It is the thought that countsI wrote a long response, regarding my experiences of having a child in Malaysia before marrying the Filipina mother.
Then I read the date of the original post as being in July 2014 and decided that most of what I had written was no longer helpful.
Anyway, a few things I wanted to update.
My little one is now five and a half months old - and extremely 'pogi'. He has already started crawling around and even started making 'mamamama' sounds when he is trying to attract mum's attention - so I think I have a little half-Filipino Einstein on my hands (or maybe just proud-daddy goggles on my eyes).
We opted for an Irish passport first (I am dual nationality) which took about 4 months to sort out because I needed all sorts of documents demonstrating that both my parents (now deceased) were born there (as I was born in the UK).
The passport eventually came and then we started the process of getting his dependent visa in Malaysia - as he (which also meant we) could not leave the country without it.
Apparently some other expats who had their kids in Malaysia didn't know this requirement and then got stopped at the airport by Malaysian immigration demanding the baby's 'entry' visa - I guess no one could stamp it in the maternity ward Anyway, that bureaucratic obstacle was also overcome this week.
Now that we can actually leave Malaysia as a family we are planning to go to the Phils in the next few weeks for a Christening.
After doing some reading online it seems some parishes have various requirements that including pre-Christening seminars, baptism certificates and proof that you are actively practicing. Like my mahal I am Catholic - but pretty much lapsed and she is not very observant either. My Filipino family assure me that the requirements differ from parish to parish and that some are not so 'strict' on the requirements - but was wondering what your own experiences of Christening in the Phils are?
I have been informed that we need a lot of God Parents (I only had two) and get the impression that an entourage of God Parents is a common practice in the Phils? Is that correct?
Changing the subject completely I see some discussion on PhilHealth and wanted to share a little experience we had. My wife has been a Phil Health member for around a year. However, we had the baby in Malaysia in a private hospital. Despite my scepticism my wife (through her family back home) made an application for some repayment for our hospital expenses here - and PhilHealth have apparently approved at least some of it. They haven't told us what they will pay yet and we have had to jump through a number of hoops to get to this point in the first place but I was still pleasantly surprised that we would qualify for anything at all.