Friday, September 6, 2013


Congratulations to all who made it this far, from first meeting, filing the petition, coming to America, and getting married. It's a memorable and well worth while undertaking we all accomplished. Some couples are still completing different steps like AOS, etc. Others may be done. But there is one more important task. 

Do you want your marriage to be recognized in the Philippines?  You should, as it has many benefits. Besides the Philippine government expects it.  Luckily it's a simple and cheap process. 

Keep in mind divorces between Filipinos is not recognized under Philippine Law. I don't know if it applies to US born Filipinos that are American citizens. Even if the Decree was obtained abroad it won't be honored. However, mixed-marriage divorce is allowed as long as the foreigner is the one who initiated the proceedings. The foreigner must prove citizenship. I put this paragraph in for Filipinas that are re-marring. Some of you have married another Filipino here in the States and the rule applies even if you live in the US. Also, decrees issued by the Philippine court allows for re-marriage. 

There is about 9 or 10 consulate offices in the States each with its own jurisdiction. Chose the one closest to the place you married. 


Fill out 4 report of marriage contracted abroad forms. Both husband and wife sign and date. 
4 photos of each spouse. 
1 original of birth certificate and 4 copies, both spouses. 
1 original divorce decree and 4 copies of prior marriages. If widowed then 1 original copy and 4 copies of death certificate. NOTE: ALL original documents will be returned to you. Include a $6 postal money order. 
Don't forget to included $25 fee in form of money order or cashiers check. Payable to Philippine Consulate General. 
Once the marriage is recorded a copy will be sent to you. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Ever mail a letter or package to the Philippines? What was the outcome? For most it's a bad experience. I have mailed letter's and cards myself and it was hit or miss. Sometimes the letter would arrive, but up to 2 months later.  Other times no show. I have noticed that most Filipino's don't even know their own address. Try and ask someone one day and see what answer you get. Most will give you some type of landmark, such as; the house on the hill or the brown house. In Provinces no one has a mail box, and they certainly will not offer door to door delivery.

Please contact me for any inquiry, booking or free consultations:There are postal codes but as far as lot or building numbers, a lot of places do not have them. Another big problem is in house corruption. The postal workers are the main culprits in theft. It seems upper management does not keep an eye on employees, or don't really care at all, even if aware of it. If you go to a local post office yourself to pick up mail be aware that some clerks might ask for money claiming a tax or unpaid fee of some sort. This is illegal, there should not be any additional fee's. If some merchandise is shipped in some cases there might be custom fee's.

Recent Photos The Commons Getty Collection Galleries World Map App ... It's not to say never use their postal system, but just be aware of the possible problems and expect your letter may never reach its destination. Never send expensive items or money.
For years pen pals would exchange letters back and fourth. This is how some lover's communicated before computers. They must of gotten letters but how many were lost in transit? Most people are shying away from snail mail these days. As for me its email or video chat. If I want to send something I do the balikbayan box.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


The simplest and least expensive way to obtain birthright citizenship for a child born abroad is by reporting the birth to the nearest U.S. consulate general or embassy. Filing a report of birth abroad results in the issuance of an U.S. birth certificate accepted on all accounts as a rightful and legal proof of citizenship. For a child born in the Philippines to an U.S. father, the application must be made at the Embassy of the United States in Manila. Reporting a birth must be made before the child's eighteenth birthday and should be done as soon after the birth as possible t 
    Acquire the application forms and document checklist. You cannot schedule an appointment until all application forms and documents are submitted and reviewed. The U.S. Embassy in Manila offers home delivery of all application materials, instructions and check lists. Call the ACS Air21 FedEx Courier (partnered with the U.S. Embassy) to receive forms by mail as well as to schedule a pick up and drop off of your completed forms at the embassy. If you prefer, you can obtain the forms in person at the embassy (7:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at the American Citizen Services window) or by downloading the DS-2029 form online.
    ACS-Air21 FedEx Courier
    (63-2) 879-4747

