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How do you decide which Filipina might be suitable?
A recurring question on Mag-Anak listserv .
After finding some available women how do you sieve though the more obvious criteria to obtain a short-list? The process of importing a Filipina to the West can be long, tortuous, painful and expensive. In addition, consideration might be given to her settling down and constancy in your country. Of course, if one is of the opinion that there is only one Filipina in the world for oneself and one is determined to find her at all costs this filtering process will be pointless. But, if one is of the opinion that out of the thousands of Filipinas who would like to marry in the West there are, possibly, many who could make you happy, this rational approach is prudent. Initial correspondence might be undertaken while considering some criteria before becoming emotionally involved. These might be:-
The greatest number of available Filipinas will be in the Philippines. A Filipina recently said that with the Filipinas outnumbering available Filipino men by seven to one, the Western ocean becomes an attractive fishery. A teacher in Gingoog, Mindanao said that females to males at her school were four to one. Every family seems to have more daughters than sons.
But, if you look at the official statistics, you will find that the sexes are about equal numbers. Why then this perception?
Possibly because thousands of young Filipino men are seamen or on overseas contracts and that makes them unavailable. But many Filipinas are on overseas contracts too! If anyone has a rational answer I would like to know why females appear to outnumber males in the Philippines. Certainly, walking around over there, one cannot escape the obdervation that there are many beautiful young ladies walking around the malls. Maybe men do not do that or they are working while the Filipinas promenade.
Everything else being propitious, it is good if the Filipina lives within easy distance of the International Airports at Manila or Cebu. This cuts costs and travelling time. Second best is that they are located near an airport that has a connecting flight, the same day, from Manila or Cebu. I recently travelled to Cagayan De Oro City Airport on Mindanao. It is an hours flight from Manila. Manila is about eight hours direct from Northern Australia where I live. It is hardly believable that the trip took from Monday morning to Wednesday noon and entailed two changes and two overnights in hotels; one in Malaysia and one in Manila. This was because there are no direct flights from North Queensland now that PAL has withdrawn its service. The flight from Malaysia did not arrive in Manila before the last daily flight to Cagayan. The return took one day flying overnight with two changes.
And it is not just the trip/s that you make. She will have to make trips to the passport office, Commission for Filipinos Overseas (CFO), to a designated medical centre, and to your embassy at the very least. These are either in Manila (CFO, medical and embassy), Cebu (CFO and some countries medical) or cities (DFA passport; National Statistics Office; Police Clearance). And if she is a traditional Filipina virgin she will probably have to be chaperoned at your likely expense too. A recent American visiting his pen pal was constantly accompanied by FIVE chaperones - at his expense. A penny bun costs tuppence or sixpence every time she moves. Everything can be done in Manila. If your Filipina is currently working in say, Manila, but hails from some remote province, you will probably travel there to meet the family and to get married. In this case the Manila address may well camouflage a lot of costs.
If your Filipina lives in a fairly rural province there could be frustrating communications problems . No telephone maybe, or available ISP, and consequently no possibility of emailing/faxing/chat even if, as is likely, you provide the hardware/cash. It may well be that, on visits, you will be expected to live with her family. Some people thrive on crowded houses, noise, washing in a bucket of cold water in the back yard and sleeping on the floor. But others would rather stay in a comfortable, air-conditioned room with bed and no mosquitoes. Living with her family on the initial visit may lead to you feeling an obligation. If, on the other hand, she lives in a city, there will be a range of accommodation. I know one pressed suitor who said he had to have air conditioning because of some health problem! But whichever way, you will usually be royally treated by her family as hospitality is a Filipino speciality.
Some commentators warn men to take special care if the Filipina lives in Olongapo or Angeles city. Both are areas for sexual recreation. Less than heretofore when they were hosts to large US Navy and Air Force Bases respectively at Subic Bay and Clarke. But many of the Filipinas here are just ordinary residents as elsewhere. Nevertheless the mention of these areas often still raises a quizzical eyebrow. They could actually be quite desirable locations because they are only about two hours by bus from Manila and they have a range of accommodations and entertainments.
So, if you can find your dream Filipina living with family between the Aquino Airport and your Embassy in Manila, you should save time, frustration and money. It may be that there are charms in a provincial girl that you will not find in a Manila girl. But I think that there are desirable girls in both locations.
Elsewhere might be in your own neighbourhood or country; or overseas outside the Philippines. Some Filipinas visit other countries to work, study or holiday as tourists or with relatives. Some countries actively seek Filipinas because they will do jobs that locals find undesirable because of the nature of the job or low remuneration. However, because of their reputation for overstaying their visa in the West, only those considered likely to leave again are welcomed. Thus they have usually had to convince the Western country that they are genuinely temporary visitors before a visa is issued. Visas are most commonly given when she has a recognised work contract, educational enrolment, religious motive, medical treatment or affluent family background.
