Filipino Time

I know I have touched on this topic before, either in the forum or one of my articles, but it simply needs more attention, especially for ANY man out there who is known for being on time or early for anything! I was late once, when I was born. Two weeks actually, and then I decided I was missing Christmas and wanted out! So, I induced my labor, and was late for Christmas by one day. Since then, I have been early or on time for just about everything. In fact, when I was working in an office setting, everyone knew it was 4pm because I was walking out the door. I’ve been told they could set their watch on that. I also show up for events or appointments 15 minutes early. It’s just how I am… I mean was. You see, when you marry a Filipino time changes. It becomes Filipino time! Which means, if you are supposed to be somewhere at a given time, you will be at least 30 minutes late!

While I still struggle with this issue with my wife for doctor appointments and such, it’s not usually a big deal to me anymore if we are a LITTLE late for something. Now, as long as I have arrived safely, I can deal with not being there at the time I was told to be there. Official appointments excluded of course! I had to explain that here in the U.S., if you’re late for your appointment for the doctor, they might not see you. In fact, they will still probably charge you as if you had been seen!!!! She was pretty shocked by this and was in disbelief until we got a bill from the dentist for just such an event. $40 for not showing up for a teeth cleaning. I called and talked them out of the billing, but it impressed upon her the fact that Filipino time can’t be used all the time.

Live in the Philippines Consulting

I’ve said this little bit of introduction, so that I can bring you to the real story about Filipino time, and the first time I encountered it. Where else? The Philippines of course!! I knew that when I went to the Philippines, I would most likely be asking my girlfriend to marry me. So, I bought a ring, and took it with me. I told her I was, but I don’t think she believed me. Anyway, after meeting her in person and having a great time meeting and talking with her family I decided to ask her to marry me, and she said yes. I also figured that the wedding is a very important thing for a woman, and that since we would be getting married in the U.S. I thought it would be nice to have an engagement party.

Ready to sing
Ready to sing

The party setup itself was pretty simple. We drove in a van to a restaurant that was known to be nice. It was an open style restaurant, on the river. It looked nice. I was told, stay in the van, and don’t be seen by anyone! What? I was told that the prices would go up once they saw a white guy! I agreed and stayed in the van. After a short time I was waved into the restaurant. I saw the blood flow from the face of the manager. Oh, the money he lost by not knowing he could overcharge me!!! The look, was priceless! We made the arrangements and tried the food we would serve, and left. Our party would be the following night at 6pm.

Now, you should know that I NEVER wear a watch. I tell time by my cell phone, and since I was in the Philippines, my cell phone was in the U.S. I LOVED not knowing what time it was, or the fact that the only thing that mattered was the then-and-now moments with my wife and her family. The day of our engagement party I awoke to the sound of women talking outside. I showered, got dressed, and went outside to find my wife getting a manicure and pedicure by a cosmetologist. My first thought was this was going to be expensive. But when they told me how much it would be, I was no longer worried. CHEAP!!! Especially by American standards! They asked if I wanted a manicure. I figured, why not, they could use being trimmed, and it was my engagement party that night after all. I should look good! So, when my wife was finished it was my turn. I sat down, and the girl went to work trimming and putting all kinds of weird orange and pink stuff on my cuticles. The trimming and softening commenced. I was about to get up when they stopped me. They said, don’t you want nail polish? Nail polish? Are you kidding me!?!?! NO!!!!! I am a man, not a woman. They tell me that the guys there get a clear on their nails. I was hesitant, but reluctantly agreed to it. Once they finished one hand, I couldn’t take it anymore, and ordered it off!!! No way!! I can take a trim and cuticle softening, but nail polish was OUT OF THE QUESTION!!! And, it was removed without any further question. Ah yes, I’m a man again. It felt as they I had been neutered for those few minutes I was wearing that stuff!

Back to Filipino time! So, the day progresses, and I know we have to be at the restaurant at 6pm. But again, I have no idea what time it is. I figure my wife or someone else surely is keeping an eye on the clock. We shower again, get dressed for the party and get into the van, as the driver has arrived. We begin to drive and drive, and drive. Where are we going? I find out that we need to pick up a couple people. So, after numerous stops the van is properly loaded. We have the driver, the renter of the van, friends we invited, the Vice-Mayor, some people I don’t know, and my wife and I in the back. We are now, officially on Filipino time. We begin to get phone calls from my mother-in-law asking our whereabouts. We explain that we are on the way and that we will be there soon… only another thirty minutes! When we arrive, all 50 of our guests are outside the restaurant waiting our arrival. The van comes to a stop, and upon our exit from the van, applause begins. I don’t know if they’re happy to see us, or If they are simply hungry and want to eat. We are after all over an hour late! But in Filipino time, it’s like 10 minutes late at most, or even on time!

