The journey so far
It seems like only last week when I was waiting with anticipation at the local airport for my wife to arrive. We have a small airport in Lincoln, Nebraska and there was some snow on the ground on a cold morning on the 11th of January. The last time we were together we were waiting for my early morning flight out of Davao City to board on May 22 of 2015, so it had been eight months.
When the plane arrived, I went downstairs to find her and there she was, looking for her luggage, all bundled up in warm clothes looking like a child. She was so cute. When I saw her, there were no fireworks on her part, no running to each other with arms stretched out, she merely said “Let’s go to the car”, or something like that, after we hugged.
I was hoping for a little more display of emotion but it is only fitting that from the moment we meet in America to be together as husband and wife, that I began to learn new things about her, because we got married very quickly. Now that we are here together, we will continue to learn about each other.
I'm always learning
Here are many things I have learned about her that I hope can be of some benefit to you....
1) She is fairly reserved and generally not one to show a lot of emotion in public.
2) My family is her family and she treats them with the same respect. She refers to my mother as “mom”.
3) My friends are her friends.
4) Like she had told me, she really is a homebody, but so am I. Good for us.
5) Her love of children is genuine.
6) She is a good shopper. She told me that in the Philippines sales are only on certain occasions like Christmas, but she didn’t realize things are on sale all the time over here. I remember her exclaiming with glee “Sale!”, then later again “Sale!” as we were shopping.
7) She likes shoes, purses, and watches. Filipinas dream of having designer brand things so I bought her some but she waited until there was a good sale.
8) Having these things hasn’t spoiled her.
9) I have asked her many times, daily actually, how her day was going at work and every time she responds with “Good”. I keep asking for more clarity but never get it.
10) Sometimes I wished she was more talkative, but I have to realize, that isn’t her personality.
11) She is not afraid to go downstairs with me if “I heard a noise in the basement”.
12) In order to get her attention while she’s reading Facebook, she wants me to say “are you listening?”
13) She likes some scary movies, which is helpful when I need to jump into her arms at the scary parts.
14) She wasn’t kidding when she said she was a hard worker. She has impressed management at work.
15) She dislikes getting up early. Despite that, she can wake up, shower and be ready to leave for work in about ten minutes. I can’t even read what the weather is going to be like in that time.
16) She takes pride in the way our home looks.
17) She is a bright young woman. She handles all the “electronic stuff” here, thankfully, like setting up our computer, tablets, and Echo Dot.
18) She loves cooking and has learned how to use an oven, microwave, coffee maker, crock pot and stove. These are all likely new to a Filipina. I love her banana bread!
19) She doesn’t like cold weather (72 degrees qualified at first). I tell her that the car will be warm and it will be room temperature at work but she still would prefer to stay in bed.
20) Despite hating cold weather, she went jogging this winter morning at what felt like 25 degrees!
21) She wants our car to be clean and neat, like our house.
22) She hates rudeness, especially by me. Sometimes we disagree on what is and isn’t rude.
23) She doesn’t like me to raise my voice or use bad language (neither do I).
24) When she points out something I’m doing wrong, she’s right.
25) I like how she laughs to herself when she sees or reads something funny on Facebook.
26) She likes earning her own money. She has sent a lot of money home but has not wasted any. She works 40 to 60 hours a week at the same place I do.
27) She doesn’t seem to be into designer clothes, instead pieces together nice-looking outfits from sale items. I am impressed with her ability to do this. When she has a job here that requires her to wear her street clothes inside the building, she will be one of the better dressed women there.
28) She wants me to look good at work. She has sneakily redone my wardrobe and I have gotten a lot of compliments about them at work.
Her color schemes are a bit outside the box, but I just go with it because it makes her happy. She tells me I am better dressed than her own Team Leader and Manager.
Her colleagues thought I was a supervisor because of how I dressed at break. She is very happy about this. Like most any woman, a Filipina takes pride in how her man is dressed. She lays out the clothes I wear.
29) She doesn’t like criticism or handle it well, but most of us don’t, including me. She has high standards.
30) We sometimes disagree on what is criticism.
31) She is good at calming down after an argument when we are in the presence of others. This is something I’ve read about, that a Filipina will not make a scene in front of others. I am not as good at simmering down.
32) She is more patient, especially in airports! This last trip to the Philippines she said she was going without me next time! Not going to happen though.
33) She does not like me to complain.
34) She has a certain toughness about her that belies her looks. I tell people she looks like a lamb but has the heart of a lion.
35) She is a great lover.
36) It is getting easier for us to apologize to each other.
37) She is shy. One day she bought a pair of shoes, then as we were walking to the car, decided she didn’t want them but was too shy to go back to the store and return it, so I did it the next day.
38) She cares what other people think of her, maybe a little too much.
39) She is the prototypical responsible Filipina.
40) In the winter with the way she dresses, she looks like the Michelin Tire Man. If she fell over I think she would bounce back up. She also wants me to wear warmer clothes so I don’t get sick.
" She has a certain toughness about her that belies her looks. I tell people she looks like a lamb but has the heart of a lion."
41) She does not like to dress provocatively, instead, conservative but youthful looking.
42) When I snuggle up to her I feel an amazing calmness. She’s like a tranquilizer.
43) Sometimes I am not sure she is telling me all her feelings.
44) She has never brought up our age difference, maybe it really doesn’t matter?
45) She is an even stronger woman than I thought for immigrating here to be with me.
46) Her rule on public display of affection is that she is allowed to do it to me but not me to her! I will take it.
47) My baby sometimes makes a bigger deal of things than I think she should.
48) She likes potato chips and pizza.
49) She is 4’11’’ and 92 pounds. She says it is her genes, I tell her to not bank on that always being the case. I fear my mom is trying to make her fat! “Aiza try this”, “Aiza try that”, “Aiza help yourself to more”.
50) She was okay with going to my church, even though it had a much different style than she was used to. We have an older congregation.
51) She remembers names exceptionally well; basketball players, coworkers, church. She really is good at this.
52) If she doesn’t have rice for two days she is miserable.
53) The last bag of rice we bought weighed more than she did.
I always remind my pastor of the verse that says “Whoever finds a Filipina finds a good thing and obtains favor of the Lord”. Well of course I changed the words a little bit but the fact is marriage as God’s idea and a most wonderful thing, despite the spats and differences and frustrations it will bring to deal with now and then.
I would rather deal with that with a Filipina than anyone else. After being married to one, I now know what I have heard for decades: Filipinas make good wives. I am ready for more of the best years of the rest of my life.