Some available Filipinas might have migrated with, or without, their parents or have been born in the West.
The greatest number of available Filipinas overseas are contract workers: Overseas Contract Workers (OCRs). Sometimes they like to marry the local men and various countries have different provisions to accommodate Filipinas acquiring a husband this way. Often, a Filipina visiting on holiday, or more likely, visiting a relative, will actively seek a local mate. The usual consideration for allowing these Filipinas (and other foreign nationals) to stay seems to depend on whether it is likely that the Filipina intended marrying before visiting. This is especially important if it can be demonstrated that the Filipina knew her husband before the visit and is trying to circumvent the normal procedures for acquiring a spouse or fiancé visa in another country. Although I have come across Filipinas trying to acquire a husband while visiting for, ostensibly, other reasons, I do not know how great is the opportunity to acquire a Filipino wife using this route. But, obviously, if one were lucky enough to find a suitable wife in these circumstances it would probably be the very best way. The agony and expense of importing a wife or fiancé would be obviated and it would be almost instant.
The Filipina who is an immigrant or the daughter of one might be considered the next most desirable assuming common attraction. The problem might be to what extent the Filipina has assimilated into your local culture. If she has been in, say, America, from birth or an early age, she may have those Western female attributes that the man seeking a Filipina wife is trying to avoid. But it may be that the man just wants a Western wife who looks like a Filipina. To him it may be the best of both worlds.
Most of the OCRs however are not in Western countries and are likely found in the Asian Tiger economies like Singapore South Korea and Hong Kong; or in Arabia. Many of these Filipinas are actively seeking Western husbands and they can have advantages over Philippines' residents. It is sometimes a less arduous and shorter visa process to import Filipinas from outside the Philippines. Importantly, less adjustment will be needed as they have experienced life away from their families and know if they can cope. They are earning reasonable incomes compared to the Philippines and can sometimes spare money to communicate electronically with potential husbands after remitting a fair portion to their family back home. The potential husband can usually fly direct to their location and enjoy a more agreeable environment than some encountered in the Philippines itself. It is possible to court, initially at least, on neutral territory without the possible complications of family and neighbours.
Sometimes she may have paid for a lot of the essentials for her family and will need to remit less when she joins you.
On the negative side, they might want to visit the Philippine to introduce you to family and may want to marry there. This could be expensive. It might also be the case that their employer could prove obstructive and even sack the girl if he knows she is courting a foreigner. This could involve costs/inconvenience.
Her dependents could be her own children and/or other family members. If she has children there are potential big complications and problems.
Single mothers may, truthfully, have been sweet-talked into a sexual relationship and genuinely thought that it was leading to a forever marriage. If so, she would be very naïve and he had a silver tongue. ( See Virgins FAQ ) The Philippines is not the West. You may say to yourself that a girl deserted in this situation in your country is virtuous. Only one man! And a child from a one-off, genuine relationship! But that is not the case in the Philippines. A traditional Filipina guards her virginity and reputation as she knows that marriage is unlikely if she has lost her virtue. She will avoid situations that could compromise herself like being alone with a man. How about a Filipina with two or more children by different fathers. This might be frowned upon in the West. But in the Philippines this is scandalous - a woman of notoriety.
But, as Bob Dylan sings, "the times, they are a-changin'." A Filipina friend, reading the above, commented:-
"A traditional Filipina guards her virginity and reputation"
I guess the key word there is "TRADITIONAL" .. If you
remove traditional, that statement will be false.... Sad
to say, the media is changing the way Filipinos/as think
and act...... I've talked to a handful of friends who said
they are doing it with their boy friends.... It is becoming common,
not only in Manila.. but all over the Philippines... The
Maria Clara attitude is fading away... at times it is
there, but just on the surface.... underneath is a different
person... with moral values distorted by media and the outside
Filipina B. (Desired anonymity)
When I was there in July, 1999, there was a group of girls discussing single parenthood on TV. The tenor was not that different to a similar discussion in the West - even the same resentment that some people thought there was something a father could add to a child's life that a mother couldn't. But there was concession from some that a father could add something even though he was not entirely necessary. I wish that I had a recording of that. It would be informative for Western men hoping that the feminist infection had been kept out of the Philippines. Perhaps these Western ideas are not being as forcibly expressed as the TV Filipinas. But, as suggested by Filipina B, perhaps for the young, Maria Clara is now a veneer and no longer a firm belief.
It may be that you actively want a ready-made family. Perhaps you are old, in a hurry, sterile or a philanthropist . Then a girl in the first category would be ideal. And, as she has reduced opportunities now in the Philippines, she will probably be eternally grateful to you. Obligation and duty are not dirty words in the Philippines. She would love you for your understanding as well as for your other attractions.
