In the first part of this series we took a look at marriage in the Philippines. For this second installment we will be looking at the Single Life and dynamics in play when men intend to find themselves a loving, Filipina wife.. online.
The vast majority of men who first entertain the idea of dating, or perhaps eventually marrying, a Filipina will do so by venturing into the online world of sites devoted to this objective. There are several such dating sites that cater specifically to matching Filipinas with foreign men but one in particular stands out. They don’t need my mention, anyone who Google’s it will no doubt run across their site. Let’s go again with the idea of an American (we’ll call him ‘Sam’) who has come across such a site and is now going through a veritable treasure trove of young, beautiful, willing and loving Filipinas all vying for his sole attention. Like a kid in a candy store.. the massive amount of choices can be truly overwhelming!
So.. there sits ‘Sam’ pouring over literally thousands of young women seeking not only dating for a serious relationship.. but marriage. There is not much time wasted here. The issue of marriage can and usually does come up during the first three e-mails. Women in the Philippines are very, very interested in having a foreigner as a husband. Now, before you get your ‘gold-digger’ label out let’s look at some of the factors in play.
The situation in the Philippines for women, when considering marrying a Filipino man, is largely two-fold. One option is the man from the ‘province’. Typically this is a man with little education who is accustomed to farm life and/or earning a very meager living on par with the poverty level. Now, many people who live in the province have very happy lives despite their lack of luxury. They are often taught to be strong patriarchs devoted to their wives and to be good fathers. But many women want that and.. greater security or opportunity for their future children. They have grown up in the province themselves and, weighing it all out, opt for the city life where there are jobs and other opportunities in regards to men.
This brings us to the ‘city-men’ of the Philippines. There are some, a minority, who make a good living either in a strong profession such as a doctor, attorney or engineer. Others make a fair living working for the government in some capacity as a trained professional. However, with an unemployment rate over 50% many local men are scrambling to run whatever business they can to make ends meet. That might be as a taxi-driver, running a sari-sari store, working a bar, as a grocery clerk, waiter or if they are lucky.. as an employee at one of the many upscale resorts nearby.
Now, some things in regards to women are the same all over. And I believe one of them is that women seek a mate who can provide stability, either emotionally or financially.. preferably both. Secondary consideration goes to his looks, his age or his nationality. But if a man can provide for her financial needs or give her the love she desires.. that man goes to the top of the list.
And so it is no wonder that when you pair up a massive supply of beautiful, young Filipinas living in a tropical atmosphere that attracts retired foreigners who have a steady pension in search of fresh romance.. it is inevitable the two shall meet. Given the current economy here in the Philippines even a modest pension and social security stipend totaling $2,000 per month is a LOT of money to any local Filipina. I, for one, do not blame them for their attraction to older, retired foreign men. They not only have financial stability they often (though not always) have life experience and maturity that these young women find just as attractive. Also consider that while many men from the province have never been away from the Philippines or had opportunity for an extended education, the Foreigner often brings with him a broad education of worldly events that many Filipinas find interesting and attractive as well. In response, a retired single/divorced/widowed man who is suddenly the center of life for a beautiful young woman is almost impossible to resist.
AND SO IT BEGINS..
So here is what typically happens in this online scenario. Sam decides to contact three or four of these women because usually when contacting American women he might get zero response on all four. But not in this case. Almost assuredly he will hear from all four and each will want to be assured that he is only focused on them. There is not much time lost on pretext here. While Filipinas are very modest and conservative in person, when it comes to the beginnings of romance they often lay out all the cards on the table when online. And so it all begins. The introduction message. The long emails. Then the live chats and Skype sessions despite the time-zones. Before the month is over the question is being asked from the Filipina, “When do you think you will be able to visit me and my country?”
Now.. here is where we pause for a moment for an important safety announcement. Men: LISTEN TO THIS. Do not proceed to begin chatting online with lovely Filipinas until you have read this first.
“Some (some) of the women you will meet online have ZERO intention of getting married, or meeting you.. ever.”
