Relationships in the Philippines: My Sweetie, Michell

 
Michell
 
 
 
A guy cannot talk about the Philippines without eventually talking about Filipinas- it’s just not possible.  On that note,  are a number of stereotypes that survive to this day concerning the woman of the Philippines. From mail order brides that were popular in the 80s and 90s to the working girls (or GRO’s – Guest Relations Officers) of Angeles city to overseas maids for Middle Eastern princes, Filipinas have often been portrayed with certain clichés. Now don’t get me wrong, there still are many working girls in Angeles city (but much less, since the US military moved out) but the mail-order bride situation was shut down years ago through government regulations to protect the Filipino people. So today, that stereotypes in particular no longer applies. That said, you will find Filipinas just like any other women in world: Assertive, sharp, and possessed of a strong desire to shop.  🙂
I must admit that I have very limited experience with woman in the Philippines. I am not a player by nature, nor a womanizer, and the whole GRO thing just goes against my grain. I am pretty much one dimensional in that I prefer to have a steady girlfriend.  That has pretty much been the modus operandi for most of my adult life. This blog posting is devoted to my Filipina girlfriend,  Michell, and here I will talk about my history and where we are at now.  Oh, and get yourself ready to groan out loud – there’s gonna be some mushy stuff.
 
Note the Jackie Onassis sunglasses.
I met Michell on an Internet dating site.  I was considering a move to the Philippines and figured a social dating site would be a good way to meet a local Filipina and perhaps learn a little bit of the culture and local language. I wasn’t on the site for more than a day when I spotted her profile. Yes, she was attractive – very attractive-  but it was the profile that most intrigued me. Unlike most of the profiles in which the girls merely describe themselves as “simple” or “god-fearing,” Michell had actually put some effort into hers, noting that she enjoyed reading and much preferred to go hiking than to hang around in a mall. Education was also important to me, and I noted that she was attending university (hey, she’s 19 years younger than me – something I don’t hold against her).  I expressed interest and we soon started chatting on Yahoo! Messenger and then moved on to video calls in Skype.  I told Michell that I was interested in learning bisaya and soon enough she was trying to teach this terrible student. She would coach me on Skype and she even sent an Microsoft Excel documents with some common words and phrases in bisaya (the most common spoken language in the Philippines).  We chatted every day, sometimes for hours at a time. Her English was excellent and she was very intelligent (not to mention very attractive) and I soon realized that I liked her very much.  Being 12,000 miles away, however, was a bit of an obstacle to the relationship moving any further, so it wasn’t until I met her 18 months later that we were actually able to start seeing each other. 
 
 
As with many relationships between people from different countries, ours has been fraught with a number of difficulties.  The way people approach relationships in the Philippines is totally different than the way we approach relationships in the West. There is no dating, instead they utilize a system that incorporates the concepts of “suitor” and “courting.”  In effect, you are either boyfriend girlfriend (“uyab”) or you are not.  There is no middle ground.  Also, the level of jealousy in the Philippines was not something that I was used to, and this created the greatest problem in our relationship.  Jealousy in the West is viewed as a negative thing that tends to bring out the worst in people.  Here in the Philippines, is part of the relationship process, and it is a way that its Filipinos express affection towards their significant others.  To a Westerner, it just looks like unnecessary drama, and this more than anything caused the most problems in our relationship. There were some misunderstandings and some missteps on both sides, but as of this date things seem to be stabilizing and the relationship seems to be moving forward. Again, the cultural differences between the East and the West are huge and entire books have been written about them.  I -in just three months – have gotten the abridged version, and the learning curve has been extremely steep.
 
Michell is an excellent catch.  There are not many woman here that are possessed of such an impressive command of the English language.  More importantly, she understands the concepts of irony and sarcasm,  which is the sum total of my pathetic sense of humor. She is very intelligent, educated, and is hungry to create a life for herself and not be dependent on any man.  She is also beautiful – stunningly beautiful – and a day doesn’t go by in which she doesn’t take my breath away.  I don’t know at this point where exactly the relationship is going to go – all I know is that she makes my life a hell of a lot better for being in it.
 
The effect of my scintillating conversation.
 
A final note: although Michell had noted in her profile that she stood 5 feet tall it was until I actually first met her that I was shocked at how small she actually was. I think she is actually closer to 4’11” and weighs in at a hefty 85 pounds.  I am literally more than twice her size, and it’s taken some getting used to.  But, as they say, good things come in small packages – Michell is definitely an example of that.
 
