Aussie Shot Dead!

A 67 year old Australian was shot twice in the head on Monday as he sat drinking in a bar in Aklan, south of Manila.  The murderer has been arrested by police however no motive or the cold blooded killing has as yet been offered. Read More…

Hard Copy StreetWise Guides Now Available

For those who love reading Perry Gamsby’s insightful guides to all things Filipino For The Foreigner, but prefer to be able to hold the book in their hands instead of read off a computer monitor… you will be pleased to learn they are now becoming progressively available via Lulu.com.  ‘Philippine Dreams’, also sold as ‘StreetWise Philippines’ in a slightly different edition is the first of the range available in hard copy.

‘Filipina Dreams’ is the terrific value three-in-one hard copy (paperback) version of  the best selling ‘Filipina 101 – How To Meet The Filipina Of Your Dreams’ and the well regarded sequel, ‘Filipina 202 – How To Marry and Migrate Your Dream Filipina’. It includes both of these books under the one cover, as well as the 2009 updates and also ‘Filipina 303 – Making The Magic Last’. After reading this collection of hard earned experience any ‘Kano’ will be far better situated when it comes to understanding his Filipina and hopefully making the right choices. If nothing else, he’ll have a fair idea where he went wrong!

Also available is ‘Making A Living In The Philippines – The StreetWise Guide To Investing, Employment and Business’ and ‘Philippines Property Primer’, the real estate guide that has already saved quite a few readers a considerable amount of time and money according to independent testimonials.

As well as these, the ‘Philippines Survival Handbook’ is also available in hard cop. This text delivers a very broad approach to personal risk management in the Philippines and in fact, anywhere in the world. If you ever wondered how you would lie low in a country where you stand out from the crowd in nearly every way, read on!

Mail Order Bride II

In all fairness to the young lady who wrote to me about my web site ‘degrading’ her (see ‘Mail Order Bride’ below), she made some valid points. WHile I responded in that article with a rebuke regarding the reasons why the situation is as it is, the fact remains that many people view all Filipinas as ‘mail order brides’. Yes, it is unfair, yes it i wrong, yes it is inaccurate but sorry, it happens. It is then up to the individual I suppose to change the perception if she feels it necessary.

I didn’t create the situation and I won’t eradicate it, but I will not be a part of the problem and I do what I can to adjust attitudes. In my book ‘Philippine Dreams’ I make the point very clearly and in the opening paragraph that there is no such thing as a MOB and that I find the term offensive. It offends the Filipina and her foreigner partner. No woman will have herself delivered FedEx’d to someone halfway around the world just to escape grinding poverty. Well, not many anyway. Unless you have experienced such grinding poverty firsthand I guess you can’t say with any accuracy exactly how far you would go to improve your situation and future prospects.

The situation is not resting purely on one group or another, there are several vested interests involved. First of al there are the men who seek a companion from foreign stock. Whether they use an old fashioned printed catalogue and snail mail exchanges or the plethora of personal introduction web sites or even the web cam that allows vision and speech to speed up the whole process. What used to take many months of long waits for replies now can be over and done with in a day. While that allows people to get to know each other quickly and rapidly weed out the poor matches, it also opens up a pandora’s box of possibilities for getting ripped off. From either party.

Web cams, chat rooms and even those pay to view soft porn sites are places where men and women can meet in cyber space. I think they are not as invasive as an exchange between a sex worker and her customer, face to face but others might see little or no distinction. Of course for every girl working the web for her living there are many more simply trying to meet a man they can love and live with.

What my critic doesn’t know is that I was the person who branded the Filipino dating site ‘Itzamatch.com’ . This site is like any other dating site and is aimed at those Filipinos and Filipinas who are looking for friends and partners, be they heterosexual, homosexual or whatever. It is not a MOB site. The social class of the members is different to those who frequent the sites where the foreigners are likely to be found. They are younger, monied, educated and have never had to wonder if there will be any food on the table tonight, they were spoon fed by their YaYa until they were 8!

Of the foreigner contact sites, the men who visit there are as mixed a bunch as any. Most of them are over 40 and divorced, usually from the USA but increasing numbers from elsewhere in the western ‘Anglosphere’ world. Why are they there? Why are they looking for love and companionship from third world women of much less sophisticated backgrounds with arguably far less education than they have? Many do have college degrees and good employment prospects in their own right once out of the Philippines but the majority are at best high school graduates from small, provincial barangays.

Is it because these are the Filipinas who make up the majority of the pool of available marriageable women? Why? Well if you are well educated and live in an upscale home with servants and money and a future why do you need to find a ‘fat, old foreigner man’?