Vice Mayor of Mapandan Siony Calimlim
Vice Mayor of Mapandan Siony Calimlim

Our engagement party was wonderful, and our guests had a great time! There was a band playing, dancing, food, drinks, and the Vice-Mayor of the city where my wife was from acted as MC. It was truly an honor to have her there! My wife had taught me enough tagalog to impress the crowd when I gave my speech and officially asked her to marry me in front of the crowd, and there was a lot of cheering and applause. A good time was had by all, and the fact that we were so late didn’t seem to bother people once the food was flowing and the party had begun. All was forgiven, if in fact, they ever really cared that we were late. And to be honest, I was not concerned or stressed out, like I would have been in the U.S., about being late.

Any man wishing to marry or even date a Filipina simply has to know that this kind of time does exist, and that you will either have to adjust to it, or become stressed out and have a heart attack trying to change something that has been in existence, probably, since the Philippines was inhabited. After all, why should you be in such a hurry to do something, when you’re surrounded by the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen?
Life is not just about the destination, it is about the journey. Stop along the path during your journeys and enjoy what is between point A and point B. You might be surprised at what you see!

Until next time, paalam, ingat, and God bless!

Post Author: Scott Fortune (65 Posts)

At the time of this writing, I am 42 years old. I’ve been married to my Filipina wife since December 2009. She is from the Province of Pangasinan, Philippines. I was born and raised in the Metro Detroit area in Michigan. I’ve worked in many fields throughout my short career, mostly in Architecture, computers, and law enforcement. I’m medically retired from the U.S. Government due to a back injury and look forward to our move to the Philippines. My interests here were yard work, guns, and hanging out with friends. But because of my back injury, I’ve had to shorten what I can do to just hanging out with friends. Not a bad thing when you’re retired, right!? Also, I’m sure I’ll find some new interests when I get to the RP. We don’t yet know where we will be moving to exactly, but I expect it to be on the main island of Luzon. I look forward to moving there, getting healthier, and experiencing island life.

49 Ways to Make a Living without a Job


  1. Paul Thompson says

    My life at one time was ruled by the clock, working on ship everything was on a schedule and being late could cause you to be standing on an empty pier wondering where your ship was, and thinking about where you’ll find your next job. I over the years had a habit of buying expensive watches. I was single and indulged myself. When I decided to fully retire, I came home to the Philippines, removed a Swiss Rado watch and handed it to my Father-in-Law. He was shock, but I explained that all I need to know about time from now on was daytime and nighttime.

    • Scott Fortune says

      I have never really liked watchign the clock, it just seemed to become a part of me in my professional career. Timing was everything. Late for a meeting? It was canceled and you could lose a client. Late for a trouble call, someone could get hurt or killed. As for being late for doctors, etc. I give them professional courtesy as I know their time is valuable, as is mine. I did, however, just recently stop seeing one doctor because I refuse to wait for over an hour while he has his lunch, and I have a scheduled appointment. That doesn’t sit well with me professionally.

      I haven’t worn a watch in a long time. Cell phone or pagers only since 1995, but I can appreciate the idea behind the gift. I still have a pager from 1997. Doesn’t work, but maybe I can use it as some sort of reminder about time, and how unimportant most things are in life when I get t my new life destination.

      Thanks for reading Paul!

      • Paul Thompson says

        I was waiting for a dentist appointment (Stateside) when the young lady informed me the dentist was running late on a procedure he was doing. I waited the extra 45 minutes. When they were preparing my bill I asked that the 40 dollars they would have charged me if I were late or had not shown up be deducted from my bill, the girl was in shock, and went to get the dentist. I was standing there grinning, and he started laughing and told the girl, yes, do it as Mr. Thompson’s time is valuable too.

    • Scott Fortune says

      I have never really liked watchign the clock, it just seemed to become a part of me in my professional career. Timing was everything. Late for a meeting? It was canceled and you could lose a client. Late for a trouble call, someone could get hurt or killed. As for being late for doctors, etc. I give them professional courtesy as I know their time is valuable, as is mine. I did, however, just recently stop seeing one doctor because I refuse to wait for over an hour while he has his lunch, and I have a scheduled appointment. That doesn’t sit well with me professionally.

