“If we Americans found Filipina wives amazing, you Filipino husbands should love them more,” this was the closing statement of Atty. Michael J. Gurfenkil in his interview with an American client who just married a Filipina. When he interviewed another couple who had been married for 25 years, he said once again of our women, “Filipinas make the best wives in the world.”
Among Filipinos, Michael Gurfenkil is not only a big name but an institution in the field of immigration. When I heard his name a long time ago I associated it with competence, excellence and high cost. I believed then that only rich Filipinos could afford his services and by his status as one of the best immigrant lawyers in the USA, I even thought that ordinary Filipinos could hardly have even a small fraction of his time for consultation.
But I was surprised one day to see him on TV hosting Citizen Pinoy, an ABS-CBN show that featured his expertise. I was amazed when he started speaking some Filipino words clearly. His voice was not that of a typical lawyer but was soft and gentle. He looked very down to earth, too. With his aura of friendliness, nobody would feel intimidated in his presence. His show is running until now and it aims to help Filipinos with immigration problems.
Behind that blissful and stress-free countenance is a Filipino wife that he is very proud of. In his many interviews he usually asked his American guests with a big laugh about who holds the money. He spoke with amusement about extended family having his in-laws living with them and taken care of as part of Filipino culture. He narrated it not with annoyance but admiration that in Philippine society it is a sin to leave parents by themselves or abandon them in some homes for the aged. He never spoke of the traffic, of the fumes, of the crimes, of all that could make life difficult having a Filipino wife and living in the Philippines. He is simply happy being married to a Filipina and living partly in the Philippines.
Why Filipina? What is it in a Filipina?
I made an effort to know and got this statement of an American from one of my readings, “A Filipina wife is an ideal companion for life. Filipino wives are loyal, committed in marriage, apart from being beautiful, feminine and charming.”
I asked an American friend one time why he wanted to marry a Filipina after a heartbreaking divorce and he said, “Filipino women are caring and loving.” A couple of his friends are married to Filipinas and some, like him, want to marry a Filipina; all of them love the Philippines.
The role of Filipino women evolved very little over a period of time. In spite of advancement in all aspects of life she is still what she is taught to be since primitive time. Marriage for her is a big responsibility starting from waking up early in the morning to prepare her husband’s food and when children come, her entire family’s meals. Her husband’s clothes and all stuff needed for work should be in place and organized. And there are still children to take care of; preparing them for school, attending to their tantrums, their needs for attention and affection. These are all done before a Filipino wife attends to her own and prepares herself for work or do all the household chores at home. When children come home from school, she spares a time for helping them with their school works; she attends school meetings and activities and if kids are in trouble she settles the problem by herself. Before everybody wakes up in the morning she is already awake and only goes to sleep when everybody is asleep. Working woman as she is she can manage all the roles of being a wife, a mother, a daughter, a career woman, and caretaker of the entire household. Blessed is her man.
A Filipino woman forgets her needs for her man’s sake and their family. In spite of cases of husband’s infidelity and abuses in different forms a Filipina wife stick to her vows and never want her family to be disintegrated. Her loyalty is unusual and where she gets her strength to withstand unjust treatment is a mystery. It could be from the teachings passed to her by her own mother, the dictates of culture, the norms of society, or her faith in God that everything will turn out right at the end. As long as her husband is coming home and provides for their needs the family will remain intact and nothing will go wrong.
In spite of distance that might separate her from her man she remains steadfast and passionately attends to her duties not only as a mother but as a father as well. Even without the presence of the man of the house she can raise her children with dignity and love. She remains loyal to her man not only because she is guarded by our double standard society but also because of the values and virtues her parents inculcated in her and her faith in God.
In times of adversities, she does not blame but reach out and help her man to stand again; she even does the man’s job to keep the family going. That is a Filipino wife and more of the goodness that yet has to be known.
“But there are bad Filipino women, too.” I told my American friend.
“Bad people are everywhere to be found,” he replied. Good American marrying bad Filipina and good Filipina marrying bad American are facts of life. But he believed that bad Filipinas were exceptions to the rule; he still wants to marry a Filipina.
I am not writing this to promote Filipino women to foreign men but to echo what Atty. Gurfinkel had said, “Filipino husbands love your wives more.”
I never had any relationship with a Filipino guy but I have observed how lukewarm Filipino husbands are to their wives. It could be our society’s dictate of no public display of affection or could be that the many roles of a wife are already codified invisibly in our culture they became obligations not to be appreciated and thanked for.
On my first day as a wife I prepared my husband’s clothes and stuff for the day. He was so surprised and told me that I did not need to do them. He thanked me for every gesture of caring and loving; it warmed my heart.
Many different races of men are so much fascinated with Filipino women and want to marry one. Though our Filipino men have not spoken anything about the trend, I read from the eyes of some and from their subtle comments that they were jealous. I believe, the trend of Filipinas marrying other nationals made them feel their Filipino masculinity has been diminished; made them feel inferior.
I am glad that my friends’ husbands and my friends who are husbands of Filipino women are great…but I tell you guys, love more, or I will say, express your love more. I am saying this with a wink and a big smile.
“If we Americans found Filipino wives amazing, you Filipino husbands should love them more.”