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Filipinas Marrying/Married to Foreigners

Updated on August 29, 2014


Filipinas Married to Foreigners

A lot of Filipinas marry a foreigner for so many different reasons. I have read so many stories on blogs, on articles they have published on the internet, as well as the experiences of others that I have met over the years working in Brunei, Borneo and in the UK, where I had lived for 33 years, as well as those we met at our Bed and Breakfast. Two have resulted in marriage. There are positive and negative results to being married to Filipinas.

In many western societies, some people would smirk at Filipinas married to foreigners because they automatically think that you are a mail-order bride, or have met through social media sites. This does not happen only to Filipinas of course; it is also the same for other Asian women and around the world, but there is a different perception when it comes to Asian women. Those who are intelligent enough, have a broad enough mind to understand and will not think that way, they will actually ask how you’ve met and will listen to you. This is the same for some Filipinos here in the Philippines. Some will ask you straight, or make up their own conclusion even without knowing the facts, which to me is the height of ignorance.

Some of the Stigmas about Filipinas

Stigma surrounding these situations, are there any?

Yes! Some would say that Filipinas involved with or marrying foreigners are only after greener pastures in the USA, other western countries, or pretty much any other countries where they think they will be better off. Another is for financial gain, which is why there is a long standing joke about what to look for in a future husband: someone who has the Four ‘M’S, Matandang Mayaman at Madaling Mamatay (Old, Rich, and will die soon), and someone who can well afford to give them what they want as well as provide for her family too.

So, why should a Filipina who may have what it takes to make it in life, want to become the object of such an unpleasant public perception? Does it bother you if other people would think this way?

Some of the Stigmas about Foreign Men

As for foreign men coming to the Philippines, what do some Filipinos think of them?

The stigma that surrounds them is that they have been rejected by women from their country, and/or that they have had many failed marriages to women in their home country.

Based only on my own experiences, it would seem that a lot, but by no means all foreign men, who come to seek wives in the Philippines can be very old, some lack decency or a good attitude with regards to women. Some even lack basic personal hygiene. Many seem expressly promiscuous and some are alcoholics. Some foreign men actually hate the Philippines and Filipino men, but they sure love the Filipinas. If these men have had no hope of finding a worthwhile partner or manage to marry in Western society, they may not even get a chance to find a person that would actually commit to the relationship, love them or have a good, long lasting relationship in the Philippines either.

Why Foreigners like Filipinas

What are some of the reasons why foreign men come to the Philippines to find wives?

Some Filipinas are attractive, beautiful even. Many are petite, sweet, caring and many are in great shape. Other traits are; they consider the practical implications of a marriage, some can be conservative in moral and sexual issues. Most Filipinas value family and motherhood, they place a high value on becoming wives and a mother to their children even if they have a good career, because most are brought up to believe that family always comes first. They do not mind getting involved with older men because they have more experience in life and are stable and more responsible. Better than most Filipino men.

Try dating an upper class Filipina that won’t benefit from you financially, or a Filipina with a passport and lives abroad with a career. The woman will more than likely be no different from a Western one. I could be wrong, but she may have some of the characteristics of a western woman and still has the same values as a Filipina when it comes to marriage, morality, sexuality and some conservativeness in those areas.

So, Let’s be Honest

Do these western men come to the Philippines to find love first time, or to try once more to find a partner when they have failed in the past?

They may be simply going to a place where they could possibly find a good woman they want to be with for the rest of their lives and have a family, either by living here or taking their family to the west. Everyone has another chance to be happy in life if they do not wish to be alone until they leave this earth.

Let Me be Clear on Some Other Points

There are foreigners in the Philippines who come for work, who come for travel, who come for political or religious reasons, who come to study, who come to get cheaper medical care, who come to retire and try to live here and learn from their Filipino neighbors. Some of these people will fall in love with a Filipina. I think it’s great that they do because they have given enough time to know the culture first, get familiar, mingle and actually take their time to know people. Then, there may be a chance that their marriage or partnership would work only if they have good understanding, are truthful, give respect, listen to each other’s points of view and work on their relationship through all the problems they may encounter along the way.

