When people knew I was dating my now husband, I received quite a number of reactions. Most were shocked but was happy, close family and friends were very excited that finally, their bet has won. But I cannot avoid the fact that some OR not all people agreed to my decision. In particular, it’s because they did not expect me to date and marry a Filipino.
I don’t know what to call it but a lot of Filipino women, if not all, are teased to marry a foreigner at some point in their lives. At a young age, their parents, relatives and friends start to encourage them to marry a white guy who’s 3 or 4x their age. And to most, they are taught– not encouraged.
It’s most probably because Philippines is a third world country where companies won’t recognize your skills but look only at your resume and which famous University you graduated.
Although the issue is getting a bit better because some countries are outsourcing manpower in the Philippines (which means employment to those who did not graduate from college but are very skillful), but some parents and young girls are stuck to the idea that they can only get out of poverty if their daughter marries a foreigner.
Why do parents teach their children to marry a foreigner?
It’s a big part of Filipino culture to still support their parents even after marriage. This means, when their child marries a white guy who is not only 2x the age of their daughter but 3 or 4x – their daughter will also give them $$$ and who knows? In 5 years or something, their daughter can petition them to go to the US or Europe. Easy money.
One woman who I met when my husband and I recently got married asked me if my husband is a foreigner. I told her no but my father-in-law is an African-Indian. She then started to tell me she wants to marry a foreigner. For me, by default, Filipina women who marry a foreigner in 2 months after meeting them online means they want easy money. But when the woman told me the reason why she wanted to marry a foreigner, it was another crazy thing for me. She said she wants to marry a foreigner because her aunt who did, now acts like she owns everything and is very boastful. My mind rallied a lot of thoughts that I was left speechless for a minute. Then I told her why I married my husband.
When I reached 19 or something, a lot of my mom’s friends saw the potential of me marrying a foreigner. When my father died and the family business went downhill, I thought the idea was good. My Mom’s friends gave me a lot of tips on how to attract a rich foreigner’s attention. They said to choose someone from the Europe because Pound is stronger than USD. Crazy, right? One of the craziest tip I received was when another woman told me to choose someone who’s already in their 50s or 60s because I will only have to be with them for short amount of time and once they die, I’ll receive their pension at a young age and still enjoy life. WHAT IN THE WORLD.
Everything they told me was in contrary to what the Bible teaches about marriage. Another woman I knew married a man who speaks a different language and do not know how to speak English. That woman do not know how to speak the man’s language and only knows Cebuano and English. So HOW in their genius mind, can they communicate?
PS: I told myself not to get too crazy before writing this post but I have very low tolerance to ridiculous things so I apologize if I sound like I’m angry. 😀
Anyways, a man came to meet me in person and see if we fit each other. I agreed only because my life was in a terrible shape and I wanted to get away from it. A lot wanted to meet me as well but one thing I couldn’t negotiate was the age. In no ways was I going to date a man who can be my father or grandfather.
When that person came, I realized a lot of other things as well. One is that we have different culture. As caring and loving and thoughtful Filipino people are, some countries are taught to be independent and may think that carrying a woman’s handbag is a ridiculous thing. And I am a type of person who has a terrible need of feeling loved and cared for. In the end, I thought that I’d rather work to earn a living than expect to give and receive love that isn’t there. (Because, how can you sincerely love a person who you just met online?) And of course, I did not need someone to provide for me financially -I can do that. #IndependentWoman #iPayMyOwnBills
This post is not to generalize. I have met women who are happily married to their foreigner husbands like my mother-in-law who met my father-in-law in Zambia when she lived there.
Am I happy? Certainly. Am I struggling financially? It’s a topic for another day but whether you’re rich or poor, you will always struggle financially. Is it worth it? If you’re like me, definitely. I couldn’t think of any other person who can fill my emotional needs than my husband.