85 pounds of pure attitude.
Okay enough of the mushy stuff. I am actually starting to make myself sick.  I will be posting more about the intricacies of having a relationship in the Philippines in future posts. So, loyal reader, thanks for reading.   I hope you didn’t groan out loud on too many occasions as you read this corny mishmash of a blog post.
 
Until next time, salamat and ingat!
 
I am the pink guy on the left.

Comments 58

  1. I am similar and besotted by my Filipino GF.We had a couple of weeks together in May, I’m coming out in October for a few weeks, and leaving the UK for good in December, I am reading all your blogs and watching all your vids, which are great. So that I will try and not make too many mistakes, thanks to you.

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  2. Hi Ned and Michell, love the blog and videos.

    from the little i have been able to understand about the filipino people and especially the women, i am in awe of what most of them go through just to survive and try and help their families.

    and my new friend Ned, i would never stop with the mushy stuff because even though my friend always says it makes her blush, i kinda think she loves the romance and attention.

    i will agree with your assessment on Michell’s beauty and brains. also she seems to have the same traits as my friend when it comes to getting their point across ( and winning )

    so thanks for another great chapter in your adventure and i wish you peace and joy.

    j

  3. I liked your comments and blog Re your time in the Philippines. It seem that you are taking the right approach and making a committment to one filipina (Michell). Health wise and finance this will enhance your time there which may become permanent. Anyway that is down the road involves many factors plus your personal life. In following Hanry’s blog you may have gone to the Philippines and “run amok”, but this leads to a much better life style. I must say Michell is a beautiful girl with a great personality, looks like she is a keeper. Now the ball is in your corner. Good luck Ned. Keep up the great videos and blog.

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  4. Ned…I have been reading the blogs and watching the video’s and I am so glad to see that you know just what you have found in Michelle. She looks and sounds like the complete package of a woman that is a Keeper !! And you know just how lucky you are to have found her and been able to become a part of each others lives out there. Keep workin the program and continue expanding your life foundation and you two will be together forever. I am happy to have come across your website and look forward to your continued blogs & video’s. Maraming Salamat Po !!

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  5. Hey guys great information on your video’s, I’ve met a young lady there and am entertaining the idea of moving there but I’m unsure of how or what to do in the way of making money there , I was hoping you might be able to point me in the right direction, many thanks from west Texas..

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      I work remotely – as long as I have internet, I can work and make money. The key is making foreign dollars and spending Philippine pesos. And don’t just pack up and move here (like I did)? Just take an extended trip and check it out first. It’s beautiful (most of the time), but it’s definitely not for everyone.

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      I ain’t all that smart. Just look at all the misadventures I have been on since arriving in the Philippines! But thanks for saying we are doing a good job. We do put a good amount of effort into it!

      1. U struck a good one in michelle. Vise a versa. Iv been goin there since 1985. Mainly davao city many trips. But dumagete looks gd . Might see u there

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  6. Yea davao is safe and very good the mayor dont take no nonsense. I herd too many foreigners on dumagete? ?

  7. Was wondering why is most of the girls here in negros are just gf’s of the foreigners,not all I met few that I can just count in my fingers.just asking…my curiosity..

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  8. Ned, First I get it. You guys are wonderful together. I agree that Michell is beautiful and smart. I love her attitude and adventurous and fearful nature. Seems she is willing to take on anything. You on the other hand strike me to be a down to earth guy that understands commitment, love and romance. Loved your video in the seven seas. 🙂 Thanks for sharing all the videos and your experiences. I am an American living in Texas and will relocate to Philippines in 3 or 4 years. I’m thinking that maybe Manila closer to San Pedro Laguna or Cebu. Help guide me in. Where would you recommend. Thanks, James

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  9. NED.
    Thanks for sharing your personal information on how you met Michelle…I’ve met numerous. Woman on the Facebook in the last year but in Sept I met LANIE I’m 62 she is.37 got 3 kids and lives with mom and dad ..That being said I raised 3 as a single parent myself…she is a school teacher there hard working but she has got inside my heart in a real and positive way unlike most girls some much younger has not ask or hinted for any kind of help or assistance…She is honest nice respectful very pretty I’ve already made my mind up I’m coming there her parents and children are polite and our relationship is constant she gives me much of her spare time we talk a lot on messenger or Skype similar to you and Michelle…..Her parents want us to start a life together and want us to move close by and. They keep the kids so we can have our privacy building a relationship which like you said in one of your episodes how family’s there stick together they already make me feel like family
    I’m a veteran and my pension is only $1500 a month ….what I’m asking from you is how can I come there and stay like you have…the tourist 30 day thing is not what I want…I want to get a visa but I don’t have the $10000 dollars for the bank deposit required for retired American’s and I’m sure I’m going to stay once I get there…already LANIE has found a apt 2 blocks from the ocean 10 min walk to the parents house..I want this to happen we got very many hours communicating…I need your feedback on how to go there and
    Be legal can’t I just pay to extend a visa I want to be legal this just feels right all the signals say go…please help with anything that gets me there to start this new chapter in my life…She lives in Naval Biliran appreciate advice
    Billy Duvall

