More than just an online dating site

I wanted to share this article I read entitled Out-Sourcing the Wife, which left a bad impression on me and a feeling of embarrassment at how our Kababayans are pretty much exploiting Filipinas. In a past post South Koreans leaving a bad impression in the Philippines, I discussed how disgusted I was after reading about how many Pinays are victims of human trafficking and how Americans like Alec Baldwin joke around about mail order brides. Well, I just want to point out that the situation these Pinays are placed in the Philippines is no joke! Many of these young women were born into poverty and are doing the best they can to support their families even if it means being employed in jobs related to sex or even marrying a foreigner they don’t love.

In this particular case, it seems that the internet is making it easier for foreigners to go on sex tours or pick out women like they are an item on ebay. There are also things called One-Day Courtships where the foreigners choose their bride and the new couple are usually married the following day. He stays for a few weeks of honeymoon and then goes back to his country while his bride takes care of the necessary documents to join him. News like this makes me feel disgusted and embarrassed at how these Filipinas are being degraded and exploited in their own country. The following are portions of the ABS-CBN article as I don’t feel like I can go more in depth on this issue. All I can say is that it’s quite sad what’s happening to these Filipinas and its all thanks to the internet.

Aileen was chosen from a bevy of young girls who showed up in a hotel and was married off to a Korean, more than twice her age, the next day.

It was Lovi, a co-worker in a cheese stick factory in Fairview, Quezon City (Where is this factory?) who introduced 19-year old Aileen to Annie, a marriage broker.

As a single mother, Aileen was at her wits’ end trying to raise a son who was born out of wedlock from a rape committed by a former co-worker. Her weekly income of P700 at the cheese sticks factory was hardly enough for herself, much less for her son and her grandmother.

Mail Order Sites Masquerading as Match-making Agencies

What the article by Carmela Fonbuena tried to expose Mail order sites, masquerading as nothing more than match-making agencies, generally use two ways to peddle woman as mail order brides. They offer names and addresses of prospective brides for a fee or they arrange “show-up” tours where they can meet the women, select from them and bring home a bride in the two weeks vacation time their work usually allows them to. As travel costs continue to go down, more and more foreign men seeking Filipina wives are lured to fly to the Philippines to join “show-up” tours arranged for a fee by marriage brokers. The web site charges US $385 for a four-day “tour” in the Philippines. This amount does not include the airfare and accommodations. One website checked out by Newsbreak charges US$300 for a four day tour in the Philippines. This amount does not include the airfare, the accommodations and the booking fee of $85. In the Philippines, mail-order bride syndicates charge each foreigner up to half a million pesos depending on how long he wants to stay in the Philippines and his preferred accommodations.

Becoming a Big Problem and Issue in the PI

The article goes into further study stating that the Filipina mail order brides, once they are settled abroad, also link their friends and neighbors in the Philippines to their husband’s friends. There are those who become full-fledged marriage brokers, too. The prohibition of matching under Republic Act 6955 or the Anti-Mail Order Bride Law is actually unique to the Philippines. In the US, it is regulated and it is also legal in Japan, Korea, Australia and Canada. Despite the happy stories of Filipinas ending up in happy marriages, however, authorities and agencies working to prevent the exploitation of women in mail-order situations declare that the potential for abuse is so great and the examples so many to justify the ban. Janet Ramos, head of the CFO’s anti-trafficking unit, said the mail order bride industry has been used for so long to traffic Filipinos outside the country. The problem when they have left the country is that it becomes very difficult to report the abuses to their families in the Philippines.

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