Down Under Visa is my calling. It’s not just another way of making a living. One of the wisest decisions I ever made was deciding to find someone worth marrying in the Philippines. I didn’t find the right Filipina lady straight away, but after a few failures I definitely struck gold. And I’d like to think most of our clients come to us for visas when they’ve also found themselves a gem of a lady.
Biggest issue? For me and for everyone else I know? Cultural differences and the misunderstandings that come from how differently Australians and Filipinos look at things. There are some differences in Filipino culture and Filipino thinking that we get and which we appreciate straight away, obviously. Gentle, caring and sweet ladies who treat you with kindness and patience and don’t make you feel guilty for acting and thinking as a man? It’s not bad at all!
But I think we know all that. I don’t mind bragging about my good fortune. The point is that I believe in marriage and I believe in families, and sound marriages and committed couples lead to strong families that produce well-balanced children who will one day go out into the world and build their own great families. And I like playing my part in making this happen.
FilipinaWives – Jeff Harvie’s pet project
When we first started Down Under Visa it was motivated by a desire to help other Aussie men like myself who had met wonderful ladies in the Philippines already, and to make it happen that their ladies could settle in Australia with them. That was my dream. And business took off right from the start, although I didn’t start off only with partner visas or visas for Australian Filipina couples. I took whatever came along, and that included work visas and everything else that I could do. I had to earn a living after all. But I have to say that I wasn’t overly inspired by that type of work. Hey, I’m sure I could sell sausages if I needed to, but it’s not something that would give my life much purpose. And honestly, neither did work visas.
So it was actually on a plane trip from Manila back to Australia after a fairly thankless series of meetings that I made a firm decision to throw all effort into partner visas for Australian Filipina couples. Because yes I DO care very much about these couples and the outcomes of these applications, plus I also have a great deal of experience in this area. I’m married to a Filipina lady after all, and I’ve had experience with Filipino culture since the 1990’s. And we went through the visa process ourselves. So I basically designed the FilipinaWives site in my head on the plane.
And part of that plane trip was me deciding to make that focus clear, and to show not only my expertise but also my caring and concern for the success of Australian Filipina relationships by offering insight into how to make these relationships better! Knowledge is power, and successful marriages depend on couples who understand each other as well as they possibly can. Not easy to do that if you don’t know how each other thinks and feels, and how their family and upbringing shaped their thoughts, feelings and behavior.
Now I know that I didn’t know squat about Filipino culture when I first came here. Not sure what I was expecting, but when the doors of Manila airport slid open and I stepped out into the noise, smoke and confusion it certainly wasn’t that! Photos are two-dimensional, and they don’t contain noise and smell. I was thinking of swaying palm trees, cool drinks and pretty girls. I was right about the last one, but way off track with the rest.
And know what else? Because I knew nothing about the culture, I probably ignored some of the nicer girls I was writing to in favour of those who knew how to say what I wanted to hear. Yes, I was as silly as every other lonely and naïve Aussie man who makes his way here. I had no innate wisdom, rest assured. I made stupid choices, and I whilst I was no bar-hopper or playboy I knew so little about the culture here I may have messed things up with Miss Right had I met her at that point.
So what’s FilipinaWives all about?
It’s not dating advice. We don’t get into that at Down Under Visa. We don’t matchmake and we don’t give any dating advice whatsoever. What I like to do is to share my experiences with life in the Philippines, with Filipino culture, and with being married to a Filipina lady and with raising Filipino kids.
What makes me qualified?
20+ years of experience with Filipino culture, several failed relationships and one wonderfully successful meeting and marrying of my soulmate and watching my life evolve into something wonderful that would not have happened had I not met and married Mila. I also live here and have been here fulltime for more than 7 years. Plus, I started with one daughter who came as part of the single-mum package to a house full of noisy and happy kids. In fact my first grandchild was born just two weeks ago, so the tribe is growing.
Plus of course, there’s you, dear clients! There’s all of you, with your experiences both wonderful and sometimes not so wonderful. We don’t advise on relationships, because it’s not what you came to us for. There’s also a lack of time. So we get on with bringing you all together, and with getting you the partner visas and tourist visas (and child visas and citizenship applications) that you came to us for. And we observe. Hard not to. But we do our best indirectly and impartially to help you to understand each other better, thus this post.
And why am I posting this today?
Because I want those of you who haven’t visited and scoured the articles on FilipinaWives to please do so. It costs you nothing. We won’t sign you up to pyramid schemes, and I have no books or DVD’s to sell you. I just want you to read my articles and watch my videos and to learn more about each other’s cultures so you can understand each other better than you ever did, and I want you to go on to live tremendously happy lives together and raise dozens of kids. And if you wish to name any of your kids “Jeff”? Please feel free!
The site is at www.filipinawives.com.au too. Enjoy!