You will discover that everyone is an expert in the Philippines. No one wants to admit they don’t know something. And the more senior the family member, the more they’re likely to give advice….even if they know nothing about it. Remember what I said about interdependence? It’s normal for Filipinos and Filipinas to take advice from more senior family members, and not to question whether they know what they’re talking about or not. This advice will involve visa application issues, and will also involve her relationship with you!
So be aware that you can help or hinder your relationship according to what impression you make on parents, aunties and older sisters particularly. So always treat these people well and treat them respectfully, and try to stay in the good books.
When it comes to advice regarding immigration issues, you really need to keep a firm hand on this. You need to keep well-meaning relatives out of the picture, or you may find your application hindered by fake documents or other short-cuts. You will also find yourself having to deal with scary stories she’s been told, of wives being chained to kitchen floors and used as sex slaves, or the old classic of the husband taking out life insurance on the wife and then tossing her out the window. My wife was actually warned about this via a letter. (Fortunately for my wife our window was only 1 meter from the ground, so I couldn’t have done much harm!)
But seriously, you simply must put your foot down when it comes to your visa application process. Rely on good advice (preferably from an experienced Migration Agent, and not from an online “chat” forum !), and insist that your lady do the same and NOT make what she is doing into an open topic for family discussion.
Jealousy and “Crab Mentality”
Jealousy is rife in the Philippines, and can get downright childish sometimes. Try to understand your lady’s friends and relatives will consider that she has hit the jackpot in finding you (the wealthy foreigner), and in some the Green-Eyed Monster will be triggered. The Philippines is famous for Crab Mentality. Picture a basketful of crabs. As one starts to climb out of the basket, the others pull it back down again. Many a Filipino hates to see another one do better for themselves than they are.
So, be prepared for acts of sabotage!
Be prepared for the occasional friend or even family member to try to wreck your relationship or your chances of being together by destructive advice, or by gossip and backstabbing. You may get a letter from an unnamed relative telling you that your lady is cheating on you. Or she may have an auntie (maybe with a daughter the same age as your lady) who tells her she heard on good advice that you’re a womaniser….or that you will surely murder her to claim insurance money, etc.
And remember that it’s much easier for you to laugh this sort of thing off. For your lady to turn her back on her apparently well-meaning Auntie’s advice will be difficult for her.