true stories, true feelings, the truth about living as foreigner in the philippines. with many tips on how to come here, what to do and what you should not dear to try.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Love & Romance - Filipino Style
Not only are the Filipino men very handsome and romantic but the Filipina girls or Filipina women are world known for there stunning beauty. And some foreign women have finally figured that out the Filipino men can be quite a catch. Filipinas girls, are not only beautiful women but a delight to be around because of the famous Filipina disposition and personality. Some, actually many who marry these Filipina beauties, swear they make the best wives in the world, not only beautiful, but loyal, loving and faithful past death. From living here so long that has been my experience too.
And, don't worry if you are older or overweight, like half the population of the western world. Both women and men here have the highest respect for age and weight is a plus to some here. It is a status symbol. If you are overweight, you virtually lose twenty percent of your weight when you step on Philippine soil. Age is respected. Consider yourself lucky to not be a kid anymore. The Filipinas will, hard to believe, but true. Young guys are welcome too.
Most Filipinas like a man with a little, or even a lot of, meat on his bones. And the men here are attracted to "heavy" women, a sign of health to them, especially in provincial areas. In Asian cultures generally, being overweight is a sign of substance and wealth. When I told my Filipina wife, I was going to lose a little around the middle, she said, What for?"
Love and romance is serious business with these conservative Filipino women, whether they are from a city like Manila or the countryside, the province. Romance and eventual marriage is a preoccupation, especially for young Filipina girls in the province. But your average Filipina is cautious about how she conducts herself, especially in the provinces, where every one knows everything about everyone.
The Filipina, How She Behaves in Her Culture, a "True Filipina." In the Philippines, if a man wants to be taken seriously by a woman, he has to visit the latter's family and introduce himself formally to the parents of the girl. It is rather inappropriate to court a woman and formalize the relationship without informing the parents of the girl. It is always expected that the guy must show his face to the girl's family.
Filipino women, Filipinas, are expected to be pakipot (playing hard to get) because it is seen as an appropriate behavior in a courtship dance. It is also one way by which the Filipina will be able to measure the sincerity of her admirer. Let me add here, dont confuse bargirls with normal young woman living in the philippines! That is a whole different story, told somewhere else here.
Virginity is sacred in this Catholic country. Women are taught there virginity is a jewel. Filipino men are not interested in marrying a non virgin. I, thought I am not sure I ever dated a virgin until I came here, understand why. I am sorry if that sounds strange or unforgiving. But in this culture the woman is responsible to not only herself but her family for protecting that virginity. She may not even be forgiven if she is raped! I know this is not fair. But that is the way it is and the Filipina girls know it. Many are badly hurt by men who lie and promise marriage, with no intention of ever marrying them. But they are forewarned in no uncertain terms most often. They know the risk they are taking by trusting a man who want to have sex before marriage. Much of my research on this subject comes from a book written by Dra. Lordes Lopez, the psychopathology of the Filipino. My experience bears out everything she says in her landmark book. The Philippines seem like a neighborhood rather than a country. Of a married or single woman strays, everyone knows it. Filipino men are reluctant to marry a non-virgin even if they are the one who took the virginity! If they could get them to break the rules maybe someone else can too. These young Filipina girls who stray, are called "soft noses," in some areas. The culture and the family lets the girl know it is her responsibility to keep her virginity as soon as they are old enough to understand what virginity is, not only in words by example. They understand is is not the man's responsibility. They are well aware that most men are animals, sexually. As a man, I must agree with that. To steal one of Jay Leno's jokes, "Research doctors at Johns Hopkins University just this week, took out a man's heart and replaced it with heart of a pig. "Then Jay asks, "Know what happened?" He punches with, "Nothing." - "Everything was just the same."
So Filipina women know it is their responsibility to guard their virginity. If they don't, they often pay a serious emotional and social price. If you are involved with a girl who is not a virgin in this culture, you are running the risk of getting involved with an emotionally unstable woman. She has broken the cultural mores, disobeyed her parents others. She may have other problems too, but maybe not. I feel, why take the risk? You may feel differently with good cause. And sometimes, just sometimes, even those "soft noses" are wonderful diamonds, and if they are, they will treasure your love, trust and faith forever!
Meeting a woman through someone else is a good idea. If you meet an older man or woman who has some status, be direct and say, "I am looking for a wife." "They will not be shocked, I assure you, but delighted, if you are truly a gentleman. Filipino men often wanted to take me home to meet their sisters and cousins. A couple of time I went. I was not allowed to be with the Filipina unsupervised and understood that from the beginning. And if you don't like the sister or cousin, he will find another relative to introduce you to around the corner. He will want to keep you in the family, but only if you can understand and relate to the culture. If not, problems may arise. The Filipinos and Filipinas are communal, interdependent not independent. When you marry one you marry the family at least the mother and the father, the siblings too usually. That is trite, indeed, but true. Be sure and read the Family section of the culture page and see if you can deal with what is expected, almost required, a right of the Filipino family whose child is married to a man, foreign or local. If you can't let it be know from the start of your relationship with your Filipina. If she is a "true Filipina,"the relationship may not develop. If it does she may not be happy in it, but you will never know."Pen pal" listings, E-mail pals, Introduction services are other ways to meet Filipinas and Filipinos. Ill suggest to look into www.perfect-match-travel.com, as they know what they are talking about and even run background checks on their Filipina & Filipinos before they let you meeting them in person. I did not meet my wife through one of these services. I took the time to come here and find one who was not interested in marrying a foreigner. But I do know many who have great success and many who had serious failures who used these online services. These services are illegal to own and operate in the Philippines, though not in any other countries I know about.
