Ah, the joys of navigating the world of courtship in a culture that is not our own. Since my first exposure to the Philippines, I’ve read various materials describing Filipino customs, both relating to dating and life in general. These readings have been helpful in growing my understanding, but it’s through actual experience where it’s really soaked in the most. This is not to say I understand this universe anywhere near as well as Filipino intuitively gets it, but I’m better off from where I was when this was a brand new world to me.
Is the girl truthfully nervous and scared to meet me? Or is she just looking to help out a fellow friend by supplying a free meal? This is an all-too common question making its rounds through my brain at times.
Often in the Philippines, online dating starts with a feeling out process but then quickly moves to the “let’s meet” phase. At this point, things can get a little tricky. In America, perhaps you’ll meet the girl at Starbucks – you know, something easy, quick, and relatively inexpensive just to see if there’s chemistry. On top of that, the girl will probably want to pay for her own coffee just so you don’t get the wrong idea.
In the Philippines, there’s more variables that jump into the dating equation. Although it doesn’t hold true for all Filipina girls, many have ulterior motives when dating foreigners. You may not realize this at first, but the more dates you go on, the more you’ll be aware. Due to the extreme poverty in the Philippines, even something as small as a free Jollibee meal can be a big incentive for a girl.
Let’s say I’ve convinced my first chat mate to finally meet me in person. She claims she’s super shy and asks if she can bring a friend along. As this is my first date in the Philippines, I assume she’s being honest and I tell her it’s fine if her friend joins. She meets me at the mall with her friend and we proceed to Jollibee where I buy them lunch and have a chat. It seemed simple enough and harmless, and now I assume she won’t need a friend with her next time.
As a foreigner, dating in the Philippines comes with different precautions than dating back in one’s home country. Let’s cut to the chase – poverty is an extremely serious issue in the Philippines. On the other end of the spectrum, foreigners that visit the country are usually (but not always) more financially set than the average foreigner; they have money for the outrageously expensive plane ticket, hotels, tourist trips, and constant dining out.
That being said, what happens when a girl from an extremely poor household meets a well-off foreigner? What type of relationship ensues? What are the differences between dating a poor Filipina girl in the Philippines and dating a woman of equal financial status in your home country?
One thing I’ve noticed while staying in this country is that the foreigner-Filipina relationships seem to have a much wider age gap than back home in America. Whereas I’m used to seeing a 35-year-old man date a 31-year-old woman in the States, in the Philippines I’m more accustomed to seeing a male in his late 50s date a girl that just exited her teenage years. But why is this?
To break it down easier, it’s simply due to poverty. The constant pressure to support your family in the Philippines exists to a high degree, and that pressure trickles down into dating and relationships more so than it would in America. From talking to a number of Filipina girls about this issue, there’s only one way to improve the quality of their family’s life and escape poverty, and that is is to get “romantically” involved with a foreigner. It makes sense.
Fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, and flies – that pretty much sums up the public market in Angeles City. And, oh yea, how could I forget a local dog with testicles larger than mine? After hours, though, it’s a bit different. Vendors are cleaning up their blood-stained stalls and closing up shop around 12 in the afternoon, only to reopen around 10pm the same evening.
“I have seen you use Xoom.com money transfer and wanted to know if it is not a scam. How many days until your money arrives? I really need to know if it’s fake or not, I already signed up and the last step is entering my credit card but I’m scared, but I remember in your videos using Xoom.”
As the creepy smiling lady points out, you can send up to $2,999 for less than $5 with Xoom. If you saw me using it (and even collecting my money at Cebuana) then I guess it’s safe to say it’s not a scam, unless I’m the one behind Xoom.com and I set up that entire video on purpose just to scam everyone on this site…………but, that’s not the case.
Xoom is a legit site used by many, and it’s cheaper than Western Union.
My bank account is linked to my Xoom account. I’m not using a credit card as you’re about to do. My money is available instantly. When I say “instantly,” the moment I click “Send Transfer,” I receive an e-mail stating that my money is available for pickup. I’m beginning to think they are sending me the money before they even check my bank to see if I have the funds. I never gave them my online banking username and password, so I’m really not sure how they can verify that the money is there so quickly.
Worked all day and ended up heading out for food around 11pm. Unfortunately it’s nearly impossible to find an open restaurant at that time in most places in the Philippines. Luckily for me, I live in a touristy/nightlife mecca in Angeles City, so there’s plenty of options in the red light district of Balibago.
I wanted Mexican so I hit up Tequila Reef. They also have a location in Pattaya. Was craving a quesadilla so I ordered a mixed chicken and beef quesadilla. On top of that I ordered 12 pieces of the mini tacos – four pork, four beef, and four chicken.