FAQ For Western Men Considering Marrying a Filipina
(A girl from the Philippines).

MANCUNIAN (click back)

Q1] If a Filipina is a female from the Philippines, what is a male called.?

A1] All RP's (Republic of the Philippines) citizens, males and females, are Filipinos. But, to distinguish a male from a female, generally a male remains a Filipino but never a Filipina.

Q2] Why are Filipinas available to marry Western men?

A2] There seems to be a shortage of eligible men in the Philippines.

Q3] What does "eligible" mean to Filipinas?

A3] It can mean many things. For example:-

1] A way to escape from an undesirable life - hardship, mean parent/s, their own bad reputation.
2] A man to love them and enable security and, probably, a family when they cannot find that in the RP
3] A way to help support their family.
4] Excitement of a new life overseas.

Q4] What does "their own bad reputation" mean?

A4] Although some girls in the big cities - particularly Manila - are starting to ape Western women and lose their virginity before marriage, most girls in the provinces remain virgins until marriage.

Q5] Why is this important to them?

A5] Filipinos seem to have plenty of choice so usually insist upon marrying a virgin. There is a belief that once a Filipina has had intercourse with a man she is securely bonded to that man in a way that is unique.

Q6] How would they know they were virgins?

A6] Quite apart from the physical signs, a provincial girl who has had sexual intercourse would find difficulty keeping it secret. The word soon gets around the network and her chances of marrying a Filipino are slim. Hence why she will welcome a Westerner in that "adulterated" condition.

Q7] Does this mean that a girl with sexual experience and, perhaps, even a child, will be a bad prospect for a wife?

A7] Not necessarily! She may have fallen in love and succumbed to a sweet-talking Filipino who promised marriage. He then moves on. Often, in these cases, the Filipina might, by Western female standards, have been raped. However, the Filipina, will accept it and hope to keep that relationship going now that she has lost her virtue to him.

Q8] So such a girl might be very grateful to a man from the West who will marry her.?

A8] She might well!

Q9] What if she has children by different men?

A9] It might be unwise to marry her. She has gone off the rails.

Q10] Would many Filipinas who marry Westerners have preferred to marry a Filipino and stayed in the Philippines?

A10] Yes! Many would like to marry a Filipino near their own age and stay in the Philippines if he could offer them things that Westerners usually can.

Q11] Would a Filipina marry a much older Filipino who could offer them what an older Westerner could?

A11] Yes; but they might prefer a white old man - given a choice.

Q13] Why bother to marry a white man when they could get a Filipino the same age offering the same things?

A13] Because many Filipinas have been culturally conditioned to consider white men with long noses and light eyes to be more attractive than dark men with black eyes and squat noses. Also, older Filipinos usually "act" old and die much earlier than Westerners.

Q14] Would that put Afro-Western men out of the running?

A14] Many Filipinas do not find Afro-Westerners attractive. If they are going outside the Filipino culture they want that pointed nose and the much-admired, pale skin. Also there is a fairly wide-spread belief that Afro-Westerners have painfully large penises.

(NOTE. One US black man and his Filipina wife took exception to these assertions. I re-checked my facts with Filipinas and an American with much knowledge of Fil-Am marriages and they confirmed my contentions. Obviously, there are blacks married to Filipinas but, proportionately, not a lot. A little field for research here? Feedback appreciated!)

Q15] Don't many Western women desire just that?

A15] Possibly! But, according to the Masters and Johnson research ("Human Sexual Response" ) it is psychological rather than physiological.

Q16] So don't Filipinas have these hang-ups?

A16] Probably not! Filipinos have smaller penises than Westerners and it does not seem to be an issue.

Q17] What about Filipinas' "equipment"?

A17] "Horses for courses". Some Western men say it's icing on the cake.

Q18] What would be a Filipina's ideal Westerner?

A18] A fair man, 5 - 15 years older with blue eyes, 5'8" high or more with reasonably "pointy" nose. He will not have tattoos nor beards nor moustaches and his hair will be shortish, trim, neat and straight. He will be sober, industrious and kind and can provide her with security and children. He will wear neat slacks or suit and more business-style clothes generally. The opposite of Mr Natural. Often, a Westerner might be surprised at what a Filipina considers handsome.