My Criticism

As to those who have exhausted their dating potential in the western country or their home country, go to a place where women seem desperate enough to date them and expect the women to just agree to what they want instead of trying to improve themselves. Instead of learning the culture and being able to adapt to the way of life; those type of men are looking for a servant and not a partner. Those men who love having the woman but hate her culture and possibly want to "rescue" her from it. There are men who probably want to date them young, and will leave them as soon as they mature because their women learn and get wiser, as well as lose the glamour of youth. These are men who think they have finally found someone desperate enough that they can mistreat, cheat on, or even abuse. Sometimes it happens. Unfortunately, such men are more than just a minority. It does exist and it happens.

But Life is Full of Surprises

More often than not, things just have a way of showing up in your life when you least expect them and the next thing you know, WHAM! You've just been hit between the eyes. This exactly is happening to some Filipinas.

But then be reminded that we already know what the common perception was on exotic Filipina-foreigner dating even before meeting each other and so, no matter what the real reason for getting involved with each other was, even though you may truly love each other, the world would still choose to believe the worst. Just remind yourselves that as long as you’re both happy and your conscience is clear, the whole world can believe whatever they want. I SAY, WHO CARES! THEY ARE NOT THE ONES RUNNING YOUR LIVES.

This May Help

Don't go for looks alone; they can be deceiving.

Be Wise.

Don't go for wealth alone; even that could fade away

Go for someone who makes you smile, it will make dark days bright

Go for someone who would listen and understand

Go for someone who would truly care and be responsible

Go for someone who has the same values and principles in life

If you find the person who fits you, you may have a better chance in a life-long partnership.

Remember both have to be willing to work together so that love will flourish.

Find the one that makes your heart smile always!

Getting married?

I'm attaching some guidelines on how to get married in the Philippines.

Philippine Embassy Requirements

The LCR (Local Civil Register) in each municipality is run slightly differently.

Additional Requirements depending on where you want to get married, Church or Civil wedding

Before Tying the Knot


What are your Thoughts on Foreigners Marrying Filipinas?

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    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 

      3 years ago from The Midwest

      Any cross-cultural marriage adds work and stress to an already complex situation of making a loving relationship last a lifetime. Marrying an Asian brings differences in culture, food, religion, language, family relationships and even an outlook on the way the world works. Both parties have to be willing to compromise and learn to live with the other.

      We are a few months away from our 43rd anniversary and I still learn new things every so often about my lovely Filipina wife.

    • Benie Watson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bienvenida Watson 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      Hi MojopinOZ, you seem to know what you are doing and I do agree that communication is a big word too.

      I left the Philippines when I was just 21 after graduating from university, just lucky I had a choice to work abroad cause it was easier to get away years ago and took that opportunity.

      Surely she will be ble to adapt and learn fast living where you are, is it the land of OZ/down under? I have met a lot of Filipinas married to Brits and have adapted well in the UK. One thing Filipinos are know for is high tolerance, most conform and adapt well. I did get home sick occasionally when I was on my own cause I had no family around me but started having friends through work and gradually got in different circles of friends and met some Filipinos.

      It is nice to come for a holiday here and living here but as you say the culture is new to you. To actually live here is totally different, there are things that will put you off but as long as you learn more and just ignore things that will disgust you. One very common mentality is, if you're a foreinger or have lived abroad for sometime is, you're rich. Just be careful of your hard earned money. All the best to you both.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I agree Benie, there are infuriating things in each and every culture but also wonderful things too. The two big words are UNDERSTANDING and COMMUNICATION. I think nearly every kind of relationship that fails is because both of these have been lost. So far we are very open and communication about everything just seems so easy, this by no means indicates we always agree. I do see both of us come from a history of "bottling up", actually I'm worse. She seems to just take a short break and then is fine to talk again.

      How old were you when you moved away from the Philippines?

      I get worried she will have a hard time of it, she is 29 and has spent her whole life there living with family. She also has a good mind and I hope she can get interesting work here in her training but I don't know if this will be possible in the shorter term.