    • 2
      Gather the required documentation to accompany the application form. All documents must be original copies or certified by the seal of a notary. All documents not originally in English must be accompanied by a notarized translation. Documents include: the child's Philippine birth certificate, evidence of the father's U.S. citizenship (his passport, birth certificate or naturalization certificate) and marriage certificate of the parents.
      If the child is born outside of wedlock, the father's parentage must be legitimized by either providing a written sworn oath of parentage, financial support, proof of residence in an U.S. state and possibly a court ruling establishing parentage and a DNA test. If any excess documentation or procedure is required, you will be informed by the U.S. embassy before you attend the appointment.  
    • 3
      Submit the application form and all required supporting documents to the U.S. Embassy via mail or courier as mentioned above in step one. If submitting the application by mail rather than scheduled courier, submit the completed packet to:
      Citizenship and Passport Unit
      American Citizen Services, Consular Section
      U.S. Embassy
      201 Roxas Boulevard
    • 4
      Wait for the embassy to receive and review your application. You will be notified via telephone of the possible dates and times to schedule your appointment. If there are any additional documents required, you will be notified at this time.
    • 5
      Attend the appointment. You must arrive 30 minutes before your appointed time to clear embassy security. At the appointment you must pay the $100 application fee in U.S. dollars or the local currency equivalent in cash or credit card only. The child must be present at the appointment as well as one of the parents (both parents present is ideal) for the application to be final. If the application is approved, you can immediately apply for the child's U.S. passport.

CRBA = Consular Report of Birth Abroad 
Bring proof of US Citizenship (parent).
Provide proof of relationship before baby was born (PICTURES)
Proof of physical presence of same location during child's conception. (PASSPORT ENTRY/EXIT STAMPS, RECEIPTS, FLIGHT ITINERARY)
You can apply CRBA and Passport same time.
If born our of wedlock provide proof child is yours.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Most of us who have been to the Philippines has taken a Taxi a time or two. For the most part the fare is pretty cheap compared to the US. Cheap if you hire an honest taxi driver that is. My own personal experiences has awarded me both pleasant and horrible tales to tell. It all starts at the airport upon your arrival.  
I'm not against anyone trying to make an extra peso or politely asking for a tip. I'd oblige if I'm happy with the service. Don't think that every driver in Manila is out to get your dollar there are lots of good ones still. 

My first trip to Manila I was naive about the amount of scammers that hang around the airport waiting for foreigners to swindle. It started with the security guards who I thought were just kind guys trying to help me. They observed me standing there trying to make a call. My US cell phone couldn't pick up service and a security guard offered his phone. I was trying to call my wife and ask her where abouts so I could find her or she find me. Next thing they ask me for a few dollars. I didn't give them anything, I was surprised though, I didn't expect that. Next was a guy approached me, asked if I needed a taxi. I didn't have a chance to answer him he had already flagged one down, opened the door and tried to put my bags in the car. I quickly stopped him, informing him I'm not ready to go yet. He had the nerve to ask for some dollars. And they all want US currency too. I almost felt like they are all in on a organized scam. I wasn't in country 10 minutes and a lot of strangers who appear to be workers or service people are begging for money. I was a bit nervous about it. Finally the taxi driver. I said I want the meter on and he gave me a song and dance of how it's standard this and normal that to charge such a fare. We get to our hotel and he tells me 700 pesos. It wasn't till the next day I learns the meter would have said a fare of about 250 pesos. From that point on I learned my lesson and was prepared to argue or fight for honest service. I have no problem giving a tip but I don't wanna be treated like a sucker. So for future visits I will plan for ways to handle this situation. 

If you go check into hiring a driver ahead of time. Terms are already established. And Let'em know up front you will stick to the agreement and if asked or begged for any extra you drop him and he gets no pay. For safety always ride in the back seat, lock the doors, if you know the route inform the driver that's the way you want to go. Stay awake also. Inform family and friends of cab info. Use your phone to take a picture of the cab and tag number. Use your GPS to see if he is trying to take a longer route or not going where he is supposed to. Don't be afraid to tell the driver you will report him. If you do have a problem you can report the incident to You can post a problem to also. Another is For Facebook use: report taxi drivers - Philippines is on Facebook. 

Good luck and don't be taken advantage of. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013


There's a lot of talk in the media about immigration. Some of these reporters sound like they are experts on any topic they run their mouths about. Someone is telling them what to say I believe. Dictating word for word on a teleprompter. And then to re-enforce their beliefs they bring guess speakers who were former something. Funny how most of them are introduced as former or past cop, lawyer, judge etc. I wonder what's in it for them to come on and put in their two cents. Not all stories are negative but they do seem to focus mostly on the bad stuff. I seen one this week that gives me mixed emotions. If you have not seen it click the link here. 

It's about a Pinay who came on a tourist visa. She long over stayed making her illegal. She even got married and had a baby. Tourist visas are hard to get and cases like this make it harder or slim chance anyone else will get one. I feel sorry for her and especially her husband who will now have to remain separated from her or join her in the Philippines if she gets deported. Because now she is banned for 10 years from reentering the USA. I do hope they can reach a happy compromise. It is her own fault, she could of went home and re-apply for another visa or wait for her husband to petition her. 

