Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Filipino

The Philippine Culture is a mixture based on ancient aboriginal tribes, 500 years of Spanish colonisation, 50's America and the 80’s disco era. If this sounds interesting then read on..
Spain brought the Catholic faith to the Philippines in the 1500's. Today traditional conservative families retain a high regard for the sanctity of marriage and believe the relationship between husband and wife to be the foundation of society. Divorce, premarital sex, birth control and abortion are frowned upon.
Like the Spanish the Filipinos are extremely romantic and passionate in love, have a high regard for honour, shame and vengeance. Language, food and enjoyment of singing and dancing also reflect a strong Latin influence.
In the 1950's the Americans brought the English language which is now widely spoken. They also influenced the form of Government, the constitution and human rights and further instilled a familiarity with the Western way of life.
Life in Hong Kong is a mixture of good and bad for Filipino maids. Hong Kong is a big city full of new experiences. There is also the freedom, privacy, and anonymity of living in Hong Kong. At home in the Philippines, everyone knows what you are doing and strict social codes can make life claustrophobic.
Many domestic helpers in Hong Kong go through a period when they take full advantage of being able to do as they please, going to discos, smoking and drinking, and wearing short skirts or tops with ‘spaghetti straps’ which are considered very risqué in the Philippines. The opportunity to dance and flirt with men, without marriage in mind, is also something not common in the Philippines, where just being seen holding hands with a man can have serious implications.
However this fascination with new experiences wanes after time, and interests return to the more basic life of family and friends.
Not all women like discos. Many are very religious and spend their limited free time on church-oriented activities. For all, there is a network of friends made over time, combined with a secure and adequate income.
We hope we have given you an insight into the Filipino race and life in Hong Kong, but what about relationships and why would one of our Filipino ladies suit you?
In this section we make some generalisations. So please remember that our ladies are women first and foremost, including all the variety of types of personality that that encompasses. No woman is the same as another and her thoughts and feelings are her own. 
Perhaps you wonder why a Filipino lady here in Hong Kong would put her profile on this site to find a man. There are many reasons. First, they are strangers here in Hong Kong. The terms of employment for domestic helpers requires them to live in a small room in their employer’s house, to be working and on call from Monday through Saturday every week. Only on Sundays are they allowed to leave the employer’s house. Thus they get very little opportunity to meet men.
On Sundays there is only one place where it is both easy and affordable to meet men – at the disco. Unfortunately, even if a woman wants to go to these places, most of the men she will meet there neither want nor are suitable for a long term stable relationship. The women on this site want more.
Why don’t they choose a man from their own country? There are not many men from the Philippines in Hong Kong, compared with the number of women. Many Filipino men work on ships at sea or on projects throughout the world, but the number in Hong Kong is not proportionate to the number of women.
In addition, Western men are perceived as being very loving, and more modern than Filipinos. This means the woman can look forward to more freedom and a more equal relationship with a Western man. Finally, just as many Westerners are attracted to women of different races, many Filipino find the physical appearance of Westerners to be attractive.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013



Pronounced like "buy-uh-nee-hun," bayanihan is a Filipino word derived from the word bayan meaning town, nation, or community in general. "Bayanihan" literally means, "being a bayan," and is thus used to refer to a spirit of communal unity and cooperation.

Although bayanihan can manifest itself in many forms, it is probably most clearly and impressively displayed in the old tradition of neighbors helping a relocating family by getting enough volunteers to carry the whole house, and literally moving it to its new location. They do this by placing long bamboo poles length-wise and cross-wise under the house (traditional Filipino houses were built on stilts), and then carrying the house using this bamboo frame. It takes a fairly large number of people -- often 20 or more -- working together to carry the entire house. All this is done in a happy and festive mood. At the end of the day, the moving family expresses their gratitude by hosting a small fiesta for everyone.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Resilency of the Philippines

The Philippines is a hotspot for disasters, natural and otherwise. Couple that with poverty, and one would think that Filipinos have the most reason for being a depressed people. However, we have demonstrated time and again that Filipinos can bounce back from a tragedy, emerging stronger and better than before. In the middle of a disaster, Filipinos can still manage to smile and be hopeful that the next morning brings new hope.
We have shown the world that by working together as a nation, we have what it takes to recover from a bad situation. This is something that all of us should be proud of, no matter where in the world we are.
With all of these good traits (and more!), one would really be proud to say, “I am a Filipino.”
Filipinos have shown the world that by working together, we have what it takes to recover from a bad situation—and this is a trait that we should all be proud of.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Getting Over Jet Lag

Here is another short article from my friend Jeff Harvie our brilliant Migration Agent.

