There are a lot of reasons why foreigners who’ve visited the Philippines remain enthralled by our country: the weather is pleasant, the cost of living is low, the beaches are gorgeous, and the women, jaw-dropping. No wonder a lot of AFAMs (that’s A Foreigner Assigned in Manila) end up not leaving, having found the Filipina loves of their lives. If you’re one of these ladies, we’re pretty sure you know what we’re talking about below!
1. You attract so much attention when you’re together.
The AFAM on your arm is guaranteed to get stared at almost all the time. Plus, you get stared at by strangers too, giving you that nagging feeling that they think you’re his exotic Asian sugar baby. Shoo away the nega vibes and ignore them. They don’t know anything about you and your guy, and they’re probably just jealous of the hottie by your side!
2. They don’t poop money.
We hate to admit it, but a lot of Filipinos still think foreigners are oozing with cash. You, however, know full well that they just seem rich because of the currency exchange rates, and that they’re more like the average-earning citizens in their home countries. They work just as hard as every other Pinoy for their money, and they shouldn’t be treated like walking ATMs.
3. They’re cool with online dating.
While Pinays have embraced Tinder with open arms, membership on other dating sites is often considered an embarrassing secret. And meeting a guy online? Well, that just sounds so sketchy to most Filipinas. A lot of foreigners, on the other hand, will have no problem announcing to everyone that they met you through OkCupid or Match.com.
4. You just know your kids will be gorgeous.
“Your kids are going to be so cute!” “Ipag-artista mo ’yung mga anak niyo!” When you tell people that you’re dating an AFAM, there’s a high chance the conversation will include these lines, and you know just how true their predictions will be.
5. You have a deep appreciation for the wonders of the Internet.
“We send Facebook messages everyday and Skype at least six to 12 hours every Sunday,” shares Julie, whose boyfriend Andi lives in Germany. In fact, if Skype were to get a dollar for every relationship saved through its video calls, it’ll easily earn at least a million every week. (Yes, we did the math!)
6. You’ve made an effort to learn his language and to teach him Filipino in return.
There’s no better way to express your love (and impress your hopefully future in-laws) to your very own foreignoy than by saying it in his mother tongue. It can be very challenging at times, but the tongue-twisting sacrifice is totally worth it in the long run. And admit it, you melt every time you hear him say “mahal kita” in his adorable accent.
7. They’re always on time.
Most foreigners have the utmost respect for other’s time. So when he says he’ll be at your place at 8:00 p.m., he’s going to be there at exactly 8:00 p.m.—or even earlier. If he’s late, you can expect him to apologize profusely about it. That’s why it’s called “Filipino Time” and not “Australian Time” or “Japanese Time” or “American Time.”
8. They’re not as conservative as Filipinos.
Most foreigners are very forward when it comes to matters of the heart (and, to be frank, the libido). They usually aren’t pakipot: If he likes you, he’ll tell you outright. And he won’t judge if your relationship progresses a bit too quickly for Filipino standards.
9. The cultural differences take a bit getting used to...
Your South Asian man doesn’t understand why you like your spaghetti a bit sweet, and you don’t understand why his food is always set to “very high” on the spice meter. Your Belgian boyfriend doesn’t get how you can stand wearing skinny jeans in the Philippines’ humid weather, and you have to remind him every now and then that, tropical climate notwithstanding, he can’t wear his trusty tsinelas and sando everywhere, every hour. These little bumps, though disconcerting at first, make your relationship a lot more interesting.
10. …But they’re more tolerant of different opinions.
“What I love most about foreigners is their cosmopolitan view, their open-mindedness, and the multiple perspectives they bring to the table, which comes from exposure to a bigger world out there,” says Fredda, who has dated foreigners for seven years. “For instance, I don't have a religion, and tend to gravitate towards guys that are as critical-minded as myself.” On the other hand, your Pinoy boyfriend’s mom might have a heart attack if you tell her you’re an atheist.
P.S. Once the relationship gets really serious, there’ll be a lot of planning and saving up for the future involved.
That’s what happens when two people who are destined to be together live on opposite sides of the globe. You save every spare coin you have to buy tickets to visit each other, and you’ve had lengthy discussions on what will happen (more specifically, where you’ll live) if you do end up getting married. Unlike other couples, your future might be a bit tricky, but you know that all the sacrifice will be so worth it in the end.
PHOTO: Leap Year/Universal Pictures (2010); GIFS: Giphy.com, Imgur, Tumblr
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