You are going to have to take everything you hear online with a grain of salt and proceed SLOWLY and WITH CAUTION when dealing with women online. That goes for any online dating scenario, but most especially in this Foreigner-Filipina scenario discussed here. Depending on who you talk to (and how badly they were burnt) the estimated guesses as to how many of these online women are “scammers” runs anywhere from 10% to 70%. Some of these women will quickly begin to imply they are in need of money and hope that you.. the rich, generous, compassionate foreigner, won’t mind helping them out with some dinero sent over Western Union. The stories are usually the same. One is that someone close to her is sick and needs immediate hospital care or medicine. It might be a younger sister, their mother, themselves.. but once you’ve shown interest suddenly you’re the ONLY person they know who can help them out. Lots of guys fall for it. Every day. Once that money gets picked up via Western Union, it’s gone. No refunds, thanks for playing.
Some of these ‘scammer’ women live VERY comfortably on the hundreds and thousands of dollars they get from a dozen or so different gullible men all sending them money for one reason or another. Don’t become a statistic. I’m all for supporting a woman I love and that I am in a relationship with. That is the loving thing to do. But we’re talking about a woman you’ve only known for 2 weeks (or less) via chat and Skype. You have to keep reminding your heart to keep things in perspective.
And the kicker.. some of these profiles are not even real women. I’m not talking about the transgendered folk. I’m talking about some MAN from either Nigeria or the Ukraine who gathered up some other Filipina’s batch of photos to make a fake profile. And, of course, just NEVER seems able to figure out her webcam to speak with you directly except for in text. That should be your first clue on that scam.
So, be aware when looking for love online.
Now, all that being said, there are still thousands of actual loving, young, beautiful women who are LEGIT. They are the real deal and their cultural upbringing has ingrained into them that if/when they ever marry.. they will whole-heartedly love their husband with a devotion you’ve never encountered before. They will truly respect, love and cherish you to your dying day. Filipinas may have a reputation for being a bit on the jealous side, but it is a by-product of the fact that they are often referred to as ‘tigers’ in their passion and protection of their marital vows to their husband. Setting aside the scammers for a moment, the real-deal Filipina is known world-wide as an incredibly loving wife more devoted than any man could ever ask or hope for.
As I said before there are no hard numbers on these ratios of scammers to the real deal, you’ll have to just proceed with some good sense about you and not make any big commitments or promises rashly. There are some Filipinas, not many but they’re out there, who really are just ‘gold-diggers’ with dollar-signs lighting up their eyes. To me, separating the real-deal from the counterfeit is a very simple process. It’s called, TIME.
A woman who is on a fast-track in search of long-distance money is tossing up the first red-flag. Women know that most men practically drop their brain out of their head during the initial ‘honeymoon’ phase of dating and getting acquainted. A scammer will want to rush him into commitments quickly during this period. She is striking at your most vulnerable window of opportunity. However, a woman who is truly looking for real love has no problem with taking six months or a year to get to know each other.. so long as she is the ONLY woman you are interested in.
Remember, here jealousy is equal to passionate protection of what a woman feels is ‘hers’. She will not stand idly by as some other woman ‘takes’ her man. Nor will she waste time with you if you are still courting other women. In Western thinking there is nothing wrong at all with ‘dating other people’ while figuring out who we intend to ‘be serious’ with. When dealing with a Filipina you just have to drop that concept. It’s a difficult balance to play since you don’t know right away which Filipina out of the dozens you save to your favorites is the one you want to focus on. You’ll just have to do your best to juggle that task. But If you do get to the point that you want to focus on one, specific Filipina expect that she will want some sense of online fidelity before she takes you seriously.
As for the ‘scammer’ women, they will fall by the way-side in search of easier prey if you take your time and do not cave in to their rushed expectations for money from someone they hardly know.
FLYING OUT TO SEE HER..