With e-mail, text pals and the Internet it is easy to meet girls here and establish relationships without an broker. If you join one of these services, though you may feel it is the only way for you to go, do consider another avenue. A trip here does not cost much. Perfect Match Travel is specialized in organizing your safe meetings and you got a real chance to meet your true love. And besides, marriage can be for a life time, or should be. There is no divorce her. The girls get into these services free. The men must pay. You may be writing to several women. They may be writing to dozens of men. Getting involved in any romantic relationship is always fraught with pitfalls. But for some, it is worth the risk, they feel. In a relationship built in a text-based environment, without visual clues, the people involved tend to fill in the blanks with desired attributes of the other person that often turn out to be inaccurate. The person you are writing to may only have the qualities you see in here because you bestowed them on her in your mind.
If you are reading this after having already established a romantic relationship with a Filipina, I am sure you are saying, "My Filipina is different." A romantic relationship with a Filipino or Filipina has a better chance of success if you come over and immerse yourself in the culture. And it is important to meet a woman's or man's family because the family is so important to him or her. And maybe the family will always will be more important than you. There is an Asia saying, that is accepted in the Philippines, "You can get another wife or husband but not another mother or father." Filipino children are committed to their parents who usually went through a lot to raise them. There desire is to make their parents life easier. If you are capable and refuse to help support her family who may need it because of the very hard economic situation here, she may not say anything, but she will neither respect you nor understand. As said, but it can't be said enough, Filipinos and Filipinas are interdependent people, not dependent, like in western cultures. They are so by choice and because their cultural needs.
Crossing cultures is hazardous, and using a text-based environment to become emotionally attached to someone increases the chances of a failed relationship. But there is no guarantee any way you do it. Common sense is your best guide to finding a Filipina bride, a Filipina wife for life who is happy and you can make happier.
Selecting your partner in life is one of the most serious decisions you will ever make. So if you have that in mind, consider a trip here before getting too involved. You may think it expensive. But it could be the best expenditure of your time and money you ever make. And there is no better place for a vacation that this beautiful tropical country. These services that bring together Filipinas and foreigners for the purpose of marriage are just not the ideal way if they dont offer to bring you really together in person after all. My advice is do not get involved with them at all if they just provide addresses and phone-numbers! You hear? Not at all!
I sympathize with those who have had relationship problems. I have recently gone through the move others are about to make. I have learn so much and continue to earn more everyday. First, let me say that without a doubt, you can find the kind of girl you are looking for. There is an essentially unlimited pool of women who would love to date you here. And many, many are what you're looking for, but they are the ones you will have to put the effort into get them.
They will NOT approach you and they usually are not on the internet. (But a few are.) Those on the internet are the ones who are MOST likely to be what you don't want...the MTV/Cosmo influenced girls. But, since I have moved here and learned A LOT fast. I have a few suggestions: First, avoid Manila. The girls there are far less likely to have the values you seek. Or they will be province girls who have come to "the big city" in the belief that the streets are paved with gold and quickly become desperate and, as such, do desparate things. I have traveled much of the country and find Places like Cebu city to be the best for a new-comer (at least until you become grounded) especially if you are an American or European. Cebu or Puerto Galera are probably the most American friendly place in the country. (Not to mention the most progressive.) Second, BE WARE. Be wary of the girls, be ware of anyone who offers to help you (foreigners included). There are MANY, MANY scams and scam artists. I knew a guy who moved here after dating a girl for 8 months over the internet and phone, visited for 6 weeks, then moved here. A week after moving here (after selling his house in the US, etc.) she confesses to him that she got engaged to another American since his last visit... HE NEVER would have thought her capable of such a thing, but he was obviously wrong. He has himself always considered a good judge of character, but he have found that Filipinos are VERY good liars. Also, the culture here allows people to justify almost anything in the name of "survival". And many have a very broad definition of "survival". (Essentially anything that means they get money is helping them to "survive".) So, when it comes to getting married, take things slow. Many girls will try to rush you into marriage, but don't allow them too. If they are rushing, their improbably a reason. Also, don't forget the prenuptial agreement... and if she has a probably with signing one, I GUARANTEE you DO NOT want too marry her! Third, never forget that you are a "foreigner". Being a "foreigner" means that you are expected to pay a higher price than a Filipino and this is pretty much an accepted practice by all Filipinos... don't expect other Filipinos to sympathize with you just because you are the victim of a double standard). This double standard is an accepted practice. Be a foreigner also means that if the shit ever hits the fan, you are the "odd-man-out".
And this includes your future in-laws. Blood runs thicker than water. If their is an issue with the family, don't be surprised when your wife sides with her family over you, her husband. Now, having written all of this, I don't want to be all negative. I was just surprised that no one else had given you this helpful advice. I think there are many great things about living here, the good women tops among them. But, I thought you could also benefit from some of my hard-learned lessons.