But, if you choose a girl with offspring, there will almost inevitably be big problems. The child will probably be registered in the father's name. That will need sorting out. Then she will have to obtain the father's permission for the child leaving the country. That can lead to extortion. After all, all Filipinos know that Westerners are rich. And what if you have courted and fallen in love and he will not give permission? Do you fancy living in the Philippines right now? And what if she does not know where he is? It happens! Sometimes the embassy will accept a declaration that the father is unknown together with a Certificate Of No Marriage from yjr National Statistics Office (NSO) to prove that she is single. The latter may be requested for a Filipina even without children if approaching thirty or older. Some Filipinas have passed themselves off as single though are married. Of all the initial refusals for visas to Filipinas sponsored by Americans on Mag-Anak listserv a discernable majority are Filipinas with children. But it has been overcome with extra effort and heartache.
It is not unknown for the girl's parents to try a little extortion themselves using the child as a lever. "Leave the child with us and we will bring it up in our culture." At your expense, of course! Could be a nice little earner for them. And, if you agree, how will your wife settle without her child? Perhaps better than you might think because it's within her cultural norms to let a child be reared by family. But you will probably receive bills for the children that would not be incurred for children without a mother in the West.
From experiences related on Mag-Anak it would seem that the complications of bringing a Filipina with child to the West is fraught with many problems in addition to those normally experienced for a non-parent Filipina. Nevertheless, the men who succeed do not seem to regret the extra suffering or they do not admit it. A combination of all these problems eventually resulted in my failure to land my ex-fiancé in Australia. It was a long, expensive and emotionally disturbing experience.
Other family members may rely on her for support. Often, within a family, there is one child more than others who seems to take responsibility for the family. This may be an older child. They somehow land themselves with the primary worry for their parents and siblings. That will mean you in some way. She might work to remit support back to the Philippines. But some men might expect that money to support their own family or his other dependents. Most Filipinas will want to give some support to the family back home. While short-listing it is advisable to sort this out to your satisfaction before starting an emotional involvement. You may be able to find a Filipina who is from a well off family. A very few Filipinas will not, out of conviction, support their family. I know both types. But it is very unusual. And even in the former case the affluent parents looked forward to genuine, American-made presents.
It is known that some families work the pen-pal situation for a living. The daughter may be the front and, via her, the family ply the man for money using many ploys. The simplest, perhaps, is to hint that money is short and a few small sums for postage would be appreciated. These small sums a couple of dollars or pounds in the envelope is not much to a Westerner. But if the family has a few men in tow it can add up to a useful income in the Philippines.
I am reliably informed by a Mag-Anaker that some bar girls in Olongapo correspond with a number of men and regularly extract money from them. Perhaps the same occurs in other places such as Angeles City.
There are many ploys for extracting money from the hooked man. Ploys that could have a genuine basis. Some member of the family needs dental work or medical treatment - maybe anaemia, back or gastric problems. The sum requested may seem consistent with Western costs for that service. But, in the Philippines, it would suffice for two or three services of that nature. Then there is always the sibling who needs educational expenses. Some may hint at buying themselves a small business so they can support themselves. Perhaps a tricycle passenger vehicle, a fishing boat or even a jeepney. It may be genuine. A fairly common scam is to ask the man to build his retirement home in the Philippines. After all, they say, it can be used for an annual holiday to save money and the family will look after it. That is, they will live in it. You have, effectively, bought them a house. And it will not be in your name. Possibly in your Filipinas. It is not unknown for the happy couple to retire there; the man is accused of abuse and deported. One Australian was contract murdered. She/the family get the house etc.
Then there is the possibility of a sting. In one recent case a man married a Filipina and her envious relative accused the wife's favourite relative of committing some grave offence. The favourite languishes in gaol while the wife anguishes in her husbands arms. He hires lawyers and Mr Fix Its and, eventually, the accuser is willing to be mollified and withdraw charges for a goodly sum from the rich Westerner. In this case the relative was accused of rape. Subsequently it was demonstrated that the "victim" was a virgin.
Another extortion might be that parents pressure their lovely daughter to strike up a correspondence with a Western man with the deliberate intent of squeezing him for support when they marry. It is difficult to know how often this happens because remitting money home is so common that, unless the girl confesses, it would not be suspected. It has been known for a Western man to fall in love and marry his Filipina and then she refused to go to his country. And he had no suspicion. She had the courage - and honesty - to defy her parents when it came to the crunch of actually leaving her homeland to refuse. He has resort to easy divorce. But she will be still married within the Philippines. Probably never able to marry as there is no divorce ; only annulment. In a recent case, 2000, the American man visited twice, became engaged and then sent her a good sum of dollars every month. Her father promptly gave up worl to live off him. A few hundred dollars a month can provide a good standard of living for a Filipimo family. Why work?
Filipinas have been known to court and marry a Westerner when they have a boyfriend/husband in the background who hopes to profit from her.
