23 January 2013

Old guys and young girls in Philippines

Not her dad
I just visited Philippines for the first time and loved the country and its people. One thing that stood out (vs., e.g, Malaysia, Vietnam, et al.) was the visibility of "couples" composed of (usually) old white foreign guys and young Filippinas.

I asked a friend who had lived in Philippines what he thought, and his answer is worth sharing:

"Rather than one single explanation, I will throw out several:

Long colonial history, including long acceptance of international relationships, e.g., Macarthur and his mistress.

English proficiency and Catholic background equals desirability for many Western guys, who find them easier to relate to than Thai or Vietnamese or Indo or other Asian girlfriends

Many websites, both free and pay, that cater to Filipinas and foreign hookups of all kinds. These include a huge mix of people -- some maybe in it for the money, some for love, some to try something new.

Overpopulation + Poverty equals families eager to gain some extra financial support from their daughters' boyfriends/husbands, and hence encouraging of hookups of all kinds.

An entrenched and tolerated, if challenged sex industry. The biggest center was Angeles City, now apparently a scary ghost town of struggling prostitutes following the closure of US military bases in the 90s. But Manila, Cebu, and other cities all have many sex districts, and you've probably seen hourly hotel (SOGO) ads everywhere.

Early-age sexual activity, poor sex ed, and the political grip of the Catholic Church means low condom use. I suppose some guys like this kind of thing. It does mean that young single mothers are prevalent in all social classes, as abortion is outlawed in the Constitution, while dodgy black market pharmaceutical abortifacients and dangerous magical-herbal concoctions are sold in kiosks outside of churches.

Retirement haven: a lot of older expats want to settle down again, start a new family or small business (ex: dive shop), and buy some land. Only Phil nationals can legally own land. Of course there are ways around this (lawyers can arrange partnerships controlled by foreigners, with partners on paper who don't know each other), but some guys prefer to simply use their wives names. Of course this has its own dangers...

When I first traveled to the Phils as a mid-20s single male, everywhere I went in Palawan, locals of all ages and genders asked me why I was traveling alone, when I could just go pick up a college girl who was looking for extra cash during her winter break. I met a lot of couples like that -- their arrangements seemed pretty flex. Guy paid for everything, bought small gifts and maybe some gear, and likely made a cash gift at the end. Sounds like a lot of marriages really, just briefer... They usually looked really bored during dinner, with nothing to talk about.

When I lived in Manila, I dated interesting, articulate, beautiful, well-educated women. We met the same way people meet in the US -- through friends, at legit bars, online, in the supermarket, etc. In general, women were far easier to approach than in the US, and I usually felt welcome when traveling with them. Although, when I traveled with my ex (an upper class, college-educated Manileno who I was with for 2 years) I'd occasionally see holier-than-thou tourists turning up their noses at us in silly judgment. Taught me to be more tolerant myself."

4 comments:

CM said...

Wow! That was random and eye opening. Thanks for sharing. Really makes you appreciate the intolerance of this in the US. I have no problems with older men or older women with younger … however, this looks like a child with a grandpa. Sad. At least have some protections for these children, because they are merely just children.

Shana Randell said...

This makes sense tome oddly enough. I can see why the women would want that kind of "stability" actually. It's better than what they currently have.

Anonymous said...

As a White American male who has been coming to the Philippines five to ten times a year since age 18, then received a posting here for a federal law enforcement agency, I have always enjoyed ruining it for all the "FOULS" Fat Old Ugly Losers who lurk around Manila, Angeles City, Olongopo, Cebu and Davao. I usually bring my college age and twenty-something colleagues who are fit, trim and good-looking to bar hop and it is quite comical how the girls IMMEDIATELY abandon the FOULs to dance, drink and shop with us instead. I have also managed to make numerous arrests for my federal agency of pedophile American citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents this way. Thankfully we are able to forcibly return them to the U.S. for federal criminal prosecution if they had ANY sexual contact with any person under the age of 18.

Anonymous said...

Angeles was developed for vietnam vets. The ladys are cautious to spend time with Americans because alot of them have memories of being abused by American visitors.