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.

Having left Britain some time ago and having now been with Kach for over a year, I thought I’d reflect on some of the things I’ve learned being in a relationship with a Filipina and how I may have changed in the process. ‘They must want something from me,’ you would think, or even more sadly, ‘What? Not only that, but quite literally out of nowhere, there will appear enough food to feed a small village for a week.

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I’ve always been accustomed to one or two pieces of bacon or a juicy Cumberland sausage in the morning, but now I get mood swings if I haven’t eaten half a pig and a kilo of rice by 9am! I’ve always been a little partial to loudly and drunkenly screaming out Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” but since being with Kach I’ve developed a sixth sense, which I have decided to call, ‘Microphonia.’ I can sense a Karaoke machine within a 20-mile radius and I’m quite prepared to kill for a can of Red Horse beer and the chance to sing Pusong Bato in a bar full of random strangers!

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.

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.

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.

Under Spanish rule, most of the Filipino populace embraced Roman Catholicism, yet revolted many times against its hierarchy.

the name given to the archipelago in 1543 by the Spanish explorer and Dominican priest Ruy López de Villalobos, in honour of Philip II of Spain (Spanish: Felipe II).British traveler Jon Howe recalls his experience dating a fellow long-term adventurer, Filipino Kach Medina.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.– , working his way around the world finding new and interesting ways to support a life of long-term travel.He loves tropical beaches, surfing, hiking, the outdoors, yoga, adventure sports and motorbikes.Kach often tells me that although many Filipinos are very patient, if you push them too far, they could really hurt you.