I suppose no other issue strikes closer to one’s personal life when adjusting to another culture like that of inter-personal relationships; ie – meeting women here in the Philippines. It’s a classic clash of East meets West so consider this a ‘heads up’ of sorts to you guys who plan to come here and start meeting all these lovely, beautiful Filipina women. And let me tell you this.. there are a LOT of them.
I won’t reiterate the whole dating process, I’ve already covered that in my Single Life article previously in detail. What I want to cover with you here are some of the things you might be wondering about what it’s like once you’ve taken that flight across the sea to land in this wonderful country of the Philippines. “Are there really THAT many beautiful women there?” Short answer is, “Yes.” They are everywhere. Take what you know and have seen in your home country and now triple it. No, quadruple it. But wait.. there’s more.
In California or any other major city like Dallas, New York, Miami, San Francisco, etc. you may see twenty, thirty ‘hot’ looking women as you go about your daily business. But believe me, as a person who has spoken with so many, many single men and women.. the whole ‘dating scene’ is a convoluted and frustrating game. Who’s a ‘player’? Who’s ‘on-the-level’? The first obstacle is breaking the ice. Then those first dates, if it even goes past the initial meet-up at Starbucks. In western countries, websites like Plenty of Fish, Match, Soulmates, 100 specific versions of ‘Something’-Singles and even Craigslist have been acting as a medium to help people get past the suburban culture we have in the West all to locate and isolate one possible woman who might be a great match.
No need for all that here in the Philippines. Yah, there are sites like Filipina Cupid, Cebuanas, Pure Filipina and all that.. but, trust me.. once you’re here you don’t need any of that. Unless you want the convenience factor but then you have to deal with a high number of scammers who are just looking for money. In regards to meeting Filipinas specifically Online, there’s an article devoted to that here.
“Why are there so many unattached, beautiful women in the Philippines?”, you may ask. Well, I checked with a governmental statistics site and it has nothing to do with the ratio of men-to-women. The split is pretty even, 50-50. No, it has to do with a couple other factors. For one thing, foreigners are viewed as more desirable, so you’ve got that going for you right off the bat. For another thing, the unemployment rate here has hit male-oriented jobs the hardest leaving many Filipino men without work. As I walk through any given part of the island I notice that almost 70% of the jobs held inside the large stores and malls are held by young, attractive, mostly single women under the age of 30. The managers of these businesses know these lovelies are what brings in the male customers. Meanwhile the only jobs I’ve seen dominated by men here have been in construction and transportation such as Jeepneys, trikes and motorcycles. Even so these jobs do not offer the long-term security that most foreigners take for granted such as social security, pensions or medical benefits for a family. Many of the males are also tied into the rural life, out in the provinces. That’s a somewhat basic, difficult lifestyle that most Filipinas would rather move away from if they can, given the chance.
Why is this dynamic in play? Why are foreigners the more desired option to a Filipina? It comes down to a common factor that all women take into account when choosing a lifelong mate. And that factor is Security. All women want security. And there is nothing wrong with that. I’ll repeat, there is nothing wrong in a woman wanting a mate/husband who is financially secure. She is already thinking about babies, having a family that will have needs for food, clothing, housing in the future. So it makes so much sense for a woman to find the most financially stable man she can have.
Women also want emotional security. They want a man who will be there, in love with them and not out cheating on her behind her back. Time and experience has brought today’s Filipina to a certain conclusion about men and it is this; “Younger men are less financially stable and more likely to cheat. Older men are more financially stable and less likely to cheat.” So now you can begin to see why an older, expat bachelor arriving the Philippines is such a hot commodity. Sure, the younger Filipino men are very handsome and many aspiring to careers or in college. But far more of those young Filipinos are struggling to make ends meet.
In regard to fidelity, Filipinas prefer an older expat over a younger one as a husband. Too many other Filipinas they know have been burned by young expats under 39 who have gotten what they wanted and moved on a day later. What they want is the situation their friends have who are married to an older man who loves them and is home every night.
Are Filipina women really all that beautiful? That’s a subjective question and each person has their own idea of what makes for a ‘beautiful’ woman. However there are some things to consider which do give Filipina women an edge in this category. One is genetics. The Philippine country is a mixed blend of Asian, Spanish and Middle-Eastern heritage that goes back over several hundred years. In my opinion (and that of many other men I’ve chatted with online) the result of soft Asian features, petite bodies combined with the Latin traits and passion all work together to result in many, many beautiful Filipinas. Beauty is subjective, I’ll grant you that. But here, you can’t walk a city block without seeing several of the most attractive women you’ve ever seen. Some of them.. oh-my-goodness. It’s all you can do to just stay calm and act normal. They are THAT beautiful. They’re all on their way to or from work, dressed very nicely and very snappy dressers when not in their work attire. Here most companies REQUIRE they wear short mini-skirts and look as neat and presentable as possible. You will have your abundant choice between women who are ‘Cute’, ‘Lovely’, ‘Beautiful’ or a combination of all three. Add to that their shy, demure, sweet personalities and you don’t need an online website to find your future soulmate once you get here.
