There is no surprise that the Philippines is classified as the country with the largest number of marriage as well as labor migrants. In particular, about 170,000 Filipino women have moved to another country for various reasons. We are interested in the historical, social, and psychological reasons why Filipino mail order brides choose this very path. In this article, we will also analyze figures, facts, local and global social trends as well as the views of Filipino women on gender roles, family roles, and child-rearing.
Filipino wives: the latest demographic trends and querida system
How can one understand the culture of another nation? Of course, through the history, architecture, language and literature matter, but the analysis of the society itself may be even more useful for someone who wants to discover the Filipino culture and learn more about Filipino girls for marriage.
What about marriage statistics and birth rates?
Let us start with the most important figures that show what is the demographic situation in the Philippines is. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, most filipino brides and grooms get married at 27-29. This may be explained by the fact that the importance of marriage is still huge in this country – a woman who is single in her late twenties is likely to be stigmatized as an old maid.
No wonder that the number of marriages is still pretty large: in particular, in 2017, there were a total of over 400,000 marriages. It is about 10% lower than a decade ago, but it is still pretty high, especially considering that nowadays, more and more people follow global trends and stay single.
The interesting fact is also that a lot of women marry foreigners, but there are two groups of foreign men that are extremely popular in this country. Thus, in 2017, over 3,000 Filipino women for marriage became American wives, and about 1.5 thousands of girls married Japanese guys.
Another crucial aspect to consider is the birth rate. Do Filipinos still consider parenthood to be one of the most important things in life? Yes, they do. However, the birth rate is constantly declining year by year. More precisely the birth rate for this country in 2019 is about 20.300 births per 1000 people, and this is a 0.97% decline from 2018 when the birth rate was about 20.500 births. Though the figures are still pretty high, there is no denying that a Filipino woman is more rational and thoughtful when it comes to taking the decision – most of them want to raise children in a wealthier, more stable country.
What is the querida system?
People of a certain ethnicity usually share certain views on the institution of the family. More importantly, even if some of them have their own opinion about family roles, children raring or any other aspect related to family, the need to consider social norms and follow certain social rules. We mean that though the freedom of self-expression and the right to have an opinion are new, progressive social values, old, traditional values in some countries, in particular, in the Philippines, are still very strong.
So what is the institution of the family in this country like? There is a special family model in the Philippines, and westerners would probably call such a family “a love triangle”, but Filipinos usually call it “querida” arrangement.
A man may establish a separate household with a mistress. This practice is not stigmatized as long as he does not neglect his responsibilities towards his legal family. Having a second wife outside of marriage is so widely practiced by Filipino men that one has to speak of a triangular (triadic) querida system.
The most surprising thing for most western people is that a man who has a wife and a mistress is considered pagkakalaki – a real man, a macho, an alpha male. Why do not Filipino wives divorce their cheating husbands? Another really shocking thing is that the Philippines is the only country (aside from the Vatican) where divorces are still forbidden). Moreover, divorces are illegal not in Pakistan or UAE or in any other country where people are not allowed to divorce – they are illegal in the Philippines. That is why we do not provide divorce statistics – you cannot provide any statistics on something that does not exist.
Transcultural marriages: what makes women take this step?
It is clear from the foregoing that family is still the strongest social institution in the Philippines – even the global “individualistic” trends cannot make it less important to locals. Nevertheless, a lot of Filipino girls for marriage move to another country to find a husband or create their profiles on social networking and/or dating sites to achieve this goal. Why do they do it? Let us talk about the reasons why Filipino mail order brides leave the country in more detail.
Facing strong stigmas or how women deal with husbands’ affairs
We have already noted that divorce is not permitted in this country. However, the very fact that divorce is illegal is not the worst thing local women face. The worst thing is there is a strong stigma, directly related to a decision to break up. The most remarkable thing is that women are supposed to make every effort to keep the marriage together. No wonder this led to the growing phenomenon of cohabitation, the declining proportions of male and female Filipinos who are legally married.
The thing is local men are not afraid that their wives will leave them sooner or later. This is just a psychological aspect to consider. In fact, a woman who gets married to such a man literally has no options to choose. The only way to avoid social disapproval is to stay with a husband. No wonder women are trying to avoid being stigmatized and participating in the querida family that we have described above by marrying foreign men.
