My parents were missionaries from Europe who came to the Philippines when my two siblings and I were all below the age of five. We went to the local elementary and high schools in the province where my parents were assigned. We only went back to Europe to attend university, all speaking Tagalog, knowing the national anthem and folk songs by heart, and cooking Filipino foods like a native.
After college, I got a job, married a girl I thought was right for me, being of the same culture, and started a family. But I never forgot how I loved living here. As a teenager with hormones just about to kick in, I thought the women in the province were the most beautiful I’d ever seen. They were the simple, kind, always-smiling human beings I wanted to marry.
After my divorce, the company I worked for assigned me here. It was heaven, as I felt I was coming back home. In a short while, I finally met the Filipina of my dreams. Or nightmare, as it turned out—but not immediately, as she did it one step at a time.
She asked that we build a house in the province though I was working in Manila—as an investment, she said. Then she asked for a formidable amount of seed money to start a business. Then she wanted to spend more time in the province to look after our house and investments. She said she didn’t feel comfortable in the city.
I granted all her wishes because I loved her and believed in her. Little did I know that she had this long-time boyfriend who taught her to ensnare this stupid foreigner from the start. The house and the business were soon theirs.
While I was shunning the women in the city for fear of their shallowness and materialism, I had to marry someone who was exactly that, but more cunning. We are now separated, but not before she got most everything I had. I am still here, grateful for my stable job, but with a broken heart and shattered dreams.
My parents are buried here, I grew up here, and all my good memories are in this place. I may look foreign and may have been deluded and defrauded, but this country is home. –– Native Boy
Wish more Filipinos felt as strongly toward their country as you do! And thanks for this affection, despite the trauma you’ve suffered.
There are millions of women in this country who are absolutely wonderful and possess the qualities you always thought they had. Get to know many of them, but be friends first—and foremost.
Enjoy their company, their conversations, and appreciate every acquaintance who enriches your character—but don’t rush. No need to sprint into your third marriage. Been there. Done that.
Heal your battered spirit till it’s good again, and look at the women you’ve dreamed of growing up from a different perspective. Don’t box in your mind and hold it prisoner to worn-out aspirations. That already got you into trouble twice.
Meantime, continue feeling at home here. There’s yet so much to discover and make you feel fantastic and good in this country. Don’t lose heart.
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