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Difficult Life for Many Filipinos

What I would like to discuss here is the employment outlook for Filipinos and how hard it is to support a family. Most times when I am out, I enjoy talking to Filipinos. Because of this and my open friendly manor I have gotten to know many and about their lives.I ask questions such as their age, marital situation, number of kids and about their life.

When I am at the mall to get out of the house I usually, have coffee at one of the kiosk coffee bars. At one of them, I have become friendly with two of the young men that work there.

The other day, as I was sitting there with a book to read and kill some time, I was able to learn more from one of the employees. At that time, the coffee bar was quiet and I was the only customer.  The one employee usually comes to my table and likes to talk and joke with me. In the past I had learned he was 25, a graduate of Criminal Justice Degree from the University and waiting to take his Board Exams. That day I learned he was married and had a son about to reach his first birthday.

He was telling me he was sad, his sons first birthday will be at the end of this month and he cannot afford any gift or party. I made him smile when I told him; at one year old a child does not understand birthdays and save for the child’s second birthday.

I asked him if his child has been baptized yet and again he looked sad and told me no, since he cannot afford the Church costs and the party to follow. You might be wondering why they need a party. I think here with such poverty and depression, families need a party and celebration to lift their spirits.

While we were talking I learned he earns the minimum wage of 265 pesos a day, which is approx $5.70 USD. However, after his taxes and deductions he take home about 150 pesos ($ 3.21). With this amount, he has to pay for their boarding house room, 1000 pesos a month, and their food and substance.

I was thinking, how a family of three could survive on such little money. I do not know, but they do. The fill stomachs with the cheapest rice and a little piece of fish or vegetable. Well they do, because they have no choice. With all this difficulty to this man, and many like him, most are open and friendly and do not beg for tips or gifts. They open themselves and offer a friendship for no other reason then being nice.

When I first moved here I was amazed how many times a day many Filipinos eat. They normally have three meals a day. Every meal has a large amount of rice and usually some small amount of a protein or vegetable. Then mid morning and mid afternoon they have a snack. Many times this is a carbohydrate. Bread, noodles, or even both, then again in the evening some more carbohydrates or a banana.

Rice is high in Carbohydrates but little in protein or minerals. Then the poor can only afford the cheaper rice with lower quality and nutritional value. The government has instituted a fortified rice adding iron. This is because of the poor diet many Filipinos are anemic. However, what about the needed vitamins and minerals.

I have heard of many poor families that live on one meal of rice a day and if lucky flavored with a little soy sauce. That meal is mainly carbohydrates and salt. The reason for so many Filipinos suffers from high blood pressure this one. Then add the fried foods and high fat of the meats and you are looking at strokes and coronary problems.

With this insufficient diet and lack of available medical care for the poor, there are more problems for the poor working class.

With the business owners looking to maximize profits and lower costs, the easiest way to save is by taking advantage of the labor force. In the States, many companies think in preventive medicine for their employees since the healthier their employees are the less downtime and delays to get their tasks done. Here in the Philippines, most employees do not receive sick pay and if an employee is absent too often, they are easily replaced.

There are some employers that pay better, help feed their employees and show the needed respect to lifestyle, but from what I hear, these are few. To improve a country and its workforce the people need to be considered.

Looking at China, Viet Nam, Cambodia and how they are getting foreign investments and becoming more industrialized, I hope and pray someday the leaders of this country can learn from example and find ways not to exploit the people but to assist them.

60 Responses to “Difficult Life for Many Filipinos”

  1. Jan says:

    Bruce,
    Good post,
    Some 40 or 50 years ago, the situation in the US and Europe was exactly the same. Employers were the most important people in town together with the mayor and the doctor.
    The working class was poor and would have stayed poor if there was no good labour union to give them more rights and better their situation.
    In the Philippines, the labour union doesn’t have power enough to put pressure on the government and businesses. Corruption in this country doesn’t help the case as well.
    Hopefully a new good president sees and understands this situation and is willing to fight for the working class.

  2. IAN says:

    Jan- yes, that would be great wouldnt it! But I’m not holding my breathe for it to happen. The only people with the vast amounts of money necessary to romance the electorate here certainly didnt get that money by fighting for the working class.lol And as long as most[man?] pinoy vote depending on who has the nicest ads, or who is affiliated with the most movie stars or singers- nothing is going to change. People here seem to be waiting for the Second Coming [ by which I mean another Cory Aquino ! lol] , but even the changes she brought about failed to outlast her time in office. Cory was a true leader, one who represented ALL filipinos, rich and poor, but the country just squandered the gift she gave them. In terms of elections most people here seem to feel a real sense of powerlessness [ the same thing I mentioned the foreigners eating alone in the bedroom must feel! ]. The people know that their lives are just getting worse and worse, they see how their neighbouring countries are making huge progress, but they also feel that no matter what they do nothing is going to change.

  3. Greg says:

    Bruce,

    I have been following your writings here now for a couple of weeks, and thank you so much for sharing your observations and experiences.

    My story (or reason for being interested in your board) is a little different than most, as I have no plans to live in the Philippines. I am only 39 years old, and have a federal govt career, so retirement is only a distant thought right now. I did, however, meet a very nice Filipina from Davao on the internet in a chat room. We have been chatting for a little while, and there is lots of interest in each other.

    She is 22 years old, very attractive, and seems genuine and caring. She has a business degree from Ateneo de Davao University, and so far seems much more responsible and goal oriented than what I hear of many Filipinas.

    Like has been reported previously about college, her degree only has landed her work at a basic job by our standards, but it is with an American company, and she is regular status, not temporary or contract, so after six months, she will get the benefits as well. I only mention this to show that by no means is she desperate to get away, as many are. She is on an employment path that could provide her a decent future by PI standards.

    Well, I have been using the site to learn more about her life in PI, specifically Davao, the challenges, and the nature of PI girls in general. I am wanting to visit her for the first time in a few months, so also wanted to learn travel tips and what to expect. There is no better way to learn about a person than to see where it is they come from.

    If all goes well, and we maintain a great bond and connection (or if we both experience love with each other), then my plan is to bring her to the USA on a fiance Visa, marry her, and live happily ever after.

    I have never been married, have no children, and am a good looking guy of an average weight, so, except for the 17 year age difference, there is nothing odd about us having a relationship.

    I have concluded I can continue the disappointing dating game in my own country, only to find in 10 years I am no further to having a wife and children than I am now, OR, I can take a chance at this relationship, with a woman that knows she wants a family, and sooner rather than later.

    So, my tentative plans are to visit Davao for about 12 days in May of this year to meet my girlfriend in person, and make sure our feelings are strong enough. Then, if all goes well, I will start the fiance visa process.

    So, as relates to this post, yes, life can be difficult for Filipinos even with a higher education. I have learned that from ‘my girl’.

    Please keep the information coming. I have learned more about Philippine culture here than anywhere.

    Possible future topics to discuss: Travelling to PI for the first visit (airfares, best time of year to go, do’s and don’ts, recommended hotels, filipina courting etiquette, length of trip, how much to budget); meeting gf’s family for first time; etc.

    • Bruce says:

      Greg,
      Thank you for visiting, commenting and sharing. I hope all goes well with your visit here. Feel free to ask of me anything you might need to ask. You can email me direct with the “Contact Me” tab on the top of the page.
      I hope I can meet you when your here.
      I also thank you for article topics, I will try to use them.

  4. Marcel says:

    Greg, I wish you all the luck with your girlfriend. Consider extending your trip to about 3 weeks (I never go for less than 1 month). You can stay legally in Philippines for 21 with your passport. But if you take your girlfriend for a day trip to Singapore, you will get 21 more days again. 12 days seems to be very little time to get to know a person. If you can get accommodation at your girlfriend’s house, that would be the best. There is nothing better than to experience daily lifestyle of Filipinos, you will learn a lot. If you want to stay in a hotel, I think Bruce was offering his services in locating accommodation or you can go to j2etravelcenter.com, it’s my wife’s travel agency in Davao.
    From your description, your girlfriend seems to be genuine girl. However, those good ones are surrounded by a huge number of not so genuine ones. Be careful with requests of money from family members or you girlfriend. Also, you need to realize that you will be expected to pay for everything, not just for you but everyone accompanying you at any given time.
    Word of caution… Carefully think about age difference between both of you. Since you intend to bring her to US, she will inevitably adopt attitudes of US girls of her age in a very short time. Way too many relationships end in big disappointment when these young girls are brought to western world. Very young and beautiful girl will suddenly have lot of suitors in US. Are you sure that what you can offer to her, will keep with you over the years? Majority of these young girls end up cheating on their older husbands and many leave them for other man. Very sad but true, I hear about these cases constantly, where I live. Filipinas here have a very bad name for that here. And it’s not that she might have any ill intentions at the beginning of the relationship. That will happen over time. Needs and interests of 20 y old differ quite significantly compared to 40 y old person. How many of very young US girls marry significantly older guy in US and for what reasons?

