Hello Belgian Filipino lovers,
As you maybe already know, my name is Andy.
I am an ordinary 37-year-old boy who had a love for Eastern food from an early age.
I used to have some Thai friends who stayed here in Belgium.
My best friend has also been married to his Filipino wife for 20 years now.
When my marriage (with a Belgian woman) came to an end, I got in touch with a Filipino beauty through my best friend.
This was November 2015. But because of her contract in Dubai, it was not possible until March 2017 and that It was able to meet her in person.
I love my Filipina Wife
Through all those hours of chatting and Skype, we really got to know each other, and we knew that if the click was actually there in real life. We wanted to spend our lives together.
So before I left I got all the necessary information about possibilities and procedures to spend our lives together.
I noticed that there were so many conflicting reports.
I had bought a GoPro for my 6 weeks trip to the Philippines and started filming every moment.
I did my stopover in Dubai, where I met my girlfriend, her friends and her employer and where we flew together to the Philippines after 1 day stay.
I quickly noticed how beautiful, fascinating and diverse the Philippines are and its people.
I felt at home here very quickly and was therefore able to adapt quite quickly. Only the less rushed life required an extra effort, because the rhythm of life is really on a different level.
After some delays in the domestic flight I arrived at the island of my girlfriend.
I immediately understood why so many had lost their hearts here and experienced the same.
I was happy that I could stay longer than 2 weeks, because returning to Belgium was going to be a painful moment, that was already clear.
After staying for 3 weeks with my future in-laws and travelling around for another 3 weeks, the time had come to return to Belgium.
Leaving my future wife (we were officially engaged in the meantime) was really a painful moment. Also, the tropical temperatures, beautiful beaches and delicious food was missed enormously when I landed back at Zaventem Brussels.
The step from dream to reality was enormous and the cold wind when leaving the airport immediately woke me up.
And then everything didn't start yet. My fiancé provided all the documents in the Philippines, which was not without any struggle.
And then it was my turn, I had already prepared a part of the necessary evidence during our trip, but the necessary evidence from chats and skype had also to be collected. And a laptop that no longer functioned properly could make it a lot harder.
I wanted to prepare our file well, so that the chance of refusal would be small. Because we both knew that we wanted to continue our lives together as soon as possible.
A refusal would only extend the time and would become a very painful moment.
When I was arranging all the necessary documents, translations, … here in Belgium, again I came across some contradictions.
In order not to take risks, I therefore provided extra documents, extra evidence, …. I searched for information everywhere, I asked people who had already done the same before and also went through the same procedure. I learned a lot from this.
I thought about starting a YouTube channel with my travel story and hotel review and already started editing my videos. I was already a Google guide, but because of the much work and especially the much research this did not go smoothly. The file was top priority.
When my videos were finished I still didn't have the confidence to put them online, and so they were removed again. In a later point of view, this was not a good decision, but some resorts that came up in my travel stories and reviews were no longer up to date due to renovations. Now people had to wait even longer before they could set their eyes on the beauty of the Philippines.
The compilation of the file exhausted us completely, and I thought this could not be the intention. If anyone in this modern time had to suffer like this to collect the necessary info
And documents. Would exhaust yourself so emotionally (because a Long Distance Relationship is already very heavy) and then had to run around for all those documents and analyse the requirements
This could be done easier.
So I thought to explain the required documents you can find online and explain where you can get the documents in an easier way. And especially give some advice using tricks.
What better way to spread it online through YouTube. Everyone can access it, it's free and hearing and explaining something is often easier than when you have to read and analyse this on paper.
But we were still working on our file ourselves, and we were not sure if it would be approved the first time. Because if this was not the case, then there would be something wrong in the information I collected. So I had to wait for this first.
I did not want to make a daily vlog, because this would have been very boring and not very informative since the procedure could take long. But seeing it afterwards would have been a beautiful and emotional memory for us.
Because we had to wait so long for the result, I travelled back to the Philippines in October 2017. So I could bring back papers that were about to expire, in case the answer would be negative and of course I missed my fiancé very much. Skyping every day for 3 hours and chatting all day is not the same as being with each other.
October is not the ideal time to travel to Manila due to the rainy season. But even it rained 9 of the 12 days that I was there, my heart was clearly there.
I was even more motivated to make a YouTube channel to help people in their search through the administration, but on the other hand I also wanted to show the beauty of the Philippines to anyone who was even slightly interested.
People I talked with said I was so passionate about the Philippines and I should use this to clarify this undervalued and misunderstood country.
But the procedure was still not finished, so I kept on filming and not much happened in the editing area.
When the immigration website changed on December 18, our heart stood totally still, it said “Granting visa on submission of additional documents”. So for us this meant a negative result. But the joy was overwhelming when my fiancé received an email from the embassy 4 hours later that the visa had been approved. She would receive her visa if she could present the Schengen insurance and airline tickets. Again some information that could be misinterpreted, because with some friends
It just said “approved” instead of our text.
Because the holidays were approaching, everything had to go fast and here too we had to deal with unexpected obstacles.
But just before New Year, my fiancé was finally able to travel.
After her arrival in Belgium, I had the idea to start making the videos, but here again there were obstacles. So again everything was postponed. In my head this was not bad,
Because I still had stage fright and I became sweaty when I thought of seeing myself on YouTube.
When everything was finally over, my wife was integrated and everything was a bit cooled down. I started recording my first videos in June 2019.
This was not without a struggle. There were many issues involved. Learning to speak in front of the camera and then the editing part was not an easy task.
When my first video was finished in mid-August, I was afraid in my hard, whether it would be appreciated by both the Belgian and the Filipino community.
And especially whether official offices would complain or not.
But I felt that the difficult understandable documentation should be translated into human language. So that everyone would have an equal chance of holding their loved one in their arms.
Not everyone has the financial resources to hire a lawyer to obtain all necessary assistance.
Immediately there was some response and especially the positive comments gave me a boost to continue. It is not easy to combine this with a full time job, helping my wife in the household and consistent (I put 1 video a week online) making and editing videos and also replying on emails and private messages for more information on specific topics.
The demand for videos is increasing and it is impossible to make all videos at once and to throw them online. There for some viewers have to have a little patience for their favourite topic.
In the meantime I already have several videos in different subjects, but because of the whole corona situation I had to postpone my videos about travelling to and in the Philippines.
I think especially with these videos I can open up peoples eyes who are unfamiliar with the beauty of the Philippines.
And I can pass my love for this fantastic country.
Because it is and remains an enchanting country. The varied and yet delicious food, the endless views of both sea and mountains and volcanoes are breathtaking.
Not to mention those enchanting sunsets.
After my first night with the family I got up with them at 4am to drink coffee. I remember sending a message to my parents in WhatsApp. (These were, of course
Wondering how it was like because I was travelling alone with my fiancé.) I really woke up in “a million-star hotel” and many would follow.
They laughed at this, but they knew there will be a day when I will trade Belgium for the country with more than 7,100 islands.
So if you can find yourself in one of the topics of my video's, if you love the Philippines as much as I do.
Please visit my YouTube channel (the link you can find in the description). Subscribing is totally free and would help me to be noticed by YouTube.
Thank you all for watching and hope to see and hear you soon. Paalam!!