Chances are that unless you are practically living just outside of the Philippines, taking a flight across the Pacific to meet a woman means things have moved along to a somewhat serious level for you to be planning a flight to see her. Hopefully by the time you decide to make this trip you’ve spent (in my opinion) at least six months with lots of ‘face to face’ Skype-time together. If I have one absolute caveat to share with you it is this: NEVER spend the time, money or effort to fly out to see a woman you have not spoken with via online web-cam. Without that there is zero assurance that you’ve even been speaking with a real woman. They may claim they are not that computer literate or whatever. But if she’s online chances are so are her friends and any one of them in six months could have helped her set up a web-cam. It’s a $15 item in the Philippines and requires minor set-up.
When you arrive expect a few things to occur if things are on the legit. When you first meet her chances are very good that you will not be meeting with her alone. This is not like dating in the US, Australia or Canada where women are liberated and secure about just meeting up with a stranger alone. Do not be surprised or offset if you leave your hotel to meet her at a local mall and she has perhaps two other female friends or relatives with her. It does not mean she doesn’t want to be alone with YOU. It’s not about you. It’s about several other things occurring. One being that her family has expressed concern that she take precautions to be safe. They don’t know you and for all they know you intend to do her harm. So, they strongly suggested (or even insisted) that she take along her sister or niece.
Another reason she will bring along some female friends is that she is very excited about meeting you and has been doubtless talking about you to her closest friends. She wants them to meet you as well so as to get their opinions (afterward) regarding you. So, take it in stride and be a gentleman. After all, this is possibly the woman you will marry and not just some quick hook-up. She’s worth exercising some patience for. Finally, it’s something of a cultural thing that is loosely defined as ‘sharing’. What might just be some casual conversation over fast-food is something of a big deal for her friends who usually can’t afford to do so very often. So, your prospective Filipina love interest wants to ‘share’ that experience with her closest friends and invites them along. While we’re at it, forget about the other Western idea of, “Let’s have lunch and go halves on the bill.” No, that’s not going to fly here. For one, she’s most likely on a very tight budget. For another, again.. be a gentleman and expect to pick up the tab for her and her friends.
AND THEN THINGS GET SERIOUS
After the initial meet with her friends and some follow-up phone conversations, if all is still going well and neither of you are getting cold feet, it goes to the next level during your visit. Chances are you are only booked to be visiting for two to three weeks of stay. You’re on a time-table and so time is precious. You may find yourself still taking her out a few times, with a friend in tow, or she may feel secure enough to meet with you alone. But this is all going in one direction and it’s not the bedroom.. it’s rather towards visiting her Parents. You know things are going well if/when she suggests you come to meet with her family. And by family do not be surprised if you find yourselves meeting not only her parents, but concerned uncles and aunts as well at a dinner in her family’s home. You need to be especially gracious and kind during this important meeting. Don’t be fake, but be the best version of yourself. Remember your manners. The Philippines is a very courteous country and being gracious will be your salvation. Be sure to properly find an introduction to her parents and be attentive and ‘in the moment’ as you meet her various other relatives and friends. Express true compliments regarding the food they have taken the time and expense to prepare for your arrival. In most all cases you will find that Filipino families are a very generous and hospitable people.
Depending on her background do not be surprised if you find yourself on a Jeepney for the day to take a sweaty, bumpy ride out into the province (ie; jungle area) at the outskirts of town to a very, very modest home. Just be gracious and remember that she is sharing with you her life, something very precious and dear to her. She has put her reputation ‘out there’ with her family to bring you in to her world, her close world of people who mean a lot to her.
So, again, be gracious and understand the moment you are in. If your thoughts were to call her from your hotel room upon arrival, have some dinner with her alone and then roll in the sheets back at your place your first night in town.. you haven’t picked up on the cultural differences at work here. That might fly back home, but the Philippine culture is very family oriented and thus the dating process is a bit different from what you may be used to in your home country.
Once you’ve been through this process, barring any bizarre catastrophes, you can now say you’ve begun the real meat of your relationship with this Filipina you’ve come to consider for a long-term relationship. From here on out it’s much what you’d expect, getting to spend some time alone eventually (depending on how strict her parents might be). She may be 22 years old, but family opinion and reputation mean a lot to a decent woman here. ‘Chisme’ (gossip) spreads fast and ruthlessly here in the Philippines and a woman’s greatest asset, aside from her beauty and grace, is her reputation. So be prepared that she may want to take things a little slower for appearance’s sake, not out of any lack of interest in you.
