I believed before and I believe now that Filipina ladies in general are the finest women in the world, and if you’re lucky enough to form a loving relationship with one then you are indeed lucky. And MOST are honest and genuine in their intentions. If you meet a good Filipina, and she loves you, she will stand by you through thick and thin, ‘til death you do part.
However there is also a different approach toward “truth”, ie. a more “flexible” approach which I’ve covered extensively before. And you, as an Aussie, will have a completely different attitude toward truth, one which is far less flexible!
Yes, I’ve just had a couple of issues with clients where truth is called into question.
The first one, she is needing to organise an annulment. They’ve been a couple for quite a while now, and have a baby together. She had to apply for her CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage, from the National Statistics Office, aka NSO) as part of the visa application. It showed that she was still legally married. The Aussie fiancé knew nothing about this! On further discussion he discovered she also has a 10yr old child living in the province. He’d visited the family. Who knows if he may have even seen the child while he was there? Maybe the husband too? Obviously everybody knew except him.
Was she being terrible and evil by doing this? Probably not. She was no longer in a relationship with the husband. They’ve been apart for many years. She was just hoping it would go away by itself, and considered it to be embarrassing and shameful, plus she would have worried about losing him. And no doubt mum, aunties, sisters and/or cousins would have also advised her to keep quiet about it all.
Another one, I won’t go into the details as they’re a bit complicated, but the applicant asked us not to tell her husband something! Again, it was just something she was embarrassed about, and was hoping would go away by itself. In this case we’ve told her bluntly that we don’t keep secrets from husbands, especially as the husband is usually the one paying the bills!
As husbands or fiancés or Filipinas, you will have to deal with this issue. Lies and withholding the truth, you won’t be able to tolerate. They will damage your relationship. And from a visa application perspective, lies will cause major problems and possibly visa refusals. At worst it could lead to fraud charges.
So you MUST insist on complete transparency in your relationship. Insist on the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Build your relationship on trust and transparency. Let her see that you won’t run away at the first sign of something “shameful”.
The other issue is that of family interference.
Girls here are accustomed to toeing the family line. They do as they’re told. Mums, older sisters, aunties and older cousins……they all give instructions, and these instructions are followed mostly to the letter. And everybody is an expert, regardless of whether they know nothing about the subject area.
YOU must establish your presence, and not as a spineless grinning man with an open wallet! You may ruffle a few feathers, but so be it. If you don’t, then expect family interference for many years to come.
I’ve included this in the “lies” section, because family interference and lies often go hand in hand.
Be sensitive. Understand that you will be taking her into scary and unchartered territory. She’s been doing as she is told her entire life, and the family don’t necessarily realise that this can/should/will change once she becomes involved with you.
But make it clear that you and your lady are forming your own family together. You are not an afterthought. You are her husband or future-husband. She is leaving to go to Australia and the two of you will build a life together. Before that happens you will make decisions together that will affect your future lives. If she has a child or children, they will also become a part of your new family. Make it clear to your lady, and if necessary make it clear to the significant family members that this is how things are and how things shall be.
When it comes to the visa application, you MUST insist that there be no interference. No withholding of information. No hiding children born out of wedlock. No hiding of overseas travels and/or work. No hiding of former marriages. No hiding of fake or falsified information contained in birth certificates, and no getting “fixers” to cover up previous fraud. If you’ve engaged a Registered Migration Agent this is even more essential, as we expect our advice and instructions to be followed.