Odd thing is when moving to the Philippines rarely do people talk about or help the woman in their life the Pinay, Filipina or whatever name to describe your partner is generally my wife is my wife or April.. but its an entire other topic on what to call people and we will cut this one here.
But the point being is how do women bring their partners to the Philippines and what should they be doing in advance of their partner coming here and also what should they tell their partner to expect?
First thing would be to say that it doesn’t matter what level of society you or your partner are from there are going to be some shocks to the culture system upon arrival. For most they will never have seen shanty towns, open sewers, heavy pollution or even know what to do with a bucket and scoop for a shower. Most of these things would be unacceptable in most western countries and the best way to prepare them for the events is simply borrow a camera or see if he will buy you one. Get a compact something easy to keep secure but good enough quality to take some good shots of the things you may think will bother your partner. At the same time balance them out with the good things here is an example list :-
Shanty towns – Balance out with photos of some of the highlight buildings and nature of your area such as mountains and the historical sites.
Open sewers and the litter tied with it – good photographs of the beaches nearby or the resort pool areas you can use on a daily hire.
Heavy pollution and smog – if your not living in the city show the provincial life where the waters are clean and the mountains are lush green. If your in the city take some mall photos and the wonderful restaurants.
Bucket and scoop – I off set this with the fact its hot here most of the time so cold showers for myself is around 4 a day! so would say explaining that its not all bad and in fact its very refreshing and if he’s looking to live here permanently you can buy an electric or solar shower from a hardware store.
But is that all? no this is why you need to sit and discuss things with your boyfriend/husband to get an idea of what they are expecting and “tell them the truth!” about what is really here. For instance the ants are a big problem so would say for your partner to send some good ant killer as well as research the local hardware stores for chemicals that will get rid of them. Mosquito’s and Dengue are another major one and you need to tell him to bring quality mosquito spray and cream as well as an ultrasonic killer for the socket. Sounds over kill I know but I had dengue myself and it left me sick for nearly 4 months.
Do you have air-conditioning? see for me its no problem but the problem is many of the new arrivals are very big in size and overweight which means they feel the heat more than I do. So although I am content with a wall or ceiling fan maybe your boyfriend or husband won’t be. Which for the first trip would advise stopping at a resort not too far from family at the same time far enough so you can have privacy. For us on my first visit I stayed at Tubod around 10mins tricycle ride from where my wife lived. Meant when she went to work April’s sister would take me round the sights of Cebu so I didn’t get bored at the same time I spent time with my wife and her family separately and together meaning everyone gets to know each other without being on top of each other in the same house, Saves any disputes.
What about Visa’s? your partner will arrive with a 21 day tourist visa that will be completed in-flight above that he will need to go to immigration before the 21 days up to extend. If applying for a resident visa or retiree visa I would advise checking with immigration on the renewal before the 21 days to see if any requirements have changed as they seem to vary in some way annually. But the important thing is generally immigration is just time consuming but have yet to hear of anyone ever being refused.
I will cut this article off here as its getting rather long and start the next post based on what will your husband/partner expect from the Philippines.