Online dating is more prevalent than it’s ever been and the stigma that was attached to Internet romance is long gone and it is now considered commonplace or even the norm to meet your future partner on a dating site. Meeting someone locally online can be done in twenty-four hours; you can meet for a coffee or go for a walk and if things work out, you can make plans to meet the next day. Meeting someone in another country, half-way around the world is another subject altogether and it can be an amazing journey or a highway to hell.
In the late nineties and early twenty-first century, the Former Soviet Union was a hotspot for men looking for brides, i.e. “mail order brides” and there is still some interest in this demographic. These days, the most popular country for meeting a future bride via online dating sites, is the Philippines.
Filipinas are among the most sought-after women in the world because of their beauty and character. Most are raised in a close-knit family which explains why they are very family-oriented and to add, Filipinas are very skilled in household chores, loving and caring, thus making them excellent wives. The combination of all of the above has enticed men from all over the world to search for a Filipina bride.
Why Filipinas Agree to Be Mail Order Brides
Most young Filipinas who marry foreigners do so because they believe that these men can help them and their families financially. The girls who opt to be with a foreign husband often come from poor households and have little opportunity to change their situation. They want to provide for their family and marrying a foreigner seems like the easiest approach given they have no viable career venues. She believes a foreign spouse will give her the opportunity to live a fairy-tale life in Europe or pursue her American Dream.
As mentioned, Filipinos are very family-oriented. When she sees the needs of her family, it comes naturally for her to help. For instance, this may include sacrificing her education to help the farm or taking her younger siblings to school so her parents can work. She will always do something to make things easier for everyone. Every Filipinas has a heart for her family.
So, if she is prompted by her parents or by financial need to marry a man who will probably help her family, chances are she will say “yes” despite the lack of love. The great thing about Filipina wives is that majority of them are committed when they marry and they are best when it comes to serving their husbands.
Due to this, Philippines has become a haven for mail-order brides as more and more Filipinas try their luck to find love and money by marrying a foreigner. This also leads to disaster and the grim stories that you will read below are excellent examples.
Risks of Mail Order Bride
Filipinas using their husband to provide for their family in the Philippines is a known fact among foreign men and generally assumed as part of the marriage pact. They know what Filipinas are after. Also, in many cases, older men, divorced and/or married several times look for mail order brides because he is aging and requires a partner that will be a cook, a nurse, and a constant companion. Thus, like her and her desire for money, he is also expecting a return on his investment through her “service”.
When both parties have separate agendas, the start of a healthy relationship is quite slim. That is why there are tons of dark stories about mail-order marriages that turn sour and even bloody. In some instances, Filipino women have been abused physically and emotionally. Others have been forced into labor and or treated as sexual objects.
In Australia, sponsoring Filipinas is an easy task. One man who had sponsored one Filipina three separate times by changing names admitted that “It’s cheaper to get someone like (her) on a visitor’s visa for six months than to see prostitutes.”
In a separate incident, an Australian man in his 70s sponsored five Filipinas. One was only 23 and he dumped her outside the Migrant Resource Centre in Adelaide because she was no longer “good in bed.”
Another man in his fifties sponsored a Filipino woman in her twenties. After some time, he sponsored her sister, who also, in time, became his girlfriend. When they eventually left him, he sponsored the third sister from the same family. She also left him but no worries, he soon sponsored a younger “more compliant” Filipina.
Tone has to wonder that if the previous marriages or relationship worked, there would be no need for serial sponsorship. Unfortunately, some tolerate it as did the family above. How did the parents allow three daughters to be with the same man? The two older daughters left, but they still sent the third and youngest. It is flabbergasting and somewhat disgusting behavior by everyone involved.
Many international, cross-cultural marriages ended in disaster and you’ll read more examples below.
True Horrible Stories About Mail Order Bride
Emelita Villa Reeves a native from Cebu City, had a father who wanted a better life for his family, so he decided to find an American husband for his daughter. His wish was answered by a war veteran, married three times and widowed twice.
Jack Wayne Reeves saw Emelita’s ad in a dating magazine called Cherry Blossom’s and he was instantly smitten with her. He immediately flew to the Philippines to meet Emelita and her family. She was only 18 at that time but they married within weeks and soon returned to the Texas as husband and wife.
A few years later, Emelita got pregnant by another man (she had had several affairs) so Jack sent her home to the Philippines before she gave birth. Two years later, Jack was convinced that the child was his after seeing a photo. He asked Emelita to return to the U.S.
When Emelita returned to Jack she began to see the worst side of him. She suspected that he had killed his second and third wife, whose deaths were ruled as a suicide and accidental drowning, respectively. Emelita feared that she would end up in the same predicament if she didn’t leave her unhappy marriage. She had discussed her fears this with the Filipino friends she had made in her city.
On Oct. 12, 1994, one of her friends reported that Emelita was missing. The friend told the detectives that she was sure that Jack killed Emelita, but they squashed her idea thinking that she was just being dramatic. When Jack was asked about his wife, he said that she ran away with one of her numerous boyfriends. However, the officers sensed that he was lying.
The officers learned that Jack replaced the floor carpet of his living room the day after Emelita’s death. They also found her car parked in an Arlington store with the steering wheel and driver’s seat in the wrong position considering her stature. A receipt was found proving that Jack was in the Lake Whitney area the day before Emelita disappeared, which he had earlier denied. Not long after, Emelita’s body was found.
The detectives re-opened the cases involving previous wives Sharon Reeves and Myong Chong. The forensic testing of Sharon’s case resulted in Jack being charged with her death.
In other examples, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that several Australians were serial husbands, marrying Filipinas for housebound slave-labor and on-call sex. Between 1980 to 1995, five Filipinas were murdered by their foreign husband or fiancé.
One of these women was Mila Milagros who was deaf and mute. She was repeatedly bashed on the head with a blunt object by her de facto husband who was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment in Brisbane.
In 1987, in New South Wales, Lusanta de Groot, 35, and her 11-month-old baby were reportedly hit on the head with a hammer. Lusanta survived, her baby died. Her 53-year-old husband committed suicide soonafter.
In 1994, in Brisbane, Elma Young, 42, another Filipina married to a former Queensland policeman was found dead and dumped by the roadside. She was five months pregnant. Her husband was charged with murder and was found guilty of manslaughter and later sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
There are more stories to tell, some are left unresolved. Both parties must understand that marrying a foreigner is not always bed of roses. In some circumstances, the risk is deadly.
What to do to Avoid a Grim Fate?
While there are sad stories about Filipina women marrying foreigners, there are many successful marriages. It is best to marry for the right reason; take the time to get to know the man on the other end and make sure that you have love and respect for each other.
The deaths of those Filipino women from the hands of their husbands could have been prevented if both parties were in love and valued their marriages.
For Filipina women, value yourself and don’t enter into a marriage assuming that your life will be more comfortable because some of your predecessors did the same thing and it cost them their lives Remember, most foreign men who look for Filipino brides are already divorced and old. They might not have the money or may have their own personal agenda why they want a cross-cultural marriage. Be sure that he has the best intentions for you and do the same. Examine yourself if you are marrying for love or money.
If you find one who is interesting, do some online searches and learn more about him. Do not just say yes and marry him because you feel something special. Get to know the person well. Who knows, he may have committed heinous crimes in a past life. Keep yourself safe.
Don’t let your financial problems or your American dream drive you in finding a partner in life. Marriage is a sacred entity, value it and enjoy it.
Written by Catherine Armecin