Westerners like to travel and the Philippines are the ultimate exotic paradise. When your Filipino spouse takes you to her homeland for the first time you may be super excited by the idea that white-sand beaches, rain-forests, waterfalls, coral-reefs and so on are waiting for you!
The challenge though, is that most Filipinos who go home don’t go there with the idea to show you around and take you to all the nice places. They want to spend most of their time with their extended family and you run the risk of being stuck in your spouse’s hometown.
Now, my wife’s hometown happens to be San Ildefonso, in the Province of Bulacan. Let’s say that I’ve been “relatively” lucky because, not far from my wife’s town, there are several rivers and waterfalls and there is a virgin jungle in the Sierra Madre Mountains. But, the first time I went to the Philippines, I had to struggle to get her to go farther away. I managed to go one day to the One-hundred Islands, one day to Tagaytay and….that was about it!
The second time I went, knowing that she would want to stay home, I made sure that I would spend one week in a sea resort FIRST and then we went to her hometown.
So, my simple suggestion is: when you book your flight to the Philippines don’t plan to go straight to your spouse’s village and then use it as your base to visit the country. This might never happen. Chances are that once you get to your partner’s village you’ll get stuck there because once your spouse is there she wants to stay there.
You’d better plan your holiday in such a way that YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE GO STRAIGHT FROM YOUR COUNTRY TO A NICE LOCATION IN THE PHILIPPINES SUCH AS PALAWAN, BORACAY etc. AND, ONCE YOU’VE ENJOYED BLISSING OUT ON SOME EXOTIC BEACH FOR A WEEK OR TWO, THEN YOU GO TO YOUR PARTNER’S PLACE and stay there, get to know your partner’s relatives, enjoy their company and become familiar with your partner’s birthplace.
This is, in my experience, the best compromise, and win-win situation, to enjoy your trip and avoid arguing with your spouse.