      I haven’t worn a watch in a long time. Cell phone or pagers only since 1995, but I can appreciate the idea behind the gift. I still have a pager from 1997. Doesn’t work, but maybe I can use it as some sort of reminder about time, and how unimportant most things are in life when I get to my new life destination.

      Thanks for reading Paul!

  2. says

    Your writing always make me smile. When reading this one my head nodded several times in recognition.
    Time is totally another thing here in Philippines, i am also a guy that is used to be on time – or even before time. Here i just have to put that habit aside, to many times i have been at a place for an appointment at time (or before – my fault) and have to wait. I just have to learn that time is not that important here. My watch is lying at my bedside, just so i know if i want to get up or not. Who need a watch here?

    And the little story about manicure – yeah – been there, tried that, and excactly the same with the polish she wanted to put on my nails – No way mam… As a matter of fact i do my own nails in the future, i do not feel comfortable sitting and getting manicure as a lady in the suburb – nope it is against my masculine genes. Call me old fashioned, call me conservative – just don’t call me to a manicure.

    A nice story from your keyboard again – keep on writing.

    • Scott Fortune says

      I used to cut my own nails, and even bought a buffer so I could be presentable in important meetings. But, NEVER before with the polish. And never again!!! LOL!!

  3. Robert J. says

    Hi Scott,

    Again you have brought back memories. I was already aware of Filipino time but it became clear that it was really part of the culture on the morning of our wedding. The ceremony was scheduled for 9AM and I know it didn’t start ’till almost 9:30. Like you I wasn’t much aware of time, just living in the moment. To me it all seemed like a dream and time really didn’t matter much anyway.
    I kind of like Filipino time, although not always practical with work, school and appointments.

    The Philippines is also where I had my first (and only) manicure, the night before our wedding. I thought they were just there for the bride and not expecting to be part of the deal. I responded the same as you but then conceded. It was actually kind of relaxing and I have to admit going along with the clear polish.

    I appreciate your closing comment… “Life is not just about the destination, it is about the journey.”

    By the way, you two make a nice looking couple.
    Way to go Scott!

    • Scott Fortune says

      I love Filipino time, and appreciate the fact that I will soon be able to live it completely. The only time I look at right now is, how much longer I have to be in this weather, and when my wifes final paperwork will be done. We just received paperwork on the removal of her Residency restrictions. Two weeks out! After that, we wait until January 1st to apply for citizenship. Once that is granted, we’re out of here. If I can convince her to leave with me sooner, I would love to spend Christmas and New Year’s 2013 in the RP!!! But, I’m not holding my breath. We want to be sure she can come back easily if things don’t work out in the RP, and U.S. citizenship is the easiest way to do that.

      Thanks for the comment about us looking nice together. I’m just the lettuce, she’s the dressing. :)

      • Robert J. says

        Looking forward to that time also, although it’s a couple years down the road for us. It will be good for your wife to have citizenship, not only for the advantage of an easy return but I’m sure you will find that moment very touching and meaningful.
        The day my wife became a US citizen was one of her proudest moments. We keep her photo on display standing with the judge and holding our oldest son waiving the Flag. It was a very emotional and proud day for myself as well.
        I’ve never been to the Philippines for Christmas and also look forward to that. It will all come together for you.

        • Scott Fortune says

          Robert, I think you’re right. It will mean a lot to me, because it will mean so much to her. :) We’re staying for her citizenship, no question. And I will do my best to struggle through one more winter, and also celebrate one more Christmas here in the States.

          • Robert J. says

            If you’re like me, there will be tears in your eyes and a lump in your throat that day.
            You’ll make it through one more Michigan winter. When the snow starts flying, just imagine yourself celebrating Christmas in the tropics next year. Exciting!
            I understand your feelings. My wife and I are very much looking forward to our move and sometimes I get anxious for that. Her patient nature reminds me that our life is pretty good now and the time will come.

      • Roxas Ron says


        I just sold my business! Therefore we get to move to Roxas 1 1/2 years earlier than planned. All we are waiting for is my wife’s citizenship also. Filed 2 weeks ago so I figure bout Feb we are outta here. I thought I would mention besides making it easier for here to come back here for any reason if anything ever happens to you she can benefit from your social security by being a citizen. Something to consider. Hang in there.