    • Bruce says:

      Marcel,
      Good advice. About Visa, you enter with a 21 day visa but a trip to Immigration you can excited it to 59 days or if staying shorter just extend for one month. Then for longer stays you just renew every 2 months. There is no reason to leave and re-enter the Philippines.

  5. ian says:

    Greg- I suggest you read marcel’s post very carefully- and then read it 5 more times !!! lol
    I agree 100% with everything that he says.
    You say you have never been married. you say you find the dating game disappointing and cant find a suitable woman where you are. What you are now contemplating is bringing a much younger , attractive woman, with a degree in business from the very top university in davao there. One whose culture is incredibly different than yours. Greg- filipinas are not just girls who look oriental and talk a strange language and have a tendancy to be submissive- and you will discover that in short order my friend. And if you have even the slightest thought that your girl will be a submissive little thing who will attend to you – then you should seriously consider finding one who did not go to Ateneo !! lol Here Ateneo is considered the epitomy of all things, as if someone said they went to Harvard!- and that means your girl is used to being looked up to- not down on.
    Personally the thought of making a life time commitment to someone i met for just 2 weeks is really asking for trouble.
    However, i really do wish you all the best Greg. I am not trying to be negative about your girl- just want you to go into it with wide open eyes

    • Bruce says:

      Ian,
      This is true again. That is why in past articles and advice I tell them to visit for extended times, get to know the lady and if you bring her back, make sure you are protected with any prenuptial and other legal ways available.

  6. Seth says:

    Greg,

    I am currently married to a lady from Davao and we live here in the states. There are still many hurdles that you will have to overcome here, but for me they have all been worth it. I never spent more then 8 days at a time in the PI when we were courting but I did make 4 trips in less then 2 years. My work schedule would not allow me to stay much more then that. I always stayed at the Marco Polo hotel but it is one of the most expensive hotels there in Davao.

    My wife has two college degrees and also was not looking to escape a rough life. She would have been happy for us to stay in the PI also but my work is here. I would be happy to answer any questions you have about the fiancee visa process that I can, but I found lots of information on the internet. I also hired a lawyer but it is not necessary if you have the time to do so. I liked the fact that the lawyer had a legal assistant in Manilla to speak with my wife and prepare her for the interview. It put the wife at ease. Good luck to you and your adventure and enjoy the PI while you are there. I love it in the PI and am looking forward to our next visit.

    Seth

  7. ian says:

    Greg- as i said it was not my intention to be negative, just to ask you to really think about things first. And if you need any proof that such a relationship can really work ?- just come and meet my wife and I !! hehehe
    But like Seth says you have to be prepared to put in the effort. But I dont find that much different than any relationship back home anyway.

    • Bruce says:

      Ian,
      As we know, there are as many good stories as bad. We need to be careful. How many have been in a perfect marriage for 20 or more years and it then went sour. With the cultural differences, it can be a bigger chore to acclimate.

  8. ian says:

    Greg- like Seth I started off at the Marco Polo. For 3 nights. Rack rate is about 10,000 pesos but you can get it online for about 4400 pesos.
    After that I moved to the Sycar Hotel. Nowhere near as fancy, but 1180 pesos a night including breakfast for 2. Clean, quiet,friendly. Next to a mall and if you get desperate on the same block as a Jollibee and a Macdonalds [ or Macdo here in davao lol]. And few things are more than a 55 pesos taxi ride away. I stayed at the Sycar for 5 weeks ! Sort of became my second home. Free wi-fi. [ unlike the marco Polo where breakfast is 450 pesos and the wi-fi is about 600 pesos a day if i recall correctly]. Life is good at the Marco Polo. Life is also very expensive at the Marco Polo.
    Altho I could certainly afford the Marco Polo i moved to the Sycar because I did not want to give the impression that I was rich ! Everyone here knows that the MP is the most expensive hotel here, and if thats where you are staying then obviously you are very rich- and to me that was not the impression I gave to any women that i met [ because I was most definitely here to find a woman! lol I did meet one online and came here to meet her but you would have to get me very drunk to tell you that story!!! lol]

    • Bruce says:

      Ian,
      There are now many nice short-long stay locations with nice amenities. Most with free internet. For the Marco Polo, with all the wonderful things they have, they charge $12 USD a day for internet in the room.

  9. Greg says:

    Marcel, Ian, Seth:

    I appreciate the warnings and wisdom from all of you. I expected some feedback such as this, and appreciate it. I too have pondered all of the pitfalls you have mentioned. I am proceeding forward with great trepidation and caution.