Much extraction of money is not overtly extortion. Indeed, many Filipinos consider much of the money flow from West to East as normal and expected. And if they have been very hospitable to the man he is often willing to pay up. Even where it is a means for deliberate extortion, the methods can be so gradual and subtle that it seems an evolutionary process to which one has become adapted. One man said the constant smallish drain on his income was, in toyal, far less than marrying an American woman with the probable divorce, alimony and chile maintainance. He may have a point. What is it worth to have and adorable wife for life?
But there are some quite humble Filipino parents who consider any Filipina marrying abroad as the equivalent to a prostitute. It makes one wonder that if a girl in these circumstances wants a Western spouse, whether she might be suitable for a man who does not want to pay "mortgage" on his wife. Would a parent expressing this sentiment want to be labelled a pimp? Perhaps one would be liable for just the traditional birthday and Christmas presents?
The man might also bear in mind that when they marry in the Philippines and apply for a spouse visa that her employer may sack her as no she no longer needs employment. Then the husband, for sometimes up to a year or more, will have to pay for her accommodation, living expenses and obligations to her family. Extra thousands of dollars perhaps.
Dependency can be two ways. The dependent family can only be such if she feels dependent on them for emotional support and a clear conscience. Not a few Filipinas find the wrench from family not compensated by a husband and a higher standard of consumption in the West. At least, initially. When conflict arises between she and her husband and/or his family, friends and the natives, she desperately misses the family matrix. Many, eventually settled, Filipinas say that, at first, they felt like fleeing home to family. And not many admit it to their husbands. Can one choose a Filipina who more easily settles in the West? I do not know. And, of course, it depends on the nature of the people and surroundings that she will land among and what she has been told by her man. I am open to suggestions. I know that there is sometimes a desperate settling-in problem for the Filipina. But I have never heard of any suggestions to minimise the likelihood when initially choosing between Filipinas. The seminar with the CFO is to help to prepare them for some of the culture shock. In the case of Australia, a film of interviews with Filipinas married to Australians is shown to them. It is quite fair and reveals many of the problems for Filipinas settling in different parts of Australia. It does not present an unmitigated rosy picture. Many of the Filipina wives seem more resigned than elated. But fate plays a big part in the Filipina's acceptance of life's vicissitude.
Perhaps, as is occasionally the case, if the Filipina does not fit in with her own family she might settle better. Possibly that is why some parents are worried that their daughter will forget them when she leaves. Much moral blackmail has been applied to leaving Filipinas. Obviously some parents have not much confidence in the heavy socialisation in duty to family that she has undergone. Especially because they will have no pheromonal contact. This is one of the reasons, I have been told, that some parents like to hang onto their daughters' children. An umbilical cord through which cash can be ferried.
It would be useful to have a little questionnaire for the girl to complete to judge how she would fit in at her new country. Hardly likely! But this dependency on family can cause a lot of misery for the Filipina and her husband. The latter, often kept in the dark as she sulks, the "Silent Treatment ", must try to understand what might be trying his patience.
A friend in need?
If a Filipina has a relative or friend in your country it could be a settling influence as she would have someone to contact to chew the fat. If she finds that her contact had similar problems there may be a solution available for your Filipina's problems. But, this could worsen problems with the advice given being inimical to your relationship. Perhaps she might be advised: "I had that problem and put up with it. It has not gone away and now I am too enmeshed with kids etc to just leave him or return home. But you could! I know you and I can say that you will be happier long-term if you return home now."
Then there is the problem of your Filipina always immediately turning to the contact and making no effort to settle herself at the expense of a little, necessary but reasonable, pain.
It is generally the case that Western females desire men with equivalent, or greater, educational attainment. Men are more content to marry for attraction . The ability of the woman to charm him. This can create problems for Western women. If men make a woman's charms their priority and Western women want both charms and brains then there will be a shortage of available men for her . A man can take his beautiful, uneducated wife to an executive dinner party and, assuming she has manners, she will be accepted. A woman CEO taking her blue collar hunk to the same party will possibly not fare as well. She will feel a loss of status.
But a Filipina with a college degree will not be so particular. Her main considerations will be reliability and kindness. Indeed it is often the case that a Western blue-collar man will marry a Filipina college graduate who is also charming. Furthermore, if she can obtain Western validation for her qualification, she may hold down a quite well paid job in accountancy or nursing etc that could augment the family's income. I know of a case in America where the Filipina is the main, consistent breadwinner. Many Filipina graduates will find it hard to secure employment in their own country commensurate with their qualifications.
She will also be useful for educating their future children. Filipinas generally have a high regard for education and a graduate will have the means to greatly enhance their regular education. And they are not as heavily committed to child-centred education. In our local Eisteddfod it is noticeable that Asian-looking children seem to achieve disproportionately well for their population share.
So it may be that a seeking man, other things being equal, should place this education criterion somewhere on his shopping list. With? Without?
You may want to find if her qualifications can be validated in your country and, if so, how.