Filipino brides – in search for new options and opportunities
As you can see, men were granted a kind of sexual freedom. In fact, women are supposed not to have any sexual contacts. Otherwise, they are stigmatized. Men, in turn, are trying to seduce as many ladies as possible, just because this is encouraged in society, especially by other men.
Although the government aims to keep families together by prohibiting divorce, the lack of divorce is, in fact, one factor that motivates women to go abroad to work and to escape bad marriages and unhappy relationships and even to look for new legal opportunities for divorce and remarriage.
Consequently, mixed transnational marriages are nothing but an alternative for a lot of Filipino brides to avoid heartbreaking experience and social pressure. Moreover, this unique “romantic migration” is just a way to meet the cultural norms, i.e. to get married and start a family and, at the same time, not to follow other cultural norms, for example, avoid living in querida system.
What is the perfect family for a Filipino woman for marriage?
Firstly, we would like to emphasize that not all Filipino girls for marriage are looking for a conservative relationship as they are. For example, according to the recent survey, one of the respondents noted that “life with a western man promised to fulfill her desires for ‘modernity.’” This, in turn, means, that your marriage to a Filipino girl does not guarantee you that you marry a 100% conservative housewife who has no other interests and goals except for childbearing. Nevertheless, you can expect a Filipina wife to be conservative enough to build a happy family based on traditional family values.
The results of the survey are also interesting in terms of don’ts of dating a woman from this very country. According to the respondents, local women often face the following problem: they cannot respect local men who pretend to be machos and dominant personalities but are not worthy, quick-tempered and jealous people. Filipino girls for marriage also note that such men are not able to live in an equal partnership of mutual understanding, and that is exactly what women in this country are looking for.
To sum up, modern Filipino women are looking for a more modern and equal family, but even considering this, they are less emancipated than most women in the Western world. They still consider traditional family roles and values to be important, but they tend to find a compromise between being a silent housewife and mother and being a businesswoman who does not care about the family.
Where can one meet a Filipino wife?
Life in Manila or any other city in the Philippines is great, and more importantly, very cheap for a western man. However, a very few men who want to meet a Filipina move to this country just because of the obligations, friends, and family that are waiting for them in their native country. Filipinas, in turn, stay in the islands not because they do not want to move but because most of them cannot afford this. No wonder the dating industry is on the rise – the demand for online dating services is constantly growing. It is important to understand how dating agencies and websites work – this will help you avoid unpleasant surprises and disappointments.
The algorithm used by most sites and agencies is as follows:
- Companies are looking for local singles who want to marry a man from another country (please note that women are not selling themselves – they are looking for a spouse).
- Women provide detailed information about themselves and at least 10 photos and a video.
- The team of the site helps a woman create an account.
- Men, in turn, create accounts and provide information about themselves, too.
- Men pay for a membership plan or purchase virtual currency to communicate with women. Communication for women is free.
- If romantic partners find each other and start a relationship, a company arranges the real meeting.
- If they meet each other’s expectations, they usually get married in 6-24 months.
This is the most frequently used scheme in the dating industry, of course when it comes to trusted companies. The number of Filipino women who marry men from other countries is growing year by year, and this fact confirms that the algorithm is effective.
Filipino brides – marry in order to migrate or migrate in order to marry?
So what does a regular Filipino mail order bride is going to do, marry someone from the US or Japan in order to migrate, or migrate to the US, Japan or Europe to marry a good guy? These women do both. They all have different goals, and even their attitudes to family and family roles may differ, and even though most of them take multiple roles as mothers, caretakers, paid workers or unpaid housewives, they are looking for a good romantic partner, a partner who will make them feel safe and happy. Some of them escape the status of an old maid or a single mother, some are seeking for “modernity”, and some want to build a conservative family.
Two most important conclusions are as follows:
- They are some of the most popular women in the world.
- It is pretty difficult to find a woman who is looking for nothing but her foreign husband’s money – their motivation is much more complex.
Generally speaking, the “demand” for these women is growing, and the motivation of most of them is still strong, so if you feel like you may find your dream girl there, why not try?