In the affluent West, ageing is a lonely affair. Many elderly people in the First World live alone in houses and apartments. In a lot of cases the road ultimately leads to an aged care facility — the final departure lounge from this world, so to speak. Even as better medical technology makes death increasingly optional there the inevitability of being alone becomes more certain for most people.
But for the young in the Third World, this poignant fate awaiting Western Europeans and North Americans presents vast opportunity. As the population of the affluent First World ages, there will be more money its people will be spending on something they cannot buy locally — companionship.
Commentor Ronald Montemayor observed…
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I’ve been to a lot of internet cafes where Pinay teenagers chat with multiple foreigners to hook-up with them (i.e. become their boyfriends aka sugar daddies), it came to a point that it has become a cottage industry here in this country.
The same technologies and services that cater to overseas foreign workers (OFWs) that has made it easy for money to flow into the Philippines from the affluent world now serves the needs of lonely Western males looking to hook up with young Filipino ladies for long-distance virtual relationships. Indeed, the Philippines is poised to use 21st Century technology for its unique brand of enterprise. This time rather than remittances being pushed into Philippine shores by an army of overseas foreign workers (OFWs), cash will be pulled in by girls sitting in front of screens and Webcams parcelling out their attention across multiple open chat sessions.
As the demand for this “service” grows, so too will the aspirations of many young girls degenerate commensurately. The lure of an easy source of income requiring very little investment in education and scant development of traditional marketable skills is just too tempting for a millenial generation raised on a diet of the instant celebrity the country’s entertainment industry routinely serves up over local television and cinema.
What is the source of Filipinas’ irresistible allure to European and North American men? Johnny Lis who moved from London to the Philippines and has lived there for three years offers some insight to The Telegraph UK…
One of the main attractions for male expats here is that many girls, particularly those from less well-off backgrounds, will actively seek relationships with foreigners, no matter how old, overweight, and generally unappealing they would be to most people.
Primarily that would be for financial reasons but it’s something of a status symbol as well for a local to have a foreign boyfriend/husband (it’s also to do with an innate desire to have light skinned children – ‘whitening’ skin products are everywhere).
The average foreign man here will be retired/divorced, but you do also get a few younger ‘digital nomads’ as well, both are just as likely to end up in relationships in my experience.
The matchmaking site Christian Filipina offers sound advise to men who are seeking romance with Filipino women over the Net. Foremost of all (by itself important enough to be used as the title of the article) is to never send money to someone you’ve never met. The site managers evidently cannot emphasise this enough and go on to assert…
Our advice is don’t do it. By sending money before you have met someone, even just a few dollars, you are risking ruining a potentially good connection. As soon as someone receives money, then the pressure from family and friends to think of you as an ATM machine starts. Just don’t risk it. Save the money, and buy a plane ticket to go visit as soon as possible. We insist – don’t send money to someone you haven’t met, under any circumstances, for any reason, period.
Not surprisingly, good advise is rarely heeded and the lure of direct channels to the hundreds of thousands of Filipino women trawling the Net and amassing vast portfolios of red-blooded foreign men is harder to resist what with Facebook and dozens of chat apps that can be installed on smart phones, tablets, and computers providing video-calling facilities becoming more and more embedded into the fabric of society.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.