Over the years since we actually started our business in late 1992 I have seen many people passing through our doors, bar, restaurant and pool. Most have been the kind of people who are totally normal, the kind that have enjoyed what they did during their visit and departed quite happily but then there are some who really stand out in your memory, not particularly because of bad things but lets say that they did things which are not really what you can call normal especially within a relationship.
Many people have come to Gen San in order to meet their future brides, many have been e mailing and chatting for quite some time, arrive here and decide that the girl in question is who they want to spend their life with so they prepare to get married, some even marry at Cambridge Farm.
A main thing that I notice a lot with couples, married or not is that the man does not want his wife or Girlfriend to be away from him at all, whatever he is doing, however boring it may seem to his wife, she has to be there with him. I can fully understand when the man needs her language skills but when he is boozing with his mates he should give the girl a break and leave her alone or let her go outwith her friends.
There are some girls who are the opposite and want to be with the man constantly but I notice that usually in these situations the reason she wants to be with him is because she does not trust the man to be out on his own especially with lots of other girls around.
I know of several married foreigners here who are not taking the marriage very seriously and some, even on the wedding night have been unfaithful to their new brides and continue to do so during their usually short periods of married life. The unfortunate part of such relationships is when children come along, they are usually the ones to suffer from such poor marriages.
There are people who have children but do not let them have a key to the house, they usually have a key to the garden gate but not to the house. I have asked about such situations and have been told that they cannot be trusted in the house on their own! When the kids in question are in their teens, I think that the situation is a bit weird especially when the kids do not have a bad record of any sort.
On more than one occasion I have had guests at the bar complaining about wasting time paying bills and how slow everything is locally. I tell them that I do not pay the bills, my wife sorts that out. The standard answer from the man is that his wife is too stupid to manage to do such thing, unfortunately the wife is usually sitting next to him as the insults fly.
Many Northern European Men can only be called arrogant as they always say that nothing is good in the Philippines and the people are all useless. These men usually tell stories of their high class business in their own country and how they make fortunes from them but live pretty poor existences here. Their Wives and Girlfriends are the ones that I feel sorry for as they have to listen to the BS all the time. The men even talk openly about their sexual exploits before they got married even with their girls in the same company. Many such men I have advised to go back to where they came from if life is so poor here. (Usually in a more assertive tone).
Some men living here are wife beaters and bullies, if the wife complains about the man coming home drunk in the early hours of the morning after being with another woman, waking up the kids and demanding food. Sometimes, on the next day, some poor wives have been seen with the same kinds of bruising and other injuries which happened in similar household “accidents”. One cowardly guy, after his wife had been seen after having the same type of accident several times and had the same kind of cuts and bruises in the very same places, was arrested and put in jail for a few days. This guy has been Sent to Coventry (not to be spoken too) by the more decent people in the city, only the men of similar stature now hang with him.
There is one man here who has been in Gen San for about 25 years but he has really gone over the top in every way. He was married with a couple of kids, he was lucky as he was an only child so his mum bought him a house, vehicle, farm land and sends him money even to this day but unfortunately over the years of idleness he has got as low as possible. He just used to drink beer which was OK then one day he asked me if he could smoke something different in my bar. I told him that he could as long as he did not mind me calling the police and having him arrested for smoking the stuff. He was always going out with a bit under aged girls and in the end his wife left him. He goes to jail regularly for drug offenses and even his passport is years out of date but his Mum keeps sending him money to pay his way out of trouble. This guy will be found dead one day i am sure. He had a very easy life with money every month and a devoted mother who would send him any amount of money that he asked for. He had a nice wife and kids but for some strange reason known only too himself decide to go the The Dark Side. That’s his own choice.
There are people who will not allow rice or dried fish to be cooked even outside the house in the dirty kitchen, they say that the wives will not improve if they keep on eating such rubbish. Non of these relationships last as you cannot dictate what food a person will eat or not eat especially in their own country. When these couples go shopping you see the man buying all the imported stuff for him and the wife really has no much choice during the purchase. In some situations the wife sneaks out to eat with friends or relatives as she cannot eat what she wants at home. Many such ladies have been spirited away by my wife to our kitchen so that they can pig out on their favorite dishes while I keep the man talking in the bar.
There are some girls who are worse than the men at times, they are usually too loud and argue with their man in public which really is a no no here as it shows great disrespect. These girls are the type who will really go out of their way to let everyone know that they are married to a foreigner and if they have been abroad then they can really be a pain in the you know where as they always come out with statements such as: In the US its not like this or I would not except such poor service in the US.
Some girls always have new clothing, new cars, cell phones, MP3 players and anything else that they want and usually treat the man like dirt in public especially if the man is a lot older than her. Some just spend and spend never asking permission or if there is money to pay for their excesses and they do not care either, they have got their man.
Some men will do anything for their wife and treat them like royalty but unfortunately its this kind of man who really gets trod on by the girl. Many girls cannot see when they are really well off.
Some foreign men live with Lady Boys who dress and act just like women but unfortunately you can tell from a distance that they are not as they appear to be. I must say that its totally up to the individuals on their choice of partner he makes but in all such relationships of this kind that I have seen, the man is always very jealous indeed about who his partner even looks at or speaks too.
Many foreigners complain about the relations going to the house and getting fed and being given drinks. This is a tradition over here, even if you go to the poorest house you will be fed as best they can but many people do not look into local culture, they just think of how it is where they came from and abuse the family members behind their backs and call them parasites and scroungers etc. These guys do not complain when they visit a relation and get well fed and watered.
I could keep going on this subject a lot longer but I will stop there. Having lived in a hotel for so many years i get to see all sections of society be it good or bad and over the years I have learned to keep most of my thoughts to myself. With Gen San being such a small place really, it makes me wonder about the intrigues that go on in the big Cities Like Cebu and Manila where there are huge populations of Foreigners, that could be very interesting indeed.
I have a very happy life here as have a lot of people. In many cases I cannot really understand why couples act so badly towards each other but it does happen and from what I have seen its usually the fault of the man but, in a few cases its totally the fault of the girl. Lets face it, its not only here in the Philippines that relationships are strange, it happens all over the world. It would be more interesting if divorce was allowed over here, I am sure that the courts would be full of people trying to break free from a bad marriages.