PATRICIA & ROB (PART 1)
I had these two boys and him, and we’re waiting for a taxi, and [I said], “Wow, what have I done with my family?”
PATRICIA’S STORY, AND WHAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT HER
Patricia (P): I’m really very close with my family. Like, my "why" for my life, is my family.
Rob (R): It’s really the Philippines’ way out of poverty. It seems there’s not really a lot of ways to get out of poverty here. You have to be kinda discovered As a celebrity you know, make it into the showbiz industry unless you’re born of course with money in your family and you can start a business. What Patricia did is very rare and it’s really an amazing story.
P: I grew up in Antipolo at the time, that place was really secluded. There’s no TV, no electricity there, there’s water, deepwell. But, just like what Doc Rob said, you know, I started with humble beginnings. My childhood in Antipolo was really special to me, and at that time, I didn’t know if we were rich or poor because we were the only people there.
R: I think that's one of the things that makes the Philippines so special in my opinion. Being an American, I can really see the difference. Filipinos that don’t have anything are still very happy. I love that and I wanted my kids to experience that. You know, Americans, they have everything.
R: A lot of it is very common that any expat deals with when they’re married to a Filipino, or involved in a Filipino relationship. The family ‘barangay’ [extended family] “supporting” is very normal which we’re not used to doing that— supporting cousins, brothers and sisters financially obviously we’re not used to that.
P: But I’m very proud with Doc Rob. He really embraced the Philippines, not only my family but the whole country.
R: Of course, when we were there [in San Diego] just married, I learned all of that before I moved here— about the difference in how we need to extend some money and help. I knew what to expect, I’ve been here many times.
P: They see their families only during special occasions, holidays. Not like us, our relatives or family they just want to come to our house and they can stay for a week, or one month, or forever, hahaha.
R: In America, they’ll be like, “Okay you need to leave. It’s 8 PM, time to go.”
At that time, I didn’t know if we were rich or poor because we were the only people there
P: Before, I struggled when I was in San Diego and I’d have a birthday party with my kids, and if I invited Filipinos there, they come late.
R: They’re still showing up at 8 PM for the birthday party. In America, the birthday is from 1 to 3 PM, done.
P: My Filipino friends told me—usually they travel for 30 minutes driving in San Diego, that’s far—so when they arrive, I tell them, “Sorry, the party is done, it’s over.” That’s why I feel ashamed to invite them again.
R: It’s just the difference, the culture it’s so deep. I mean, it’s just so different. Americans are very organized, they’re very systematic. “I gotta go to bed, because I gotta work tomorrow.” It just runs so deep, it’s just different.
There, he needed to get water from somewhere. We didn’t have a faucet.
P: Filipinos, we love a lot of food on the table.
R: Because you like to do, “take home.” You give away to take home. Americans don’t want that leftover. It’s no right or wrong, it’s not good or bad, it’s just what it is.
P: My mother-in-law would tell me, “Oh Gen [Patricia’s real name is Genesis], that’s a lot of food. What are we gonna do with this after the party?” And then I said, “Mom, don’t worry, we have a lot of styrofoam. My Filipino guests, they’re gonna take that home.
TOGETHER THEY STAND
R: In 2008, 2009, when the economy really crashed, the housing market crashed, my business really suffered. We were in the US, and we really had to work hard to stay afloat because it’s very expensive, as you know, to live in Southern California—homes, schools, everything is super expensive when your income takes a really big dive. Anyway, I think that was a pretty stressful time for us. Patricia was still trying to find her groove there. She went to aesthetician school and was working for a dermatologist. She learned how to be a DJ. She’s obviously a fighter, she’s a survivor and she’s a go-getter. That’s one thing that’s so amazing about her, she doesn’t complain, she doesn’t create stress, and she just does things to get the job done. So we went through those hard times.
P: I really give credit to my husband because everytime I’m doing something, he always supports me. I think number one, it’s very important for a partnership that you really support each other. For example, someone wants to do this, okay. Just support—and if it doesn’t work, at least you support.
What happened to our life? But it’s pretty amazing that we hit rock bottom, you know?
R: But those stressors, they continued until 2012, they continued for several years and then somebody wanted to buy my business. I was kinda tired of being stressed, and I wanted a little freedom. So that’s when we decided to come here. I figured it would be 6 months, 1 year, kinda vacation, and then I go back to San Diego and start another clinic. I didn’t really come here to start a clinic. I remember telling her I’m not going to start a clinic, we’re gonna go back. But what happened was very organic, that’s when we started to see the demand that people really wanted the chiropractic care. They started coming to our house, so that’s when we decided to start a clinic here. I saw the difference in the stress level very quickly. I can live a less-stressed life here and we can help more people.
