I have lived in Cebu Island in the Philippines for 17 years. She came here when she was single, married this woman, and now lives with a girl and a boy. I have been married for 15 years.
Communication with foreigners has become commonplace for me, but it is quite difficult to marry someone of a different nationality. Here, I would like to introduce the important things in marrying a Filipino woman.
Marriages with people in Philippines
Second life stage
I was assigned to Cebu Island for work in 2000 and settled there. By the time I came here, I had already put a period in my five-year marriage with a Japanese woman in Japan, and two years had passed. Maybe it was just the right time to start over.
Difference of ages doesn’t matter
However, speaking of international marriage between Japanese and Filipinos at that time, it occurs in the encounter between a young Filipino female talent who came to work in Japan, what is now called Miss Caba, and a Japanese man who is a customer. In many cases, I think that the difference in marriage between the ages of 20 and over was the mainstream. Nowadays, language study abroad in the Philippines, venture investment, etc. have become popular, and as a result, the number of couples born from semi-artificial things such as customers and customer service staff in the store through natural encounters has increased. I feel that the age difference is getting smaller.
Under such circumstances, Japanese men have become a common language in the Philippines, and while they do not understand any other local language in the Philippines or English, which is a seasonal common language in the Philippines, Filipino women are able to work as needed In many cases, they rely on the Japanese language attached to the Philippines to lead a married life, and in most cases, it seems that they had communication problems.
Economic gap between Philippines
This is still the case when it comes to communication, but it is undeniable that the economic disparity between Japan and the Philippines is having a major impact, especially when Filipino women decide to marry a Japanese man. A long time ago, differences in nationality, culture, and age were justified by the special circumstances of economic disparity. However, in the case of a marriage that is not based on the affection-based relationship of the trader, it is quite difficult to maintain the relationship. Also, it seems that international marriages between Filipino men and Japanese women are quite rare, both in the past and in the present.
Generation gap between Japan and Philippines
Difference of ages is even welcomed in Philippines
I’m in my 50s and my wife is in my mid 30s. There is a difference of 16 years, but from the average of international marriages between Japan and the Philippines so far, this age difference seems to be small.
Also, while it has the power to close the age gap due to economic disparity, Filipino culture tends to be less concerned about the age gap than in Japan. There is actually a Filipino man who is a friend of my age who is involved in the transportation industry, but her wife is still in her early twenties, a difference of nearly thirty years old. It’s like a parent and child. But he often says, “My wife is lucky, because being with me gave me both her husband and father!” I don’t think the Japanese sense it makes sense, but that’s what it means.
I never cared about the ages
Aside from that, in our case as well, we started dating after we met, and we have been married for 15 years, but we have never been worried about the age difference.
Perhaps there is also a difference in life expectancy between Japan and the Philippines. In the Philippines, both men and women are around 60 years old, but in Japan they are over 80 years old, and the difference is more than 20 years.
When I met her, I was in my mid-30s and her wife was about 20 years old. Her mood was so mature and her mental age was so high that I didn’t have any hesitation in approaching my wife, even though I didn’t understand Filipino culture at the time. I was really surprised to see her age for the first time on a date.
Something common in between us
There’s no generation gap
Some of the opinions that question couples of different ages in Japan are that they may not be able to find common topics such as fashion and music trends, and that they may not be able to measure communication.
Looking at the current state of the country of the Philippines, from ancient times to the present, for example, popular TV programs and popular songs are common to all children and the elderly, and there is a gap between generations. Almost none.
We accept different culture from outside
Also, Filipinos are willing to accept foreign ones, especially those from developed countries. For example, Japanese animation that was popular when I was young was broadcasted in the local language to the generations of my wife in the Philippines across generations, and the characters I knew were often shown on TV. .. Therefore, a common topic is created.
In addition, there are no intergenerational gaps in laughter points and tsukkomi. Being able to smile together with everyday trifles is directly linked to a sense of well-being.
Communication is important
Speaking of communication between husband and wife, physical compatibility is also important, isn’t it? It is a topic that can be avoided in Japan, but for example, physical relationships are very important for married couples. In Japan these days, there is a tendency to emphasize the financial strength of the other person and the position in the company, and there is also the idea that marriage and romance are separate. As marriage activities become more common, I feel that the tendency is becoming stronger. Such an idea would be difficult to accept in the Philippines.
Marriage is in the extended place of love
For Filipinos, marriage is just an extension of love. Especially for women of the general class, the economic power of men is not of much interest. As you can see from the social structure here, men who have no educational background other than the privileged class do not have a decent job in the first place. And it may be a factor that makes it difficult to form a couple of Japanese women and Filipino men.