Q19] Is that all necessary?

A19] No! Filipinas are very practical and accommodating. If the man is caring and can offer security other things will be overlooked if the man can do nothing to change them. Some will consider an Afro-Westerner if other attributes are favourable. Obviously, it also matters how badly she wants to get married to a Westerner and who is available to her.

Q20] So a Filipina would prefer me to shave my facial hair, have a hair cut and stop wearing sloppy clothes because these I can change?

A20] Most would. But the odd one will tolerate a neat beard. Clothes would be negotiable according to the environment - beach, country camping etc. But a trip to town would be neat and kempt.

Q21] Are Filipinas very religious and must I be religious and the same religion?

A22] Generally not! Although they will typically believe in God and profess Roman Catholicism and attend Church. A minority of RCs are "spiritual" and pray a lot. A few, from very religious RC families, might not wish to marry other than a Roman Catholic man. Generally, they do not proselytise; but some might expect their children to call themselves Roman Catholics. Nor are they orthodox. They have no objection to contraception. There is a minority of born-again and other, Protestants- and Mormons - and these may insist on similarly committed men. In some areas of Mindanao there are Muslims and they might insist upon fellow-Muslims. But these girls have their own networks for meeting Muslims and different marriage customs.

Q23] Will a Western man that has been divorced and had children still be considered marriageable material?

A23] While she would prefer a never-married man without children, she will usually be willing to hear his history before eliminating him. Many of the Western men who marry Filipinas have been married before and have children. A Filipina will possibly want to hear about the attitude of his children to her. She may ask him to say that he will support her if his children become hostile. Parents might object to a divorced man. Divorce is not legal in the RP so the older folk might think that a very bad sign. They may have no idea how little stigma now attaches to divorce in the West. One point might be that he wants a Filipina because Western women no longer see marriage as inevitably a life commitment whereas he does.

Q24] What priority does she accord wealth in the equation?

A24] A Filipino (male and female) would consider the life-style of any Western man with a steady, quite ordinary job, rich. It's a matter of comparison.

Q25] So numerous, attractive, young virgins committed to the idea a lifelong marriage, educated and English-speakers are prepared to consider quite ordinary, plain, older, Western men as good prospects for marriage?

A25] Most definitely!

Q26] Where's the catch? - There's always a catch!

A26] Yes, it is not dead straightforward. There are stings.

Q27] What should I be looking out for?

A27] Filipinos think that all Westerners are rich because they can drink Coke and eat Macs any time. And they all seem to run modern cars and have nice homes and an abundance of the latest consumer goods. Filipinos who are like this are few and they can afford servants, are not in heavy personal debt and they have spare cash over and above this life-style. So Filipinos assume that Westerners who have these things can always produce those extra dollars at no great pain. They seldom realise that our Western consumer societies run on credit - on the promise of future earnings - "Buy now - pay later." There is a general assumption that all the possessions of average Westerners are owned by the consumer and not by financial institutions.

Q28] How can this be a catch?

A28] Filipinos see any connection to a Westerner as benefiting not only their daughters but themselves. And even though they have no eligible daughter or a Filipina little intention of settling in the West, many Filipinos are determined to get some of that Western cash by a variety of means. This can vary from modest to avaricious. At the very least, seasonal presents.

Q29] So what do they do to extract my money and does this apply to ALL Filipinos.?

A29] The ways are many and it is almost universal; even if the Filipina is most sincere and will make a good wife - though a few do not even do that and some intend to deceive you. Mostly, if you are married this is not unusual greed but their culture of sharing with the family. Filipinas will knock themselves out at a menial job overseas for years to help their family while they deprive themselves. Quite admirable by many's standards.

Q30] Any examples of what can happen to lighten Western men's wallets?


1] Some families write to several men and solicit small amounts regularly for postage. The small amount will pay their postage and leave some change. In total, considering their low-cost living, this can be very useful addition to the family income.