Perhaps this is where there is the greatest cultural divergence from the Western female. The Filipina will want a man older than herself. Ideally, perhaps, 15 to 20 years her senior. But, if other of her criteria are well satisfied, she will be accepting of someone much older. The Filipina does not seem to pass through the silliness of the cult of youth as we do. This in spite of a barrage of Western media influence. Though things may be changing. If an man is reasonably fit and well presented and has the main criteria of reliability and a good heart even an attractive, intelligent, educated, virtuous Filipina will find a thirty, or even forty years age gap quite reasonable.
Many Western men imbued with local, mass media sponsored,
youth cult start looking for a Filipina of approximately the same
age or, if he is middle-aged, one over thirty. Of course, he will
have no problem here because once a lady reaches thirty in the
Philippines she has almost lost hope of marriage at home. But
he need not limit himself to this age group. Even college students
would be willing to consider him. And if he is willing to spend
a few hundred dollars completing her education she will find him
extremely acceptable. I have been approached, uninvited, by a
high school student over 50 yrs my junior. And very attractive
too. The point is that one should really forget age as an eliminating
criterion. If you find an acceptable Filipina do not let age,
in either direction, be a major eliminator. Let her decide. It
might well be that a young, Western girl would be far too gauche
even were she available. But that might well not be the case in
a young Filipina. Although, possibly, inexperienced of the world
and sexual matters, she has an inner serious dedication to family
that is truly amazing to us who are used to, often precocious,
worldly and yet silly, self-gratifying, western youth
If your ideal lady is very much younger than you, beware of fiancé visa problems. There is very good evidence that, at least the United States Embassy in Manila, will create obstacles to approving the visa on the ostensible basis that it is likely that the Filipina is just after a visa and the man is the means. This could have at least three causes.  An older man will die and leave his wife, possibly with children, as a "burden" on the community.  There is "evidence", either true or hearsay, that such old/young marriages are more likely to fail or  That there is a present Western cultural prejudice against an old and young person marrying - ageism.
The solution would probably be to marry the Filipina in the Philippines and apply for the spouse visa. This is a much surer route generally but, in the US case at least, takes twice as long.
Naturally, this is bound up with education and has been touched upon. First consideration is if you want your wife to work. Many Filipinas will, unlike their Western sisters, be able to find fulfilment in the role of housewife and mother. And I suspect that there are many Westerners who would too were they not brainwashed by dedicated feminists who have infiltrated many positions of influence on the young. A problem might be that if the girl has been financed through college by a sacrificing family she, probably no less than they, will feel a need to use that education to send some support home. So it is wise to ascertain the situation early. It may be that if you can offer some regular support she will be relieved of this obligation and happily stay at home. But beware that this does not become open ended. Some families easily acquire a taste for regular support and will use means already touched upon dental, medical, business and educational expenses to enlarge the largess. And, as we know, these needs in even our already pampered societies are infinite and as one level of expectation is fulfilled, another rises.
But maybe you have a business and need help. Then now is the time to combine enquiries of suitability and motivation. But it would be unwise to indicate that it is your main motive. I know a man with a farm who married a Filipina and she made all the difference to its viability. And remember, some girls feel lucky to be employed in the Philippines when they work up to fourteen hours daily, seven days a week, just for subsistence wages. I knew a girl recently that did this, and more, for a famous international company in Manila. And yet she was even woken during the night when a shipment arrived. So you may not be asking for a lot that she gives you a reasonable hand to pay off the mortgage or get the business rolling along. But, again, expect a little of the remuneration to leak to her family. Find out now if her employment expectations match yours.
Quite frankly I know very little about the general health of Filipinas. They look good!
They seem to suffer from pre-menstrual and menstrual pain (dysmenorrhoea) and stress (PMS in USA and PMT "Tension" in Britannic countries) just like Western women.
The Tuberculosis (TB) rate is significantly higher than in the West. If she has tuberculosis the statutory medical check will pick it up; and it may require treatment before she is allowed to join you.
They die in the Philippines at a much lower age than in the West but, as your Filipina will not be there, that may not be relevant.
They will not have taken the vaccinations (shots) that we take for granted. Will she object to being vaccinated as a requirement for a visa?
Filipinas seem to suffer a lot of gastro-intestinal diseases (LB problems) due, presumably, to the low standard of the water supply and sewage disposal. They also seem to suffer a lot from influenza. But whether in greater numbers and degree than the West I know not.
Some people cannot, naturally, feel happy in a cold climate. And if they hail from the tropics as do Filipinas this could be a very unsettling influence. Perhaps, if one lives in the prairie states, Alaska or the North East in America or in High Germany or Scotland say, one might enquire whether the girl is greatly perturbed by the thought of acclimatising to these adverse conditions. As a tropical resident I know that it would take something of great moment to move me back to my beloved Britain. And I know a Filipina who was very unhappy in a cold region of the US. And yet another who can shrug it off. I do not enjoy living with someone who is unhappy so I would rather rule out as many problems as possible. Obviously this was a variable that I did not need to worry about.
