I Don’t Know What’s Happening but I Like It

I’ve been reading Bob’s blog since almost the beginning, 2 1/2 years now and along the way there has been a lot of good information on life over here in paradise.  One of the best bits though related to marriage and talked about the inevitable “culture clash” that will happen between you and your wife but at some point in the marriage everything would hit a happy medium and you and your wife would begin to create your own unique culture.  Well seemingly that has finally started to happen in my marriage with Venice.

We were wed on July 10th, 2007 so it’s been over 2 years now that we have been married and there were many rocky parts to the path of wedded bliss.  We argued… quite a lot, and blamed it on the fact we are both so bull headed but this scapegoat of an excuse did nothing to help us.  To be honest there were a couple of times where I really wondered if I had made the right decision to move over here.

Ever since I returned from working in Alaska this year I feel different.  Finally unwound after a decade of high stress retail management jobs, finally more patient, and finally more willing to accept the quirks of life here in the Philippines.  It’s a necessary step on the path to true integration into Philippine society and of course true marital bliss with your wife, which leads me to the other half of the equation.  To truly meet in the middle and create that unique combination culture your wife has to change her perceptions as well.

sarcasmI knew Venice was changing the day she said something sarcastically…. seriously, Filipinos do not understand sarcasm and unfortunately I come from a family history of sarcasm.  It’s no wonder Venice thought I was complaining so much in the first 2 years of our marriage.  There have also been other little things that all combined and taken as a whole shows me that my wife is starting to gravitate towards that happy medium between our cultures.

I’ve also changed in that I am more willing to accept Philippine myths and superstitions, or maybe not fully accepting but I won’t argue about them anymore.  I realized this in myself as I was planting garlic on the windowsills to keep away an alleged Aswang.  But the one thing that I have realized after 2 years of marriage is that I love my wife more than ever.  We have ridden through good times and weathered the bad ones and we are still together so I am willing to say that our marriage is built on strong foundations.  Who knows, as my new culture develops I might even let my wife persuade me into going to church… once in awhile anyway.

My advice to anyone who is married to a Filipina is patience.  The two of you will hit that point in your marriage when the same culture creation occurs and the two of you will be happier for it.

Post Author: LouisT (19 Posts)

Louis is a full time Philippine resident who works part of the year in Alaska! Sort of an American OFW, so he has a unique perspective to share with us! Louis has been an on and off LiP writer since the early days of the site!

Investigation in the Philippines


  1. Steve Maust says

    Great article Louis! I am sure to get my wife to read this one! This has been a problem of ours the whole time we have been married! I too come from a family that likes to joke and use sarcasm at anytime. Unknowingly to my wife, I have used this sarcasm and she has taken it as the truth! I have often gotten the silent treatment (or the Tagalog scolding) after some of my “wise” comments. She is the love of my life and we always find a way to patch things up.

  2. John Rodgers says

    We were married on 1/2/3, and only recently is Melanie understanding my sarcasm. What I thought was a fun comment was not so fun with her. She has had a lot to learn about the American way of life. What she has learned is this is no land of milk, and honey.

    I am sure she will be glad to see the shoe on the other foot when we move back to the Phils. Hopefully some of the knowledge gained here will allow for an easier adjustment for me….HOPEFULLY!…….i2f

  3. says

    you are definitely right about sarcasm with Filipinos it doesn’t exists. i been married 5 yrs and known my wife for 3 before that and she still doesn’t recognize it ! she takes everything literally and get offended or mad! i have told her to look up the definition of sarcastic in the dictionary but she still hasn’t i guess?

  4. Dave says

    Amen to the sarcasm issue. When my wife and I were first married, that was an area that I learned to avoid in the first two weeks of our marriage. Now 6 years later, after she lived in the US for 4 years and had to endure it from her friends there, she has become pretty good at using it as well! I was fortunate in the superstition department. My wife has a very good common sense attitude towards those things, and has learned to doubt many of the silly wives tales that come our way. All in all. I consider myself extremely blessed to be married to her.

  5. Jack says

    Excellant article Louis. Is there a bisayan word for sarcasm?

    I will be aware of my sarcasm with Juramie and see how it effects her. She has a great sense of humor so I hope we can have some laughs when I get sarcastic. I find that Juramie and her friends have a great sense of humor but the laughs are about little things happening in day to day life with some slapstick thrown in.

    You had one important word at the end of the article. “Patience”. It has taken me 22 months to learn this.

  6. says

    Sarcasm exists in the Philippines. Although it’s not as prevalent as in the American culture. Also, sarcasm is only done with very close friends and relations. You would rarely see a Filipino being sarcastic towards someone they are not close to.

    English-Tagalog translation:
    Sarcasm – Uyam; alipusta; birong masaklap
    Sarcastic – Mauyam; maalipusta

  7. roy says

    Hello, Brspiritus, like what Ms August says, sarcasm exists in the Phil and I would imagine elsewhere as well. I had been told by Americans “you don’t need to be sarcastic about it” and believe me I was not trying to come off “American” when I do that. And I don’t see myself any more “articulate” in sarcasm than my fellow Filipinos.
    Online dictionary defines sarcasm as the use of witty language often intended to insult the receiver of such sarcasm. It’s basically an insult that’s not discernible at first.
    I would think also that the reason why you think you don’t experience sarcasm there, it’s because of the language barrier.
    I guess sarcasm is most often culture specific and used more often by some.

  8. brspiritus says

    Yes the making up is the good part but it’s best not to have to make up to begin with… ie never have the disagreement.

  9. brspiritus says

    Thanks for the comment Miss August, I find that very interesting. I would guess that as a foreigner I would never get to experience sarcasm because we are held in a higher social level and it “lose face” to use sarcasm with us, diba?

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