Keep in mind many of these men failed in their relationships with western women. They did not like the competition as society swings over from the old ‘wagon train’ mentality to the new ‘spaceship’ one. The wagon train had the men fighting off the ‘injuns’ and the ‘wimmin’ making vittles and bearing children and so on. The spaceship has everybody equal as technology removes the need for the male attributes of strength, aggression and the ability to pee standing up. Upscale Filipinas are already on the launch pad while poorer girls are still hitching up the horses. In some cases literally if you substitute a carabao for the horse!

So the man thinks he wil get a better deal from a woman who treats him as the head of the house and appreciates what (little) he can provide for her. Unlike his first wife who was always whining and demanding more, his Filipina fetches and carries for him as if he were the most important person in the room. And he is until she can get the Green Card and the bank account and a job in the US and take care of herself and her family without him.

It happens and it is happening more and more. While there are still many dedicated, loving Filipinas genuinely seeking a man to love and cherish, there are more and more looking for a way to improve their lot in life and he is merely a means to that end. On the other hand, there are far too many men who treat women (all women) abominably. They should not be able to form relationships because they are so bad at them. They are selfish and childish and self centered and treat their wives like submissive sex slaves and then wonder why she left him. Or had him killed if he is living with her in the Philippines. (See related stories below)

Ten years ago I read little but success stories of Fil-Foreigner marriages. Today I read of more failed relationships, rip offs and scams and I wonder why. I think the speed of things is the factor. The internet has sped up the process so that no longer do you have to work at the relationship. A few clicks of a mouse and you can exchange a lifetime of lies. Then you rush into each other’s arms, be on your best behaviour and before you now it time has passed and you are ready for the ‘happy ever after’. Only then you find she/he is not as you were led to believe.

Men and women are made different for a reason, to compliment each other. When you add the societal and cultural differences, you have two people who really need to be either a match made in heaven (a fictitious place by the way) or they will both have to compromise and work together to make the marriage work. And hard work is too hard for most people, we all prefer the path of least resistance nowadays and that is divorce.

If two people who grew up in the same culture, speak exactly the same language and share the same societal values can’t get along, what makes these men think they can do it with a Filipina? And not a well educated one with a much closer grasp of western culture but one who has a warped version of our values. A woman who has probably never used a knife and fork, at best a fork and spoon and most likely her fingers to eat with. A woman from a family of many, perhaps with only the scattered education of the less than adequate government school system and full of mixed up myths and superstitions from the blend of catholicism and animism that passes for religion for 84% of the population.

Even is she speaks English, it will be a very different version to the English the man is familiar with. Word meanings are extreme only. If a word can mean even just two things and one is worse than the other, be assured she only knows the worse meaning. If you then use the word in its other context she will misunderstand you and it’s ON! Foreigner men forget how important family is to these women. All they have is their family, their kin and their lives often depend on each other. They don’t have social security, health insurance or much other than superstition and magic. They live in a land of volcanos, typhoons, floods, landslides, disease and reckless driving all backed up by the ridiculous belief that God will provide and if anything bad happens then it is His will and you can;t do a thing about it… bahala na!

So even the men who have only the very best of intentions have their work cut out for them. If both parties really try and work hard to make their marriage last then they will succeed and it will be a strong marriage. But if just one of them has any doubts or lacks total commitment or entered into the union for less than the stated reasons; it is doomed. Keep in mind many Fil-Fil marriages fail. The difference is the iron grip of the catholic church means only the wealthy and privileged can afford to buy annulments. Everybody else makes do by pretending all is well. There are far too many single parents, abandoned mothers and children, kept mistresses and bigamous relationships in the Philippines. But of course these are not acknowledged as they do not tally with what the culture claims.

The society is corrupt from the top down. Systemically corrupt. That might offend many but it is the truth and deep down they know it is the truth. Corrupt societies are far more open to exploitation than societies with moral integrity. Part of the problem are foreigner men who exploit the desire of less fortunate women to escape such a society. Of course the well off have no need to leave what for them is a great place and so they take offense at being seen as the same as those who do what they must to survive.

Life is not fair, it never was and never will be. I think in countries like the Philippines Life is more obvious, more in your face than in western countries where we tend to hide it behind a veneer of social justice and projected equality. Of course we have very serious societal problems in the west, no denying that and no doubt we have contributed to the problems experienced in the third world. But at least on this web site I like to think an honest view is expressed and if that cause someone to feel degraded, then they must ask themselves, why?

Mail Order Bride?

I received this email from an obviously well educated Filipina. While I understand her point of view, I argue that the situation is not of my making and if anyone is actively attempting to change the perception of Filipinas as mail-order brides and as commodities then it is I through my eBooks.

