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In Philippine culture, marriage is a sacred vow entered into by two unique individuals. Whether the couple chooses to abide a church or a civil wedding, both must be subject to a legal process. However, both rituals are legally accepted in Philippine laws.

From the initial stage of a tedious courtship to the ultimate consumption of marriage; Filipino women are traditionally expected to be shy and conservative. In Philippine customs and traditions, even if a woman starts to fall for her suitor, she will always manage to keep her true feelings. She may, however, encourage the guy to pursue her ! In what ways?

For one, she accepts the guy's gifts warmly; or she may encourage the guy to come and visit her at home. Consequently, a guy is favored by the girl, when he is introduced to the girl's family during his visits. The guy, on the other hand, must endure all the hum-drum of courting which may include her family too- this is a true Philippine culture.

Those were the days…centuries ago…But with the advent of modern and extensive communication technology, the Filipino woman today has expanded her choice of a lifetime partner. The importance of the Philippine traditions is waning with the evolution of the new technology. Probably, one day, these traditions may transform into a diverse and completely new culture.


Yes, the new technology such as the internet- along with its enormous and undisputed benefits, opens new doors to the shy and conservative Filipina. Relationships formed and proliferated from online dating, chatting and other networking sites. These sites convey options for her choice of a lifetime partner- foreign men who are more aggressive and more persuasive in nature. These dashing foreigners have become a dream–come-true to every Filipina who hopes for a better life.

But is it really for the better life? Is it truly happy-ever-after love story? I have personally encountered a number of Filipinas who enjoyed comfortable lives resulting from marriages to foreigners…lucky gals! They become the envy of the many impoverished Filipino women especially those from the outskirts. These women rose as role models of young women who aspire for an easy life as well. This is the one-side of the coin story- the image of an affluent foreigner marrying a lucky Filipina.

Just like any normal situation, there is always the other side of the story. Are you aware of many gruesome stories out of these marriages? For whatever it is worth, I can enumerate several unimaginable scenarios from marrying a foreign national. The aim is to open the eyes of those women who are interested in seeking romantic interlude with foreigners. With these articles, you will find out that many of our Filipinas were duped into marrying foreigners and winded up worse than they can hope for:

  • Drug dealers/traffickers- An issue of Daily Inquirer, local newspaper in Philippines, dated November 2, 2009; written by Karlo Pineda reported that our Filipino women were lured into becoming drug mules. Here's an excerpt of that news: wedding ring

Manila, Philippines-Lydia found nothing wrong with accepting the romantic relationship and affluent life outside the country offered by a foreigner she just met in an online chat room. In fact, for someone whose every day was partial to and limited by rural poverty, it was a promising invitation.

Promising, had the proposal been free from ill intentions. So when Lydia succumbed and got in too deep to realize that all was a lie,

she saw herself struggling to get out of the situation, even experiencing swallowing drugs and literally being lost in the middle of nowhere.

To Susan Ople, president of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, this scenario is common in the latest scheme of illegal foreign cartels now recruiting Filipinos to take part in worldwide drug operations.

'Syndicated crime'

It's a syndicated crime," she said, adding that most targets of the felony are Pinays who live in the provinces, family breadwinners, and first-timer overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). "Poverty is the push factor," she said. "It's usually Nigerians enticing the Filipinas, asking them to be their girlfriends before completely luring them into becoming drug mules."

Ople said the syndicates use women-sometimes even those who are pregnant-because the Bureau of Customs is more lenient when it comes to dealing with them. The women are also not likely to retaliate once forced to do labor, she said.They can even double as prostitutes, she added.

The Ople Center, a nonprofit organization in Pasay City at the back of the Department of Foreign Affairs, was established in 2005. It gives assistance to OFWs, especially those victimized by illegal recruitment since "there is little that the government could do to protect them."

Today, there are 500 Filipino detainees slapped with drug charges all over the world, at least 200 of whom are in China, she said.

  • Organ donors- Inquirer Global Nation dated August 10, 2009 made report on the Filipino women who were enticed to marry foreigners in exchange for their kidneys or other human organs. This is absolutely prohibited in Philippine laws. Furthermore, World Health Organizations reported that the Philippines has surfaced as the No.5 global hotspot for human organ trafficking. This human organ trading is connected with the a result of matching of Filipino women for marriage to foreigners either on a mail-order bride operations or through personal introduction whereby the person introducing gets a fee. This criminal act under the Philippines' Anti-Trafficking in Person Act of 2003 is punishable for 20 years in prison plus a fine of up to 2 million Philippine peso.

  • Domestic helpers/ prostitutes- And to make matters worse, we are aware of a number of Philippine women being lured by the mail-order bride advertisements who were found forced into prostitution. Some of these unfortunate women even ended up as battered wives or enslaved domestic laborers.


Below is a study I have read and decided to share in order to give more weight on what I have discovered. It may or may not aid anyone out there who is contemplating into marrying a desirable bloke from a wonderful far away land. But as the saying goes,"forewarned is forearmed"?

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Pinays marry foreigners because of love – study

By Ernie B. Esconde

Aug 23, 2010

BALANGA CITY, Bataan – Statistics, perhaps won't lie. Love still remains as the main reason why there are intermarriages between Filipino women and foreigners.

This after the Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO) revealed on Friday the results of its community education program conducted here for the first time.

Graciel Antonette Paguinto, CFO's Migrant Interaction and Education Division lecturer, explained through graphs that 46.02% of intermarriages cited love as the main reason, followed by personal/physical attributes at 21.85%, exemplary domestic capabilities at 14.28% and encouragement from friends at 7.93%.

Another CFO lecturer, Janet Ramos, however, cautioned those intending to marry foreigners even from out of love.

"Kilalaning mabuti ang foreigner na mapapangasawa at pag-aralan kung ang intermarriages ba ay para sa atin" she said.

Ramos said that there are many issues that intermarriages face. She cited cases where Filipino women were lured into marriage by syndicates ending up as prostitutes. Some foreigners marry Filipino women to help in paying their debt or to act as their housemaids.

Domestic violence is another issue that CFO is looking on intermarriages, citing an 18-year old Filipina who married an 80-year old foreigner.

Ramos said they have a unique counseling program on those planning to marry foreigners.

She urged her audience to be on guard on marriage for convenience and the so-called mail order bride. "Tingnan ang ugali ng mapapangasawa natin," she advised women so as not to end as victims of human trafficking.

Ramos said Americans remains to having the most number among foreigners marrying Filipino women. Paguinto said a rise in marriages has been noted lately with South Korean men.

CFO records showed that as of December 2008, there are 8.19 million Filipinos abroad. Of this number, 48% or 3.91 million are permanent residents, 44% or 3.63 million as overseas Filipino workers and 8% or 0.65 million as irregular migrants.

Countries of preference of Filipino immigrants are the United States as No. 1, followed by Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Spain and United Kingdom.

Paguinto said they are conducting regular community education program to introduce CFO that she said is not well-known although established ahead of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

The program aims to raise public awareness on various issues concerning migration, intermarriage and existing government policies directed against illegal recruitment, documentation fraud and human trafficking, among others.