Hopefully all goes well and you find yourself in love with this wonderful woman you’ve taken time to get to know. You’ve met her parents, family and closest friends. You’ve found the ‘real deal’ and are ready to commit to an ‘exclusive relationship’. Not necessarily marriage before catching your flight home, but you know enough that you can honestly tell this woman that she, and she alone, is the woman you want to build a continued, exclusive relationship with.
This demands we return to the jealousy issue and a few words of advice. It doesn’t matter if you’re in your first year dating or celebrating your 30th anniversary together.. your Filipina girlfriend/wife is a jealous woman. From her mind and background, being jealous is her way of ‘protecting what is hers’. In the US, jealousy usually boils down to either a lack of trust or insecurity. Here it is a cultural phenomenon. In the Filipina’s eyes you are everything to her and every other pretty girl out there is looking to take you away from her. You may not have even the slightest history of being a “lady’s man” and yet this is how she perceives your desirability to other women. An available, male foreigner is a valuable commodity in the eyes of a Filipina woman so, in some respect, her concerns are somewhat valid. There are less scrupulous Filipinas who will proposition married men, desiring to be their mistress in exchange for a monthly stipend toward their rent or other expenses.
Some women want “only the soup and not the meat” when it comes to having an affair with a married foreigner. Being a mistress in the Philippines does not entirely have the stigma attached to it that it does in the States. In the States a woman who has an affair with a married man, waiting for him to leave his wife, is considered a foolish woman. But here, a woman who has tossed aside any conventional concern for her reputation in society sees being a mistress as a beneficial and independent financial move. Add to that what I believe is the conception all women have the world over that all men are suckers for a pretty face and some sweet talk.. and you can begin to understand why the Filipina in love is vigilant to not only be the best wife she can be.. but to ‘throw down’ and get serious if someone else invades your relationship with her.
One thing that helps to keep things on an even keel is daily reassurance. If you love her, tell her. Remind her. Five times a day, every day. Speak to her of what she means to you. Imagine your life losing her and convey your love for her regularly. Another key thing is to respect her. Sadly, the Philippines with it’s lack of divorce has resulted in something of a misogynistic, ungrateful attitude by many husbands towards their wife. Which means you can stand out head and shoulders above the crowd by actually respecting the woman you love. When you are in town with her, don’t flirt with other women. I know that should be a no-brainer in any country but you’d be surprised the attitude some men here take with their devoted wives. I suppose, just like extreme wealth, some men cannot handle an abundance of love without it going to their head. Suddenly they feel invincible and attractive to every woman within range. But what they have failed to remember is that the very reason they even feel so confident is because their first-love, their Filipina wife, has given so much of herself into their relationship.
So, the basics go a long way. Tell her you love her, consistently and with sincerity. Respect her as a person. Ask for her advice or input on decisions you plan to make. Ask for her help rather than being the ‘savior’ who fixes every possible problem. Work as a team together. Respect her in front of others as well as in private. Do these things and in any country with any woman you will reap the benefits in return multi-fold.
I wish you the very best in your desire to find a solid relationship with a Filipina here. Take your time. Love is here to be found, just walk with your eyes wide open and alert to the cultural differences and you’ll be fine.
For those looking for something much more superficial, that can be found in Angeles City, Philippines, with women who are more interested in ‘quantity of cash’ rather than ‘quality over time’. But that is another topic for another day. In the meanwhile I hope you find these insights helpful in your adventure seeking the Filipina love of your life.
Click here to read; Part 3 – Age Differences In Philipine Relationships
After 49 years living in Southern California, USA, I decided to move to the Philippines despite never having been here before. In July, 2012, I took a leap of faith and transplanted myself to the amazing Philippines. I am a single man taking an honest look at all that the islands here have to offer, one day at a time. I hope you find my LBTSea site informative, entertaining and hopefully a bit of each. 🙂 Be sure to visit the Forum and other parts of what the site has to offer. Browse around and be sure to sign up for updates via email. Enjoy!