Been following this site for about 6 months or so and finally signed up to share some truly WTF moments brought about by my Filipino inlaws.
About 6 years ago I met a Filipina on a dating site. It seemed she was the only honest one there. I waded through hundreds of women who would immediately say “ I love you” or “ I need milk for my baby” or some other line of bullshit. She was the only one who never asked me for any money and she never threw the love word at me. I decided to go to the PH to meet her. After I recouped from jet lag, her siblings started showing up at the hotel unannounced at various times of the day. We were both annoyed at the lack of respect for our privacy, me more than her. A few days later we made the short trip so I could meet her parents. They had bought a pig and roasted it for my arrival. Her father seemed like a decent guy but didn’t know how to speak English, her mother went around wearing this scowl of anger and superiority. Her parents were just living in a very old, dilapidated bamboo and straw hut with an old 2 foot tall crumbling cinder block wall which the hut sat upon.
Days later we were at some big mall and there was this courtyard outside one of the larger department stores. It was raining slightly, just barely, nothing to get into a fuss over. I notice all these Filipinos hiding in odd places refusing to just walk out in it and get on with whatever they needed to do. My future wife wanted to hide from it too, but I just wanted to get the fuck out of there because we had been there for some hours already. I said to her, ok you stay here and just meet me back at the hotel. She followed me into the slight drizzle. The other Filipinos were all looking at us like we were crazy. I asked her why they were afraid to get a little wet. She replied, “ if they get wet they will get the flu”. I was puzzled and asked jokingly, “ so nobody in this country takes a bath or shower because they will get the flu”? That’s different she said. How is that different? You said if they get wet they will get the flu. No reply from her.
A few days later I was invited to dinner, some cheap buffet place so I offered to pay. Not bad I thought as it was only 25 or 30 dollars for around 10 or 12 people. Two days later I was invited to dinner yet again. This time I didn’t offer to pay because I assumed there would be a ( I pay this time, you pay next time) thing happening. Waiter brings the bill and gives it to the woman who is now my sister in law. She walks over to me and puts the bill for 3,800p in front of me. I’m thinking WTF? But I kept my mouth shut and chalked it up to a lesson learned. I looked over at my future wife and she had a look of utter embarrassment on her face. We didn’t discuss the matter until we were alone back at the hotel. She suggested we take a plane to manila so we could have time away from her family.
It was the last week of my first 3 week trip to the Philippines. We land in Manila where she also has relatives. We visited them but only for a very short while and didn’t tell them where we were staying. We decided to walk down the street and see some sights. While we were walking this guy kept following us asking if we wanted a ride on the horse carriage. We kept saying no thank you and he just kept asking and following. Future wife says to me after some minutes, lets help him out with his job it’s only 300p. After a few minutes I agreed. 20 minutes goes by and we are now on Roxas boulevard. Carriage comes to a stop and driver says he has to ask his boss something. Next thing I know this dirty old bastard hops in next to the driver. Future wife is oblivious to what was happening right in front of her. Old bastard hands the horse driver a big rusty filet knife, and driver slips it under his seat pad all in one fluid motion when they thought I wasn’t looking. Old bastard hops out and goes back to the side of the road. Several minutes later the ride is over. Driver turns to us while wearing a huge shit-eating grin and says “ok you owe 5000 pesos for the ride”. Future wife says, “you said it was 300p, why so much now”? Future wife starts getting pissed off which in turn pisses off the driver. Driver starts getting animated and fidgety so I asked her to be quiet and let me deal with it. I say to the driver ok you win and handed him a wad of cash and hopped out while he was still counting. It wasn’t the 5k he asked for but it still made this little shitface pretty happy. After we got off the carriage he had the audacity to ask if we had anymore money so his kids can eat. I never replied and just walked away. I later told her about the knife and she got scared. Took the cab the hotel provided after that for the rest of my stay. Yet another lesson learned in the good old Philippines, Republic of.Published in