This young woman has had the benefit of a privileged upbringing in one of the wealthier families in the country. These are the families that own everything and part of the reason why the majority of Filipinos are poor and many feel the need to marry older foreigners and leave for a better future. It is her generation and social class that must take action and stop the cronyism of the ‘trapos’, or traditional politicians. These trapos are all from the same families, they merely swap political positions from election to election. They own all the commerce and industry and manipulate the economy and society to maintain the status quo. A situation that can only be changed by the young, educated and well off classes taking charge and demonstrating some leadership. Leadership worth following. I doubt it will happen while they stand to gain from maintaining this situation. Perhaps the pressure of being thought of as a mail order bride just might spur some into taking action?

Then the ‘masa’ will follow, they will cast off the yoke of the catholic church (controlling them with myth, superstitious ritual and the prohibition on effective birth control) and hopefully the country will move forward with some real hope for a brighter future for all Filipinos. Right now those whose only hope is to marry a ‘fat, old foreigner’ will cause all Filipinas to be cast in the same mold. So do something about it rich, educated Filipinas! It starts with you and the way you treat your domestic servants, the helper, the yaya, the lavenderia, the driver and the guard, then the sales clerks and waiters and so on. Treat them as equals and not as serfs and servants. People doing a vital job to make a living, not just there to make your living easy. Here is her email:

Good Evening,

I must say, your website is quite degrading. It’s true that many Filipinas do want to marry foreigners for money/white skin/”a better life abroad”, but not all of us do. Some of us are actually educated (not just in school but in life as well), have active intellects, and futures to build wherever we please. It’s unfair to the rest of us for websites like yours to portray all Filipinas as women desperate to find rich, old, fat guys looking for a child bride. Granted, you don’t use those words specifically, but it does come across like that.

I’m twenty-six years old and I’ve been actively chatting and making friends online since the mid-90s (I was twelve). Given that, I’ve met countless men who only saw me as a Filipina and automatically tried to find some way of getting married either to me or one of my friends. Unfortunately, my friends aren’t in the social class that usually marries foreigners so they can “get a better life abroad”. It’s been painful and very harrassing to be approached by men old enough to be my dad, and be asked if I’d marry them. I’ve cried innumerable times from the harrassing feeling of having pensioners and middle-aged men suddenly attracted to me all because I’m a Filipina.

I’m sure you only want to share your happiness with other men and women and you don’t mean any harm, but not all Filipinas are the way you say they are. It’s very humiliating and degrading to have to explain that I’m “not that type of Filipina” and I’m not looking for “a better life” because a better life for me actually means working hard for it and earning it myself. I have to make this explanation a lot because of websites like yours.

I’m not asking you to shut down your site, merely to be more considerate and include a paragraph or two advising your clients not to jump to conclusions, and to consider that no nation is homogeneous. We’re all different, therefore not all Filipinas are looking for a man who “can give them a better life”.

To be honest, I’m currently dating an Englishman, but it’s not because he’s white or he can “give me a better life”. He’s three years my junior, and when we met, he was still at university. But because of the stigma of the “Filipina mail-order bride”, instead of being proud to be together, we hid the nature of our relationship (and how we met) from our families and friends. It took several months to actually decide to tell other people that we were in a long-distance relationship. We met and became close because of similar interests, as I’m sure several of your clients have done with their wives. But unlike your clients, he had never met a Filipino or Filipina before, and he only found out about Filipina dating sites after we had met and he looked up Filipinas (to learn more about my culture). That was when we decided not to be completely honest with other people about our relationship. Since then, I’ve told my family and friends and have had to answer
too many personal questions and explain to every single one of them that my boyfriend “is not some old, fat guy wanting me to move to his country” but is someone who is actually around my age, has never been married, is going to follow me to whatever country I decide to settle down in, and feels the same way I do about mail-order Filipinas”.

I understand you have no ill will for Filipinas, but please, please explain to your clients that Filipinas aren’t all the way they expect. Your clients may not understand how their inconsiderate approach affects those of us that aren’t desperate for a way out of the country. It’s painful and it’s making some of us distrust Caucasians in general. At one point, I lashed out even at people who only wanted to make friends with me, because I had gotten another stupid message from someone who seemed to not even consider that Filipinas were not all made from the same mold. I apologised to my friends, but it was no less painful.

I honestly hope you set the record straight.

Thank you for your time,

(Name and address supplied but withheld by Editorial policy)

Well Miss, I think you should be very grateful you are so fortunate to be born into a family rich enough to provide you with such a future. Too many Filipinas have nothing to use to secure a better life than their looks and personalities and a very, very big reason for this is the systemic corruption and exploitation of the majority by the rich, landed and well educated classes. Feudalism ended in the west some centuries ago, colonialism perhaps less than half a century back and yet thanks to the influence of the catholic church and the greed of the oligarchs, the Philippines remains pretty much how it was when the Spanish owned the place.

I’m sorry you feel my web site degrades you, but that is your choice to feel that way. The truth never degrades or offends, it is merely what it is… the truth.