The Road to Baybay

My wife and I travel from Mahaplag to Baybay Leyte to get something to eat. The beautiful and scenic 1 hour trip with a stop along the way at Mingay’s BBQ, Pantalan in Baybay.

Western Men & Filipina Spouses Age Difference

I originally posted this topic Western Men & Filipina Spouses Age Difference with a POLL on the Topix website hoping to get other FilAm couples to vote and comment on this unique topic. My goal was to learn something and encourage others regarding this topic.

Western Men & Filipina Spouses Age Difference

I have read that this phenomenon is fairly well documented and that the age difference is a common theme in most FilAm relationships. Not always but in allot of cases the Filipina women have historically looked for an older man for several reasons:

1. There is a larger population of available older men for her to choose from.

2. Older men are more likely to desire a committed relationship, they are done playing and chasing women and desire a permanent relationship.

3. Older men are more established which means financial stability and respect in their community.

4. Older men are relationship wise and appreciate a younger more beautiful woman as a cherished gift and a second chance at life and will treat her well.

Im also curious how long these relationships last, how long have you been married. If you are male and you were married before then you have a frame of reference, are you more or less happy now that you are married with a Filipina woman. Women can comment here too about their relationships to Western Men.

I believe there are cases where a Filipina woman is only marrying for money or a ticket out to a better life, but that is unusual compared to the success stories.(Good news doesn’t travel far but 1 bad story and everyone knows about it)

I believe if you are looking for a woman in the wrong place, you will find the wrong kind of woman for you. The same goes for Filipina women, if you are attracting the wrong kind of man, you will not be happy either.

I have read of situations where the Western Man is angry because his Filipina Wife left him and then in his conversation you can read that he was mistreating her and beating her and making her his slave!

This is unacceptable!

We can not treat Filipina women this way, eventually she will fight back and it is her right to leave that abusive situation.

I believe Filipina women want to be appreciated and cherished and treated with respect.

Just my thoughts on this matter, maybe a little heavy, but justified…

Famous People of Leyte Philippines

Besides people engaged in politics such as former First Lady Imelda Marcos and former speaker of the regular Batasang Pambansa (1984-1986) Nicanor Espina Yniguez (he filed the bill creating the province of Southern Leyte), there are also personalities in other fields such as media and entertainment who made their mark on the nation. Foremost among them is Tessie Tomas who has made a profession of imitating Imelda herself from her hairdo to the shoes to the way she speaks and carries herself. This quintessential comedienne pioneered the art of “stand up comedy” and has done some 100 impersonations with astounding effect.

In the field of science, agronomists and scientists from the Leyte State University (LSU) were able to isolate the cause of a disease affecting sweet potatoes (“kamote” in the vernacular) which had confounded people from other countries who also plant sweet potatoes. The identification of the virus greatly helped in mitigating the adverse effects on crop yields since this root crop is a lifesaver for many poor people.

Very few people outside of Leyte may have heard the name of Colonel Ruperto Kangleon. He was the famous guerilla leader during the Japanese occupation of the country during World War II. Although he had done a lot to help the American forces by organizing underground resistance and also providing valuable intelligence information, his career was not without the usual detractors who questioned his motives. He was once captured by the Japanese forces and imprisoned. However, many believed he was freed by his captors to become a double agent who also provided intelligence to the Japanese forces. In short, his military career is shrouded in controversy even to this day as historians have a hard time placing his whereabouts on certain important days and events during the war. Col. Kangleon is Leyte’s most famous son and he was posthumously given the rank of brigadier general 36 years after he died. He had previously served as the Secretary of National Defense and also ran and won as a senator of the republic.

The Beauty in Filipina Women is More than Skin Deep

Filipino women are gifted with beauty, intelligence, sensitivity and generosity of heart. They are reliable, protective, conscientious and committed as a friend, mother, wife and worker. While most Filipino women were taught at a young age to be good at domestic chores and housekeeping, they nevertheless grew up to value good education and care for the family.

They are socially well versed. They also can be creative in many ways, from coming up with a good home-cooked meal on a tight budget, to being able to present work-related innovations, or to being organizers of social events.

As an adult with incomes of her own, a Filipino woman never hesitates to extend assistance to other family members in need, like caring for parents with advancing age, sending a sibling to school, and sharing in the household expenses. She, too, can be trusted with family heirlooms, family livelihood or to carry family traditions onto the next generation when she begins her own family life.

As a wife, a Filipino woman excels as a housekeeper. She can be counted on to help her husband provide for family sustenance. And she remains the ever sensitive and responsible mother, keeping close watch over the upkeep of her children.

As professionals, Filipino women are well versed in a variety of disciplines such as education, social welfare, arts and culture, entertainment, medicine and, yes, even politics. You will find many customer service centers for American Companies use call centers in the Philippines as their english is very good and they are courteous and respectful and quick learners and the service is very cost effective. She can be as good or even better than her male counterpart in careers where sensitivity, creativity and charm are needed or useful. Truly, Filipino women have shown they can succeed not only as housekeepers but also as partners in nation-building.