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      Don’t sweat the visa thing. You can stay as a tourist for up to three years. It costs about $1.25 USD a day in fees over the year. As a veteran, you can also look into the Military courtesy visa if you decide to stay. Just remember to take EVERYTHING slow here – no big purchases or decisions for at least a year.

  10. Thanks Ned that’s encouraging news Appreciate. Your time and my goal is coming there to Naval biliary where LANIE lives I get it slow and easy
    …Thank. You so much

  11. NED AND MICHELLE
    GOT THE PASSPORT NOW I NEED MY DD214 FOR THAT VETRANS DISCOUNT VISA $10 A YEAR SINCE IM OVER 50 YRS OF AGE ALSO I NEED MEDICAL REORDS AND ARREST RECORDS
    ALSO I WANTED TO TOUCH BASE ON ONE OTHER ISSUE…I’M UNDERSTANDING BY RULES I NEED A ROUND TRIP TICKET OR THEY WON’T LET ME
    IN COUNTRY SINCE THE RETURN TICKET IF THERE ISN’T A WAY AROUND THAT ITS GOT TO BE 31 DAYS FROM MY ARRIVALRIGHT?I HAVE TO SEE THE CONSULATE IN CEBU OR MANILA TO APPLY FOR THIS VETERANS SSV VISA SINCE I AM
    STAYING THE RETURN TICKET SEEMS LIKE A WASTE OF A LOT OF MONEY IF I HAVE TO HAVE A RETURN TICKET CAN I POST DATE IT FOR 1 YEAR IF POSSIBLE ANY ADVISE FROM YOU AND MICHELLE WOULD BE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED ALSO PASS IT ON WITH THIS SSV VISA. THERE’S A $1400 APPLICATION FEE AND A $1500
    Bank deposit required seems like a good deal also with this visa you can come and go anytime you want…..NED AND MICHELLE
    ME AND LANIE DO APPRECIATE
    THE HELP YOU PROVIDE….YOUR
    FRIEND BILLY DUVALL..P.S
    . HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON GOD BLESS

  12. Hi Ned and Michell. I found one of your youtube video by accident and ended up watching follow on videos. You guys look so cute together and I’m rooting for you. Love the apartment hunting videos.

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  13. hws it goin ned . diving in Philippines great adventure. crystal clear warm waters. no great whites to worry about ha. u used to the humidity yet keep cool mate

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  14. You guys are a really cool couple…I love you guys.
    I start to date a phillipne girl I hope she don’t think I am a MMMM lol…
    All the best for you guys.

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  15. Thankyou Ned I really enjoy the way you share your experiences and your kind considerate personality and viewpoint. I am an american who loves the philippines too and i have visited there in 2008 2009 and 2013 and plan to retire and live there in a few years. I met someone (Rose) and married her in Las Vegas last year and feel very lucky to have followed my dream too (we met Oct 2013 and married Jan 2015) I want to just say i believe your videos help remind me of the beautiful Phillippines and I want to say be well be safe and be happy .

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  16. Hi Ned and Michell , I’ve been watching your vids right from the start and always enjoy and look forward to them . The big funny guy and the very cute little girl. Michell reminds me a lot of my cute little filipina ,,she’s about the same size , and I laughed when saw that you met on dia and you was surprised how small she was when you met first time , because it was exactly the same for us haha.You both look so happy together , and I wish you both good luck for a great future together . Keep making the great videos .

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  17. I have found some of the work ethics in the Philippines are a lot different from those in the United States such as showing up late to work and that is good enough it will work just fine or we will finish it later. I would like to know if you have any input on this. Thanks Ned and Michelle.

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  18. nice one – good on you guys – as much as Michelle was a good catch, you deserve also credit for your patience and willingness to appreciate and understand her culture ..

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  19. Hi ned can u recommend a good hotel in dumagete? Be my first time goin there in a few weeks time regards wayne thanks

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  20. Do those throwaways apply to all asian destos as well ? Say vietnam then a throwaway from Vietnam to manila example???

  21. Do those throwaways apply to all asian destos as well ? Say vietnam then a throwaway from Vietnam to manila example???

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