Flying to the Philippines  from the west can be anything from a few hours to near on a whole day.  So what do you do to try and minimise the problem? I have only ONCE in ten years really suffered the REAL jet lag where you cannot sleep for days. You actually go crazy, but the more you want to sleep the more the brain does not allow it.
Most people when referring to jet lag are talking about it in a much less intrusive way. Never the less if you are having two or three days of sleep issues that is going to seriously reflect on the vacation planned.
Most travellers try to make the most of their limited time overseas, yet fail to take into account the leap in time zones they make in a matter of hours. It can take your body's internal clock several days to catch up to that leap, and in the meantime you’re likely to experience the disruption of your sleeping and waking cycle known as jet lag. Symptoms of jet lag include sleepiness during the day, insomnia at night, poor concentration, confusion, hunger at inappropriate times or lack of appetite, and general malaise and irritability
1. Adjust your internal clock.
Several days (at least four) before departure, gradually shift your sleeping and eating times to coincide with those at your destination. Once you arrive, adopt the local time for your daily routine.

2. Opt for overnight flights.
You’ll have dinner at a normal time and be much more likely to sleep than on an afternoon flight. Depending on the length of the flight and the number of time zones you cross, you’ll arrive at your destination in the morning or afternoon. This is the best way to replicate your normal schedule, and it’ll be easier for you to reset your clock.

3. Curtail coffee.
For 12 hours before, as well as during, your flight, avoid overeating and caffeine. Although caffeine can help keep you awake longer, it makes you wake up more often once you do fall asleep and so reduces total sleep time.

4. Stay hydrated.
Drink at least 8 ounces of water for every hour you’re in the air—even if you don’t feel thirsty. If you wear contact lenses, clean them thoroughly before your flight, use eye drops in the air, and consider removing your lenses if you nap. In your carry-on pack a bottle of moisturizing lotion, lip balm, and a hydrating spray with essential oils (not just water) to spritz your face with occasionally. Just be sure all toiletries are TSA compliant.

5. Avoid or limit alcohol inflight.
Cabin air dehydrates passengers, and altitude changes can quicken the effects of alcohol (the rule of thumb is one drink in the air is the same as two or three on the ground). A cocktail may relax you, but it's also apt to dry you out, and even worsen symptoms of jet lag.

6. Try to sleep on the plane.
This is especially important when you’re traveling overnight or flying west to east. Travel is extremely tiring, and the more rest your body gets en route the more prepared you’ll be to deal with the stresses of jet lag. If you’re taking a very long flight—United States to Asia, for example—consider saving up enough dollars or frequent-flier miles to fly business or first class, as it’s a lot easier to sleep when your seat reclines all the way back. If you can’t avoid coach, opt for a window seat and bring enough padding (pillows or something that can act as such) to prop yourself up against the wall.

7. Use sleeping pills wisely.
A pill with a short cycle may be helpful on overnight flights. Make sure, however, that you time the dosage correctly or you may be very groggy when you land. Also, an airplane is not the place to try out a pill for the first time, so only take medications you are already familiar with.

8. See if melatonin is for you.
Consider taking the non-prescription drug melatonin. Research suggests that the body uses this hormone to set its time clock. Because melatonin seems to control when we go to sleep and when we wake up, a number of scientists advocate supplements to alleviate jet lag. Some (but not all) studies suggest that taking 3 milligrams of fast-release melatonin prior to bedtime for several days after arrival in a new time zone can ease the transition.

9. Get outside.
After arrival, spend a lot of time out in the sunlight, which will help your body reset its natural time clock to coincide with your new surroundings.

10. Don’t drift off too early.
Unless you arrive at your destination at night, and reasonably close to a normal bedtime, don’t go to sleep as soon as you reach your hotel. Unless you’re used to taking regular short naps at home, you’re better off staying up until bedtime: If you’re really exhausted from travel, a 20-minute nap could easily become a three-hour nap, which will disrupt your sleep schedule even more—you might find yourself wide awake at 4 AM.