But back to what ticks me off about the media is why do they always blackball the ones who do things the proper way?Do you think they can report a story on someone who followed all the rules and show the world how happy and wonderful it can really be?  After all we went the distance and spent our money on their ridiculous fees, followed all the laws, rules and regulations they made.  We waited and waited for the answer as our fate is in their hands. Bit it doesn't make us worthy of a positive love story. Sad but true they only like the ugly stories. 

As we all know who's fault it is why we have an illegal population of foreigners here. All we can do is play by the rules and hope for the best. In my own opinion I can't determine what's fair or unfair because I don't like to see families broken up. I guess it's fair to say you get what you deserve. What's unfair is I/we paid for it. And I/we did it the right way. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Most of us American men meet our Filipina online not knowing anything about their traditional ways of dating and courtship in there home country. The online dating and Internet has changed things a lot. It is a good idea to read and learn about the many differences and ways of the Filipina. This will give you a better understanding and you will need to change your way of thinking in order to make it a successful relationship. It's my belief that you can't have the same mentality you had when you where with your American female. Keep reading below and make your own assumptions.

If you were to approach your Filipina in person it would be more subdued or indirect. In the old days, the practice of singing romantic songs, reciting poems, gift giving was the norm. Often the suitor expressed his interest discreetly. Usually to walk up to a female and ask her for a phone number is not a good way to start your persuasion for her to like you. She will be shy and secretive of her feelings for you. Most men in the Philippines will express his interests through a mutual friend. Or he will ask the father of the female if he can visit the home and tell the family he likes their daughter. He must also bring pasalubong (small simple gifts). If they take to him kindly and she encourages him it continues. If she shows anger the pursuit stops. The couple are never left alone in the beginning stages, and there is a chaperon on the first few dates. Guys maybe that's why she meets you at the airport with 100 of her cousins. (JOKE, JUST KIDDING). My wife came with 2 of her cousins, and they went their own way after a few hours. At first most Filipina seem to play hard to get, not flirty, shows restraint, modesty, shyness, demonstrates good upbringing, and well mannered or reserved.

The couple is never considered engaged until they have the blessing of both parents and dowry is met. Dowry is gift giving from the soon to be grooms family to the brides family. In the Philippines marriage is the union of two families not just the husband and wife. Today they still have the same views even with modern technologies. This may be why online relationships work so well with the Filipina. The courtship is actually similar through video chat and text messaging etc. And the practice of pre-maritel sex is less stressful coz of the long distance as she finds it easier to uphold those values.

I think it is also a good idea to make sure you visit the family and stay with them in there house for a while and practice some of the ways you just read about. This will make them very happy, as they are very hospitable and gracious. Keep in mind the family has not been involved in the traditional courtship even though they may know about her online romance. If she brings you home your a foreigner she is telling her family she already made the commitment to marry you without the 1 to 2 years of courting in their presence. Why not demonstrate your worthiness by helping out and doing chores around the house while your there. Visit the resorts and tourist spots, stay in hotels but please spend time in the family's home as well. You will be glad you did.

I will write about my first eventful visit in another post.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


What is so special about Jollibee's? Most Filipino's love it. Most Americans who are married to a Filipino or been to the Philippines has eaten at Jollibee's. I did a little reading about the company and learned quite a lot. It's an interesting company and one of the most popular fast food chains in the Philippines. Or in reference to Pilipino terms "quick service restaurants" (QSR).

 As I was searching for info I came across a site posted from a college that had to do an essay about the company. All the students wrote and posted online. Some of them said different things so I can't say I am 100% correct on the facts. I will just put what I felt is most accurate.

Jollibee was founded by Tony Tan Caktiong and his family, starting as an ice cream parlor in 1975. Then in 1978 it went from ice cream to fish balls becoming a corporation with the original name being Jollyegg. One post says it started in Bankerohan, Davao City, and another stated it started in Quezon City. Their menu has grown over the years, as I read the eldest sister Virgie Tan Chua was the one who added spaghetti.

I tried to find out the idea of their mascot. Someone stated the bumble bee was inspired through a series of children's books.

They have grown internationally over the years and are opening more stores every year. I last read they had over 800 stores, 40,000 employee's, 4,000 of them are managers. Half the restaurants are now franchised. In the Philippines you can open one for about 25mil PHP. In the USA the states that have a Jollibee are: CA, NV, WA, HA, NJ, NY.

So what are you gong to eat on your next visit? I want to try the Hawaiian burger.