    My girlfriend (a term I still have not used when chatting with her) is 22, and I did not have much interest until I learned she has business degree. Wow, I did not realize Ateneo was so well regarded as a university. I really would have no interest in an uneducated woman.

    “filipinas are not just girls who look oriental and talk a strange language and have a tendancy to be submissive- and you will discover that in short order my friend”

    Funny, my ‘girlfriend’ does not really look oriental to me. Actually, she looks very similar to many of the Mexican girls that live in my city. Submissive? Thank god she is not submissive, as that is a real turn off to me. I already am accustomed to attending to all of my own needs, and as such, I am looking for a partner in life, not someone to serve me. Rather, it would be better for me to find a woman that I can serve in some ways.

    But, there is still much vetting to be done. My friend is married to a filipina, and she has offered to help learn my gf’s intentions. I must be careful there too, however, as this friend’s wife started showing me photos of her nieces once she learned I have a filipina interest. She wanted me to consider getting involved with one of her nieces instead. I had to explain that its not a filipina I want, but instead I want a good woman.

    And guys, the Marco Polo is way beyond my budget. I have been considering a place called “My Hotel”. It is new, has gotten good reviews, and price is about 1000 PHP per night, taxes included. It is on San Pedro St.

    • Bruce says:

      Greg,
      There are more and more new hotels here with nice services and lower prices. There is also the Red Knight Garden. It is not near downtown, and is not high hotel accommodations but comfortable with a nice little bar and restaurant and many expats to meet and talk if you need to relax in English. Let me know if your interested and I can reserve for you.

  10. ian says:

    Greg- when I said that line i was being a bit flippant just to make a point. You do sound like you have your head firmly fastened to your body so I am not worried about you at all.lol
    your friend sounds like a good match for you. At your age you already know there are never any guarantees- you pays your money and you takes your chances ! hehe Same as where you live now.
    Rather than alienate your inlaws/friends family maybe just say you want someone to start a business with so only will consider a woman with a business degree ! lol That will at least slow them down a bit.
    Ateneo is not just a good university- where people actually DO learn to speak English but is also a very prestigous university. That probably doesnt make much difference to you but believe me it does here in Davao.
    As I said I stayed at the Sycar hotel for about 5 weeks. After that I stayed at My Hotel for 2 weeks. Basically the same price [ they charge for a fridge at the My Hotel but you can get them to give you one for free at the Sycar]. Main difference i would say is that My Hotel is right in the downtown area and the Sycar is further away and near a mall, so depends on your own preference. My Hotel is not new [ actually its the old Grand Meng Seng] but has undergone a major face lift last year.Staff in both places are very friendly and accomodating.
    And a brief comment on universities in the philippines. Whereas most of us went to 12 years of high school and then 4 years of meaningful study in a university or college its much difference here in the Phil. People only go to grade 10 and then go to university. And in my opinion the level in most universities here [ ie U of M ] is so low that by the time someone gets a university degree they basically have the equivalent of high school in Canada [ and many US schools]. The result is that it gives the Philippines govt bragging rights in that they say they have a very high percentage of people with degrees but in reality the degrees are virtually useless. The students know very little and can speak very little English. Ateneo is NOT one of those places! An Ateneo degree actually means something

    • Bruce says:

      Ian,
      I feel the same about the education here, but graduates are hired around the world, so they muct be learning enough. About English and Anteneo, I have a nephew who graduated there with a business degree and he told me few classes inforced the English rule.

  11. Greg says:

    I brought this up tonight with my girlfriend, albeit indirectly. I told her that I have much respect for her attaining a degree from a prestigious university, and told her how important it is right now to utilize her education in her employment. She then wanted to make sure I did not feel inferior, so said ‘it doesn’t matter to me if your degree is not from a prestigious university’. Lol—well, sorry Creighton University, you are no Ateneo, so better lower your $30,000 annual tuition and fees rate. Hehe.

  12. ian says:

    Greg- ouch!!! lol I tried to warn you buddy hehe Altho I have been to 23 countries and have an MBA and a law degree and have taught law at a ” [prestigious university lol] and have never heard of Ateneo in my life- to the people of Davao its a big deal. Just to clarify one thing- when i said that ” an Ateneo degree actually means something” i meant IN DAVAO !!!! hehehe
    You said you didnt want submissive and maybe it might be better to find a woman you could serve in some ways- maybe your dream is about to come true !!! lol
    ^sorry i just cdnt resist that one ¸¸
    And now Bruce has burst my Ateneo bubble! I was told it was the one place that they insisted you speak english so that when you graduated you could actually do something with your degree. Ateneo just got downgraded in my book lol ^maybe best not to tell you not-yet-gf Greg lol
    When Bruce recommends Red Knight Greg you have to remember that Bruce is a hard core smoker. I stayed at the Red Knight for awhile and the only place you can use the wifi is in the restaurantbar which is full of chain smokers from morning to night! Something Bruce wdnt notice.
    And Bruce is right- philippine graduates get hired around the world. Doctors get hired as nurses and restaurant and hotel management grads from U of M get hired as cleaners! ^if you think i am exaggerating i assure you i am not

    • Bruce says:

      Greg,
      Ian and I have a difference of opinion about Red Knight. yes there are smokers at the “open air” covered restuant/bar but unless your sitting down wind or just the site of a lit cigarette makes you sick, I have not heard many complaints. Also all rooms have internet available.
      About jobs abroad, Filipinos are willing to take a job abroad lower than their diploma covers, but even a domestic helper abroad earns more money than a professional job in the Philippines.

  13. ian says:

    Bruce- I must admit that I stayed at red knight twice and other that the smoking issue i liked the place. And the burger for 90 pesos is a steal. And you are right, if a person is seeking ex-pat companionship that is always available. Unless Ray has updated his router in the last several months then room wifi is really not a reality. I think the reason that Filipinos accept lower status jobs is because no one will accept them at par. Filipino nurses are very popular [ I think registered nurse is the most in demand job for OFW ] but even they must do a couple of years of upgrading to be accepted [ i believe that is the case]
    And you are certainly right about wages- cleaning toilets in Hong Kong or Singapore or Dubai certainly pays more than many professional jobs in Davao.

    • Bruce says:

      Ian,
      About the wifi at the Red Knight restraint, there was a problem and there was a time only one computer had to hook up with a hard wire connection. I think it is now fixed and a week or two ago, I had my laptop and had no problem. In the rooms, on both sides of the road, they have internet access.
      With the nurse situation, in the past a nurse needed 2 years experience here in the Philippines before they could apply to work abroad. It has been reduced to 6 months.

  14. Seth says:

    It sounds like I might have come off boastful when I said I stayed at the Marco Polo for my four visits. The truth be told, my wife told me to stay there because she felt it was the safest place to stay. My father in law is the President of one of the Universities there. My mother in law is retired school teacher and the sister in law is working for the government judging schools. They are all into education and affluent and when I suggested staying at the Mt. Apo View I was given a lot of greif because of the “night life” in close proximity of the hotel.

    As far as them taking jobs below their position, I can understand them doing so. I mean when you can make 5 to 10 times more as a nurse in the US then they can as a Dr. in the PI why wouldnt they do it. My wife has her nursing degree and in the PI she could make a whole $180.00US a month or about 8000Php. That is not very much in my opion. I am just a lowly oil worker and I make more then her father as president of the university. The PI is a wonderful place but they are so far behind in many things, but I still love it there. In my humble opinion, it might be a shame that their biggest export might be the best wives in the world.

    Seth

    • Bruce says:

      Seth,
      The Marco Polo is a very nice hotel. For a visitor that can afford it, why not. Elena has had a privilege card and has taken me there the past two years for my birthday. The employees are very nice and the hotel comfortable.

      As you state, even professional jobs pay very little, even for Filipino standards. That is why many Filipinos have side businesses or side jobs. One time I read, that 14% of the GNP is OFW’s.

  15. ian says:

    Seth- steering you away from Mt Apo is very understandable. The local filipinas are all [ ok there may be 1 or 2 exceptions! lol] insanely jealous and do not want us to even think about going somewhere that we might meet another woman.
    The Marco Polo does have a large security force including drug sniffing dogs, military in front with automatic weapons, frisking and hand wands at the door etc etc. however, I always feel that if someone wants to make a statement its the Marco Polo they will chose as a target so I chose to stay in a less conspicuous location. I figure all those guards out front must know something that i dont ! hehe

    • Bruce says:

      Ian,
      I have been to both hotels and they both have security. The dogs are at the Apo, not the Marco Polo as I have noticed.

  16. Gene says:

    Greg,

    I am also an American and have been married to a wonderful Filipina and living close to Angeles City here in the Philippines for almost seven (7) years.
    Given the type of women available in the states, I think you are on the right track.
    There are many wonderful women here with an entirely different view on marriage and able to be the kind of wife you and many others are looking for.

    There are at the same time, many here that are exactly the oposite also. Because this is such a poor country, there are many that may not be looking for just that one way ticked to the states. Some actually make a living by conning us guys too.
    So your taking a trip here to meet her and hopefully her family will tell the story.

