Friday, March 09, 2007

Pinoy Mail Order Brides

Aside from the brain drain, the Philippines is also experiencing an exodus of young Pinays, and sometimes even old ones, who migrate to First World nations as mail order brides. They come from all walks of life and from anywhere in the Philippines. All have one goal--to get out of the Philippines as soon as possible!
Forget the usual snail mail version. Now, it is more hi-tech. Filipinas who would like to meet a foreigner just sign up as a member of dating websites for free and wait for men to contact them. Sometimes, they are the ones who contact the men themselves. Other Pinays try Yahoo Messenger or any chatrooms to hook up with a potential foreign lover or two. Once successful, both parties proceed from emailing each other to chatting online to phone calls to the inevitable eyeball session. If all goes well, wedding bells will soon be just around the corner.
Before the onslaught of the internet, the usual mail order brides were those poverty-stricken Filipinas who wanted to have a better life by marrying foreigners. Having no access to a good education to be upwardly mobile economically, these Pinays resorted to drastic measures as their way out of poverty. This is not the case today. True, there are still a lot of poverty-stricken Pinays who try the mail-order-bride route, but even Pinays from the middle class are now experimenting on finding love or luck on the internet.
I don't want to sound jaded about this whole mail-order-bride phenomenon because for all I know there might be true love happening via the internet and overseas phone calls. It is just that I can't shake off this feeling that what has motivated Filipinas to seek foreign husbands is more mercenary than romantic. In the Philippines, the mighty US dollar still rules. Hence, the best ways to get one's hands on this currency are to be an overseas worker, to migrate as a skilled worker, and to marry a foreigner from First World nations.
It also doesn't help my cynicism that I see a lot of these Pinays hooking up with any foreigner despite the age difference. I have seen eighteen-year-old girls marrying themselves off to men almost thrice their age.....I mean THRICE! I, myself, can't see myself falling in love with a man twice my age unless he looks like Pierce Brosnan or Jeff Bridges or the other older Hollywood hunks. And these very old foreigners do not even come close to looking like David Letterman, who doesn't look much himself. Where is true love in such a relationship? And please, don't give me that line that looks are not everything and beauty is just skin deep. Physical attraction is needed in a romantic relationship. Why are these old foggies seeking young and attractive Filipinas in the first place if the physical aspect is not that important? Yeah, yeah, I also am aware of that line that Asian women are seen as a lot sweeter than Caucasian women and less materialistic. Well, I might agree with the sweeter aspect at times but not when it comes to being less materialistic. Filipinas are as materialistic as any woman in the world. The difference lies in the fact that Filipinas easily get high on material things that Caucasian women have taken for granted; hence, the former seem more grateful than the latter.
Yes, I also know that there are a lot of Filipinas who like to have mixed-breed offsprings of the Caucasian variety because the tisoy look is lionized in the Philippines and the mothers can cash in on their children's looks via showbiz and commercials. But still, I intuitively know that Filipinas generally won't seek foreigners if the Philippines can provide a better source of income to help them move upward economically.
I really can't blame these women for choosing the mail-order-bride route. Much as I hate seeing this phenomenon becoming a way of life (since it gives my country a bad reputation), I can't give these Filipinas a better option. Marrying a foreigner is the easiest way out of their desperate situations. Educating them would take years and is not an assurance that their lives will become better as a whole, considering the fact that a lot of Filipinos who have a good education are underemployed. These impoverished women instinctively know that they are better off capitalizing on their youth and looks and the perception of Western men that Asian women are better than their Western counterpart.
Since I can't do anything about mail order brides from the Philippines, I just hope that they do get a better life abroad even though I know from experience that successful Pinoys overseas tend to be snooty afterwards.
Just a note, it galls me to death seeing a google ad of a dating website for foreigners seeking Filipina wives on my own blogsite. I am actually advertising a phenomenon that I would like to put a stop to. Talk about IRONY!


rene san andres said...

madamme, check this out, and go for the love/dating scams. you'll see many posts about Pinays.

Jonha said...

You are so opinionated but I love it. :)
Nakakalungkot man isipin pero totoo tong mga sinabi mo. Sana may magawa ang government about this pero kesa nman ma stuck sila dito at walang trabaho, or meron man, yung mga mababbang klase and you know them, mas mabuti na yun kesa naman pabigat pa sila sa government. Yun nga lang grabee din ang risk.

Opinionated Pinay said...

Rene, I haven't visited that forum but I wouldn't be surprised about our reputations abroad. We are seen as a nation of domestic helpers (which is a decent living) and mail-order brides. It is kinda embarrassing but that is how it is since our government has not done anything to alleviate poverty in the Philippines.

Jonha, thanks for loving my opinions. Opinion ko lang ang mga yan pero I stand by them. You have a point na parang pabigat sila sa government natin but on the other hand, pabigat din ang gobyerno natin. Ay naku talaga!!!!