But it’s not all outward appearance. That’s the amazing part. These are not ‘stuck-up’, “I know I look good“-attitude type women that I usually encounter in the West. The Catholic culture is strong here and women are taught from childhood that they are to be conservative, faithful, loving and adoring of the man in their life. The Philippines is changing slowly away from this as the internet becomes more and more available even in the remote provinces. But overall women here in the Philippines still seek a steady family life of their own. Statistically, a percentage have turned their back on the ‘old ways’ and are total man-sharks.
Beautiful inside and out, what more could a man ask for? How about this: Your age and appearance is not their first concern. As I mentioned before, it comes down to security. Women anywhere want security, love and affection from their man. If you’re a man of modest means, just getting by on your pension or social security.. your age works in your favor and if you’re a gentleman, you are in-like-Flynn. This is why they prefer mature men as their first choice even though not all older men are necessarily mature or faithful.
So what’s the problem? Again, differences in culture. Which is fine, don’t get me wrong. But you need to know what’s-what before you arrive and start charging around like a bull in a china shop interacting with them the way you did with Western or European women. Here you need to pay closer attention to the nuances of ‘courting’. Getting to know a GOOD Filipina woman is a process. Take your time. Get to know her first. When you are dating a Filipina, if you have any reservations about it going into a serious relationship, you better let her know soon or you will find yourself neck-deep in a river flowing quickly towards marriage. So it is imperative you make your intentions clear and what sort of time frame you are willing to work with.
Now, when speaking of ‘good, decent’ Filipina women.. they are a somewhat shy and conservative type of woman. Not so in Angeles City which is pretty much a, how do you say.. flesh-trade oriented sort of town. The decent Filipinas will not initiate breaking the ice with you. They will wait until you come to them. But once “it’s ‘on’”.. it’s “on”. They are a fervent, passionate, protective and yes.. jealous partner when it comes to love. Be prepared to be loved, adored and cherished perhaps better than you feel you deserve. You’ll find a bad apple in any group and every so often some Filipina turns out to be a ‘gold-digger’. But by and large.. I’ll take the Vegas odds that favor Filipina women as THE choice when looking for a faithful, loving wife that will rock your world.
Now, that can make for (again) some clashes in culture. I’ll give a good ‘for instance’ from my own personal experience. In the U.S. I have many female friends. They aren’t girlfriends, or ex’es.. they are friends who just happen to be female. Sometimes we meet up for lunch on a random basis or catch a movie.. as friends. We go ‘dutch’ on the expenses, usually one covers dinner and the other the movie and at the end we go our separate ways home and that’s it. Here in the Philippines, something as simple as lunch will be taken in a much more serious way. That whole men/women as friends concept has a whole different twist here. Here, usually when men/women are friends among Filipinos it is because they are somehow related in some way. Not just by blood either, because ‘bonding’ as family among non-family is a cultural phenomenon that is very common here. It’s very common here for Filipinas to refer to a non-relative as their ‘cousin’ or ‘sister’, ‘Auntie’ or ‘Big Brother’.
A few years ago, while living on Mactan, I met a lovely young Filipina named Steff. She’s 20 and sweet as can be. She has two young kids and works two jobs to provide for them. We got to talking and are now friends. But knowing what I know about the differences in culture, just to be safe I have let her know (repeatedly) that I already had a girlfriend and that I enjoy knowing her ‘as friends’. To the point that she knows how long I’ve been with my girlfriend and I have even offered to help her find her own boyfriend online. If I were not to do that, in this culture the simple act of grabbing a bite to eat on her way to work could very easily be mistaken as a cue to moving on to meet her parents. I’m not exaggerating here.. that is the usual, implied expectation. To me, it’s a $6 lunch of noodles ‘n rice. But to most Filipinas in the smaller cities and especially in the provinces, it’s almost equivalent to taking some girl to Rodeo Drive for dinner on a first date.
Now, thanks to the Net and the sharing of new ideas into the Philippines.. there are ‘some’ young women, like Steff, who are open-minded to the idea of having a ‘good friend’ with no further expectations involved. It ‘can’ happen.. BUT, you gotta make clear to them (repeatedly) that you are just-friends or else you’ll be sending the wrong signals. And that’s how people get hurt.