There seems to be the mental health problems as in the West - neuroses and psychoses. They also suffer from superstitions to an even greater degree than us. This can be from needing the right conditions when to bathe to belief in little people - dwende. Indeed, most activities have a superstition attached. And those who know about PMS/T know that there is an emotional component.
Thankfully most Filipinas do not seem yet to have learned the garbage of our own women. Self-empowerment, glass ceilings personal growth/space and positive discrimination. The ideas are creeping in though. Once a woman absorbs these concepts getting her to jettison them is like asking a fundamentalist Christian to spurn the Bible. It is desirable to find out her attitude as lack of these socially bludgening ideas is possibly why you are seeking a Filipina.
Gambling, which for many Westerners is an occasional flutter, can be akin to an addiction for Asians generally. Filipinos are no exception. Indeed, many prostitutes, one Filipina explained, are working the bars because they are paying for the gambling debts of their family.
So what would a sensible man determine regarding health? It can be hell for a few days every month living with PMS. It would be wise to find out her history. All things being equal it would be sensible to avoid girls with PMS. But how to do it? In my first relationship I asked. But, as a RN, I was able to get away with this as a professional interest. Some Filipinas have told me that the question, put bluntly, could be offensive. But if it can be asked jokingly at an appropriate time one might evoke an enlightening answer. It might be possible to ask about general health by some discreet means. One might say things about oneself and stimulate a revealing reply. Would you like to be married to a diabetic if you had the choice between two girls of otherwise equal attraction ? Then there is asthma, epilepsy and other diseases that might place limitations on a full life. What can you tolerate?
Worse, perhaps, than the foregoing, is an unfavourable temperament. But how to find out? I asked a brother casually on my first visit. But that is rather late to find out that she is a shrew (she was not). I am particularly averse to unreasonable, temper-tantrum ladies - especially if they are prone to screaming.
Would it be unrealistic to ask outright about these propensities when first writing? At least the quality of response might enable one to whittle down the list. And, if you are a rationalist, superstition which at first can be cute, can become maddening later. I know one Filipina who returned to the Philippines for a holiday and the full impact of being constantly warned of what might happen to her if she did this, or that, at inappropriate times, drove her crazy and she could not wait to return to the rational US of A.
With a home-town gal one can usually find out these proclivities via regular courting and contact with family and friends. But, via a list from a pen-pal club followed by writing and phone, these undesirable traits can remain hidden. But there is a reasonable solution at hand. Acquire your contact list from friends who know the Filipinas. One very real advantage of Mag-Anak and similar "clubby" lists is that many of the members have relatives and friends of their wives/fiances that they can, with obvious reservations, recommend. Nothing is cast-iron guaranteed where humans are at issue! But many of the above problems can be resolved even before writing using this method.
This is not to advocate a perfect physical/emotional specimen. It may be that an asthmatic who gets you up form sleep a few times a month is otherwise a perfect darling. But suppose you had this forced insomnia and a virago to boot?
Older men can, possibly, remember a time when there were good girls and duty bicycles. The latter were available for any man to ride. A good girl saved herself for Mr Right, her future husband. Sometimes they had sexual intercourse before marriage when it was decided that they were to marry. A good girl would not just take a verbal assurance. She would want social commitments like meeting each others parents and they meeting each other. Sometimes a broken engagement would lead to litigation for Breach of promise . Or, perhaps, a father toting a shotgun might become enforcer. Many engaged couples just waited till after marriage.. There were double standards because it was generally accepted that the man, before going steady, could have intercourse with any girl that would succumb. And many girls did oblige and later pretend that they were virgins when Mr Right came along. In the West nowadays it hardly seems credible. Double standards have gone and the often rampaging, female shrew is come.
But the Philippines still holds to the traditional standards. Via the extensive family networks and natural, cultural curiosity it is hard for a deflowered girl to keep the secret. And the Filipino man expects to marry a virgin. Hence, as above, you cannot realistically judge a girl by western criteria. (See Dependents, above.)
Questions to a Filipina living, and married, in the West.
She said yes! She did feel sexual - but that it could wait till after marriage. How is it that some Filipinas succumb and have children and have to look for Western men to marry? They know that, in the Philippines, they are taking a serious risk of becoming ineligible for marriage by losing their virginity. Is it because the man promises marriage?
This is kinda hard to answer. There is not really one single reason why she would do it in spite of the stigma attached to being non-virgin in my culture. I think it is more of a combination of so many factors. Most Filipinos will tell you though that the number one factor is her family background. If she has a good family and home life where women are respected, she will more likely not play with sex before marriage. But for most of those women whose families are dysfunctional, they tend seek acceptance outside their home and can be easily sweet talked to doing it. I would say almost all of these men who sweet talk women into having sex promises marriage to them. I have a relative who sleeps around with any man who shows interest in her. Her father was an alcoholic and used to beat his wife and his children all the time.
