My Filipina Mother-in-Law is Getting the Boot!

My Filipina  mother-in-law, The Feared Giant Lizard Killer, is a 77-year-old, 75-pound devout Catholic  lady that has lived in the rural province of Guimaras all of her life and rises every morning at 4am to dutifully say her prayers.  She has seen pirates, Japanese occupying forces, countless carabaos, roosters and  cockfights in her lifetime  and fairly recently a grumpy 59-year-old kano son-in-law. Through no fault of her own she gets on my very last nerve and annoys me on a daily basis.  I readily admit I am not an easy person to get along with (just ask my asawa and my ex-coworkers from AT&T.) I'm a fairly antisocial and private person (a "private person" that writes about his daily experiences in the Philippines and exposes himself to the online world, go figure.) KittygirlI hate to sound disrespectful because I absolutely cannot tolerate disrespect,  but I long for the days when I am free from my mother-in-law's constant peering into our room, the outrageously loud burping without excusing herself, the irritating shuffling sound her slippers make as she slowly makes her way across our concrete floor which would have  even tested Mother Teresa's patience and her shrill high-pitched loud voice;  she is nearly deaf and speaks loud enough to be heard throughout the whole province of Guimaras.  I'm positive the list of things I do that annoy her would comprise a much larger list, but she is a Filipina and will not complain.

However, after a conversation with my asawa, The Sainted Patient Wife, the other night, I do believe that in three years my mother-in-law will be getting the boot! Actually she will not get evicted from "The Compound," but in three years my asawa and I plan to move to a different part of the Philippines that has better hospital facilities than what we have in rural Guimaras and access to more services like bigger shopping malls near by. My wife has been noting my numerous occasional complaints about her Mother, and when I mentioned our future move she agreed that it would be in everyone's best interests  if my MOTHER-IN-LAW STAYED IN GUIMARAS AND DID NOT MAKE THE MOVE WITH US! In the past, my spouse has always said her mother would be living with us when we did move.

The Philippines Expat Advisor - My Filipina Mother-in-Law is Getting the Boot!

I know! I know! I shouldn't be so excited and happy! If I told you I felt guilty I would be lying. I'm waiting for God to strike me down with a huge thunderbolt right now! My wife's sister, Alida, will take over our room at "The Compound" with her husband, Joery, and their children, and The Feared Giant Lizard Killer will keep her present room.  We will continue to purchase her high blood medication and other meds she needs, but we will be over an hour jet plane's  ride from her when we  leave. Once our move is made I will be in more accordance with the tradition of the Blackfoot Native Americans whose practice is for the husband to avoid all direct encounters with the wife's parents, especially the mother-in-law. Those Blackfoot are on to something.

Now I know there are plenty of you expats in the Philippines and maybe even some guys in the States living with your mother-in-law and  getting along just fine. God bless you! You are a far better man than I! I readily acknowledge this glaring flaw in my character but make no attempt to hide my glee. For any of you mother-in-laws reading this post, I apologize for my inability to adapt and embrace my current living situation. Perhaps a daily case of Red Horse or San Miguel Pale Pilsen's would help in my adjustment, I don't know. Haven't given that a try. But since I have almost three years to go before our projected move, it probably wouldn't hurt for me to make a beer run to Cousin Emma's "Jade and Joe Market" right now!

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Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 19 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

19 thoughts on “My Filipina Mother-in-Law is Getting the Boot!

  1. Fun read Dave…and yes some of the things you mentioned would drive me nuts and did drive me nuts many moons and sunsets ago. I would not mind that sweetie in the photo above peeking into my bed room and as far as that goes she might as well come on in and get in the blanket so she be warm…..hahahahah…That might be a different kind of life once you can get out of there and get some place else with just You and Your Wife…but maybe have to lay down some ground rules……..like…we will go see all the relatives and they are welcome to come and see us if they have the plane ticket, but only for a visit (short term) not long term…then you many have peace and quiet…but from all I have read here and other places…….I am wondering how that can happen?,,,this whole idea could backfire if not carefull and you many just have a house full of relatives and some you did not even know exsisted…….

  2. And the SPW agreed the Lizard Killer would not be making the move with you !!!!! ……….. I bet that put a smile on your face ……That a mortician could not even remove………The SPW takes very good care of you Dave……Very seldom you hear a daughter not demanding that the mother stays in the house……The SPW is a keeper Dave……But I am sure you knew that years ago

  3. Hi Dave: You are not alone in wanting your privacy in the Philippines. My late father who was a Filipino-American (84 years old when he passed away) could not tolerate live-in relatives even in his advanced years. He and my mother were married for over 60 years, first time for both. They only had their household help in the residence and none were related to them.

