A Picture From the Other Side…


The Less Than Honest ‘Kano and the Truthful Pinay

The view from life’s other side for a change. Both countries have their share of forlorn love stories; I myself am a casualty of that love. I begin this story apologetically to Khay. I am sorry you went through a rough time, but now your marriage sounds like one to be admired.

Khay begins with an apology as well: I am sincerely very sorry to those foreigners who experienced horror stories with their Filipina wives. But please do not judge all of us because not all Filipinas are the same.

I am a Filipina who’s been married to an American for seven years. And I would like to share that we have a very good marriage. My husband came to the Philippines because his company sent him here for a two-year assignment. As part of this transition, he was able to bring his family (a Filipina wife and daughter) with him. Before his two-year contract ended, his wife then manipulated him into trusting her with their money and she went back to America with their daughter, so she could prepare the place they would be moving back to. After his contract ended, she told him to hang around and enjoy the country while he is still in the Philippines. He did that until he almost spent whatever money he had, although he was confident that his wife would buy his ticket going back to the U.S. since that was what she had told him.

He then received a letter from her attorney asking for a divorce. Half way around the world, with almost no money at all, he had no choice but to grant her the dissolution. I met him after he got divorced and his ex-wife re-married. I was still in college. (I used to stereotype foreigner males as those who liked dark-skinned, skinny, illiterate, little prostitutes. And I used to judge and laugh at those couples walking around feeling and acting so proud with their partners.) I first saw him at the restaurant where my friends and I planned to have dinner before we killed the night; I immediately judged him as “One of them.” I showed no interest in him at all but he was very persistent. So then I thought, what the heck? He looks young (no one could tell that he was thirty-two already because he could pass for a twenty-five year old easily) good looking, has a well-toned body, plus I wanted to feed my curiosity regarding the bedroom side. He gave me his number through a tissue paper and a waiter. We started exchanging text messages and agreed to go out on a date two days later. We became friends (with benefits). “That’s all he was to me. Until he said the “L” word and started talking about moving-in together and introducing himself to my family, which totally freaked me out.

After all, I was in college with my parents supporting me. I knew their finding out that I was dating a foreigner would totally devastate them, let alone moving in together (of which my parents totally disapproved). So I had to leave him. Tried to cut all my contacts with him, but he managed to find my parents address through a friend of ours. He came and talked to my parents, which didn’t turn out to be as bad as I thought. He only asked them if he could ask me to be his girlfriend. He had no money, no job, an illegal in my country, and no passport soon. He was basically stuck here. What could our future be? But I was already “in-love”.

Though I was only eighteen at the time, I was already responsible and was making decent amount of money even before I met him from conducting piano and voice lessons and from singing at the hotels on the weekends. These helped me get him a lease in a decent 2-bedroom house in the same subdivision where my family lives. I was paying his bills, and buying food for him. It got to the point where my friends and family started to discourage me about my relationship with him. But I was worried that he was too desperate. I couldn’t leave him, not now, for that would be a huge blow to him. So I thought if he got a job to occupy his time it would be easier for him to take the break-up. But since he was illegally here, it was hard to find a company that would hire him no matter how good his resume was. So I asked my dad to pull out his contacts, and he finally got a good paying job. But the day he began his job was the day I found out that I was pregnant with his baby.

I had to drop-out of school and we ended up moving-in together despite my parents disapproval. They wanted us to get married first but we couldn’t because of his illegal status and we couldn’t afford to pay his immigration penalty. We were too proud to ask for help. My parents were very angry and basically disowned me until I had our baby. He got acquainted with other foreigners eventually and started to do part-time jobs with them that got him fired from his position. Finally he was able to get a better job, again, with the help of my dad. But he also started cheating on me with his office mate. I was devastated and heart-broken when I found out. I was so angry that it led to a bad break-up. I kicked him out of our house, got him fired from his job, and reported him to the immigration. He was able to hide himself at his other woman’s shabby apartment.

I left to raise our son on my own and started to earn good with my job at the bank and as a realtor. He realized eventually that his other woman was only with him because she thought he had money and would eventually take her to America, when she realized that he couldn’t give her any, she started cheating on him. He came begged me to take him back four months later. As broken-hearted I still was, it was more painful to see my son growing without his father. I took him back and forgave him for the sake of our son. But I didn’t want to make the same mistake over again, co-habiting without marriage. So I paid his immigration fees and got him a temporary visa so we could get married. We had two more kids, he was able to get a job with a multinational company with an expat package and everything has been going well since.

A Green Card has never been an issue, and we never even discuss it. I am not interested. He has secured permanent residency here. Money is never an issue because I have my own source of income. I don’t blame the foreigners who hate my kind because of their bad experiences. BUT PLEASE DON’T JUDGE US ALL BECAUSE YOURS DIDN’T TURN OUT TO BE WHAT YOU EXPECTED. That was a view from the other side for a change. Now whoever reads this — please stop denigrating the Filipinas, for it is in often cases, their only chance at a decent living.   All means of earning a living are non-existent and will never be.   All I can say is bravo!

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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