Something I’ve recently had to deal with is sibling rivalry and disputes which are a mix of land and a mix of jelousy. But most of all they shouldnt really affect me but they do! Its something you have to be aware of when entering into a relationship from outside. As a foreigner you are instantly a millionaire to the average Filipino and no matter what you say you can’t change that. There is also the problem that you have just put a lot of pressure on your fiancee who will be bombarded with family members requesting loans for various things. Saying no will be difficult for her as a lot of the people asking helped her through various stages of her life. But the most important thing here is to avoid the loans. A loan in the Philippine society is basically a gift they will be unlikely to ever pay you back and asking them to pay when its due may cause them to lose face which can be very dangerous. So find your own way round this problem mine came with some mini loans which i made my wife responsible for personally. She made sure she got them repaid and the fact was they paid late and we still have a cooker for an unpaid debt which is now many months out of date. We have no interest in getting the money back as the cooker itself was worth more than debt but also gave us an excuse to not accept any more loans as “no one ” paid on time. Its kept us out of the headaches of dealing with family members wanting to borrow.
The other issues that will appear are a mixed bag of good and bad. Some people genuinly want to help you and others want to help themselves. They know you are newly married, wealthy in comparison to locals and maybe looking to settle down. So who better to buy a car, house or lot from than a relative?? In many cases wrong.. They know you.. I’ve seen in many scenarios where prices have gone up just because of a white face. If you’re looking at anything get a market value on it first. Never make a decision there and then so you have time to discuss it with your wife who (Should) have a better idea of things than you but most importantly keep financial matters private where possible.
Dealing with aunts.. this is a recent headache for myself but i know there are a lot of good relatives out there aswell as bad. April’s parents are great and I have nothing negative to say about them. But aunts have often assisted in families to help the kids get educated or through difficult financial patches within family life and let’s face it, life is pretty hard in the Philippines if you’re not in the top 30%. So respect should be given but don’t let that be used as a lever to take advantage of you. Your wife/gf is likely to follow the aunts wishes because her aunt is her Elder who she holds a lot of respect for aswell as the fact that she helped her when she was younger. The easiest way I’ve seen people deal with this scenario is to move away from the family. Not miles but far enough that the property she resides in is your family home. Somewhere where she is in control of the situation as respect for your wife should be given as the residence is hers. You will have to find your own solutions to this problem as I’m still on a learning curve.