    As for me, I definitely need my privacy. If I need household help in the Philippines, I plan to build a separate wing from my main residence to accommodate the help. I can only tolerate long-time company from my husband and a resident cat. You’re not grumpy Dave… you just enjoy your solitude to hear yourself think.

    1. Thanks, Roselyn, glad to hear I’m not alone in wanting my privacy. Though I know that the majority of Filipinos live with relatives, I really value my privacy which is the hardest thing I have dealt with since moving to the Philippines. I do need my solitude as you mention, it is essential for me and sometimes this website suffers as a result of not having it. In our new home in the Philippines, I will have my own “Man Cave” again where I can enjoy peace and quiet and interrupted times “working” on this website. My wife and I enjoyed almost nine years together without any relatives or household help living in our home in the States, and I loved it. We also plan to have separate quarters for any help when we make our move. It will make life a lot easier. Thanks again for your insight.

    2. Rosalyn

      I like my privacy too. When my parents visit me they stay with me. I love them, but are glad to see them go when there visit is done. My i ask how long did your parents lived in the Philippines.

  4. That’s great news for you Dave. So does this mean that when you and Melinda move, your new home will be a one bedroom house with NO guest room?

    1. Well, no, Lance, I’m afraid we might still have to get a guest room. Plus, current plans are to have our little niece JalAmiel make the future move with us. She will come to visit her parents during school vacation, but we both dearly love her and have gotten the OK from her parents to have her live with us. More on that as time progresses.

  5. dave
    my husband and i value our privacy also. we have been married for 12 years, just us and our dogs in the house. works out great.
    im excited for your move. where do you think you will be moving to?

    1. Well, Maria, that’s a good question. I do not enjoy the noise, pollution, and traffic of the Metro Manila area, but my wife’s sisters all live around Novaliches or Caloocan City. But I do want to make sure we are close to good hospitals and shopping areas. It’s quite a hassle loading the groceries on the pump boat every month and transporting them home (not that I lift anything.) I’ve gotten some suggestions from other readers before, and I would like to visit some places before we make our decision. I know one thing. The places you might see on the Internet are nothing like what they seem to be when you visit them in person. Saw a subdivision on the Internet called “North Olympus” when we went to Manila last year. We passed it by and noticed quite a different view of it from what we had seen online.

  6. Dave,

    I have mixed feeling about family living with us when we retire. I like the family values that I have seen and MBA seems to be very close to her parents and siblings. MBA mom is definitely the Matriarch of the family. Even I listen when she says something. (I think this bothers MBA more than me). Our current retirement plans are to live around Baybay, Leyte. Baybay is about 3 hours away from her home barrangay. At the same, I really like the people in her home barrangay and would like to be closer to our friends.

    It could be worst with “The Feared Giant Lizard Killer.” It’s only outrageously loud burping and not an otot. Hmmm, baho.

    1. hi jack
      i dont think you’ll have a shortage of new friends. im from southern leyte, left when i was seven years old. last time i was there was in 1989.

      1. Maria,

        You are absolutely right. I have several good friends in Baybay now and I know that I will make many more. Gusto ko matuon ug bisaya. Learning the language will help me connect with some of the local people in Baybay. I would like to joke around with the local lakae selling taho or have a meaningful conversation with MBA favorite sales lady at the market.

        I would like to hear about your experiences growing up in Leyte. You were very lucky to be able to call the island home.

        1. jack
          your bisaya is better than mine, lol. i had a very nice, happy, and carefree seven years of childhood growing up in leyte. yes, i was fortunate to have a loving family.

    2. I’m with you, Jack. I don’t want to isolate myself completely from all my wife’s family because one of the main reasons we moved to the Philippines is that I wanted someone to take care of her when she got older. Since I’m 13 years older than my wife, I figured I’m going to check out first. In the States she did not have any relatives to take care of her. Her thousands of nieces and nephews live in the Philippines, so I have peace of mind knowing she will be cared for. Three hours is a pretty good distance, I’ve seen other expat sites recommend that “three hour travel rule.”

      And the “Feared Giant Lizard Killer?” Yeah, I guess a loud burp isn’t as bad as an otot. You’ve got a point there.

  7. Sorry about your mother-in-law, John. My mother-in-law is a good lady, but I would much prefer if we didn’t have any relatives living in the house, as is your case.

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