic church as I got the impression some of the more 'conservative' elements of the church refuse baptism unless the parents are already married. Does anyone have any first hand experience of this in the Philippines?

Anyway, sorry for the long post.

Am interested in your thoughts.
This is a situation that takes place a number of times, especially with ExPats. First, it is best that your fiancée travel to the Philippines before her 3rd Trimester begins. It takes time to get married in the Philippines as you have to go through certain requirements to do so. You will each need certification that you are free and clear to wed, You have to go to the UK Embassy and obtain an affidavit that you are free and clear to marry. Your fiancée has to go to the SFO Office and obtain one there. You will need full and complete birth certificates, 3 sets each, and you also must attend a Marriage Seminar put on by the Marriage License Bureau. Once the marriage license/contract is obtained, you have 4 months to use it or you start all over again. There is no problem with you having a Civil Ceremony. You can have a church wedding later if you wish. If you marry before her due date, there should be no problem as far as putting your name on the child's birth certificate. By doing so you might be able to avoid doing DNA proof that you are the child's father, which can be expensive. Once the baby arrives, he or she will automatically become a UK Citizen. He/She will also be a Philippine Citizen as well.

There should not be a problem with the Christening of your child and if the Pope approves of this, any other priest should be able to follow along as well.

If you are not able to return with your fiancée to the Philippines, she, herself, will return with a Balikbayan Status Visa. With the Balikbayan Status, she is able to stay in the Philippines for up to 2 years. You will also need to obtain permission for her and the baby to travel/return to Malaysia, but I would wait until the baby is a bit older. One month of age is a little young to travel on an aircraft.

If there are any doubts about the legitimacy of your child's birth, you can always have the DNA test performed and it has to be done at St. Luke's in Manila. As far as cost, it is probably more than 50,000 Pesos.
 

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I would have thought you could get you CNI going at the British Embassy in Malaysia. You would then exchange it for the Philippine document in Manila before the wedding. Note, it is a legal requirement that you must be in the Philippine at least 10 day before the wedding can go ahead.
 

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if you marry in PH law the process is painful

plan B, marry in Malaysia, civil marriage, notify PH embassy, get your NSO copy, and then baby is delivered ...

after christening him you can have a Philippine church wedding

I dunno your gf/fiance's family but it can cost a bit here ..

by the way you are catholic, if not the church will Baptiste your baby as child of unmarried couple, until church wedding is completed ...
 

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if you marry in PH law the process is painful

plan B, marry in Malaysia, civil marriage, notify PH embassy, get your NSO copy, and then baby is delivered ...

after christening him you can have a Philippine church wedding

I dunno your gf/fiance's family but it can cost a bit here ..

by the way you are catholic, if not the church will Baptiste your baby as child of unmarried couple, until church wedding is completed ...
Cost to the gf/fiance's family shouldn't be a factor as it's traditional in the Philippines for the groom to pay for the wedding.
 

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Cost to the gf/fiance's family shouldn't be a factor as it's traditional in the Philippines for the groom to pay for the wedding.
I may throw a curve ball there ..

it is tradition for 'foreign' groom to pay....

I attended few weddings in mountain province and Bicol, all costs were shared except one in Bontoc where the girl's family shouldered most of the costs ...

maybe Mountain province people are different

:p :p
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the feedback.

I think it has helped sharpen up my thinking.

We will probably get married here in Malaysia in a Civic Service and register it with the Philippines and UK Embassies here - as it seems like a more straightforward process to go through than in the Philippines.

The fact that I would have to wait 21 days for the CNI from the British High Comm in Manila - plus the need to be in the Phils at least 10 days before the wedding - would probably use up all my vacation time - and I want to use that to be with the other half pre and post the birth - so it makes more sense to do it here.

We will do a proper 'church' wedding back in the Phils at a later stage.

I am visiting the Phils next week with my fiance - and will also do some investigations of my own while I am there.

My fiance is from Pampanga - quite close to Angeles. She wants to have the baby back in the Phils so she will probably return home in mid-November (just before she hits 7 months) and I will go join her closer to the delivery date.

A couple of questions.

1) Does anyone have any recommendation on a good 'maternity' hospital in Angeles? My fiance has suggested the Angeles Medical Centre - but am open to other suggestions if anyone has had any good/bad experiences with childbirth in the Angeles area.

2) My fiance is talking about paying a whole bunch of 'advance' premiums to Phil Health when she visits this time. She says that by signing up to Phil Health the hospital fees will be a lot lower. Is this true? Do private hospitals also accept Phil Health or would we be wasting money to sign my fiance up to Phil Health now?
 

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I beleive private hospitals accept Phil Heath, definitely worth having if you are living in the Philippines. Phil Heath only gives discounts on certain items so it's not a blanket discount across your whole bill. I thought there was a waiting period before it becomes valid so I'm not sure you are in time to get help with the upcoming birth. Worth checking.
 

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Just to clarify a little, with regards to the 10 day waiting period, I believe people are referring to the minimum time required from when you apply for the marriage license and when you can actually have the ceremony performed.

I dont think anybody is going to look at stamps in your passport to make sure you've been in the country for 10 days before they perform the wedding.

I applied for my marriage license this past May, then immediately flew back to Bahrain, flew back a month later and got married 5-6 days after entering the country.
 

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.

