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However, when you’re in a long-term relationship with someone from another country and culture, then you begin to see the differences much more clearly. ’ Now, in stark contrast, if you find yourself at the front door of a Filipino and are invited inside, then you’ll discover that they are some of the warmest, most welcoming people on the planet.Being from the United Kingdom, you inevitably become accustomed to Western ways and of course in turn, Western women. In the UK, if a person, known or unknown, were to arrive at your door, for what we’ll assume is some good and honest reason, then you would at first be a little suspicious. Even before you can manage a single, socially awkward , ‘Err, hello, so nice to meet you,’ you’ll already have met Mum, Dad, the grandparents and anyone else who happens to be in easy reach.There is this complete sense of disbelief when I tell them otherwise. I talk about the amazing little inspiring traits I see in Filipino hearts. I get scared that I will lose that chance to challenge Filipinos to see the other things in their culture that are beautiful.

– Lots of meat, marinated in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic…with rice! ), with sugar and salt, then fried till crispy…with rice!

Food in the Philippines is incredible, it’s as simple as that.

What was supposed to be a two-week visit for them has since turned into almost two years together Back in 2005 and for about 10 years before, I was living in the UK, studying architecture and working 9-to-5s in different architectural practices.

I had great employers and colleagues and although I enjoyed my work, I couldn’t help but feel there was something missing.

Well, two weeks has since turned into almost two years, 7 countries, many random jobs and countless stories to tell!

Whilst I traveled quite a bit as a child, with my parents working in Africa, when you travel as an adult you see things differently and it changes you – sometimes in very subtle ways, sometimes more obviously.

I will never haggle like a Filipino Growing up in Africa, I had plenty of opportunities to observe my parents negotiating down the price of everything from fruit and vegetables, to decorative woodcarvings and even (ahem) speeding tickets.

So obviously some of this bargaining power must have rubbed off on me, right?

Here I am a 26yr old foreigner semi-fluent in Bisaya, basic knowledge of Tagalog who is living in the Philippines. I have met some Filipinas that right away make me wish I had the privilege of saying… It helps me inspire some positive thinking in the minds of people I look up to… I have found over the course of my time in the Philippines I have pushed away any opportunity I may have had to date a Filipina and to get close to a Filipina. In fact just a few days ago a foreigner told me: “You must be a big hit with the ladies. Get a few beers in you and I bet all the stories will come out.” Stories of a 26yr old who even though maybe lonely in that aspect of his life, just doesn’t agree with people focusing on being with girls here as being the best part of the Philippines. I completely understand why foreigners talk about the girls here so much, because they are amazing, and yes chances are you will get a lot of attention from them if you are a nice guy. One day we were hanging out looking for ingredients to make some food.

Now if you are Filipino reading this I want you to stop here and think: If you didn’t know me, had no clue what I was doing here in the Philippines. What would your guess be as to how I got here, and why I choose to stay here? We headed to the market in Cebu to pick up fresh vegetables.

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