Some of the Filipina women here enjoy the company of the gay or transgender men because they are usually a lively bunch and (usually) have no sexual expectations from the women. In being here I’ve seen plenty of single, straight Filipina women.. about a 3% portion of gay/transgender men and a growing population of very young lesbian girls under age 17. It’s a Catholic culture here so women are expected to be not only ‘straight’ but conservative in their interactions with men. Even so, alternative lifestyles are accepted here, maybe even more so than in the West on a daily basis.
However, the idea of being ‘just friends‘ with a foreigner is an alien concept here. Imagine if a beautiful Italian model approached you and said she only wanted sex on a moment’s notice without a relationship. That’s how ‘odd/strange’ the idea of a ‘rich’ foreigner wanting to be ‘just friends‘ is here to Filipina women. Dating is courting which leads to marriage. It’s that defined here so, if ‘just friends‘ is what you’re looking for it will have to be with a Filipina who is ‘progressive/liberal’ in her thinking about relationships. It ‘could’ happen, but odds are against it.
Now.. for those of you who do NOT want to be just friends, this is GREAT NEWS. You might have struck out with that incredibly beautiful woman back in your home country several times. But here.. if you are a gentleman, if you’re respectful yet clear in your intentions.. I am telling you, you’re only real problem is deciding which lovely woman you want to spend your life with. Don’t get me wrong, Filipina women do have their hoops and hurdles to go through first, that’s in the other article. And it is possible a Filipina will politely let you know she is not interested. But.. there are hundreds if not thousands more right in your nearby vicinity to move on to.
And the proof is in the pudding. Go to any of the large Ex-Pat Newsgroups of men who are now living in the Philippines and 95% of them will tell you they are SO happy with their Filipina wife. (The 5% complain not only about Filipinas, but everything else under the sun as well.) And I SEE it.. every day. Old guys. Bald guys. Fat guys. Any one of these type of guys with the most lovely, young wife at their side out grocery shopping together with wedding rings on. Now.. you know a guy is happy and content when going grocery shopping with his wife is on his list of fun things to do. Why? Because he’s with HER! She helps him save money. She dotes on him like a king. She adores him and most of all.. does not want any other woman to steal him away. Not a day goes by, honestly, that I don’t see some foreigner with his Filipina wife and him with the most content look on this face. Like it’s his tenth year collecting on the Lotto. He’s one lucky guy and he knows it. Life is good.
As for the married guys who are un-happy, not always but too often it’s because they got married and were NOT ready to settle down. They set up a home with their wife and kids, and then began a life of cheating on her with other girls in town. Eventually the wife DOES find out, it doesn’t take long in the PH. She resents him for his cheating, but stays for the kids and security. He’s miserable not being the single guy he wants to be. It’s a mess. But it’s one he could have avoided by knowing what he wanted in the beginning.
Now that I’ve told you about how wonderful the women here can be and how open they are to meeting foreign, even older (wiser/mature in their cultural eyes) men.. there’s just one thing left to say. There are truly some good, salt-of-the-earth women. They are very trusting and in many ways culturally a bit naïve. Do not dare to play with their hearts. If all you’re looking for is some superficial fun, hire a professional who isn’t going to get emotionally involved. Like I mentioned before, ‘Angeles City’.. Google it and you’ll see that if all you want is some Asian-strange there is an entire city practically devoted to giving you exactly that. But leave the decent Filipinas alone to find a good husband who cares about them. Whether here or back home, nothing pains or angers me like hearing of someone who has lost their trust or faith in love all because some man burned them to get a quick roll in the sack.
These are good women here, treat them with respect and you’ll find yourself an amazingly wonderful partner in life to your very last living day. But if all you’ve got is an itch to scratch for a two-week holiday, much better to go with a non-involved ‘pro’. Aside from the short-term, some women have made the choice to be a professional ‘mistress’ on a monthly basis. If you look around, you’ll find what you want, one or the other. But I’d lay odds there are more ‘good-girls‘ here than bad ones.. and the bad ones have a reputation for being very good at what they do.
I would wish you the ‘best of luck’ finding a wonderful wife here but honestly.. you don’t need luck. Just show up, get to know the people around you and if you are a decent human being, the people you get to know will begin to introduce you to their sisters, cousins and neighbors. You’ll have plenty of options. Your sole problem will be answering the question, “Which one do I want for keeps?”
Author: Reekay V.
Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat and spent 1999 living in Vietnam.
Share with me my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Hopefully you find my observations helpful in your own adventures.