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This is not a 'scam' alert as such, but something I encountered which was kind of funny.
At a shopping center around Christmas time I was bailed up by two kids selling souvenirs, I looked through their selection of goods, and decided on a key-ring in the form of the Philippines flag, bargain for 20 peso.
What came next made me laugh... As I was walking away, one of them slipped a mobile phone our of their pocket and started texting. As I walked out the other door there was a about twenty of these little buggers all smiling and waiting for me, plying their goodies in exchange for my pesos lol. I brought a few cheapies off them all, think all up I spent like 100 peso between the lot of them. They thought it was 'Christmas' and cracked a major sale!
On a serious note, during Christmas periods on Luzon (main island) you will see a lot from the Southern provinces (and most likely Northern too) descend on the more populated areas, Cavite, NCR etc, begging for money. One I seen, not only made me exceptionally sad, but also exceptionally angry at the same time. A mother with her little baby, one year old or less from my estimate, but it was so hard to tell, this poor kid was so malnourished most of her skeletal structure was clearly visible.
I wasn't angry at the mother - as we all know in the Philippines, no job = no money. BUT.... Why do (and this is prevalent in Philippines) people have children when they are more then aware they cannot financially sustain them? Obviously there are unplanned situations and maybe the mother was 'working' to make a living, I get all that. But contraception (the pill) is readily available in the country and relatively inexpensive. What makes me angry is a country that seems to be continually letting it's people down. While the pollies live very good lives thank-you very much, the rank and file suffer horribly.
I hear you man. My Wife's cousin just got pregnant again with her second at 19 years old. Her first is 12 months old and also malnourished. Actually, contraceptives are FREE at the government health centers. We discussed it with her and she shrugged it off. The problem is the culture. In the province especially, the success of a Filipino family is measured by the number of children. It is seen as a strong relationship if children are being produced. Since my Wife and I married, her entire family asks her at least once a week when we will make a baby and if something is wrong and maybe I don't want children with her. Its sad. There is no sense of responsibility. Its all about appearance.
At nineteen years old her level of maturity wouldn't be on the high side of the scale I would doubt.
Cultural aspects, regardless of how childish or damaging they are (to us) are almost impossible to break or change in any positive way. Most Filipinos, more-so Filipinas are very hard-headed (read stubborn for Westerners). Logic is pointless, they for the most part do not comprehend or work on logic.
You can't say something like "Why are you wanting another child when you cannot adequately care for the one you have already", the fact of not being able to provide for an existing child, let alone another has no bearing whatsoever on their decision. As you rightfully say, this is a more prominent problem in the provinces.
I also notice many Filipino men and women, but especially women are loath to use contraception in the form of the pill for example. I can only guess this stems from the religious upbringing and Catholic influences.
Unfortunately their stubbornness impacts on so many aspects. Anyone intending to bring their chosen Filipina "bride to be" to their own domicile country will face an uphill battle with this, depending on a lot on your countries specific immigration requirements. Most countries require that the spouse you intend to bring to the country have some basic understanding of the country they are coming to, and there are (at least for Australia) health checks and an interview process. Documentation requirements to prove you are in a committed relationship and that you (the man) are supporting her are very demanding. Attempting to get a Filipina to keep or note down relevant documentry evidence is at best impossible.
My advice to anyone intending to bring a prospective bride to your domicile country is to be very cautious. Unless the Filipina is prepared to play ball and put in some effort to make it happen you could end up spending a whole lot of money and very little chance of a successful VISA application. I cannot speak for other countries, but in Australia any fee's you pay to immigration are fully non-refundable - if the application is rejected you do not get a refund.
The Church has a lot of influence and many people still think it's wrong to use birth control. It is still an agrarian nation in many ways, that traditionally have large families. Many of the larger families tend to be the poorer and less educated ones - you rarely see successful middle-class Filipinos having more than 2-3 kids these days, as they want to be able to send them to college.
The sad thing is the poverty cycle is reinforced with so many kids. They will end up uneducated, and probably will not get dental care or health checkups until something goes wrong. I recently sent my girlfriend's adopted son, niece and nephew from the province to the dentist. They had (in order) 8 cavities, 19 cavities and 2 cavities. Only one had ever had a checkup and these are not desperately poor people, it's just not on the radar.
The poverty in this country is so pervasive. We can all find a way to help with food or a health checkup.