OUR SKIN DIARY | Different Pinays with Foreign Partners

I can totally relate with the part of having an older partner, 3x my age, not a Westerner though, a Middle Eastern one. Oh the look we get from the hotel staffs and from others, how they follow us with their eyes, those questioning and accusing eyes just radiate pure ill wills and thoughts about us.

I usually don’t dress up when we are together, more comfy on just wearing jeans and shirt. After this incident I changed into power dressings whenever I am with him and, yeah, it included 4-inch stilettos that I wish I can use to kick those nosy folks to the curb. Such an adventure in our own country.

With a new partner in a country where they equate a Filipina to a prostitute or gold digger, I told him flatly never add me to the stereotypes his folks categorized us, and I mean it by blatantly telling him not to give or buy me anything on the duration of our relationship. I always feel I have to defend why I chose him over a Filipino guy… it is not the money, it’s about the feelings and the learnings you will get from each other.—AERA R on Equating Filipinas to Prostitutes

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You don’t have to look like couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to be called a lovely couple. I’m a young Filipina and I’m proud to tell that I have a husband much older than me. This is my preference, and I don’t think I need the approval of the public. Whatever our disposition in life and whatever our motives, there is SOMEONE up there who knows what’s inside our hearts. People will normally judge us. Me and perhaps some of my friends, are not only judged by those people who don’t have foreign partners but also by young girls who have young foreign partners.

Some would say we chose the older men because we are after the money, and then praised themselves for having a young foreign partner, the same age as them, and they would say that’s really what we call LOVE.

Well..I don’t care what other people would say. What’s important for me is, every time I wake up in the morning I am happy to see the happy face of my husband. Life is about happiness and happiness is a choice.

Whatever things you have and whoever is in your life now, if you are not contented and happy then you are just wasting your time. This isn’t a serious issue at all. I just hope that everyone of us especially young Filipinas with older partners should carry on with their lives, ignore the negative things out there, be an inspiration, avoid crab-mentality people, don’t go along with those who are very proud of themselves and most of all pray to God that everything will always be fine.

We only have one life. Let’s not mind those bunch of crap who don’t want to see people happy. They are the ones who are very pathetic. As long as our conscience is clear, there’s nothing to worry about. After all, this is our life. And they can’t do anything about it. Whatever our decision and doings, at the end of the day, me myself, and I would surely be together 🙂 —KIM E on Having a Husband Much Older Than Me

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I was, am a traveler. He was not. He knew my affairs with places so he accommodated this one of the many selves I have in me: the traveler. It was our first trip outside the Visayas. I handled the flights and scored a deal with a resort owner: a free accommodation in exchange for a few photos of his resort. He handled the island transportation and food.

The moment we stepped on Camiguin’s port, drivers shouted if we wanted a ride to our resort and dropped prices like we, or he, had a lot of money. I pretended that I did not hear them and asked around for the public jeepneys. One really shouted that I, a fellow Filipino, was unwilling to help her own countrymen, that I wanted to have all the blessings I got from my foreign boyfriend, that I was greedy.

What “blessings” were they talking about? The ex-boyfriend — who happened to be American, who remained a good friend until now — knew all my sentiments about us, about us traveling together, about us who forgot the so-called inherited value of our skin color, about us the so-called underprivileged and the overly privileged. Traveling with a Western boyfriend in the Philippines often showed us the things we forgot: the value and the privileges or the lack thereof attached to our skin color.

Traveling to Camiguin was not as smooth as I thought it would be. I momentarily forgot I would not be traveling solo and momentarily forgot people would not see a “boyfriend” with me but a pale foreigner with blue eyes.—Cebuanang Lagom on Traveling with a Western Boyfriend

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About what you wrote, it was something I’ve been looking for for the past months. I’ve read tons of similar write-ups but none have captured the shame and belittling that I have felt whenever a snide remark is whirled at me for having dark skin and being with a foreign boyfriend.

I’ve thought about writing my frustrations countless times but I wasn’t sure anyone could relate at all. And it was in that moment when an acquaintance uploaded a first photo of her with her american boyfriend captioned “Braving stereotypes” that I felt someone is going through the same road as me. And I was happy (if that’s even appropriate), I felt a bit secure knowing I wasn’t alone.

I never really thought that this sort of bullying would happen to me. Maybe I was naive, but I was used to being surrounded by people who are well travelled, and maybe “cultured” enough to not throw around really nasty comments. But surprise surprise, just a few weeks when I started going out with Paco (boyfriend), I encountered my first insult. It was at the basement parking in Ayala’s new wing– my favorite spot because it’s where the carwash boys usually stay.

Lo and behold!  When I got out of the car, the carwashers only greeted Paco “Good morning, Sir” as if I wasn’t there. To add salt to the injury, one of them said, “Carwash, Sir?” I got irked in an instant because I thought they’d at least feel my presence seeing as I was the one who came out from the driver’s seat. Pissed, I told them, “Kuya, ako ang tag-iya. Ngano sya inyong gipangutana?” (I cringed while saying that because it was so hilas but I felt that I had to), to which they just answered with “Unya pacarwash ka, ma’am?” I just wished they’d say sorry.

It was also in that time that I decided to realize my long dream of traveling, starting off with loca l– Bantayan, South of Cebu, Siargao, etc., of course, with Paco.

In summary, these are the remarks that stuck with me until now:

“May ka day nakabingwit og batan-on” – Bantayan fisherman (I laughed when I read that line from your article although yours was just insinuated).

“Wait, how old are you?” – Danish girl and American girl at Siquijor (they thought I was 17 dating a 30-year-old man) (I’m actually 21 and Paco is 24) this just goes to show that stereotyping is not limited on our fellow Filipinos as well

“Importante gyud ning edukasyon aron dili ra minyo’g kano ang ending. Awa” – Filipino father talking to his children on the table next to ours at Siquijor

“Di diay ka librehan sa imong bana, day? Kakuyaw” – man at the ticketing booth in Siquijor (with matching agik-ik) to which I replied “Naa man koy akong kaugalingong kwarta noy”.

These are just a few of the condescending lines I encounter on a daily basis when we are together traveling. And suffice to say, I’ve grown to being numb at the insults.

It’s actually a good lesson on anger management since I just can’t slap people with my diploma to prove I am not what they think I am. But like what Paco said, these shouldn’t stop me from enjoying every bit of the place where I go. And that what people usually say about me speaks more about them.

Along the way, we will learn to just roll our eyes internally at any sentences with the words “lagom” and “porener” in it. You have no idea how much your article has lifted my spirits up… So thank you for that!

Like me, you can just laugh it off and tell them next time that yes, you married a 70-year-old foreigner you met at a dating site. You’ll have the last laugh with that. I do mine when I tell them I’m 12. It’s so annoying to the point that it becomes ridiculously funny. — C M on Braving Stereotypes