The Image of the Modern Filipina
Every now and then, we receive positive or negative emails from our readers from all over the world but it is not often that a Western man sends us his thoughts about the Filipina. Let me introduce you to Steve Schertzer who provides insights on the image of the modern Filipina.
What a privilege and honor it was for me to come across both of your websites, www.filipinaimages.com and www.laurganism.com. What has been upsetting me lately is the very thing that has made you angry in recent years: The image and perception of the contemporary Filipina. Like you said, just google the word “Filipina” and what appears on every computer screen is mail order bride services masquerating as dating or key-pal websites, and more pornographic pictures of Filipinas than anyone can count.
In fact, these websites seem to be leading the charge in promoting today’s Filipina as little more than desperate gold-diggers who would do anything to meet a foreign man more than twice their age. They are often described as “sex kittens” and “coy” or “submissive” who would make good wives for older, Western men. This is insulting to both Filipinas and to myself as a Western man.
But as we are all too aware, many Filipinas today— in fact, too many of them— often portray themselves that way to get a foreign man to support both her and her family. Philippine society is not doing itself any favors by keeping its collective head in the sand by ignoring this issue. With hundreds of thousands of Filipina prostitutes plying their trade in places like Manila and Angeles City, (not to mention in countries like Japan and South Korea on “Entertainment” visas), the modern day Filipina is also a major contributor to the image of the Philippines as an international clearing house for prostitution.
It also doesn’t help that many politicians in your country deny that there is a prostitution problem. Corruption and taking kickbacks from bar mama sans help to perpetuate this problem. Even the Mayor of Angeles City, Francis “Blueboy” Nepomceno was recently quoted in a newspaper saying that there were “no lewd acts” in the Angeles City bars. Oh really? I’ve seen some of them.
But blaming politicians is not the answer. And neither is blaming foreign men, although the three million foreign tourists who visit the Philippines each year are not in your beautiful country to see the Chocolate Hills. In fact, the only chocolate hills that many of these unsavoury foreign men see are on the hookers in Angeles City and Makati.
In my opinion, it would be unwise to view the current economic crisis as an excuse for Filipinos to pimp their wives, sisters, and daughters to these foreigners of low quality. Filipinas who choose prostitution as a trade, whether in the bars or online in chat rooms, do so not because they lack money. Filipinas who sell themselves to foreigners do so because they have no morals, no self-respect, and no dignity. These women lack a true work ethic and have not been raised properly.
In light of these sad facts, I urge Filipinos to unite and take back the image of the Filipina that was once the heart and soul of your great nation. My advice to the Filipino people and the solution to this problem rings as true today as it did centuries ago. Take pride in being Filipino, develop a work ethic, speak out when you see an injustice, sit up straight, pull your pants up, apply yourself. Remember to always shine the spotlight on these websites that degrade the Filipina. Sunlight is always the best disinfectant. And above all, never, never pimp your sisters and daughters to foreigners for the sake of the Almighty peso. Your Filipina daughters are worth more than all the money in the world. Remember that.
I would now like to elaborate and clarify certain points from my previous letter on the image of the modern Filipina. We can all agree that there is a problem with how Filipinas are viewed and perceived on the internet and in the media. This problem is, however, a product of their own making. We can certainly debate that.
We know that there are countless numbers of foreign men— from Asia, Europe, Austrailia, and North America— who visit the Philippines, some several times a year, for quick, cheap, and easy sex with Filipinas. Many of these girls are met in bars while others are met online. We also know that there are countless numbers of Filipinas— many in their teens— who sell themselves, (or shall I say, rent themselves), to foreigners for money. According to government statistics and certain NGO’s who work with some of these Filipinas, the numbers of Filipinas who sell themselves to foreigners continues to increase every year.
Like I said, a lack of money is not the problem. A lack of morality and self-respect is. These temporary unions by unsavoury foreign men and gold digging Filipinas are based upon a pathology whereby each party exploits the other for sex and money. We must acknowledge this and attempt to put an end to it once and for all. People are being hurt and sometimes killed. Filipinas are being beaten and the men’s children from any previous marriage are being robbed of their rightly inheritance to their father’s money.
Now here’s more disgusting news: Many of these so-called “Mail Order Bride” websites that masquerade as dating sites are innocuous and harmless compared to the others that proudly display pictures of naked Filipinas. Many of them also include sexually explicit videos made by the foreign men and the Filipinas themselves. Like I said, Filipinas have contributed to this problem and it shows no sign of abating.
I should also mention that this ‘Mail Order Bride” phenomenon is illegal in the Philippines and have been so since 1990. There was also an amendment to this law in 2003 by the Philippine government to include websites on the Internet. I’m sure that you already know this, Noemi and Lauren, since your websites also mention this.
Let me say that I am not opposed to international marriages, although it has already been proven that most of then don’t work. Since most marriages between foreign men and Filipinas are primarily based on sex for money, it was never meant to work.
Now here’s the solution: (I do have one.) We need a completely different paradigm of thought. A radical shift in thinking about international marriages. A Western man from the middle class should not be allowed to marry a dirt-poor Filipina. IF FILIPINOS CARED ONE IOTA ABOUT THEIR FILIPINA SISTERS AND DAUGHTERS, THEN PHILIPPINE SOCIETY WOULD NEVER ALLOW UNIONS OF THIS KIND. Why? Because Filipinas will then become sex slaves; totally dependent of the foreign man for just about everything.
The solution, (and I do have one), is this: Every Filipina who wants to marry a foreigner should have these:
*** A university degree
*** A steady and regular job that pays well. (No bargirl or prostitution background.)
*** A work ethic
*** Parents who are in a stable marriage.
*** No criminal background
*** Morality, dignity, and self-respect.
*** Money in the bank
*** A proven track record that she can indeed save money and support her family.
Of course, the foreign man should have these same attributes and characteristics. Remember, we want positive unions between Filipinas and foreigners, not sick ones. This is one way to acheive that.
There is still so much more to say on this matter. I am also angry at all this. We need to petition your government to amend the laws so that marriages between Filipinas and foreign men are based on love and mutual respect, not cheap sex and money. I’m sure everyone can agree that any marriage between a Filipina and a foreign man must be based on equality and be advantageous to both people, their families, and their societies.
Until then, the modern Filipina, her family, and her society have a long way to go before the once proud and beautiful country of the Philippines can claim to be compassionate and civilized.
Keep up the good work, Noemi and Lauren. And remember, the only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. I am greatful that good people like you are trying to do something about how the modern day Filipina is perceived. Now convince the modern Filipina to do the same. We must continue to speak out.