    Also, if you have checked into airfares you have discovered it is quite high and involves a transfer of aircraft in Korea, Tokyo, or Hong Kong.
    So before you dicide on a carrier and or a travel agency, may I suggest calling LBC travel in San Fran. Calif. They have a toll free number but I no longer have it to give to you.
    They buy blocks of seats on every Philippine Airlines flight to and from the US.
    Their fares are close to the others but Philippine Airlines has non-stop or one stop flights to and from the Philippines with NO aircraft change or lay over. From the US west coast its a 14 1/2 hour ride anyway. So much better not having to kill even more time changing planes. Also, Philippine Airlines (PAL) is by far the best and safest carrier available. And also has very good food even in economy class.

    Bruce, Ian, and others can offer good help and advise for sure. They live here and have seen and experienced it all-just about.

    If I can help to answer question or help in any way, please feel free to email me directly also at: genedavis@fastmail.fm
    Or if you use Skype, just add us on. Our Skype ID is: gene.and.viol.davis

    Just one more thought. Water here is NOT safe to use. So being careful of sauces that are to be put on local foods and even ice can cause you to feel like hell. If stomache problems occure and if you can take anti-biotics, you can buy here “over the counter” any that is needed. For the stomache problems, get 6 captules of Ampicillin 500mg at any pharmacy here. Take one three times per day for two days and the problem is gone.

    Take care and hope you have a good time here and that this is the one you are looking for.

    Gene and Viol
    Magalang, Pampanga

  17. Gene says:

    Oops, I hit the keys too fast Greg. Our email address is and should read genedavis2003@fastmail.fm

  18. alantooth says:

    very well said marcel, i think you want to say something bout filpinas (the beautiful one) lols, but its your opinion my sister is quite beautiful but they were still together with her caucasian boyfriend for 5 years, she met her bf when she was in jordan visiting some of jesus christ i dunno what you call that, anyway marcel youre ryt there’s a lot of filipinos are just like that who take advantage, askin for money and etc., we cant blame them, they think all americans are rich, hahahaha not all americans is rich enough to support the entire family of her girlfriend, but i knew some american who are very friendly, i live in solariega subdivision and i find them friendly,

    • Bruce says:

      Alan,
      You sound like a nice and understand man looking of both sides. The Filipino and Expat side. I hope to meet you someday.

  19. Marcel says:

    alantooth

    No, I don’t think I wanted to say anything special about Filipinas specifically. They behave like most other females anywhere in the world under similar circumstances. I can only talk from my personal experience in Canada where I live and most of my friends are Filipinos. I work in health-care and lots of positions in this sector are markedly staffed by Filipinos.
    What makes Filipinas to stick out in Canada especially is the fact where they come from and under what circumstances. I had a chance to mingle with many female OFW when I was dating still. Absolute majority of OFWs coming to Canada are females. The fact that they are forced by economic circumstances to be separated from their families and loved ones for such a long time, leave them emotionally very vulnerable. Even married ones would eventually give in to courting of local men. This does not make them any different than any other person in the world; we all know what long separation does to relationships. Filipinos suffer two fold however, initially families are broken apart when spouses have to go to work abroad, and subsequently separation and infidelity destroys many relationships.
    Other group is young Filipinas married to older men in North America. Leaving out obvious gold diggers and visa whores, genuine relationships suffer because of initial naivety of both partners. They can all enter relationship with best intentions in mind but what they fail to consider is how age difference will affect their relationships once those young girls will get Americanized. I would not blame young Filipinas for this because, for them to marry older guy is not so unusual in Filipino culture as it seems. It’s mostly old man from western countries failing to realize their inability to compete with other suitors once they bring their very young and beautiful wives to their country. Westernized Filipina will very soon realize that she can do a lot better…

    • Bruce says:

      Marcel,
      You bring up some very good points. Unfortunately because of economics and the dreams for a better life, many women go abroad and find all the excitement from the older suiters. Then for the older men, finding a marriageable lady that is not as old as them, over weight, plus with the attitudes they only want a man for a better life (better life, is that not what the younger Filipinas want too) and the bad feelings from past failed relationships they find these young Filipinas a better choice. The problem, just as through the internet jump before they think it out.

