I am using this quote as an opening line to a very delicate topic, as it resonates to the typical social belief that this is what a Filipina should be, in order to snag a white guy.
“Be nice to his family. Pretend not to notice the way their house smells. Pretend to like their food. Mimic their barbaric customs at the dinner table.” ― Laura Yes Yes,
In the Philippines, most people think we have to be little puppets in order to keep an “amazing” white guy on our side. For example, during a conversation with a friend who is currently in a two-year relationship with a foreigner, she expressed her concern about bringing her boyfriend around the streets of Manila, due to her fear of being stereotyped by our fellow Filipinos as his “ya ya” or “gold-digger”. Honestly, I was not surprised at all when she told me this because I’ve been hearing this comment ever since I was a little child. Other than that, I can also relate to her situation since I used to date a guy – who also happens to be white. So in behalf of all white-Filipina couples out there, who is frustrated as I am regarding this prejudice, I enlisted the Top 5 STIGMAS we usually encounter whenever we are seen with our “white” partner.
1. I am only after his citizenship or passport.
When I was a kid, I could sometimes hear the elderly whisper to each other, all possible justifications as to why a foreign guy would date a Filipina (and vice versa). Usually, it would go along the lines of “she is probably after his citizenship” or other notions of degradation. To give you a little background, I have been on the receiving end of this demeaning misconception. I have been in a 3-year relationship with a white guy before, and had also recently dated another white guy- and never once have I taken interest in their citizenship. The reality is, at the end of my travels, I would love to settle down here in the Philippines- the weather is perfect, the beach is just 2-3 hours away from the city and food can be immensely satisfying (check out some good restaurants in the PH you can visit through this link). I also love being able to stand on my own two feet, and I enjoy or take pride in getting what I want, through my own hard work – no men necessary to give me a visa or a passport I do not need or desire in the first place. Not everyone is as shallow as you think, sometimes it’s just sheer compatibility. Other than that, I also know a lot of Filipinas who are very intellectual, successful and driven enough to get whatever citizenship they want, without the help of any white man. The harsh truth though is, some women are actually after the citizenship, but it does not mean that all of us are, especially since this incident happens almost anywhere else across the globe- not just in the Philippines.
2. I am only after his money.
I would like to share a little secret, Foreigners are also humans, and they do not magically produce money out of thin air – they are also not a walking bank. Other than that I have been an avid supporter of women who have been pushing to have the same opportunities as men, just so we can be financially independent, and establish ourselves on our own without the help of any man. You see, my friend and I are both very happy in our career, we have a stable job and amazing salary that helps us to pay our bills and buy our food, and we don’t need a partner to do that for us. Believe it or not, I actually hate discussing financial dispositions in relationship, because I didn’t LOVE any of my then boyfriends just because he can offer me comfort (I am very comfortable and stable by myself. I don’t need “financial support” that would be a huge insult to my personal achievements and hard work) – I loved them because they are smart, funny and goal-oriented, and I would love them, even more, if they are amazing and thoughtful towards kids. I never asked anything of them, and everything I receive, they give it at their own free will. Every time we dine out, we always split the bill (unless of course, it is someone’s birthday- then one usually pays for everything, either me or him). I hope from that perspective – you can comprehend that we don’t love, based on our partner’s bank account – if you do, then shame on you.
3. He needs me to be able to invest on land in the Philippines.
This is also a common misconception since there are actually foreigners who do this. Due to our Foreign Protection Policy, foreigners are restricted to buy and own a land in the Philippines, unless he or she is affiliated with a Filipino National. Honestly though, if only for this purpose, they must be nuts to go after a stubborn girl like me, if they can get any Filipino to simply sign a contract for them so they can get their land.
4. I want a half-white kid to save me from poverty.
Sadly, I have heard this a lot during a coffee conversation with some people I’ve while traveling in the Philippines. Often times, it is based on ignorance caused by the over-publicizing successful Half-Filipino Hollywood Stars. I also think it has something to do with our country’s obsession with having beautiful pale white skin. Not only is it mostly desired here, but it serves as a symbol of elitism and higher social status. In my case, I have no immediate desire to have a kid, due to our current political and economic state. I believe that the world right now is too harsh for an innocent child, plus there are tons of other kids out there waiting to have a home – why make one, if you can just adopt one? But if ever I do bear a child in a very distant unforeseeable future, I would want it to have my Filipina skin due to many advantages: like, never having to suffer from sunburns (I never did).
5. He is only dating me because Filipinas are known to be obedient and good at house-keeping a.k.a. Free and dedicated maid or “ya ya”
As I was studying in Canada, I have heard this concept again and again among my fellow Filipinos. In my case, I am not a very good cook, and often times I am too tired to even clean my own face- but I do like keeping things clean and organized. The thing is, relationships should be an equal partnership, and no one person should be doing everything on their own. All men I have dated never asked me to clean their house or serve them like a king- regardless of what nationality they might be. Yes, we are known to be good caretakers, we are diligent, hardworking and there is a reason why our number one export in this country is manpower- but we are also very proud people. We do not like being used or taken advantaged off, even in relationships.
To sum things up, we cannot really control how people think about us or our relationships. In the end, it is always our happiness that should matter the most. What other people say should not affect the way you and your partner see things, and it definitely should not be a reason to end something so beautiful.We can always prove and we will always know the real value of what we have, and nobody should be able to take that away from you. I just hope through this list some people may realize that – relationships should never be judged solely by the color of one’s skin.
Did you encounter these things too? Empower others like us and write your similar story below. 🙂
Follow me on my next adventure: