Some 309,745 Filipinos married foreigners, within an 18-year span. Nine out of ten (92 percent) were brides.
An “international marriage market” is bustling here, says a Commission on Filipinos Overseas study.
This market could “further expand (this) decade,” assert CFO’s Minda Valencia and Myra Ramos, with demographer Nimfa Ogena, in their paper on marriage migration. The Overseas Foreign Workers Journalism Consortium circulated a study summary.
Some spouses-to-be admit: marrying foreigners “is the easiest ticket for possible overseas work and settlement overseas,” the Consortium’s Jeremaiah Opiniano writes. Marriage for convenience also provides income for families locked into poverty.
in 2006 – 24,904 marriages to foreigners were registered – up from 21,100. Destinations for the brides, and occasional grooms, United States (10,190), Japan (8,601), Canada (988) and United Kingdom (619). These countries screen out marriages of convenience.
An Asian marriage migration trend is surging, Valencia, Roma and Ogena point out. The rise in the number of Filipinas flying to Taiwan, Japan, and Korea is “significant.” CFO data from 1995 to 2000 shows more Filipinas marrying nationals of these three East Asian countries. Because of the ease on visa access in comparison to Western nations.
Brides tend to be younger and less educated than their foreign spouses. “There is a rising number of Filipino women marrying Asian nationals nearly thrice their age,” if your browse such websites as Cherryblossoms.com, DatingAsia.com you can see the trend in peoples adverts seeking a husband must be 50+ etc.
There is a major problem due to the age and education gap aswell as cultural when young Filipinas, often from remote barangays, pair up with elderly foreigners, says Philippine Studies. In 1999, the Ateneo de Manila University quarterly analyzed psychological fallout from 20,164 Filipino-Japanese marriages over five years.
“The Filipino wife was not prepared for the setup in the Japanese household, (nor) of the obedience expected by her in-laws,” writes University of the Philippines’ Leslie Buazon. There’s a flipside. “The Japanese were unprepared for the independent spirit of the foreigner wife.”
With Angelica Escalona, Buazon studied marriages in a farming village on northeast Honsho Island. In the 1980s, foreign brides started streaming into Yamagata. Most were Koreans and Chinese, followed by Filipinas from Manila, Bataan, Cavite, Bicol and Leyte.
As in other countries, the young flood into cities. This leaves villages like Yamagata with skewed sex ratios. Many males above 30 can’t find a spouse. Most seek out local Yentas for matchmaking.
In Yamagata, most marriages were brokered through mail. Cyberspace has replaced Yenta, the CFO study shows. Filipinas now meet foreign spouses through mobile phones. Internet-based chatting leads to wedding rings. Often, there’s an overseas relative eager to sub for Yenta.
Almost a third of Yamagata brides had gone to college. CFO director Valencia reports that today most of those heading for Japan and Korea are high school graduates and college undergraduates. Overall, educational similarities among Filipino, Taiwanese, Korean, and Japanese spouses are “declining.”
The Taiwanese spouse often was less educated than the Filipina. They “married up.” This was true for half of the 4,862 registered Filipina marriages from 1995 to 2004. But in Japan and Korea, the spouses tend to “marry down.”
Marriages of convenience permit overseas migration which they believe “could dramatically change their lives,” Valencia, Roma, and Ogena observed. They reveal “desperate moves of women who would rather risk settling in a foreign land (which they know little about).” Their alternative is coping with “a future life in poverty and/or solitude or loneliness.” It also bears a social stigma of being labeled as ‘non-marriageable.’”
Thus, Not so. Costs can be high.
Tokyo data showed that 3,931 of the 10,242 Filipino women divorced their Japanese spouses. In the Yamagata study, most Filipina wives were Catholics but didn’t have access to church. Ties to the faith of their fathers weakened. To please in-laws and ensure “harmonious relations,” they join rituals of their Japanese families.
Aside from language barriers, different climate and food, “characteristics peculiar to the Japanese family caused the most stress,” Japanese psychiatrist Norohiko Kuwayama notes. Thus, groups like Good Shepherd Sisters run seminars that include tips on “surviving” migration-linked marriages.
Filipina Rita and Japanese Endo use sign language to communicate. Endo has visited the Philippines. Rita will go to Japan as her wedding ring becomes a visa. “I can learn to love Endo,” Rita says wistfully.
One hopes so. For this surge in marriages for convenience is, at rock bottom, an indictment. It condemns rulers whose greed compels Filipinas to play dice with their deepest human hopes. To reach some measure of a decent life, they must get a visa in their wedding rings. Like Ruth of the Scriptures, these Filipinas stand amidst the alien grain.
I came across an original article and have added a few bits of information I gained from other areas. But the truth is its a worrying trend that has long-term effects I studied a bit on Chinese migrations aswell as the fact that in China the controlling of family size has had some very negative and alarming affects. The reason I mention China is that the problem there is Women are heading to the cities for new life’s and new husbands also mainly looking for guys senior in age and greater wealth. The rural locations and farming communities are drastically affected as women don’t return home to marry someone from the same village. As city life has taken over but also the restrictions on child control has created a vacuum with a huge shortage of females as discussed above. Also there is issues within China of daughters being murdered so that the couple can have a son. Because culturally a wife joins the husbands family and then takes responsibility of the parents of the husband. While the females parents are left to struggle on in old age.
I’m not sure how much things will change in the Philippines with these current trends. But looking at china I believe the shortfall in ratios is around 6million extra males to females by 2010 (don’t quote me on that though as I don’t have my reading material here) which is becoming a major issue..For the Philippines are we going to see the migration of entire communities from the rural locations to cities or areas just dying out as the males also join they’re village females in seeking a better life? The affects will be long term for sure and if these communities go surely there will be a lot of crops no longer being produced due to an aging workforce that eventually stop producing completely. The Philippines is seeking a population control maybe they have found it.. but its not all positive.
There is also the fact that the “Mail Order Bride” trade was heavily stopped in Europe to protect the women from the Philippines aswell as locations such as Russia.. but it seems the market has only side stepped and moved in another direction