2] Once the man is hooked he may willingly give an allowance or money for education/health expenses or to set up a business. - before and after marriage. Most Filipino families know of such arrangements with relatives, friends and neighbours and rather expect it even though the male/female relationship is sincere and genuine. Some ask for loans. These are never repaid. It is a euphemism for "Give me a present." Occasionally the man is encouraged to buy a house for his retirement which will be occupied by the family.

3] Some families push their daughter into a Western marriage for their profit when the girl had no intention of leaving the RP. She may even marry a Westerner and then refuse to join her husband in the West. I know of one case and have heard of a few others.

4] Some Filipinas have married a Westerner in conspiracy with their Filipino boyfriend . They enter the West and, eventually, engineer a divorce and bring in their boyfriend and support him until he arrives. Even has been said to happen with a married Filipina.

5] Some Filipinas marry Western men with the idea of getting to the West and then ditching their husband and going their own way. It happens! The "Green Card Trick."

Q31] What are the danger signs?

A31] She asks for presents, loans, medical/education expenses. She calls you Dear Joe and you know your name is Jack. She may have mixed up the men she is writing to. Another Western man contacts you and warns you off HIS fiance. It's happened! She comes on strong before she knows you - that is bad. But this could be an untypical, romantic girl so one uses caution in rejecting her.

Q32] What if she asks me how I am fixed financially.

A32] Tell her - honestly. If you are in a normal state she will accept it. If she is after riches she will probably drop you.

Q33] So basically it's my money they are after?

A33] Basically - yes! But it has not necessarily a bad connotation. It's what that money can provide. Mainly security - along with love and the other comforts of marriage if possible. But, if you could not offer that, there would seem to be little point in her leaving the Philippines. They undoubtedly like pointed noses and pale skins, but they do not want to gaze into your eyes and stroke your nose in poverty. Occasionally, there is a Filipina from rich parents and the girl is primarily interested in the Western culture and a Western man. But that's unusual.

Q34] So it's more like a bargain with advantages to both parties?

A34] Yes!

Q35] So, where is love in all this?

A35] If you are a normal, Western man and meet an attractive Filipina who wants to "catch" you, you will probably find yourself in love and she will grow to love you for your care, friendship and security. A deeper, possibly more valuable, love than the often whimsical, romantic, sexually-intoxicated and ephemeral love of a Western woman. Some Filipinas will even fall romantically in love straight away. Don't press her to lie to you.

Q36] So she wants the right conditions up-front to enable her to grow into love with one?

A36] That's about it.

Q37] Which Western men seek Filipinas to marry?

1] Armed forces personnel who have been located in the RP.
2] Men who have friends married to Filipinas.
3] Men who are unable or unwilling to marry Western women.
4] Men who find Filipinas more physically attractive than Western women.

Q38]Are "Men who are unable or unwilling to marry Western women." Losers?

A38] Can be, but not usually. Most seem to be well qualified, resourceful and successful - apart from their late marriage. Anyway, a lot of men with a good experience of Filipinas might say that he would not then be a loser if he "caught" a good Filipina.

Q39] So why are men "unwilling to marry Western women"?

A39] They might be divorced from Westerners and do not wish to risk that again. Or they may not like Western women's attitude which might be described as capricious, or harsh, or politically-correct, or career-orientated. Or all! Some American women have, it seems, become so bad that they are "Bully Broads" and are attending courses to feminise themselves - to show their vulnerability and sweetness. Not, it should be said, to please their man. No! It is because their present attitude is hindering their career! See Jean Holland's recent book on the subject of Bully Broads.

Q40] Which men "are unable to marry Western women"

A40] It may be that they are unable to marry the Western women they desire. The latter may already be married or will not consider them on account of age, or looks, or attitude, or abilities, or wealth.

Q41] Why will Filipinas marry these men "unable to marry Western women"?

A41] They have different criteria when seeking a mate for life. These have been described in A13], A18], A19], A24]

Q42] Could a disabled man obtain a Filipina wife?

A42] Yes! It has happened. Choice might be very limited. But the girl might, nonetheless, be very good wife. Can you offer her security and love?