        • Scott Fortune says

          That is so awesome!!!!!! VERY HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!! I expect you’re right about the time when her citizenship should be finalized! My wife and I should be right behind you by only a few months. We’re sticking it out here, as necessary. I want travel abck and forth to be available to both of us, so one more cold and rigid winter is in my future. I will say, it is going to truly suck though. My back has gotten worse, and it’s been pretty warm up here in Michigan this summer. Who knows what this winter holds for me. But, my sunshine is in the future. As long as I can hobble to the computer, I can keep writing here too!!

  4. says

    filipino time from your point of view, i can’t help but smile! and the nail polish thing, tsk tsk, it seems that here in the phils. a manicure/pedicure is never quite done without the nail polish, nice of you to handle the matter good naturedly! have a great day!:)

    • Scott Fortune says

      It’s a guy thing. If anybody I know here even knew I said it was ok for them to try it, I’d never hear the end of it!!! My sexuality would be in question! LOL! It’s ok though. I’m confident in myself, and know my wife is all I want in life.

      Glad to make you smile.

      • RandyL says

        Scott, I learned a long time ago that for the most benefit, “When in Rome…” applies, even with manicures. Back when I was single, I used to get my weekly manicures on the front porch of my favorite watering hole. The clear coat thing was never a big issue for me (in Rome) and besides, it added about 10 additional minutes of enjoyment with the pretty Pinay and all the scenery she had to offer! 😆

        • Ricardo Sumilang says

          Pretty? I’ll buy that, but are you sure your manicurist was a “Pinay”? If you’ve been hanging out too long at your favorite watering hole, the scenery around Olongapo can look very blurred. Even valleys can look like hills, if you’re expecting to see hills there, know what I mean? :)

            • Ricardo Sumilang says

              Exactly the scenery I’m talking about, Randy. When you’re bombed and sitting out there on the front porch of your favorite watering hole in Olongapo getting your nails done, even the flat valley belonging to the manicurist doing your nails can look like a couple of hills, know what I mean? The manicurist you thought was a “Pinay” might have been a Pinoy. LOL

  5. Philip says

    High Scott great article, I am so glad to see people happy that have come into contact with these beautiful people. I met one lady at least 8 to 9 months ago and I knew she was a nice lady and married to an aussie in the bush, she works in a hospital and they have adopted a little girl, one night we were invited to dinner at their farm so we attended and had a ball. The night was the best night I had in ages and her daughter and her sang songs all night and we joined in after some quiet lemonades to moisten the throat did not want to scare them to much. The lady informed me she had a sister who was looking for a partner here but I said sorry I am not interested at the moment. However later down the track i decided to find a lady from there myself which I have and have know her for 7 months. We chat everyday nearly day and night and she seems wonferul, however today she informs me her sister and families homes are being demolished why i don’t knwo on government land she said, but they pay rent so I don’t uderstand this, what I did like about her is she did not for money for at least 6 months but the other day she requested i build a house for her there which was a shock to me???
    Anyway I am like you past government job injured on duty but my ex western wife took everything from me so not to worry about that I just don’t want to get burnt like that again. My friend said she works 7 days a week but heads off to the see her family in the mountains nearly every week and I asked her how can she do this when she works, i know you can’t do that here in Australia. The main thing is she seems genuine andshe talks with my family all the time here but the demolishing of the homes is a concern to me she resides in Ormoc do you know it?? Anyway hope you and your wife are happy great article to read my mind is spinning at the moment over the last few days about the demolishing houses when they pay the rent seems strange to me?? Take Care

    • says

      Philip – If I can give my unsolicited advice perhaps it would be best just to ignore her request for a house to be built. The two of you don’t even yet engage, however, she already wants you to build a house for them. Something is not right here. I don’t want to judge anyone, I don’t know the situation, but these things should be thought thoroughly. You said you burnt once, it must not happen again.

  6. Scott Fortune says

    Philip, I don’t know what to say about the house demolition. If her family rents, then the home owners may have sold. Here in the U.S. the government can take land for the good of the community. ie highways, etc. I checked on the map where Ormoc is located, and I don’t know of anything being built in that area that could force a demolition. I can say that you should be careful of someone you don’t really know that well asking you to build them a house. I don’t know the situation between you and her but I need to say one thing to you… follow your gut instinct. If it feels wrong, it probably is. If you’ve never met her and she is asking you for money, you need to thing good and hard about it, and then walk away. Think about it Philip. If they pay rent, then they are able to do so somewhere else. They can simply find another location to rent. It sounds to me like she just wants your money. Don’t let your heart lead you into something that will hurt you, just to prove to yourself that you can love still, or that love exists after being hurt from your ex. I know what you’re going through. I walked down that path. I will tell you now, as I have told nobody else except for my wife, my family, and her family. I was taken once. I felt it was wrong, and I did it anyway because I HAD to know for sure that it was wrong. because I didn’t want to walk away from something that felt so right. It is hard Philip. But, please, follow your instinct, and think about it clearly with your mind, and not your heart.