Another reason could also be that the parents are too lenient or too strict when it comes to their daughters' dating.
And don't forget the fact that she must have really fallen madly in love. I think Filipinas are the kind of women that are romantic by nature. That is, when we fall in love, we really fall hopelessly in it as well as in the process of falling in love. We become selfless and end up doing anything for our men to make them happy. At least that is from my own observation and experience.
A good example is another relative. She was always considered a very pretty girl and she was sought after by a lot of guys when we were younger. She fell in love with a nice looking and smooth talking guy and dated him for over 10 yrs. She helped him financially to get a job overseas and when he was about to leave the country, she found out that he was married all these years. His real wife tolerated his womanising until he was about to go to overseas because she wants to make sure she will get her allotment. So after all those years, she called my relative and told her the truth.
Well, my relative was broken hearted until she met a sweet talking jeepney driver. Jeepney drivers are known for being good at conning women. Well, she became his victim and my family did not like him at all because we suspected that he had other women. Of course, to prove to my relative that he was sincere about his intention to her, he asked her to elope and they got married without our knowledge at his hometown province. So all along she thought she was the legal wife. Wrong! He has been married before at least once since the wife showed up one day at her house to dump his kids to her. But my relative has fallen in love with him and had surrendered her virginity to him so she stayed with him in spite of his dishonesty and the fact the guy does not want to work and is still chasing other women. But when she found out that he was using methamphetamine , that's when she decided to get rid of him because she was worried of her son learning all his father's bad habits.
I kept telling her that I can find her a Western husband who will be good to her and her son. But you know what, even though he has done all these things to her, she still loves him.
A male relative left his wife and 5 little kids 20 yrs ago for a Filipina dancer that worked in Japan. He recently came back to his wife and can you believe that my she took him back and she still loves him after all those years of waiting and remaining celibate? A good friend's father left them for 10 yrs and he came back and her mother took him back too.
So I think most of these women just met and trusted the wrong men. That was why the whole time I was there I had done all I could to avoid getting involved with any men because I really did not trust myself if I ever fall deeply in love with the wrong one. Add to that, all those years of brainwashing from my family on how ugly I was and that if there was any man who would show any interest in me, it would be because there was only one thing in his mind. He was desperate. So the more it became important that I kept my virginity as no one would want an ugly deflowered one in my culture.
Not to forget the lady's personality. That can also be a factor...how good she feels about herself, how determined she is, and how trusting she is of other people.
And, of course, that small group of women such as the rich and the celebrities who are doing it because they have adopted the Western way of thinking that virginity is not that important anymore because they are empowered by their education and/or their status in the society.
And there are the kind of women who will chase men of power and money and are willing to give it all for that. My relative who is a vice president of the largest [product deleted for anonymity] manufacturer in the Philippines. He is not very good looking at all, but he is very intelligent and his position makes him very attractive to these women and he does play with them. These women most of the time will do it even without promise of marriage.
I don't think it has anything to do with her sexual potency or lack of self control. Well, actually after the first few times, Filipinas' sexual potency gets unleashed and then she will have problem with self control, <Laugh>. So watch out, better stock up with Viagra and balut and oysters.
And how often does a girl who does allow sex later marry the man as he promised?
With the availability of women in my country, once a man gets what he wants from a girl, they are off on to another one. I think they usually end up marrying the one who refused to allow sex until marriage. They tend to lose respect and interest in the one who gave up their virginity. An example is a friend's ex-boyfriend for 10 yrs. She broke up her relationship with him 2 years ago after learning he was sleeping around with different women while they were dating. And yet he still wants to marry her because she was the only woman he ever dated that he has not slept with. Too bad for him as I have already convinced her that Western men are better husbands and lovers.
Now be wary of those women who have children from different fathers!
What do you mean that a fears becoming a sex slave?
Being used as a sex toy without regard for her own pleasure. Like forcing her to the point of raping her every time he the husband - wants it.
 The Filipina attitude to sex.
There seems to be little sex education in the Philippines. Sex is a thing done privately and is between the man and his wife. It is considered a normal and acceptable part of marriage and not a big deal with much introspective analysis; and not a panacea to all that might go wrong with a marriage. The man will be expected to lead at first and to be considerate. It is largely he who will expand her horizons in contradistinction to the all-knowing, Western woman presenting her demands. After a little trust has been built perhaps it is well to convey what you expect in a courteous manner without sniggers. Be advised that in the Philippines it is commonly believed that Western men have larger penises than Asians, and some Filipinas would wonder if they were going to experience pain. I am told that it is indeed true that there is a slight size difference on average but, as the Masters and Johnson studies, in Human Sexual Response * demonstrated, size within the normal range has little bearing on coupling and satisfaction. Its mostly in the mind. Filipinas are particularly worried about the alleged size of Afro-Americans. The Filipina, until a personal meeting and trust and commitment, would be unlikely to want to discuss fellatio or any other, non-straight., practices Indeed, disrespect at an early stage could put her off you entirely. But, after full commitment, the Filipina is usually broad minded and liberal about sexual matters.