Q43] What is the best way to start on the quest?

A43] Many avenues!

1] Just go to the RP for a holiday and mention to clerks, waitresses, taxi drivers, shopkeepers etc. that you are looking for a suitable Filipina for a wife. Or, if you are of a religion, attend the relevant Church's functions. You might have a queue! Indeed, you will often be solicited by a father, brother, sister, uncle etc. This is not necessarily a scam. It can produce some good leads.

2] There are "tours" operated by agents who will line up girls at designated hotels to meet you. Some men deprecate this but good marriages can result. As usual: use your head!

3] Ask someone married to a Filipina or a Filipino in your neighbourhood. Nearly all Filipinos in the West will know a relative or friend who would be interested in a pen-pal relationship with a Western man. That's the euphemism for a sparring, or paring, match.

4] Join a list on the Net devoted to things Filipino. Mak-anak and Asialink for example. The former no longer have a list of available women who are relatives or friends. Although this is a fairly reliable screening method it's not infallible. There have been a few casualties of men and women meeting this way. Anyway, recently (March 02) it was removed because of possible legal implications.

5] Visit Web sites specialising in pen-pal relationships. Sunshine Girls is one such; but there are a lot out there in cyberspace. A few are free; but most will charge a fee per address or offer to sell you a magazine, or list, or CD/video. In some cases they will advertise your virtues via various contacts and media. Many successful marriages are contracted this way. But, obviously, they are haunts of the scam merchants too.

6] Look in the personal columns of your newspapers.

7] Chat sites can be productive.

8] Remember that Filipinas will be found working in Hong Kong etc and even in your home area visiting a relative.

Q44] Is it best to write, phone or e-mail or chat?

A44] Initially, writing is probably best in most cases. It allows both parties to read, digest and react. Send a recent photo in smart-casual or business dress. She should send one of herself. Then, having established that both your basic criteria have been met, the phone, if available, and e-mail/chat are ideal to swiftly progress.
Do not necessarily be put off by the photo. It may be an unflattering snap and not representative. Do not necessarily believe her if she claims she is unattractive. Remember, to them, a pointed nose and fair skin means attractiveness. So you may find her very attractive if you like neat little noses and a smooth brown tan - the envy of many Western women!

Q45] How would I begin?

A45] Unless you are working a scam or have something to hide, be scrupulously honest. But not brutally so. That way you might not, unintentionally, offend; and you will be less likely to contradict yourself later.
You might mention that you realise that the two cultures are different and that what you say that might be acceptable in the West might be offensive in the East. Ask for forgiveness in advance and tell her that you would like an opportunity to explain what you really meant in a different way. That will give you a second chance when you do offend - as is probable. And it shows understanding on your part.
Keep off the sex topic. And if she brings it up apart from asking if you are normal at a later stage be suspicious. It goes without saying to a Filipina that if you are a man you will want regular and normal sex. A Filipina expects to be available whenever the man desires - after marriage. She is normally of the opinion that if she did not then she could not complain if you looked for satisfaction outside the marriage.

Q46] What if I am divorced?

A46] Do not keep it a secret but try to explain why. Even if it was your fault say that you have learned and are determined not to make the same mistake. And that's why you need a Filipina because she will be more committed to a lifetime marriage. That's probably true!

Q47] What if I have children?

A47] That will put a few off. But there are many successful marriages where the man has children. Explain what the situation is and how she would stand vis-à-vis your children. If possible, assure her that although you will expect to fulfil your parental duties - if that be the case - you will place her first and back her up if they prove unreasonable.

Q48] What if I can't father children?

A48] Tell her, and why! If it's vasectomy and you are willing, you can tell her that you could try for a reversal while mentioning that there is no guarantee that it will be successful. Many Filipinas expect to have at least one child. You could mention adoption if that is feasible. If you want children and are incapable you might be a candidate for a single parent or widow. I know of a few cases and happy marriages resulted.

Q49] What if I am impotent?