I applied for my marriage license this past May, then immediately flew back to Bahrain, flew back a month later and got married 5-6 days after entering the country.
did you attend the orientation seminar etc? nothing is so simple in Philippines in my humble opinion ...

back to OP, I know philhealth covers part of maternity ...

now as Gary D said, I don't know the wait period to be eligible

non complicated delivery in Baguio Pines City Private hospital is around 30,000 to 40,000
 

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Just to clarify a little, with regards to the 10 day waiting period, I believe people are referring to the minimum time required from when you apply for the marriage license and when you can actually have the ceremony performed.

I dont think anybody is going to look at stamps in your passport to make sure you've been in the country for 10 days before they perform the wedding.

I applied for my marriage license this past May, then immediately flew back to Bahrain, flew back a month later and got married 5-6 days after entering the country.
The 10 day waiting period is from the application of the liecense to the issuing of the liecense. The liecence is then valid for 120 days after which it expires.
 

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did you attend the orientation seminar etc? nothing is so simple in Philippines in my humble opinion ...
Nope. When we went to the QC City Hall, instead of going to the civil registrar, we went to the office where they schedule the "family planning" seminar and talked to the office manager there.

We explained that since Im over 40 and we already have kids, we didnt think we needed to attend and she agreed, so she waived it for us.

I should probably type up my entire marriage process and post it separately.
 

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Nope. When we went to the QC City Hall, instead of going to the civil registrar, we went to the office where they schedule the "family planning" seminar and talked to the office manager there.

We explained that since Im over 40 and we already have kids, we didnt think we needed to attend and she agreed, so she waived it for us.

I should probably type up my entire marriage process and post it separately.
Everyones milage will be different. We avoided it for 100 peso. Still had to do the other one thought as we married in a church.
 

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enough of my friends including one who was marrying a widow with a kid, had to attend the seminars ....

interesting to know you were waived ...

the church interview is fine ...
 

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Hi all,

Everyone will have a different experience.
Mine - I flew into Manila went straight to Aussie embassy and got my CNI within 1 hour, the next day we travelled to her province and received clearance for my wife, the third day we went to the province city hall and receive a waiver for seminars and then two days after that we had the wedding (5 days total). After the wedding we had to wait 2 weeks before we could pickup our marriage cert. we had the local Mayor at our wedding so not sure if he greased any wheels for us..lol...but everything was extremely easy and fast.
 

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Hi all,

Everyone will have a different experience.
Mine - I flew into Manila went straight to Aussie embassy and got my CNI within 1 hour, the next day we travelled to her province and received clearance for my wife, the third day we went to the province city hall and receive a waiver for seminars and then two days after that we had the wedding (5 days total). After the wedding we had to wait 2 weeks before we could pickup our marriage cert. we had the local Mayor at our wedding so not sure if he greased any wheels for us..lol...but everything was extremely easy and fast.
Just as an aside, when I was going through all this 18 years ago now we were always warned not to short cut the 10 days. To do so would guarentee a visa rejection at the British Embassy.
 

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As a side note to your comment about social stigma... My understanding here in the PI is that if you were not wed when your child was born then the schools will not accept them. My step-daughter who was adopted by her grandparents at birth and had to get a forged birth certificate saying that her grandparents were actually her birth parents.. and when she applies to school she has to show her birth certificate along with her parents marriage license to prove she was not illegitimate... even though everyone, including all the nuns, know. It doesn't seem like this will be an issue for y'all as you said you will have a civil wedding first. Congratulations, by the way!
 

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As a side note to your comment about social stigma... My understanding here in the PI is that if you were not wed when your child was born then the schools will not accept them. My step-daughter who was adopted by her grandparents at birth and had to get a forged birth certificate saying that her grandparents were actually her birth parents.. and when she applies to school she has to show her birth certificate along with her parents marriage license to prove she was not illegitimate... even though everyone, including all the nuns, know. It doesn't seem like this will be an issue for y'all as you said you will have a civil wedding first. Congratulations, by the way!
We have relations that have families who are not married and all the children have been and are going to school. I suspect it is just an old wives tail.
 

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JimnNila143 - I wonder how sure your details are or either I should question my situation.

ILoveAFilipina - Please do update us on the thread with how things were with you later on as I also want to be educated with dos and dont.

If it will help I am on the same boat and my partner is british not by descent. We have a son but not yet married and he was able to sign and acknowledge my son on his birth certificate, applied as late registry, this was allowed by law since 2012 as advised by my midwife. You mentioned about your son instantly obtaining your baby's UK citizenship, well that I am not too sure how it can be done because on the internet it is saying that UK honors citizenship by land, meaning if your gf delivers in the UK she will automatically be UK citizen but if abroad you will have to register and it will varry if you are british by descent or not by descent, we are at the stage of understanding that so please let me know if you ever get into this stage as at first I thought it was easy but as for the information we've gathered it is tricky so the first move we did was to apply visiting UK on a temporary visa (me and my son) (being the fastest and cheapest) while in Hongkong but was refused because my partner opted that I quit my job in Dubai as an advertising executive which means I wasn't working the moment we applied for the visa.

In terms of where to deliver, in the Philippines is comfy having family around for your wife and if you will invite her to come to you in Malaysia under your visa it is possible as you have a son together so it should be ok, we've done it many times when we went to vietnam and dubai, and we are able to travel together in singapore, macau, and hongkong, without any hassle.

I advise take the option of obtaining Malaysian citizenship at the worst as its very difficult to hold a Philippine passport getting places in the world.
 
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