In: Readers Ask Questions today a question of someone wondering how I came about falling in love with a Filipino man. And how does that work for me as a traveller and a white woman in Asia.
One thing is for sure: I did not come to the Philippines to find myself a husband. As a happy single traveller I was very content roaming around the islands. Until one day I fell in love and discovered that having someone in my life is actually quite nice.
Traveling the Philippines as a white woman with blond hair is an interesting experience. People, and specially men, watch you like a rare gem. I do get marriage proposals or requests to become a second wife quite often. And some are really persistent and serious about it. To my surprise I must say. For some of the guys proposing are much younger than I am, and with “much younger” I mean: 15-20 years younger.
I kind of laugh all those proposals away, staying polite and refusing them with grace, so nobody gets offended or loses face. But I must say: being in a relationship makes it a lot easier for me, they respect the fact that I’m somebodies partner. For my boyfriend on the other hand it is a different kind of story. He gets a lot of questions. Will I take him home with me, is the most asked question. And his answer is alway, no, she came to the Philippines for me. Romantic as they are all Filipinos will respond with: ah….true love…..
His answer is besides the truth, but is given to save a lot of time explaining. Because Filipinos, nosy as they are, they also love a good love story and the questions will continue until they are satisfied. The answer that I came to the Philippines for my boyfriend is a short cut to a friendly end of a conversation we rather not have with strangers. Living a public life as I do, we do love some privacy.
I like a Filipino guy with all my heart, I even dare to say I love him
I did not look or search for love, it simply found me and swept me off my feet under a starry night while watching the milky way in its full glory. There in that star lit night he kissed me and I felt like a youngster being kissed for the first time.
The age gap between my boyfriend and I is 20 years. That is a lot. When I asked him about it he shrugs his shoulders, and says that love is not about age. Love is about emotions and feelings and happens when you least expect it. And that is true.
There is a lot of intergenerational dating going on in the Philippines, but usually it involves white male and Filipinas, my situation: a white woman with a younger guy is much more rare, not a common thing. I have no idea why. And although some people judge me for this relationship and the age gap, most people are happy, open and more acceptant. Because why should it be okey for a guy to have an age gap of (sometimes even over) 20 years and not for a woman?
And it is not like all the men coming here to find true love that I intended it to happen. I for sure did not expect it to happen. Like I said, I was a happy single traveller. Now I’m a traveller that has to make a choice. Travel and break 2 hearts or stay and stop doing what I came to love. Which love is greater? Time will tell.
He knows about my longing for the far horizons,
While writing this article I’m away on a 5 week trip. Not easy when you are in a new relationship, but it is do-able. Lucky this is the age of smartphones and we can contact each other everyday. I send him lots of pictures and he tells me about his days and we find ourselves a way to work out this short term long distance relationship.
Lots of people keep telling me he is doing this for the money. They might be right, or they might be wrong. I have no idea. But it is me that handles the money in a way I see fit. He profits from this relationship, sure, as would any guy dating me. Poverty has nothing to do with that, generosity does.
Sure, I’m not blind and not stupid. I know that when you live in poverty and a change to improve yourself comes along you might end up making choices that are not always 100% transparant, even to yourself. But he never asks me for money, ever. We do talk about money, he knows about my finances and still he does not ask. I think that merely the fact he has a girlfriend that can support herself is a comfort to him, for dating a Filipina would mean he has to support the girl. And in that way our relationship is about money, yes, indirectly.
Life is all about choices, and I choose to believe him when he tells me he loves me
Do not get me wrong, I do doubt his words sometimes, but that has more to do with my insecurity of a much younger guy loving my body, as time has not done it that much good. My doubt has nothing to do with him loving me for real. He tells me, but more important he shows me in so many ways how much he loves me, that I always feel guilty when I’m in doubt.
But I cannot deny that my body has aged. And sometimes I wonder why he does not choose a nice young backpacker or a nice young Filipina with a firm body and a lot less wrinkles, and more his age. So he can look forward to having kids and a family household.
He tells me I should not be insecure about my body and he tells me he is not interested in other women. That love is not about the outside only, and he thinks I’m beautiful. And so do all the other men we meet. It makes him proud to be with me, specially when he is confronted with the fact that more men are interested.
I like my Filipino, or Pilipino as he pronounces it, he likes me. Life is short, so I have decided to enjoy it, to embrace it to the fullest. Things happen for a reason. So did this falling in love and being loved thing. I have no idea what that reason is, but time will tell. I decided to stay with him for a few months to see how things develop. Will I stay forever and have I found my true love?
I do not think about that too much, in the Philippines you take life as it comes, one day at the time.
Do you have questions about my life, digital nomad life or travel and/or living in the Philippines? Ask them in the comment section and maybe your question will be featured in my next article in ‘Readers Ask Questions’.