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Truth or Myth: Why Filipino Women Marry Foreigners

A photo of a Filipino woman
Lots of assumptions arise when women in the Philippines marry foreign men. Find out which are true. | Photo by Marco Lima on Unsplash

There is a Filipino saying “May isa na namang pinay ang umahon sa hirap.”

Translated, it literally means another Filipina has escaped poverty.

If you’re a foreign man who’s been or is with a Filipina now, you might have heard of this statement being thrown at the both of you, either discreetly or openly, by the other Filipinos before.

It’s simple to connect the dots and realize what this phrase is alluding to: any connection or relationship with you automatically correlates to money for the Filipinos.

Now, don’t get them wrong. Filipino women aren’t gold-diggers.

For the most part, these comments about Foreign-Filipina couples or intercultural marriage in general are nothing more than a lighthearted joke. But, if we look at it from a different angle, we can see that this is a mirror of a Filipino stereotype: when a Filipina is with any foreign guy, she becomes instantly wealthier than she was before.

So wait… Is she only using me?

Undeniably the issue of deception and being taken advantage of are one of the most evident intercultural marriage problems. Knowing this, you may have started to question your partner, for which we apologize in advance.

And it’s never simple – and in some situations, nearly impossible – to judge whether someone has good intentions or not. Especially when “humans have a natural tendency to lie” (Jean Piaget, Child Psychologist). That is the issue.

You’re probably on the edge of your seat right now, waiting to see if the lady you’re with is being honest about her sentiments. So, rather than prolonging your misery, we’ll help you figure out which stereotypes are false and which are facts when it comes to Filipinas wanting to be with you.

She’s using you in order to escape poverty

Let’s start with this, as it’s already been mentioned:

It’s common to believe that if a Filipino lady is spotted with a foreign man, he’s her “ATM machine.” It’s even referred to as being a "financer.” Some may believe she is forced to be with him for these reasons. But, without a doubt, this is a myth.

While the Philippines is referred to as a third world country, and is far from the economic status of America, Filipinos are known for their hard labor.

Filipinas, in particular, are taught to be self-sufficient. Being self-supporting is one of the most charming Filipino women characteristics — they are capable of working alone. In fact, your partner was probably working a steady job before you came into her life.

Sure, Filipinas will appreciate it if you could assist them monetarily and relieve some of their financial stress, but Filipinas will not adore you only because of your wealth.

She wants you to look after her family

There is a popular assumption about marriage in the Philippines, which entails that being married to a Filipina is equal to marrying her family as well. This implies that the minute the ring is slid onto your partner’s finger, her family becomes your responsibility.

Not only will you perhaps live with them, or they with you, because Filipino families are truly inseparable, but they will also rely on you for money, and include you in financial affairs.

Or at least, that’s what society wants you to believe, and this was formerly widespread in Philippine culture. However, this is no longer the case. When it comes to borrowing money, the majority of Filipino families are hesitant, especially from their in-laws.

Plus, if you’re with the correct girl, she’ll be the one to prevent her family from relying on you for money.

A photo of a passport
International marriage in the Philippines is still slightly frowned or judged upon. | Photo by ConvertKit on Unsplash

She needs a green card or a visa

What makes people think that all women in the Philippines only care about money? – Myth

The notion that Filipinas exclusively marry foreign males in order to travel to the west, start a better life, and escape the troubles in the Philippines is incorrect.

Everyone wishes to live a life of luxury. I mean, who doesn’t? However, most Filipinas aren’t that shallow that they’d deceive someone into thinking they love them only to get some money. Though, if the relationship progresses, she will require a visa to visit you in your country. But that doesn’t mean she’s only with you for that reason alone.

This may be one benefit of marrying a foreign guy for Filipinas, but it isn’t a cause for them to actively seek one out.

She thinks you're a great man

Everyone is given the option of choosing who they want to marry or be with, and for the most part, we all select great individuals. Our ideal companions are those who are polite, considerate, and charming. This is, in fact, correct.

She’s with you because she thinks you possess the qualities she seeks in a man, and ideally a husband. Those attributes have little to do with money - financial security, perhaps, but only because it makes her feel safe. You are responsible enough to provide her the assurance she needs for whatever the future holds.

That is a quality that not everyone possesses.

She's in love with you

If someone doesn’t like you even the slightest, they won’t force themselves to be with you. True, not everyone has the patience to put up with someone they don’t like. It’s a matter of preference.

While it’s difficult to believe, knowing how different you are from each other – your environment, cultural backgrounds, possibly values but sometimes, Filipinas like these differences. Some of them simply do not want to date another Filipino.

Is this a problem? Certainly not.

A photo of a man kissing a woman’s forehead
A major issue in intercultural marriage is whether or not the feelings are genuine. | Photo by Kyle Bearden on Unsplash

However, there's a caveat

Filipinas, for the most part, are romantics. They want to fall in love and experience real love, not only for the financial rewards. However, you can’t ignore the reality that there are people who will take advantage of you. While most Filipinas will be able to relate to all of these things, there will be others who will not…

There’s no assurance that you’ll have a safe romantic journey because there are always those who will want to take advantage of you in some manner.

But you won’t stop finding genuine love simply because of a few rotten apples, will you? You don’t have to do so. The correct and perfect one for you is still out there at the end of the day. Perhaps she’s the Filipina standing next to you.


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