    We, as men, want to fix things. We, I think, are :built” to make things better. It’s a part of our design. But, while you want to fix this, you need to know that the Filipinos I have met and known would simply do what they need to do, and not ask for money, the easy way out. Especially if they don’t know you. NOT THE SELF RESPECTFUL ones. They would find another place to rent, and they would move. And they would get by doing what they needed to do.

    So, I ask you again, think about this. If you have never taken the time to fly to the Philippines to meet this woman, do not send money for a house! And think about this too… where does she get money to be on the internet day and night? Most people that have money issues would not have the money to pay for the internet cafe. They would be worrying about where their next meal is coming from. Direct email me if you would like to talk more.

    Also, most Filipino marriages that I know that have lasted are ones that have been setup with the family, and approved by their elders. The internet is a scary place, and the Philippines is full of people taking advantage of those conflicted with the pain of lost love.

    • Scott Fortune says

      I have shared with Philip my own personal in an email to him about my experience so that he can have a little more information to go on. I hope that it will serve him well. We all know that this kind of thing exists, and we all hope that it would never happen. A few bad seeds can ruin the reputation of a lot of people. I know about this from law enforcement, and it is no different here. The MANY Filipinos that exist are not represented in a caase where fraud is achieved over the hope for love. Most are filled with love, and want to find that special someone to share it with for the rest of their lives as well.

  7. says

    Scott. It has become such a tradition with us that when our contacts in the government set a meeting they say “The meeting will start at 9am but David & Fiona should arrive at 11am” (knowing full well that everyone will be 2 hours late!

    • Scott Fortune says

      David, are you doing this in the Philippines or here in the U.S or UK? I still like to be reasonably on time for events here. I’m not as OCD as I used to be, so my pucker isn’t as bad as it used to be… if you know what I mean. But, I’m saving the final release of my hold on time and evnts until we make it to the Philippines. That way, I know NOBODY will actually expect us to be on time for ANYTHING!! LOL

  8. DONNA WEST says

    good article Scott. I so enjoy your writing. I am very much looking forward to enjoying that filipino time. I agree with scott. The rest of my comment is for Philip. if she really loves you she would not hint, ask, or expect you to help her or her family out financially until you are fully committed to each other (have met each other in person and have spent quality time together). My son can confess to the things a man will do for a woman, even if it is just an online relationship. there are plenty of good girls in the RP and you dont have to settle for a golddigger. good luck to you.

    • Scott Fortune says

      Donna, I knew I should have put this tag in there… there are MANY great women in the Philippines!!! MANY!!! But, there are soem that take advantage. You need to be aware that there are people that have no conscience and will take your soul from your body if they thought it would give them a better life. And there are those there, that would give you everything they had if they thought that it would make YOU happy! Philip, if this isn’t the real thing with your Filipina GF, you can still find the real thing. The best way to do it, in my opinion, is to find someone that is married to one that you know and trust, and ask them to find someone for you to chat with and see where ti goes.

      I wish you the best! And if you want, please message me directly and I will be happy to talk to you more.


  9. Steve says

    Hey Scott,

    Thanks for the funny article. After having many PH friends here in California, I know ALL about Filipino time. My best friend is the worst offender 😛

    Question, how were you able to make such a big decision to marry your online girlfriend so fast on the first trip if you’d never met her in real life? Or spend any significant amount of time together in person? I have met several girls in the PI online, but definitely don’t think I could do it that fast. I would have to date them in person for at least several months. I deally 1-2 years. How did you DO that???