In other words, women tend to get jobs and earn more in the general Filipino class. It is not uncommon for women to support men. When these Filipino women put their feelings into words, it’s like, “If you love me, I’ll feed you for the rest of my life.”
It may not be acceptable to Japanese women. However, even though such a heart part is suspicious, I think that a couple who was formed on the basis of economic aspects alone cannot work. Even in the Philippines, even if a woman who was in a de facto marriage came to work in Japan and was told by a man who was considerably older and had financial strength, she accepted it and entered into a legal marriage. They even used the help of Japanese men to help their de facto husbands living in the Philippines. The important thing is the idea of the heart part.
Basis of our marriage
Can’t divorce easily
I talked about “common-law marriage” and “legal marriage” earlier, but I feel that marriage is actually a very artificial thing. In fact, there are many common-law marriages in the Philippines. Because of the strong influence of Catholicism, there was a background that once you get married, you cannot actually divorce unless you hire a lawyer and win a declaration of invalid marriage in the trial. That’s why I think there were many couples who dared not to marry by law.
However, even if a woman with a Filipino husband who is in a common-law marriage comes to Japan and has an efficient marriage in Japan, it is very clear which one is her true husband.
In our case, I approached my wife at that time on the premise of getting married, and after about half a year, my wife felt that it was okay to get married. However, at that time, I could not enroll immediately due to various problems. At that time, my wife rushed to the house where I lived at that time, stayed there, went to work from there, and did not return to my house. And for about a year until all the marriages were ready, in Japanese terms, they were in a state of common-law marriage or cohabitation. If this is accepted as a marriage, our marriage will be 16 years.
To tell the truth, it didn’t mean that I had a child for the year, and I was always able to leave when I wanted to. However, I feel that surviving such a situation is the basis for the continuation of the formal marriage that continues to this day.
Find out the small happiness
There is nothing special about that secret. However, I think it is important to spend every day having fun and finding joy in small things. I work here in the Philippines like a half freelancer. It’s not uncommon for me to be completely absorbed in my work, but how I spend my time is at my discretion, and I’m not in a situation where I have to work overtime every day and have no time to meet my family. I haven’t even had time to meet my family for about two weeks, but I haven’t had it any longer.
I myself have no assets that seem to be assets, and I still live in a rented house, but thankfully I am not at a level where I have trouble eating every day. I’m going to make enough money to eat out with my family about once every 10 days. In a Japanese sense, it may be that you spare no effort to eat out, buy land, and take out a loan to buy a house. But this doesn’t suit the Filipino temperament, and if you do that, your wife will probably get a flat tire instead of me. In the case of my wife, it is impossible among Japanese people, but since she is a woman who grew up too well and grew up with a maid at home, she is not very good at housework, especially cooking has almost no repertoire. .. On the other hand, I’ve always loved eating and cooking myself, so I’m more likely to cook unless I’m forced into work or socializing. However, this does not mean that I can make delicious Filipino food, I just buy and make locally what I can eat normally in Japan. This is possible because my wife accepts it.
Accept your partner for who they are
In general, Japanese tend to be able to do various things at the same time for both men and women, but this cannot be expected for Filipinos. What is called ability? There is a bias in what you can do. As with my wife’s cooking, if I can’t do it, I can’t do it, and once I’m an adult, it’s completely solidified, and it’s almost impossible to acquire new abilities from there.
Also, they are not good at managing money. In our case, I manage a fixed amount of living expenses that I can use up every six months, and then I manage it. As a Japanese, managing money is pretty sweet, but it’s still better than leaving it to my wife.
There may be pros and cons, but due to their cultural background, it is difficult to expect more abilities from adults. Therefore, I think it is important to firmly acknowledge the other party and follow what you cannot do.
Be flexible and make each count
First of all, I think it is important to be able to communicate normally and to firmly identify the good and bad of compatibility before marriage. For example, it is important that the points of laughter are similar and that the taste of food matches. Based on such a situation, the idea of how flexibly and rationally each other can respond without sticking to each other’s nationality, and if the other party is Filipino, sacrifices the present for the future is almost accepted. Therefore, even if you cannot live a special luxury life, it is important to devise ways to afford your daily life and feel a little happiness. For example, it is important to eat the same food and be happy if you think it is delicious for each other.
Marriage is a strong extension of romance, so sometimes it’s important to go to the movies or have a cup of tea without the children and the couple without water. Don’t blame what the other person lacks. Accumulation of how we can cover it is the key to making good use of marriage with Filipinos.