  20. ian says:

    Alan says” Westernized Filipina will very soon realize that she can do a lot better… ”

    Alan, i do appreciate your input and your unique perspective however I must disagree with you. I think your attitude is due to the fact that you live in a western country. A country that unfortunately equates “better” with “younger”. A country that sells and sells and sells on radio and tv and movies based on the premise that younger is better. lol
    Yes, the westernized filipina will very soon realize she can get a “younger” man, but i disagree that that means he is ” a lot better”. When you get a bit older Alan you will realize that you have been sold a crock of sh** by the well financed advertising industry ! Believe me my friend, that filipina will be much better off with a more mature, more responsible, more caring, more dependable, more secure OLDER man, rather than running off with that young stud, who will use her and then leave her !! hehehe

    • Bruce says:

      Ian,

      Thank you for your continued views and comments, but please be respectful to the other contributors. Not all Filipinas in America will leave their husbands and not all Foreigners in the Philippines will cheat on their wives. There is no hard and factual rules to life.

  21. ian says:

    OLDER- AND PROUD OF IT !!! LOL

    And I am speaking on behalf of all the older gentlemen who treat their women with respect and kindness and sensitivy. I also have no use for the guys whose egos are so small that they feel that they have to prove to themselves [ and other guys![ what great studs they are by having 18 and 19 year old girl friends fawning over them ! These guys are as much losers in the philippines as they were wherever they came from

  22. Marcel says:

    Ian, I totally agree that older experienced guy is more “mature, responsible, caring, dependable and secure” and that younger is not always better. But explain it to those wives that run away or cheat on with younger guys here. What I meant by “realize that she can do a lot better” is point of view of those Filipinas when they compare their aging, unattractive, boring and grumpy husbands to those young studs that court them. Women don’t always behave logically, unfortunately.

    • Bruce says:

      Marcel,
      It is not just because of the youth. I remember when I was going to Country Western Clubs for dancing. There were ladies bored at home and would come for the dance lessons and the music. Some of them were married and the relationship was getting boring. Some of these married ladies got caught up in the attention from the men they would dance with and end up cheating on their husbands or leaving them. The point I am making is a relationship has to be kept close and shows of interest in each other. If not the bored part will look for excitement elsewhere. The same happened in the early days of the net, bored women went to chat rooms and at first stated in Cybersex and then went to meet the persons.

  23. Marcel says:

    Ian, too bad we cannot have some kind of a poll here so we can get opinions of young girls as well. I happen to work with lot of young women in their early 20’s and we have had discussion on this topic once and most common response to idea of 20 y old girl marrying older guy was “ew”.
    I am not youngster anymore myself, I wish I was able to get young chicks sold on idea of marrying more secure, dependable and caring guy like me! LOL

    • Bruce says:

      Marcel,
      Do not let your wife read this message. If you know so many young Filipinas there, maybe get them to visit this site and give us their opinion. I would also like to get some guest articles from Filipinos abroad describing the changes they had to make moving away and also how their familys back home are using their remittances. To build businesses or just live “large” on the easy money.

  24. ian says:

    Marcel- yeah those brain washed bimbos !! hehehehehehe
    Hey, what can you do ?? not much it seems. Oh well, as long as my wife is happy thats all i really care about.

  25. ian says:

    Marcel- aging ? absolutely ! Unattractive, boring and grumpy? hey speak for yourself buddy !! hehehehe

    My wife thinks I am great! [ She also thinks 6inches is actually 10 inches !!! hehehe]

  26. ian says:

    Let Me Tell You About My Weekend….

    An older, white-haired man walked into a jewelry store one Friday evening with a
    beautiful young gal at his side. He told the jeweler he was looking for a special
    ring for his new girlfriend.

    The jeweler looked through his stock and brought out a $5,000 ring. The old man
    said, ‘No, No, I’d like to see something more special.’ At that statement, the jeweler
    went to his special stock and brought another ring over.

    ‘Here’s a stunning ring at only $40,000’ the jeweler said. The young lady’s eyes
    sparkled and her whole body trembled with excitement. The old man seeing this said,
    ‘We’ll take it.’ The jeweler asked how payment would be made, and the old man stated,
    ‘by check. I know you need to make sure my check is good, so I’ll write it now, and
    you can call the bank Monday to verify the funds. Then, I’ll pick the ring up Monday
    afternoon,’ he said.

    Monday morning, the jeweler phoned the old man. ‘There’s no money in that account!’
    ‘I know,’ said the old man, ‘but let me tell you about my weekend!’

    All seniors aren’t senile

    seems like an appropriate post to me !!! lol

    • Bruce says:

      Ian,
      Good joke and very fitting. About marriage, I need to tell you about the condom packages that come in a 2 pack, a 6 pack and a 12 pack.