    • Scott Fortune says

      Steve, that is a very good question, and one I probably should have mentioned EARLY ON in my articles. My wife and I were introduced by family. I worked with a guy, that I knew well from work. I never met his family, but he talked of them often. He had been married, at that time, for about 15 years. I knew he was married to a Filipina he was introduced to through a freind of his. As it turns out, the woman that introduced them was his wifes Aunt. When I came into the realization that the first woman I met at an online site was probably ripping me off, I called my friend. He said it sounded like that to him too, and recommended I call his Aunt. Which I did. She told me that she had a few nieces that were interested in getting married to an American. After discussing with her the three nieces, I chose one based on her judegment and the age I was comfortable dating, which was 10 years younger than me. This Aunt, whom we all call Ate Gin, setup a “meeting” with the family at her house. When I arrived, it seemed everyone was there to “interview” me and make an approval or not. After a very nice meal of Filipino food(my first experience), Ate Gin made a call to the Philippines. I spoke with my wife for the first time on that day. She was a very shy and soft spoken woman, so the conversation didn’t go well. But, we exchanged emails and promised to talk via YM(Yahoo Messenger). We spoke for a while and hit it off. We began to speak to each other every day and night. Before and after I went to work, at times. It began to get serious enough that I wanted to know for sure if the feelings I had in my heart were real, and the only way to know for sure is to meet the woman in person. I will say that I was never an adventurous person. Didn’t plan on leaving the country. But, I made the necessary planning, and flew there. I fell in love with her family, their life, and most especially her, and the way that she smiles when we look into each others eyes. I knew she was the one for me. And because of the trust I had with the friend from the states, and the fact that this was family, I felt in my heart I could take the risk of giving my heart to this woman. I did, in Dagupan City, the night of our engagement party. And from that day on I considered myself to be married. My friends wife’s parents are my wife’s god-parents. They share the same Aunt. And it would be a great family dishonor to go about approving a marriage with the family elders and for it to be used as a way to become an American citizen. I will also say that my wife has stood by me in the last couple of years through countless hours and days of hospital time. She has slept at my side in the hospital, and cared for me when I was sick. She has been by my side to help me through my injured back now as well. She knows that our life is changing, and she is staying right here, next to me, as my wife. Something that so many woman do not do here in America anymore. If it gets difficult and they stick around, you know you’ve got a great woman, wife, and friend. I have all three, wrapped up into one woman. My wife, Joan.

      Great question though!!!! I’m glad you asked it!

  10. Philip says

    Thanks to everyone for their advice and help, it certainly hurts deeply to think you have contact for so long all being online to start to doubt that person with
    requests of building houses for them. The heart can lead you to many things
    I hope this one can lead me to right person I am not sure if she is the right person after the latest request, she certainly seems genuine but why is she going to loose her house and all her families homes, she informed me it was because of the government land. I don’t understand this but I have to wonder at what is going on there and don’t want to make a huge mistake after my last marriage. Take Care

    • DONNA WEST says

      philip, I am sorry….i understand how you feel. My son has been dating pinays online for 6 years now. one online relationship lasted almost 2 years and costs my son and i a few thousand dollars. guess what ended the relationshhip. son got injured and couldnt work anymore and a business we had started together failed and we couldnt send her money anymore. she put the brakes on quickly. We are not sorry because we loved her and her family but we were so niave back then. we didnt learn our lesson there. tried a few more which all had financial sob stories and costed us another thousand or so. i think we are pros at this now and my son says he thinks a part of his heart turned to stone but he learned a quick way to eliminate the ones he mets who are not really looking for love but a meal ticket. I wish he were as lucky as Scott and had someone he could trust who could introduce him to a wonderful pinay like he found. until then, Brady keeps plodding through what is available in Date in Aisa. thank God we are smarter now. my son is writing an article for LIP about his experiences with online dating. hopefully it will help you and encourage you. again, i am sorry for your pain but as my son says” there are plenty of pinays and i am getting back in the saddle again.” he is determined to find a truly good one.

      • Scott Fortune says

        I wish your son the best too!!!! He is right, they are out there. You just have to find one. If they ask for money, it’s the wrong one.

  11. says

    Filipino Time was something I never ever understood either until I was in the Philippines, now when there I do not stress about it at all and just go with the flow!

    However the wife and I are here in the UK until we move to the Philippines in 2013, and sometimes she tries to run her time management like she did in the Philippines, by using Filipino Time, it does not work in western society, as people would just leave while waiting for you or get really upset with you. When I explain this to my wife she just says, so what if they get mad! Hahaha I love my wife, she cracks me up. However in the Philippines they do not care, if your there 30 mins late thats fine, and everything moves on as planned after that. (Official appointments excluded)

    With that said, the more laid back lifestyle in the Philippines really appeals to me, filipino time does not bother me. . . . . . . . OK well for somethings it does like if your needing work done to the house or something important in nature. Either way it is NOT gonna change there, and you can not change it so might as well go with the flow.


