Many people including myself started out with good intentions. You will hear often marry a filipino you marry the family. Which in part is true. The problem is when your a foreigner coming into the fold of the family and it doesnt matter where people sits when it comes to wealth because you will generally be richer. The president of the Philippines salary is £800 a month a police colonel £400 a maid £40. You get the picture you are already a millionaire in many peoples eyes especially if you start buying goods and turning up with a lot of fancy new electronics which could be more than a couple of years salary for some people.
Your marriage will bring a lot of pressure to your wife who will be obligated to help her family in some form could be a monthly allowance to her parents or something else which is something i personally accepted as part of life and marrying my wife some of that responsibility would become mine. But where it went wrong is with an aunt who suddenly seen a lot of wealth drop on the table and wanting to cash in her chips without lifting a single finger to do something in return and if you open the flood gates you will suddenly find everyone wants to borrow money and not pay back. Need help with tuition or any other mountain of reasons. This is why its important to keep a lot of your wealth hidden. Its ok to take relatives for a meal now and again but fix someones motorbike or car and you are suddenly expected to fix most of the relatives vehicles. Some of the logic i understand as the Philippines has been abused by every foreign nation that has been here going back as far as the Spanish. Many are still here reaping the rewards of mining, controlled sales within the country and any other piece of commerce pie they can get hold of. The average filipino which is about 70% are left to scrape around in whats left while the rich families and foreign companies take more than a fair share of the pie. A couple of the main companies here that control virtually all the goods in theyre market are Nestle and Coca Cola.
So why do people think you are rich? Simple reason many of us are in comparison. The other factors are even those who cant afford schooling can see television or get on the internet as its cheap here aswell as the fact that an email from a foreigner could be like a golden ticket from poverty for one person or an entire family. Not all filipinas think of it as this way but it is most definitly the majority from experiences ive had and spoken to filipinas they all are looking for a foreign husband. Ive also met women that have basically been forced to find a foreigner by an aunt or mother, practically sold. The problem is growing more and more and we are part of the problem. First thing we do is assist those less needy than ourselves, maybe a new shelter a cow, a pig? All major things depending on what level the family live at. Then you buy an SUV or another new vehicle “cash” gossip is a major thing here a new vehicle owned or purchased by a foreigner for family use is quickly spread about a sub-division, market or town/city faster than wild fire. If you were struggling to survive each day and can see a neighbour lifted from poverty because theyre daughter married a foreigner who not only treated the woman well but also helped the family what would you be thinking??
Now the problems start quicker than you would think and the easiest way of doing things is keep it all under a tight reign and not share anything you dont have to. People will ask your salary just be modest about everything outside the Philippines they may not believe you but saying you have a great job and high salary just feeds the fact they think your rich. You are probably thinking well thats my business.. well ill tell you something the first thing you are going to be asked for is family loans. Mainly around £30+ which you think thats not a lot and they are aware of it. But also in Filipino culture a loan is basically a gift so you are unlikely to see your money again. I ended up with a cooker for a loan that wasnt repaid. But i know others who have lost £1000 on a single loan which was for a stock buy for the family who then made a profit but never repaid the loan because your the foreigner it doesnt need to be repaid, you can afford it! The next things are likely to be medical expenses, tuition fees or house repairs. Personally i would avoid them. As soon as you pay for one person others will expect you to pay for them too.
So whats the worst cases of extended family going wrong? Well i had a house stolen from under me. This week a friend of mine who has been getting over a motorcycle accident discovered his mother in law has been trying to poision him. Only reason he found out was she had asked his wife for assistance since the poision hadnt been working. This woman had lived in his house with free room and board and treated with respect and in return she had tried to kill him thinking he had money stashed away somewhere.
So what do you do about these issues? At first i wanted to help everyone and ive slowly found that im wasting my time and pretty much would end up a laughing stock aswell as feeding the rich Kano syndrome that exists. So ive spent a lot of time on this and decided the best answer is draw the line in the sand. My family are my daughters and wife. Aprils parents are in a joint venture with me and have shown nothing but kindness and time for us in the time ive been with theyre daughter. I will be looking that as things expand they will always be part of my life. Outside of that everyone is for themselves ive severed my ties as i can not trust a word that is said. There was a lot going to happen which they have lost and its a sad way to end things but if you dont you will just be a fool throwing money in a well. It will never get full.
Setting the guidelines and using culture to your advantage is the key. First off you accepted a lot of the filipino culture its about time they took some of the Western which generally in the West i find it a selfish attitude but use it to your advantage, YOUR family is your wife and kids first.. above that is your choice and at your peril. If your going to do something do it all legally but remember filipinos have a problem with losing face and if they have debts that are legally binding things may turn nasty so just dont lend any money part ownership of a business may work but give it time before even looking at it find who your enemies are as you may find your real friends list is very limited.