Jeff Harvie is an Australian Registered Migration Agent (MARN 0959797) who has given up the quiet life in Australia a few years back for one more adventurous with his Filipina wife and kids in Manila, Philippines. He runs Down Under Visa, which specialises in Australian partner visas for those Aussie men who fall madly in love with the local girls and want to bring them to Australia.
6d7d152c37f237aa7adb3cd9dca459d7 Corruption at Philippine Airports

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Strong Family Ties in the Philippines

Strong family ties
In the country the people put family ties and relations as one of their top priorities. Filipinos would do all they could to provide and sustain their respective families. This is present in Filipino festivals where they invite the whole family and in Sundays where they would make time to use it to spend the whole day for their families.
You will find that it is common in the country to include the extended members not just the normal nuclear family. It is not unusual that in a single household it would reach up to ten members of a family living under the same roof. They value each other’s company, and everyone strives to provide for the whole and not just for them.
Even grandparents still have an active role in the family. It is now the norm in the society that both parents are out working, leaving the care of their children to the lolos and lolas, especially if the family cannot afford to hire a nanny. Grandparents therefore become responsible for instilling into their grandchildren the values and morals they taught to their own children, further increasing the importance of the elderly in our society.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Vitamins Please

Today we have a guest post from Jeff Harvie who arranged my visa to get married to my husband. Jeff is a great Migration Agent. Thanks Jeff.

Something that I have found interesting, even fascinating since I have been in the Philippines, is the way people are encouraged to take vitamin supplements all of the time. Nearly all of my Filipino friends, especially the younger ones in their 20′s, all ask me, are you taking your vitamins, or they will tell me that they must take their vitamins, for general wellbeing and for preventing the oncoming of all kinds of illnesses.

When my friends have been to the Doctor due to illness, if they require a prescription, that prescription is ALWAYS accompanied by vitamins.

On the television, on the radio, in magazines and shop windows and on billboard posters, vitamins are advertised everywhere. They will prevent sickness and illness and will help keep you strong and full of vitality.

I find this attitude towards vitamin and mineral supplements interesting and to be honest a little worrying too. Indeed, in the West, such things are advertised and encouraged to a degree, but some people here in the Philippines seem to have absolute blind faith in these products, as though they are some kind of miracle preventative or cure.

I know a qualified nurse for more than 20 years and I have learnt about nutrition, growth and development, illness and disease prevention and all about vitamins and minerals. Now, the advertisers and some of the less ethical doctors will not like me saying this, but this belief surrounding vitamin and mineral supplements is somewhat a false one. People are being misled into purchasing so many of these products when they really don’t need them.

Now of course, I understand the Western diet is totally different from here in Asia, I know to take into consideration the economic climate, ability or difficulty for people to purchase a wide variety of healthy foods, availability of products etc etc. But the truth is the people who really do need a vitamin supplement, are the ones who probably cannot afford to buy it.

While from time to time, we may lack in some of the trace elements and minerals that the “experts” say we need to maintain good health, in general, if a human being is able to consume some meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and fibre, they really are not going to go wrong. For those who have a really poor diet, and do genuinely have a lacking of a vitamin in their body, or they have some kind of medical condition or illness requiring supplements, then they will for sure be displaying symptoms that will indicate this. If there is nothing seriously wrong with an individual, then a diet of regular fish, meat, fruit, veg and fibre and of course water will certainly keep you alive and healthy.

You will never be able to effectively replace the vitamins and minerals you get from fresh fruit and vegetables by taking a tablet. Some have traces of natural product “extract” in their powder or tablet, but this is absolutely minimal and the majority of what you are ingesting is a chemical reproduction.
The human body cannot store vitamin c, so if you take more than the daily recommended amount, you will simply excrete the rest out of your body anyway.

Many vitamin and mineral supplements have an impact on your internal organs too, such as your liver and kidneys, causing them to work over time, therefore, if you are required to take something, it should be taken alternative months, one month on, one month off. You could be causing more damage than good if you don’t.

I have tried to explain these facts to many of my friends, but to be honest I don’t think I have got through to them, I can see it in their eyes, a fear almost, that if they don’t take their vitamins, they will fall foul of sickness and disease. They seem to be indoctrinated and I do blame the advertising industry, and to some point the medical profession too. These doctors who are prescribing all these vitamin supplements to the innocent and naive are not doing their patients a good service at all. Unfortunately, as in the West too, medicine and vitamins are big money and that is when ethical behaviour tends to go out of the window.

I just hope some people will read this, and maybe take just a little bit of it away with them, even if it just makes them think twice about taking those tablets to prevent flu and fever or any other ache or pain that they think may be inflicted upon them.

If you are able to afford a sensible diet that consists of the main food groups, you drink plenty of water, take some regular exercise and are able to maintain a sensible sleep pattern then you should be ok.

Try to think of your health and don’t line the pockets of the unscrupulous advertisers who really don’t care what you do to yourself.

Jeff Harvie is an Australian Registered Migration Agent (MARN 0959797) who has given up the quiet life in Australia a few years back for one more adventurous with his Filipina wife and kids in Manila, Philippines. He runs Down Under Visa, which specialises in Australian partner visas for those Aussie men who fall madly in love with the local girls and want to bring them to Australia.