* Regarding size:-
"Full accommodation usually is accomplished..
with the first few thrusts of the penis, regardless of penile
size" (see page 69)
"It becomes obvious, that penile size usually is a minor factor in sexual stimulation of the female partner."
BTW, they suggest that a man with a smaller penis (and
wife has a large vagina) enters at an early stage
of arousal whereas, with a bigger penis (wife with small vagina), it is better to delay entry until greater
arousal is reached.
To determine what your Filipina will expect is considerate
so that you can evaluate what you are willing to
provide But it is also prudent. What is more conducive to unhappiness than your Filipina arriving to find it
is nothing like she expected? And if you are unwilling to change things - possible problems!
We have discussed her natural propensity to remit money
to family. Sort that one out early. There is no
subtle way. You just have to ask what she expects. Even if you negotiate her "demands" down to a level
more acceptable to you she will often, after arrival, worry that she is not sending enough if it is available.
She will usually have demands from the family too. If you try to keep her to an "unreasonable" level she
may well squirrel away money from the housekeeping.
Most Filipinas want children. If you do not or cannot
you should tell her or problems could arise. Even if
she says that she will not persist in this need she may well regret this later. It's almost like asking a drug
dependent to go cold turkey. Men with vasectomy who thought they would never need further children
end up visiting the surgeon for advice on reversal. If you really do not want babies try to find a Filipina
who, without pressure, states she does not like them. Or perhaps you can accept one pre-made toddler.
By the time you have gone through courtship and the visa process it should be out of nappies and,
maybe, over the terrible twos.
Will she want to work? To satisfy some need for status
or for remitting money? Or until the babies come
plopping along? What if you want her to stay home or you live where it will be practically impossible as
out on some remote ranch or mining location ? Perhaps there is no opportunity for her vocational
expression where you live. Fortunately, many Filipinas will be flexible for love. It will not be the do or die
career satisfaction demanded by many Westerners.
Similarly when it comes to standard of consumption.
You may not be able to provide the lush settings she
has imbibed on "Young and Restless" or other such soaps. She will usually adapt. But it would be better
to be up-front when describing what she can realistically expect. It could eliminate her but it should not be
a cause of future resentment if it did not. Do be not like the man in Australia who posed outside a
supermarket and deceitfully claimed it as his business.
Will she expect to integrate with your family and yet
you know they are irredeemably, red-necked racists?
Perhaps you had better tell her at the outset. If your family have only mild reservations they will often be
won over so you might risk it. You should know your family. For instance, my sister asks why I can't
marry "One of us". But I know she will accept any decent person I choose when it happens. And Filipinas
can have very winning ways.
Where and under what circumstances will she want to
marry? You may be puritanically simple and she
want a large, Catholic, barangay wedding with Uncle Tom Cobbly and All. Will she accept your request
for the fastest visa route which, in the American case, means a fiancé visa. In fact six, as opposed to
twelve, months or more. Some will expect to marry before they export themselves. Many parents will
insist on it. If she and family will accede to a fiancé visa will she want to return later to her home for a
"decent" Filipina marriage? Are you willing to do this? Can you afford to do it?
Are her parents irrevocably opposed to her marrying
and moving to you overseas? Are you willing to do it
on the sly if she will? In fact, an elopement? I know of such a case - it turned out to be a happy marriage.
But that was luck and the Filipina in question still remitted money home for educational expenses.
What about the time factor? Will she have a time agenda
such as completion of education or training. Or
maybe she wants to provide something for her family before leaving. Can you wait this long? If she is in
education are you willing to support her?
Generally, a Filipina is very accommodating - it's
in her nature. But common sense dictates that it is better
that her expectations are met as nearly as practicable. You will probably have to bend some way no
matter how carefully you choose so it's better to minimise the potential for conflict. Some girls are so
disappointed that they want to return home and some men resort to threats rather than change or allow
her. And yet the latter men have been known to hypocritically radiate harmony to the world. Surely it's
better to avoid this by planning ahead?
The majority of Filipinas are Roman Catholic. But not
all. There is a variety of Protestant religions. And
even those who are religious have different levels of faith and practice. Generally, Roman Catholics are
accommodating as long as you will allow them to follow their practices and you are a believer in a general
way. But the more extreme fringe religions might want you to be of the same faith or to be proselytised
by them. In these cases it will probably be they who initiate this dialogue. You need to find out the
implications of her religious belief early on to see if you can accommodate them.
Copywrite 1999. Clive Halliday