FILIPINO culture

I am an expat living in Kuwait with my wife.  My wife is Filipina.  I am an American.  Help me out in figuring out the FILIPINO culture.

Hi SjSinjuwait,

Welcome to :)

I have created a new thread with your post on the Philipines forum so that it may encourage members to interact with you.



SJSinKuwait :

I am an expat living in Kuwait with my wife.  My wife is Filipina.  I am an American.  Help me out in figuring out the FILIPINO culture.

Best way to know the culture is learning it from her, and trust me as time goes on you will notice the culture and the difference between yours. However if you still feel like being with her is not enough, then the good advice is visiting the Philippines for a few months.

Well i don't know much about Philippines culture,but i meet so many guys and girls here ,, and from what i knew and saw  .. girls are very loyal when its serious relationship and stands in your back in whatever  the situation you are in . For only taking good care of her and be nice and i believe that's the best about Philippines girls or for what i know and met so far .
if i weren't already married i would marry one for sure :)

You can never adjust to the Filipino culture. Best would be your wife to adjust to your culture, just explain her how you are and what you want.
If you come to live here, then it's another story, she will have to advise and teach you accordingly.

Extended families and as an expat we are very lucky not to escape support of some kind normally financial.  I wouldn’t mind if the support was gratefully received but it seems that it is accepted as the “norm” and if it stops you can expect to be ignored for the rest of your life by the family.
The culprits are, from what we have experienced are the mothers and unmarried adult ladies. Even when there is a family earning money we are asked on every visit for cash and my wife became ill with the insistent demands.  In our case 5 adult relatives have abused our kindness, one of them with three youngsters and a druggy husband who has been accepted back into the family despite assurances that he was not wanted and she was separated.
All the family now are not accepted into our house. Two of the youngsters have Facebook accounts with connection to me but any chat…never! Of course they would like to go to university or attend a training course when the time comes but if they don’t make some effort to be friends then as strangers their requests will be ignored.
I’ve downloaded English comprehension lessons and spent some time helping 2 of the kids with pronunciations but do they want to repeat the exercise…….no words!
There must be an advantage of improving English directly with a relative but no requests. We get the feeling that the parents are not keen for us to shower help with their children because the loyalties will move to us and leave them nothing for support in later life.  An Australian friend said that you can help them with their education but afterwards you’ll never see them again. I think that’s true, sadly.
Maybe there are are expats with a better and more pleasant experience of helping out extended Philippine families.

once a ...CASH COW ...always a CASH COW....and thats all we are...the hands are always out....we are the givers and the FILIPINAS are the takers....GOOD LUCK...

About the money is what you make it to be.
It is in the culture that which ever relative is wealthy to help the others, that happens to the Filipinos among them as well. One of the main reasons that despite of so many years working abroad most they cannot have a decent retirement, they depend on their kids and they in turn follow the same fate and so on.
Now here we come the "foreigner" with a usually mere pension of 500-1500$/month finding cheap (compared to our countries) products such as housing beer food etc smiling faces and welcoming people where ever we go and we think we found heaven.
We all do the mistake of comparing life in our countries with life is as if we compare apples vs lemons. A comparison in many aspects of life here and a life we know nothing about. Neither our companion/mate/wife/girlfriend can explain us because she simply cannot realize how and what the differences of culture, society, country structure etc are.
Some of us make more money some less some still working one way or another but I do not know neither heard about any foreigner who came here because he met his other half and she promised to take care of him financially. And I am not referring to long time marriages that so it happened wife's business flourished and she is the money maker.
Now given these thoughts, do you think you should reconsider where you came to live at?
They have their own culture it is as it is and always was. They are happy as such they are in their country. We are no one to tell them how they should be.
We can deny them the "offerings" (I did and not even one relative wants to hear a word from me, God thanks). We can control where the money goes but then you reach to the point that you push the social ethics of your partner above the limits. Since she is under your financial need then you just become a job for her.
Things can work out in a marvelous way and a brilliant balance as it did for many of us, but you got to work on it, think, communicate clearly (the clearly is rare here) with your other half, make decisions and follow them. 
Life in Philippines is beautiful but depends on your wills wants and likes. It is not for everybody and for sure not for the ones who cannot adopt in the country.

There are so many aspects of Philippine culture. Some are unique to Filipinos that it can be hard to find a direct translation in English. Even a Filipino might have a hard time explaining a particular cultural trait. You might have to refer to scholarly articles and lectures to have a better understanding of these traits.

One important value that is often misunderstood is utang na loob. It can be translated as “reciprocity” or “debt of gratitude” or “debt of goodwill”, the last of which is the closest translation, though not an exact translation. Here is a link to an article thoroughly explaining what it is as well as other values related to it: … mp;f=false

Ask your wife what utang na loob is. To whom does she feel she has an utang na loob , like to a parent or a family member or a friend?

In the Philippines, children are expected to take into their homes their aging parents, especially if he / she is a widow / widower. It is shameful if the children have the parent stay in a nursing home or what is called here as "home for the aged." Do you have Philippine-born friends in the US who migrated to the US? If they have aging parents, how many of them have taken them into their homes instead of putting them in a nursing home?

Siblings are also obligated to care for an unmarried sibling in her old age, especially if she had supported them, i.e. sent money for living expenses, tuition, etc., to the point where she just preferred not to have a family of her own in order to support her parents and siblings.

A poster here advised that it would be best if your wife adjust to your culture. Our culture is at the core of who we are, our values. If we try to hide it, we not be true to ourselves. How would you feel if someone asks you to give up what you believe in?

If your spouse gives to his / her family, understand first the family dynamics of your Filipino spouse instead stereotyping him / her into a "taker" and you're the "cash cow". Understand that if you marry a Filipino who is helping support his / her parents and siblings, it is likely that your Filipino spouse will continue to do so even after he / she has married you,  or until perhaps the siblings have graduated or the two of you have your own children. If you want to turn your spouse into a full-time house wife / husband, then be prepared to shoulder what she / he used to give to family.

I have a Filipino girlfriend and she never ask for money. Not sure if I found someone like me when it comes to money, but happiness and connection is her main concern, money comes second.

But it will come Luke and best to research her family for weak spots where you will fit in.
Can you support her for ever?

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