  12. gerry says

    well I guess I have to be the odd one out here :) cos I hate filipino time :) Maybe in personal situations it can be acceptable but on a professional level it is still unacceptable… maybe one of the small reasons why lots of foreigners and foreign companies don’t like doing business in the Phils.
    There are so many occasions when it is unacceptable. Even my Filipino friends agree, moreso those that have lived overseas for some time but also some of those that have never left the Phils.

    If it is so acceptable why is it that they are not late for flight times ? because it is known airlines don’t wait for anyone…. so therefore it is a choice on their behalf. They can be on time when they HAVE to be. Do filipino business’s not demand that their employees are on time ?? Of course they do !! Progressive Filipinos do try to change this attitude as they understand that it is a negative.

    Overall, if the majority agree that it is acceptable then it is, but that doesn’t stop it being a negative trait from the majority POV even though they do it themselves.

    Before anyone gives the usual crap about if you don’t like it then don’t live here… remember it is an opinion… of which lots of foreigners and Filpinos agree with.

    Yes I agree I won’t change it except in my own personal/business arrangements, but progressive Filipinos may in the future. Maybe not in personal circumstances but in business and other situations that demand punctuality.

    My 2 cents worth

    • Scott Fortune says

      Gerry, I agree with you COMPLETELY about official business. You’re right about timeliness with work there. If you’re late, they’ll let you go. There’s a lot of people wanting to work. Some people are just lazy. And I feel that it is a matter of disrespect to those expecting you at a certain time.

      That said, I also love the fact that once I am there, I will be held to no schedule. And that is why I like it. I will be retired, and not have anything else to do but go to the beach, and maybe give some simple orders to the maid for cleaning.

      I understand waiting at the doctors office is a usual occurence. That will piss me off. But, hopefully I will adjust enough to not raise my blood pressure too much! LOL!

  13. maria says

    thank you for sharing your story. you make a beautiful couple and your wife is a keeper, not just out to get a green card then adios to you.
    you are right about the filipina family being the weighing scale for her to marry you, what their verdict is, goes. none of this i will marry whoever i want mentallity, NO WAY, its not the norm there in the philippines.

    • Scott Fortune says

      I like the family agreement thing too. It’s not officially an arranged marriage, because they don’t have to go through with it, but the family needs to approve of the guy. Which I like. I can tell you my oldest brother would be a lot happier if we had said no and he didn’t marry his first or second wifes. Although, I do love my nieces and nephews. It would certainly reduce the number of problems with divorce in the U.S.!

  14. Bob New York says

    I am 12 hours difference in time from The Philippines. When I go to visit I don’t have to change my watch. On one of my visits I noticed every clock that I saw was different from my watch up to plus or minus about 20 minutes. I was starting to wonder if the battery in my watch was starting to go. When I got back to New York, my watch was just as accurate as when I had left. I must have looked at over 50 different clocks in The Philippines, all with differeing times on them.

    Fortunately, my friends there when we set up a time to meet or go somewhere they are usually on time, maybe because they know I am not that experienced in Filipino time. I think the concept will change somewhat with the generation now comming up and maybe continue that way in the future, at least to some extent.

    • Scott Fortune says

      I have noticed that with the internet cafe my mother-in-law uses. The time is NEVER right. I thought it was because they were trying to scam time from her, but maybe it’s because nobody really cares what time it really is! LOL! As for me, I was raised to give an honest days work for an honest days pay. But, when my eight hours was up, I was out the door! I’ve alwys worked to live, not lived to work. And now I live to get myself moved to the Philippines!! :)

  15. william says

    Best wishes Scott in your new life!

    We’re relaxed about Philippine “flexible punctuality”!

    But it’s part of the wider issue of the timeliness of getting things done.

    We have friends who’ve chosen to marry in Australia simply because getting the relevant documents is so much quicker and less hassle than in the Philippines.

  16. Rose rollins says

    Hi Scott, I enjoy reading all your articles! Your story is somewhat similar to ours! My aunt is married to a former U.S. MARINES who has a friend that introduced another friend to them and end up introducing to me as a penpal (this was back in the 80’s no Internet or cell phone back then). We were exchanging mails for about a few months and time came where he was TAD in Subic for 3 months, we met up in person and the third day he met me, he proposed to me, and 23 years later (24 years in Nov) the rest is history! I’m blessed to have him in my life and we were blessed with two beautiful girls and now a grand daughter. Our love seems to grow deeper everyday! Looking forward to retire and spend the rest of our lives together whether in PI or in U.S. I pray for you guys’s future, take care of each other…God bless..