  27. Icejon says:

    Hi there, my name is Jon and I have been lurking this blog ever since I’ve been in Davao. I’ve been to Davao 4 times since 2008, mostly for religious reasons. I’ve been quite impressed by Davao and I find that there are hundreds of positions here in the western call centers. Regarding the original blog post, I agree there are so many poor people here in Davao. Overall, once i got to know people I learned the overall person here has much less than people thing is reasonable. Davao to me is filled with “poor” people in western standards. People are rich in spirit and positive energy. I have noticed very few beggars compared to the scores i see in Los Angeles where I live.

    • Bruce says:

      IceJon,
      The problem for many Filipinos getting a job at a call center is their accent and weak use of English.

      About their happiness, I agree, just like in Mexico, families are happy with what they have and enjoy the family life. Americans as Geoge Carlin told are into their “Stuff.” If you have too much Stuff, you get a bigger home to get more Stuff. We forget you do not need so much Stuff to be happy with life and family.

  28. ian says:

    Bruce- the emphasis wasnt on the age of the girls but rather on the “fawning over them”

    . fawn implies seeking favor by servile flattery or exaggerated attention .

    i dont think saying something negative about fawning behaviour is at all controversial because i dont think anyone thinks it is a positive thing-

  29. roger says:

    Having read the whole blog on this issue, i feel that it is safer to marry one and live in the PI. Dont live in the West, especially if you are 20 + years older than your “true love”.
    If you want to live in the West with the lady, pick an older one, preferably a rich one in her own right.
    Cynical? Yes but a little practical too.

    • Bruce says:

      Roger,

      I think there are attitudes on both sides of the coin, living here or in the west with a younger wife. I think you will need thickker skin if your in America or other first world nation if you have a wife 20+ years difference, no matter the country she is from.

  30. Tom Martin says:

    How quickly the comments turned away from the original topic life of the Filipino and the difficult times they have to finding a woman. There is more to the Philippines than Mail Order Brides. That is the very reason I do not get involved with any Expat Group in Davao. There seems to be no interest in helping to eliminate the difficult lives Filipinos have or participate in any charitable cause. Everything centers around bars, women, bars, women, bars, women and boasting they have a maid that cooks, washes,cleans, keeps the yard and watches the kids for 1000 pesos a month.

    • Bruce says:

      Tom,
      You are right, the subject did go off topic and I am guilty not to turn it back. I am trying to get readers from abroad to understand life here and try to show the life of a Filipino, even with their difficulties, the respect they deserve.
      I also agree one of the Expat groups is like you describe. They try to give information and assistance but do talk about things you describe. Too bad the Friends of Mindanao is too early for you to attend. Most members are in relationships and do not discuss such things and as I feel, most are faithful to their partners.

  31. Greg says:

    Tom,

    While I do not think anyone here has been speaking of bars and women as a singular topic, I do feel I am responsible for leading the original discussion off topic slightly. I did choose this thread to introduce myself, and to discuss my link to Davao.

    I think I did attempt to not veer too far away from the topic, as I discussed the need for a college education for what westerners consider entry level jobs, and much has been spoken about the challenges of life for the filipina.

    Mail Order Brides? I was not even aware such a bride was available from Davao. I only know of my own experience of being sent an IM from a woman while in a chat room for residents of my state, beginning a nice conversation about life with her, and over a few weeks becoming more interested. She could have been in the UK, in Arizona, or most anywhere. Instead, she ended up living in Davao.

    And just as many men would, I plan to visit this woman, and see if there is a possibility of a closer relationship, or perhaps learn that there is not much interest for either of us after all.

    So, Tom, in your experience, what is the most effective way to assist the Filipino in eliminating their difficult life? I would love to be able to assist in such efforts, but I think such a solution is quite difficult. Overcoming a hard life is the Filipino’s responsibility, and there is not much we can do as westerners to help.

    • Bruce says:

      Greg,

      Even though you asked Tom, and I think he is better qualified to answer, I will put in my 2 cents.
      Assisting the Filipinos to improve their life is a difficult task. There is such poverty here, you cannot help everyone. I do think if possible the Filipinos need to learn family planning to reduce population. Also foundations that will assist in scholarships for students that have the aptitude and grades to get a college education.
      Another area is to open businesses where elder qualified workers can be employed. In the Philippines most job posting will only accept applicants until the age of 25 or maybe 30.
      I know there are many groups, but not enough feeding the poor, but my feeling is the more you enable the poor, the more they feel they never have to work.
      I wish the Government would do more to assist the poor to give them a chance for a better life.

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