P: Because we have different backgrounds, sometimes the language barrier is still there. Sometimes I like to say good things, sometimes maybe he will take it in a bad way because maybe I said it in the wrong sentence or grammar. Same thing with him, usually Americans, they will just say to you what they like to say—direct. Not like sometimes Filipinos we like to go around, zig-zag, something like that. In partnership, I think you really need to learn your partner.
R: One thing that’s made this thing work is we’re very compromising and supportive. Because of course, coming here was obviously a struggle. The difference to me—living in San Diego is beautiful, as far as beaches and of the weather. Here it’s beautiful as well, but it’s just different. So we were struggling here at the beginning gaining traction, living in a condo whereas before we lived in a house. And we didn’t buy a car right away because of course, you’re living in limbo, we didn’t want to spend money on a car when we might be going back in a few months. So the first 6months were very challenging for me.
She really tried to really kill us, hahaha.
P: There was a time you cried…
R: I wanted to go back, and definitely there was a moment of breaking down, for sure.
P: That’s gotta be towards Christmas, and we were waiting for a taxi in Megamall.
R: And you cried. Hahaha. Because you know, you go from having a car and freedom—just getting in your car, everything is so simple, parking lots. And here, everything obviously is a little more, it’s just different. So we both had moments of breakdowns, even her.
P: I had these two boys and him, and we’re waiting for a taxi, and [I said], “Wow, what have I done with my family?”
R: What happened to our life? But it’s pretty amazing that we hit rock bottom, you know?
You know, someday, you will have a story to tell, that you really experienced this, and you survived.
P: And then my kids got a lot of mosquito bites. It's not natural for them to be bitten by mosquitoes, right? One of my sons' legs were full of bites, one had mumps, chicken pox.
R: Actually, the day we did the photo shoot with you, that’s when Robert got sick. He got really sick right after that.
P: I think my kids got all possible viruses already. But look at them now, they’re so strong, natural immunity. Now we can laugh about it.
R: In a short period of time, we’ve done a lot. We have really done some special things. We’re very excited and proud of what we're doing here.
R: We tried living where she grew up. She does have a nice resort in Antipolo, but we tried living there especially where it’s located is a little bit provincial, so that was my breakdown time. That’s when the kids got all the mosquito bites…
P: There, he needed to get water from somewhere. We didn’t have a faucet. So I told him, “No, it’s nice that you guys experience this, what happened to me when I was a little girl.”
R: She really tried to really kill us, hahaha.
P: You know, someday, you will have a story to tell, that you really experienced this, and you survived.
R: Yeah, hahaha, we survived.
Blue eyes, nice teeth, handsome face. Wow, I think he’s Ken.” I always wanted to be Barbie
UPS AND DOWNS
R: We’ve had ups and downs, Patricia when she’s upset she doesn’t talk. When she is upset, it’s very noticeable because it’s not often.
P: I think if we had an argument, most of the time, it’s about our kids. Because he's really hands-on with the kids, and I'm very grateful that he’s that way with the kids. I wouldn’t even mind if he’s not that way with me sometimes. The attention he gives my kids makes him "Father of the Year" to us, always. How he provides for our family and my "barangay" [extended family], that’s a huge help to us. No relationship is perfect, but I always look at the good things about him.
THEIR LOVE STORY
P: I went to the US for a Filipino events concert. I was part of that. We have common friends. He was there. I think your friend invited you [looks at Rob].
R: I have a chiropractic friend that’s married to a Filipina.
P: He saw the poster, and said, “Wow, she's like a Latina. Wow, this girl looks like J.Lo.”
R: That was the J.Lo time. You had the braids...
Patricia was still trying to find her groove there. She went to aesthetician school and was working for a dermatologist. She learned how to be a DJ.
P: That was the time when there were still no photo filters, haha. He got interested to come to the event, and as for me, right away when I saw him, I said, “Oh my God, is this Brad Pitt?” [He has] blue eyes, nice teeth, handsome face. Wow, I think he’s Ken.” I always wanted to be Barbie, haha. So physically, I find him very attractive, of course...at the time, and even now.
R: At the time, but now, no. Hahaha!
P: This is another example of my English. For me, [it was] love at first sight.