Jun 20, 2008


Dear Joe,

Good Day! I was thinking of writing to you years back but somehow I never seem to bring myself to do it. But thanks to the internet, I can send my message to you without having to go through the hassles of the snail mail." I used to be an avid listener of your program but then my class schedule won't permit me or even give me time to listen to your show every Friday. But whenever I have time, I see to it that I don't miss your show esp. your advices which are really very enlightening. This is also the reason why I'm writing to you now.

I am 22 years old. I had my first boyfriend in 1996. I'll just call him Bobby. He was the only boyfriend I ever had. Ours was one of the "most admired and envied relationship" in school. We met during our third year in college. We didn't really hit it off the first time but there was one school activity where we found ourselves working together. This brought us closer. 10 months after, we became lovers. Whenever our friends see us, they will always mention of how happy we seem to be together, and we really were. The only problem we had then was we were an "underground couple" because my parents were not aware of him. I am Chinese and he's a Filipino. Like most traditional Chinese , the parents would never accept a Filipino into their family. But being a liberal-minded person, I disobeyed them and took the risk of loving a Filipino guy.

A year after, the first test in our relationship came and everything was not the same again. Ironically, it has a little to do with the "culture problem." Bobby belongs to a broken family. His parents separated after he graduated from high school. His mother was working as an agent in a real estate firm. When the economy crashed in 1997, his mother was not earning as much anymore and this brought bigger problems in their family. Fortunately, he had already graduated and had starting working, which makes him the "breadwinner". I admit that I belong to a well-to-do family and have never before experience what it was like to be in his situation. We always find ourselves in constant disagreement over his family's financial status because i don't approve of his sacrificing his income just to help his family. Maybe we were just brought up differently although i really sympathize with him and try to help him in any way i can. I often tell him not to always give in to his family's demands because I noticed that his family has become too dependent on him and at times, less appreciative of his efforts. He has gone to the point of sacrificing his meal allowance just so he could give money to his mother. This whole setup put a stain into our relationship. At the end of last year, we sort of broke up. Actually we were like going on and off. And just when I thought I don't love him anymore, I found out that he was going out with someone else. Technically, I consider it cheating because we never formally broke up. We don't do things the same as before but we sort of agreed that we would maintain an "MU" relationship. Upon learning of his new girlfriend, I confronted him and asked for an explanation. He told me that I was never there during the time he needed my support regarding the problem he was having with his family. And the girl was like his confidant and eventually he began to like her. Suddenly realized that I still love him. He still does, according to him, but he just can't leave her because she's the one that I never was. One very important factor was that he was warmly accepted in the girls' family. He considers himself deprived of a "real family" and that he wants to enjoy the feeling of belongingness with her family. He told me that once he feels that he has fully enjoyed it, he'll come back to me. I tried begging him to come back and leave the girl. I promise him that I would be more understanding of his situation and less demanding. I even agreed to play second fiddle. For a month, we sneaked behind his girlfriend's back. All along, i was thinking that I can still win him back and that I will fight for our love because he told me that he loves me more than her. And he is just buying time to break things up with his girlfriend. But I can only withstand it for a time. My conscience tells me it's not the right thing to do. I know that he would not leave her, at least not just yet. And I cannot bear the thought of him with the girl whenever they go out or whenver he goes to her house. At first, I thought I will eventually get used to the situation. But later on, it was already killing me. I casually asked him one night that if his girlfriend finds out about us and agrees to be the other woman (just like what I was doing)would he oblige? I was expecting him to say that he woud just go back to me but I was in for a shock. He told me that he would agree with the setup. Joe, he seems to be an entirely different person then. He was never like that before. I never had any problems with his attitude. In fact, I didn't find anything wrong in his personality. He was the most selfless kind and understanding guy I knew. It made me conclude that poverty sometimes brings out the worst in people. He has transformed from gud to worst. He was not the guy I fell in love with. At that point then, I knew I had to let him go. I really love him, in fact, very much still. I gave him my promise that I'm willing to wait, not for him, but for the old Bobby to come back. I used to believe in forever but now no good things seem to last.

I would just like to hear some good advice from you as to how I can get over him. I might never really want to because I still care for him very much. But this time, my mind has to rule over my heart. I would really appreciate it if you can respond through my e-mail since my classes are all in the evening and I wouldn't be able to hear your advice on the radio. Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon. More power on your show. God Bless!!!

Sincerely yours,



Joes Notes


The Chinese- Filipino culture issue has burdened so many relationships quite heavily that most of them just didn’t Have enough strength to survive the pressure their families have imposed on them. But, I believe that beyond all these race and color issues, we are just one and the same. Stripped of skin, we can never tell who’s who for we will all be just the same flesh and bone.

True love never measures a man by his looks and by how much he has. What we have in this world will never buy us immortality. We will all die just as we have been born-with nothing. Once money becomes an issue in a relationship there will be friction. Unless both can agree on certain acceptable terms then this relationship may lose ground and fail.

Marjorie, you may probably never understand how it like to be poor. You have lived a life of a princess, never deprived of anything and always getting what you want when you want it. Bobby had sincere intentions in sacrificing for his family. He even denies himself of his basic needs just so he could give money to his family.

This monetary support has always been an issue in many relationships , especially marriages. We are open to the idea of extended families and havevery close ties with them. The question of who should support who becomes a favorite topic of discussion and heated arguments. This may even become the reason for an imminent break-up.

Marjorie, you have been brought up in a life different from bobby’s and you may never learn to accept his ways. But, love is a balance of giving and taking. Unless couples can compromise their differences then their relationships will never grow. Maybe , you are destined to be with someone of your own race and status. Love never works that way but sometimes, it’s the only way to take. You could either turn back from your family and let love rule your heart or sacrifice your feelings for the tradition that you are required to preserve and respect.

Marjorie, you may be waiting for someone who may never come back. Bobby probably never changed. It was just that you were the same two people who lived in two different worlds separated by immeasurable odds and timeless tradition. He found his home in someone else’s heart. I think it’s about time you search for your own. Just remember that real love should never looks at where we stand. It looks at where we are heading and finds beauty not in what we have but in what we can give.