    • Scott Fortune says

      Rose, that is such a wonderful story! Congratulations on your Anniversary!!!! 24 years is an achievement many never make, especially here in the States. I congratulate you on this, and wish you MANY, MANY more!!

      Thank you for your prayers! They are always welcome here with us!!

  17. Papa Duck says

    Thanks alot for another great post. Great pictures of you and your asawa. I will be on filipino time in less than 2 years. Can’t wait for the day when i don’t have to fight the traffic and the clock to get to work. Hopefully you can get there earlier than expected and enjoy the filipino time. Take care.

  18. Scott Fortune says

    Thank tou for reading it Papa Duck! I’m sure your two years will fly by, much like the traffic on the roads you take to work. I am hoping against all odds that the Government gets us approved earlier than expected and we can fly out sooner than my estimated August or September 2013. I’m already thinking of packing. have been for months! LOL!

  19. mike cowan says

    I’m not anticipating too much trouble getting used to Filipino time. The company I run for requests I make my first delivery on time, but the rest of the day depends on God and creek levels (and traffic flow, if any). I worry more about finding meaningful responsibilities being retired.
    Thank you for your posts. I like reading authors who write with a sense of humor.
    BTW…I think Bob is 100% acclimated now to local time. He doesn’t bother with the date/time stamp on ‘Comments’ anymore.
    Oh yeah, your bio mentions a past in law enforcement. I assume you have heard of Mike Armstrong. He’s an ex Louisville cop who does stand-up. Very funny. He’s on YouTube, of course, and if I were computer savvy enough, I’d give you a link.

  20. Ricardo Sumilang says

    To me, a big part of the enjoyment of reading the comments is knowing the date and the time a comment was posted. It’s the first thing I look at before reading a comment. Truth be told, there are times when comments are more interesting to read than the article itself. With the date and time element gone, the relevancy of the posted comments and the enjoyment to be found in reading them are no longer there.

    I can see where the non-inclusion of the date and time may contribute to the illusion of currency in re-cycled articles, but, that, too, creates some confusion in some instances as well.

  21. says

    Hi Scott! So you discovered Filipino time, eh? It drives me crazy especially here in Canada. It seems you’re adapting quite well and taking everything with such good humour. I laughed out loud with the manicure story.

  22. Toti says

    Hi Scott, I like your Blogs. I’m originally from Southern Leyte, been in the DC area for more than 30 years, now wishing i can go back to the Philippines like you all. Sometimes I find myself not going to LIP magazine because I envy you all so much. It’s frustrating. I know about Filipino time, but being here for a long time I find myself being on time for appointments or even 5 or 10 minutes earlier and just 15 or 30 minutes late on parties (that’s because my partner takes her time in getting ready). I hate it when people are late but then I remind myself about Filipino time. Keep on writing.

    • Ricardo Sumilang says

      Hi Toti – I noticed that you mention DC quite a bit. Where in the DC area are you from? If you’ve lived in the DC area more than 30 years, I’m pretty sure you remember the Joe Gibbs era in the 80s. I have lived in the DC area as well, and I’ve been following the Redskins when Otto Graham was still their coach – in the 60s. Retired from the Library of Congress after 40 years, btw.

  23. steve michael says

    Hi. I am also an odd one out. I live here and work. I hate Filipino time. for example, I am told to be at a meeting for 10am, I arrive by 0945am, I sit there, and sit there and sit there, before I know it, its already 11am and the worst thing is, not one Filipino who is attending that meeting has the courtesy to text or call me to say they will be late. This is the frustrating thing for a foreigner here, especially when you have a business meeting. The country is trying to attract foreign investors, well the attitude must change for it to do that. 10am means 10am simple as that, no excuse for traffic etc…if they can get to the airport on time for a flight, they can get to a meeting on time.
    As for my scheduled meeting that day, I called them and advised them that I did not have all day and I was leaving to attend to other business, it later transpired that the reason they were late was because they all stopped of at the coffee shop at 10am when they should have been at a meeting. This highlights the lack of respect (nobody text or called me to say they would be late) the lack of discipline ( they should not be going to a coffee shop if they have a 10am meeting,) and a lack of urgency. This all goes against the economy and highlights the laziness of some Filipinos.

    • Ricardo Sumilang says

      If your meetings are held in a conference room furnished with a buffet cabinet, try having coffee and a tray of Danish on the buffet at each and every meeting, and see if this helps in getting your meetings started on time with everyone present. Just a thought. :)

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