Aren’t there enough Filipino men in the country good enough for some Filipino women (Filipinas)? As far as I know, there is no shortage of Filipino men and I haven’t heard of any reports that say there is an imbalance in the sex ratio that would compel some Filipinas to seek men from overseas either. But what could be forcing some Filipinas to look for partners from foreign lands? I’m sure the reason is not just limited to financial aspects because I know a lot of successful professional Filipinas with their own money who are also married to foreign men. It would be wrong then for others to assume that these women only married for money.
Yes, there are Filipinas, those who belong to the lower end of the socio-economic classes who view men from first world countries as a “good catch” because of the superiority of the currency these men have in their bank accounts. But to be sure, there are also some foreign men who come to the Philippines to take advantage of naive Filipinas. Unfortunately, Filipinas seem to have acquired a reputation for being heartbreakers and gold diggers among single foreign men who are seeking true love in Asia.
Even Jasmine Lee, a Filipina who married a South Korean national and then became the first naturalized Korean to become a lawmaker in South Korea, is said to have become a target of “racist” and “xenophobic” attacks on the Internet. Reports have surfaced stating that some Korean Netizens are reacting negatively to her new post with someone Tweeting: “Following the immigrant wife Lee’s entry to the Assembly, we can well predict the rise of unregistered foreigners and foreign women marrying in return for money. We’ll see the truth of multiculturalism that exploits Koreans.” It is unfortunate that the Filipina’s reputation has been tainted to the point of affecting even highly-educated and professional women like Lee.
I recently read a post from a site called HubPages written by someone who was obviously very bitter about his own experience with Filipinas. His primary reason for writing the article is to warn other foreign men from getting involved with women from the Philippines. Although I was disappointed to read his article, I can’t blame him for his generalization because I’ve heard a lot of anecdotal and actual reports around that seem to validate the writer’s views. I heard, for example, that Internet Cafes are swarming with Filipinas chatting up western men online. This is part of the dire post from the site:
Pinays’ most common goal is to make Americans fall in love with them and have the men marry and bring them to the United States for good, where they will settle down and enjoy the good life that the country offers. When they succeed, they will continue to stick with their men for a little longer until they obtain their alien registration card(green card). Upon obtaining this precious green card, they will abandon their men and look for the ones they really like. Infuriating huh? Due to this, Pinays can be considered to be opportunistics, who use their wits to continuously take advantage of the men who really believe they’re not being loved for their money.
Indeed, for many foreign nationals, the road to matrimony is fraught with difficulties especially when they are dealing with someone they barely know from a culture that is totally alien to their own. And this dilemma is not just limited to Filipinas. Anyone experiencing hardship in their own country will turn up their survival instincts and resort to all kinds of things just to get a ticket out of their misery. This phenomenon is not exclusive to Filipinos. Russian brides, anyone? Who can forget Nicole Kidman’s role in the film Birthday Girl as a Russian mail-order bride to a British guy. Nicole’s character accentuated the reputation of the typical Russian women from poor backgrounds who do whatever it takes to get out of their wretched existence. In the film, it turns out that the Russian mail-order bride is just a front for a crook to extort money from unsuspecting men.
I do feel sorry for men who get lured into a relationship by women who just want to scam money out of them. But hey, men do it to women too. Sometimes desperation can quickly turn anyone into a calloused con artist. However, as they say, it takes two to tango. A wise man would suss out the real situation first before getting involved with someone. Anyone can try to pull a fast one but it is likely the fool who falls victim to a predator.
Anyway, I strongly suggest that those who are feeling sorry that they got duped should also take a bit of personal responsibility for their own mistake. They don’t have to continue feeling bitter about their experience. They just need to move on. Even Marvin Gaye admitted that everybody plays the fool. The novelist Jane Austen also wrote about being a fool for love. For those who are not familiar with the novel or the film adaptation of her highly celebrated book, Pride and Prejudice, here are some of her most famous opening lines:
IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighborhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.
Jane Austen may have written those classic lines in the 19th century but her message rings true to this day. Other writers may put in their own little twist or nuance when they tackle romantic love stories, but most of them still work around the same premise of Austen’s storyline. For whether one acknowledges it or not, a man who is loaded with cash, property or stocks makes himself a magnet for all kinds of rackets, many of them coming in the guise of true love — which is why it is still better to use other means of attracting a partner as alternatives to waving money around. If a man chooses to use his fortune to secure a partner, he should be prepared to accept that he will likely to have been chosen solely for his money alone.
Who wouldn’t want their own Fitzwilliam Darcy or “Mr. Darcy”? Even if you overlook his character in Austen’s novel being a single good-looking man in possession of a good fortune; he oozes with sex appeal nonetheless. His appeal it seems has less to do with his good looks and his fortune, and more to do with the air of authority others feel when he enters the room. This is also true in real life. Sometimes when a person walks around looking unimpressed or aloof; people find that person more intriguing and more fascinating.
This is not to suggest that we should favor someone with a snotty disposition; it’s about being selective about the kind of people who you want to deal with. After all, who wants to waste their time engaging in shallow conversations about petty and trivial pursuits? In other words, it’s about having substance. And people who have substance can spot someone who has substance a mile a way. In Austen’s book, it was ultimately substance that helped Mr. Darcy overcome his prejudice and fall for someone below his class standing in society, Ms. Elizabeth Bennet. And despite his wealth, it was substance that helped Elizabeth overcome her own pride and fall for Mr. Darcy.
In the animal kingdom, the art of attracting a mate is not too different from that applied by humans. One of Sir David Frederick Attenborough’s documentaries on his Life series shows how the male bowerbird uses its decorating skills to show-off by creating some kind of “bachelor pad” in its effort to attract a partner:
To attract a partner, the male bowerbird builds and decorates an elaborate nest, which can take weeks to assemble. The bower — a structure woven around a sapling that looks almost like a wooden tent — is carpeted with moss and decorated with flowers, colorful insects, fungi or even dung depending on each bird’s design sensibilities.
While the bowerbird may go through a lot of trouble to make himself presentable to a female, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all of his time and effort will pay off. Other males generally construct bowers nearby, and their sense of style and song may be more along the lines of what a female bowerbird is looking for.
It is interesting to note that all that effort to show-off has an evolutionary purpose. The female would naturally choose someone who she thinks has the most attractive or the strongest characteristics. This is applying the assumption that someone who possesses the better characteristics will likely pass on the genes that produce them. More importantly, individuals who exhibit those characteristics are likely to possess the fitness and strength that make them superior carers for their offspring. So therefore, women who go for men who seem to possess strong characteristics should not be frowned upon. Women merely act on preferences honed by evolution to instinctively look out for their welfare and the welfare of their future family.
[Photo courtesy PinoyExchange.com.]
Going back to Filipino men, what therefore makes some of them so unappealing could be the fact that they are not raised to be real men. They come across as deficient in testosterone on account of the way they just drink and hang around instead of work hard to give their family a decent life. Some of them just let their wives do all the work, which could mean going overseas to work as domestic helpers while their husbands spend what little money they have on vices. This could have something to do with an undiagnosed narcissistic disorder afflicting a lot of Filipino men. Indeed, it was global media outlet CNN International that concluded that Filipino men are the most narcissistic in Asia. An inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves could be the reason why more and more Filipinas are seeking partners overseas.
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