The people who disagree with me deserve a chance to be heard.
Dear Mr. James:
I read your articles with interest, you write of our beautiful country from a foreigner's point of view. You have always been gracious about your being here.
One topic that perhaps many locals do not understand is your lavish praises for the Filipina girlfriends or "wives" of foreigners. Truth to tell, they are not our regular Filipinas. By their dressing and actions, they cannot be mistaken for the homegrown Filipinas. They are more western than Asian, perhaps to mimic or impress (?) their foreign partners.
Another topic we locals do not understand is the "May - December" relationship ( it is more February - November relationship) that you write about and we see all over. All told that is simply not the norm and was not until the foreigners started flaunting their money in front of these girls.
You can very very rarely see an old regular Filipino (sixty or seventy years old) with a 16 or 17 or 20 years old Filipina. It just is not a regular relationship. The sensible older Filipino marries a reasonably mature Filipina, not a teen-ager.
What we see are old foreigners with one or two skimpily dressed Filipinas hanging on as if it was the most normal thing in the Filipino culture.
Even in Europe and America, the average older men are not seen with girls 20 or 30 years old younger than them. They would be the ultimate laughing stock pair! Fortunately for the foreigners here, the locals are to polite to laugh in their faces and call them dirty old men or naive fools. Even without words, the foreigners must know what the locals think.
Maybe there will be rare exceptions to what I write, but the odds are 1 or 2 to a hundred. It is almost as disgusting as the child bride of India; what makes it different is the foreigner and the young Filipina profess Love instead of the word manipulation.
After all is said, one thing is clear: this old Foreigner-young Filipina syndrome has corrupted the real Filipino culture and moral values. It has fallen to a business transaction with each side trying to get the most out of the other.
Try standing on our side looking out and see if it isn’t disgusting.
If you read my column “EVIL” you would know I agree with you about the DOM relationships based on lies and deception. Where we part company is when you assume that all of these DOM relationships are false. I object to you taking it upon yourself to be judge and punisher of people you do not know.
Back when I first started writing this column a young Filipina wrote me a poignant tribute to her older foreign husband. She had been a young widow struggling to raise her children and keep a roof over their head and food on their table. Her life was slowly falling apart. Without a father, her children were beginning to make bad choices. This “old foreigner” sold his home in America and risked everything to come here and marry her. Their “May-December” love turned tragedy into a true love story. Together they created a loving functional “family”. I later met this couple and you could feel the love and respect they had for each other. I object to you calling her a “gold-digger, whore and prostitute” just because she fell in love with someone older than her.
You make several bold statements of “fact” that are really just your opinion. First you say these “May-December” relationships are “not the norm”. Who says it is not normal? Check the Bible. These “May-December” relationships have been going on for thousands of years. There are no laws against them. There are no scriptures against them. These relationships pose no real threat to society and are the “private” business of two adults. They hurt no one. They do not threaten society. Even the “May-December” relationships based on lies hurt only themselves.
You say these DOM relationships are not “a regular relationship”. You say that normal Filipinos chose people their own age to marry. As they say in the courtroom, “You assume facts not in evidence”. You assume that because older Filipinos usually chose brides in their own age group, they would not chose a younger bride if they could. The fact that “Dolphy” and others marry young brides proves that elderly Filipinos would marry young girls if the young girls would have them. The choice is not the elderly Filipinos; the choice is in the hands of the young Filipinas. That is how it should be; their choice not yours. You try to slime these “May-December” relationships by comparing them to the “disgusting … child bride of India” You must be truly disingenuous and desperate. How do you compare a free choice made by two adults to the selling of innocent children?
You claim “in Europe and America, the average older man is not seen with a girl 20 or 30 years younger than him.” I do not know where you get your “facts” (?). “May-December” marriages and even the marriages of total strangers have been practiced many thousands of years around the world, including Europe and America. Even if you were accurate in your claim, which you are not, the existence or non-existence of these DOM relationships does not negate their right to exist. Two adults have the right to associate and marry whom they wish without your approval.
“Locals are too polite to laugh in their faces and call them dirty old men or naive fools.” I admit that most Pinoy’s are very gracious and polite. One of the many characteristics I admire about the Pinoy culture. But the people you speak of are NOT “too polite”. They are foul mouthed cowards. They use the foreigner’s ignorance of Visyan to verbally assault the young Filipina in public. They call her ugly names and ask her ugly personal questions about her sex life. If I did this to your mother you would be justifiably outraged but people like you feel free to do it to this young Filipina simply because she loves a man older than her. You do not know if her love is real but you still set yourself up as the judge and punisher.
You claim that “this old Foreigner-young Filipina syndrome has corrupted the real Filipino culture and moral values.” How? How has the free choice of two adults changed your life or your society? These kinds of relationships have been going on here and around the world for centuries. You still live by your values. Nobody has forced you to change your lifestyle or morals. Without searching, I know of three Filipino families where the father openly breaks his marriage vows with any woman who will lay down with him. I read in the newspaper where fathers molest their own children. My own “wife’s” uncle was murdered and the killer was set free. If you want to protect the “real” Filipino culture and moral values get outraged at these breaches and leave the relationship of consenting adults alone. They are not yours to judge or punish. That job belongs to God.
“Try standing on our side looking out and see if it isn’t disgusting.” Those “false” DOM relationships based on economics punish themselves. The “May-December” relationships based on real love deserve our respect and to be honored. Your problem is you punish EVERYONE with your ugly words and contempt. You could use a little Christian compassion and empathy.