      I visited Manila and Boracay recently, I loved the relaxed nature of Boracay compared to other Asian beach resorts I have visited.

      I am amazed at the sites, including some Hubs here that have such horrible things to say about ALL Filipinas, I think it reflects negatively on the nature of the people writing this stuff but they are blind in their vitriol.

      Well I take people at face value and this is all we can ever do. I'm enjoying learning more about the individual and a culture that is new to me.

    • Benie Watson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bienvenida Watson 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      MojopinOZ Am, thank you for your comments. It is difficult to know if you are being scammed. Honesty is the best policy but not everyone is, to me by talking more about anything and talking about instances, scenarios, you could get the other persons points of views.

      There are so many married with different cultures but it is important for couples to understand each way of life and each should be able to really UNDERSTAND (it is a big word), learn how to give and take. I am a Filipino by birth but have lived longer in the UK longer than I have lived in the Philippines so far and there are issues I do not agree with our own culture, but have learned how to put up with it and vice versa in the UK. It's just the way it is, things will not change. Surroundings, if you are in the Philippines now, there may be things that bothers you , just put your blinkers on, the same as my husband has learned. What is important is how you both would learn how to live together harmoniously, just simply by talking a lot, never keep thing bottled up, discuss matters openly, trust and honesty. If one is upset ask why and get it out of your systems. One thing some Filipinos do is bottle it up, and do not want to discuss cause majority does not like confrontation and this does not solve anything.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Hi Benie,

      I have a filo gf, I didn't go looking specifically for her but it just happened. Of course with so much hateful information about scammers I naturally get a little worried but then how does anyone know the person they fall for isn't scamming them. Love is blind isn't it?

      I agree that getting to know each other and finding that you really do fit in with each other is essential. Many people marry incompatible people within their own cultures but when you mix two cultures there are extra difficulties but then there are some great things to learn in the differences. I have high hopes for my relationship and even though we both feel heady with the love we are trying to take it slow.

      I would love to see more comments here from both sides on how to make it work and the hints to help between two cultures.


    • Benie Watson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bienvenida Watson 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      Nico, I cannot advice you on where to find a good woman you are looking for and how to avoid scammers. Not all are scammers but some will just want security from a westener. I can only comment that love and happy relationship does not come instantly, it is developed. The only thing I could say is to get to know the person really well, find out her principles in life , attributes and touch on the topic of honesty. Have some fun together too. I find in my experience and other friends who married westeners and lasted for years is that couples talk about things openly, be honest with each others, listen to your intend partner, discuss things openly on disagreements and never delay or keep to yourself what you really want to blurt out. Most important is to get to know the person really well before plunging in. Good luck.

    • Benie Watson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bienvenida Watson 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      ggggg, looks is just face value. The pinay may not be good looking but has a heart of gold

    • profile image

      Nico Beukes 

      4 years ago

      I found that western woman haven't got the same values as for instance Philpinas. Thus coming down to the Question Where do I find a woman that would look up to me and only me and that will enjoy and apreciate what we could do togeter.

      I have spoiled woman in my life but somehow you don't get the same commitment as i would like to have. In my eyes its easy ,,,,,, have one partner not only as a partner but as a friend a lover a comrade. together you should do what you want and not care what others might think.

      Now with scams , Gold diggers , chancers call it what you may. How do you really going to find the one for you ?

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      only the ugly pinays marry westerners,

    • Benie Watson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bienvenida Watson 

      5 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks Arlene, other topics to come. I enjoy writing but I back it up with research too.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Excellent write-up, Benie. I agree with the ideas you shared on the article about stigmas of Filipinas and foreigners and mixed marriages in general.

    • Benie Watson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bienvenida Watson 

      5 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Thelma and thanks for sharing

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      5 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      Wow Benie! Very well done. This is an awesome hub especially to those who are interested in marrying a Filipina. As you have already known as your friend that I am happy and successfully married for 33 years to a German. It takes a lot of "work" to be married to a foreigner but it is worth it. Voted this up and shared to my followers.


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