The Value in Todays Filipino Family

The Filipino family is unique, most households in the Philippines differ considerably from what is considered normal to most westerners or anywhere else around the world. While most families elsewhere are composed of a father, a mother or the parents and their children, a Filipino family would normally go beyond this in one household.

The grandparents of one of the parents are sometimes part of the Filipino family. Even nieces and nephews of the parents or uncles or aunts of the children may live in one household apart from the “basic family”, that is, the parents and their children.

Further, it is not unusual especially in the rural areas for two or more Filipino families to share a common house and household chores. They may also be found working together in livelihood activities like farming, fishing or small family enterprises.

The father in the Filipino Family often takes the role of primary provider. He is the authority figure, the acknowledged counselor and disciplinarian. The mother or wife takes the key responsibility for homemaking or household management. She is the moral compass and the children’s first academic mentor. But there have been changes in the home front. Parents today seem more open-minded, having evolved from being more disciplinary to being an older type of friend for their children.

Although some parents these days still get a little uneasy with this “leveling-off” behavior towards their children, more and more of them have seen the positive impacts, like closer ties, better communication lines, higher levels of mutual trust and, more importantly, deeper respect and love for one another.

While some grandparents and other members of the “extended” Filipino family gets drawn to this relational unraveling, in some cases it is still on a much more conservative level. This is understandable since grandparents were born and reared in family traditions and culture steeped in more conservative and stringent manners.

Nevertheless, it is an amazing discovery how the Filipinos, with both their traditional “extended” family structure and continuing social evolution are able to survive in spite of these seeming incongruent characteristics of both the old and the new.

My video above demonstrates this unique home life where several generations live together sharing in the daily chores, caring for the children and providing the daily meals. The extended family lives next door and helps also. My wife father has passed away but the family still shares one household and her mother looks after the needs of her grandchildren with help of one daughter and another working on the big island sends money home monthly to feed her children. I learned from my first visit to bring candy treats the kids love gummy bears as you can see.

Traditional and Modern Filipino Wedding Customs

Filipino wedding customs combine both colonial influence and traditional beliefs. The more common Filipino wedding customs include choosing where to hold the wedding church and who the officiating minister will be. Couples who belong to prominent families usually prefer holding the wedding in an ancient Spanish-time church and enlist a well-known personality for an officiating pastor. Some say the ambiance generated by a Spanish-era church adds to the grandeur and solemnity of a wedding.

On the eve of a wedding, the bride-to-be is forbidden to see the groom-to-be. She likewise cannot try her wedding dress for fear that the wedding may not push through. On the wedding day itself, the bride usually wears a white-blue gown. There is preference for one that is borrowed. On exit from the church, the newlyweds go through the traditional throwing of coins, rice grains and flowers. This practice is said to induce abundance or wealth, as well as promote loyalty and abiding love between the couple.

There are sights of a wedding that make them distinctly Filipino. Example is the overflow of crowd witnessing the wedding rite, from the church to the reception. A Filipino wedding is never good enough if the crowd is not big enough. Filipinos after all are clannish people.

Post-wedding rites continue with undiminished festivity. The father of either bride or groom reads a wish list and toasts the wine, all in a gesture of ushering in a bright future for the new couple. The wedding dance brings the clan together, latching money bills of different denominations to various parts of the newlyweds’ clothes. It is a sign of sharing responsibilities among family members.

While some customs are unique to a certain province, the traditional Filipino wedding remains as one of the most valued occasions in the Philippines.

Filipino Customs And Traditions

Like most asian countries, the Philippines is rich in customs and traditions handed down from generation to generation. While Filipinos have been able to preserve some traditional values and revered practices, some of these customs have become the product of foreign influence, assimilated into the native culture and in time becomes traditional.

Filipino customs and traditions evolved from religious beliefs and/or superstitions. They find expression in a wide range of daily activities, from farming to commerce, courtship, birth, marriage, family, death, relationships, among many others.

As we now see, every region, province and even municipality in the Philippines has two or more customs or traditions that are uniquely their own. This is especially true in the countryside, where customs endure on the strength of collective acceptance and perpetuation by their people. Some of them have been institutionalized as annual events or festivals.

Two classic and popular examples of these showcased customs and traditions are the fiesta celebrations and the cenaculo. While the former takes on a variety of forms, themes, creativity and normally project a festive mood, the latter is a more subdued practice depicting the life and death of Jesus Christ. Both, however, have religious gist and history. Fiestas honor and thank the saints for a plentiful harvest and the cenaculo serves as venue for remembering the life, suffering and death of Christ. Both are occasions for collective or individual piety.

Other well-known Filipino customs and traditions include the selection of godparents along with marking the significance of baptism as one’s anointment into the Christian world. In courtship, the serenading and voluntary housework of young men as a way to win their lady’s affection was common in the olden times.

In marriage, the groom-to-be is restricted from seeing or speaking to his soon-to-be bride on eve of their wedding day, in the same way that the wife-in-waiting is restricted from trying on her wedding dress on that same day, for fear that the wedding itself may not materialize.

These and other customs and traditions define the uniqueness of the Filipino people. They reflect their history and the social evolution they went through.