A49] Again, honesty! I know of a couple of cases. Neither men were up-front. It is amazing the tolerance of the girls and the lengths they were willing to go to help their husbands. Counselling, injections, drugs. Most impressive considering they were duped by silence. There are ways to allow a female some satisfaction in this sphere in spite of impotence. But in one case I know no attempt was made by the man. I consider this rather cruel.

Q50] What if my parents or friends are against the idea?

A50] Grow up! You have to weigh up what is more important to you. If you decide to go ahead, experience shows that the chances are she will win them over by her normal, patient demeanour. Parents can be converted when they see her sincerity and a genuine relationship. Occasionally they are not. But, if associates and relatives are died-in-the-wool racists it's hardly feasible that they will change. The best one can hope is civility and no abuse. Think well whether you will have to see these people alone or not at all and whether that will spoil the relationship.

Q51] What if I have facial hair or tattoos?

A52] I know from personal experience and that of friends that it repels many Filipinas. They associate long hair, beards and tattoos with rock stars, bums and criminals. So you have to decide whether to shave and shorten your hair. Some do not like curly hair either. You will still find a few that respond if you do not. But you are narrowing the field and maybe she has a hidden agenda. As Sarah Brown and Miss Adelaide sang in Guys and Dolls: "Marry the man today - and change his ways, tomorrow."
In the case of tattoos it depends on location. And can't more offensive ones be removed? You could say, truthfully, that as a member of the Navy etc that it was expected by tradition. Point out that, under some circumstances, in the West, it is considered quite normal and fashionable. You could mention some film stars they know of.

Q 53] What is an acceptable age gap?

A 53] A commonly asked question. Usually, even the younger Filipinas wants a man older than themselves. A minimum of 5 years. But up to 15 years will be unremarkable. But, if other factors are desirable, to many Filipinas, the sky is the limit. If you think you are too "old" perhaps you should steer clear of young girls. But it's difficult finding older than 35 yrs Filipinas. Most opportunities are in the younger 18 - 30 group. I was recommended to a 14 yr old by her aunt {who had met me) and she wrote me a very interested - and mature - letter. And I was nearer 70 than 60 yrs old! It is feasible to put her through her remaining education while getting to know her. It could be a scam; though I know of a few cases that were successful.

Q 54] So, what did you expect at 66 yrs old?

A 54] I expected, at "best", someone in their forties. But a 22 yr old wrote to me and I said she was far too young. She passed me on to her 32 yr old sister. I thought that a little young - my Western ex-wife was 30 yrs younger and it had not been a problem. But I dropped that Filipina as she started asking for presents and never did send the promised photo. Then on to another 32 yr old - a lovely woman with two lovely children. One only relationship that had gone wrong! But that did not work out due to the mendacity of her parents. Not her fault! She would not allow me to "pay them off".

I was recommended to several Filipinas by a married Filipina friend in the RP and, among others, what seemed a very suitable 22 yr old wrote to me. A graduate and no boyfriends and level-headed . She is now 25 yrs and we have been married nearly two years and she had our first bonny baby as a 70th birthday present for me. My 3 youngest children 13-17 yrs are her good friends. My older ones, around 40 yrs old, live in another country.

So, as you see, I had to lower my sights regarding age; but raise them regarding a woman. We seem to have no problems so far and are contented and happy. I know a few other men with the same experience.

I hope this adequately explains the age thing. We start off with our Western pre-conceptions; but end up seeing things differently under a Filipina's influence - in many areas! Filipinas can be very determined and dedicated to their plans. My wife was that, in spite of her father who was dead against her even leaving the Philippines let alone marrying a twice-divorced father of 6 children 11 yrs older than himself.

Q55] How do I prepare to meet her?

A 55] Wait for the next instalment!


Clive (1938) Grace (2000) Blaise 6 weeks (2002)




This FAQ is based on the many experiences of Western men who have related their experiences on the Net - Mag-Anak for example and private communications to me. They shall remain nameless though, no doubt, some will know where they fit in.

I would also like to acknowledge several Filipinas who have told me their private and very frank thoughts on the subject. Naturally, being private communications (over several years) they shall be nameless.

My own experience has been summarily dealt with in Answer 54.


Copyright © 2001 Clive Halliday.