I got a note the other day from another LiP reader Although she has been living abroad for some time, she had questions regarding some of her nieces who are still living in the Philippines. It seems like her life in a different culture has sort of “broadened her horizon,” she fears that her nieces are not open to such experiences in their own lives, and because of that, she is wondering what she should do.
See what you think by reading her note to me, below:
Dear Feyma, Kumusta? I am writing you asking some opinion from you.
I am a Filipina living here in Canada. Married for over 20 years now. I would say that I am happy with my life here in Canada with the man I love. Been going home to the Philippines when I have time and money. I have grown up kids now also.
I am thinking of going back there to the Philippines to live part time, when its winter time here.
I have some nieces there in the Philippines. Few of them are still single. I asked them during one of my visits if they will be interested to marry a foreigner. Shocking to know that few of them would not consider marrying a foreigner. They said that they just don’t think that they can adjust with the other culture that well. They said it is hard to adjust living with the person with the same culture how much more with the other culture. They said it is no way they can adopt to it.
Now how would I convince them that living with different culture is not that bad as what they think? They know that I am successful with my married life. They know in every married life also is not perfect, I am one of them. We have our shares of marital problems. But not to the extent that we are hurting each other physically or emotionally.
Anyway, I was just wanting to ask you and write to you about this. Not really a problem for me what my nieces want and do in their lives. I am just interested on what you think so that I would know how to answer them that it’s not too convincing or not too against our own culture too. Believed me I am really also a believer of our culture. I am not who I am today if not for my parents who molds me with our Filipino culture.
I said too much. Thank you for reading my email. Keep up the good work. You and your husband really loved the Philippines. I hope we settle there soon. I am hoping to see you and your family. Thank you! Lydia
To you Lydia,
Thank you so much for writing. I really appreciate your email to me. Really with regards to your nieces, it is not really a big of a deal. If they think its not for them to be married to a foreigner then you can’t really force them. Maybe in time they will really realize that no matter who they are married to they have to adjust big time. I am not going to deny that marrying someone from different culture needs more adjustment. But really learning each others cultures are more fun though. Just like learning how to deal with the accent. Just one example, the way we Filipinos pronounce the words, our hubby thinks its so cute and sexy. And the way round.
Also its more fun teaching each other the superstitious and beliefs of every culture. My gosh, when I was telling Bob before all the beliefs we have in our culture. He had to scratch his head and just said wow. You know that we have gazillions beliefs here in the Philippines and it also all depends on what province you are from. And telling those beliefs to my kids, ha ha ha, its another story to tell. They were laughing hard to some of them.
Really your nieces will learn more now. They can go on-line and search what they are afraid of though. With the net everything is more open. Now they can just observe the person when they are chatting live on the net. Unlike us before that we have to rely on the mail for our questions to be answered. Remember its post office mail, it takes forever to get to us. Just don’t worry about your nieces, if it’s not meant for them to be married to a foreigner then it will not happen. If they want to be married to Filipinos its okay too. That might be good for them, so that no regrets when time of problems later.
Just enjoy your visit with your family.
Hope to see you here in Davao too when you retire. Good luck to your plan on that.
To our LIP Readers: I am also asking you guys if you encounter similar situation with Lydia and her nieces. Feel free to share here with us. I will really appreciate any stories or inputs you might have. Thank you again you guys in advance.
Feyma Martin is a Columnist here on the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine, she is the wife of site Publisher, Bob Martin. Feyma is originally from the Philippines, but went to the USA for 10 years after marrying Bob in 1990. Bob & Feyma moved to the Philippines to live permanently in 2000.