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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
OK, here's 2 negatives I've found from the last 3 months of research and I'd like you guys' thoughts on them.
1. All the expat men I see and read about on youtube and other RP expat websites are old, fat bearded or mustachio'ed guys who look and talk like the kind of far-right Republicans who like to re-enact the Civil War for fun. In other words, exactly the kind of attitudes I'm leaving the US to escape from. I'm a liberal/progressive/counter-cultural kind of guy. (I'm 41 but I have the tastes and opinions of a college-aged hipster) Am I gonna be able to find like-minded expats to hang out with? Or are they all gonna be these FOX News-parroting Wilford Brimley lookalikes?
2. All the Filipina girls I talk to and read profiles of online have very very terrible taste in music, film, TV, and culture in general. They all seem to love Celine Dion for example. WTF? And they all like the cheesiest most braindead movies and TV shows. I tend to like smarter, artier, more sophisticated stuff. How can I have a strong relationship with a Filipina if I can't stand her music and films and she can't stand mine? I don't mind having brief sexual flings with girls who have bad taste. But I'd like to find a long-term partner who appreciates more intelligent entertainment. Is it possible to find someone in the Philippines who, for example, listens to Radiohead and watches Stanley Kubrick films? If so, what are the best towns to find girls like that?
I'm glad you brought this up, I wanted to start a post on it. I was thinking in great depth today about my incompatability with my own filipina. Ironically, the same personality traits that attracted me towards her might ultimately drive us apart, in particular her punctuality and work ethic(or lack of it). People in western society are very conscious of time and production, this is not the case in more traditional cultures.
Our conversations are not always that intellectually stimulating for me, mostly centering around food, sex, videos, music, family, friends and religion. However, I've had the same problem in all my past relationships. Women have different priorities than men and its possible I may never meet someone I connect with on all levels.
Some members on this forum like college educated filipinas more, I certainly understand why. However, they are typically more demanding and have a higher risk of divorce. If theres a particular type of filipina that is more "user friendly" I would like to know. I welcome your feedback on this subject.
You seem to be pretty free with the stereotypes for a supposedly open minded liberal. I have a home and family in Mindanao
and even there you might meet similar expats as yourself as far as politics go, but not a lot. Myself I am a 50 year-old mustachioed
libertarian. Libertarians find the Philippines a pretty good fit. There are in fact leftists that populate the University of the Philippines, as well as a few others. Feminist groups such as Gabriela would fit the mold of "Progressive Liberal". What I can't understand might be why you would not just stay at home in the USA and move to a college town- loads of progressive liberals there and more being generated on a yearly basis.
I do not know if there is such a thing as a progressive liberal woman who is not a feminist, isn't that the definition of a feminist?
It would seem that you would be delighted with American women just as they are- why bother to go elsewhere?
In any case, a collection of expats in the Philippines would likely include a full spectrum, all sitting at the same table sometimes.
My own circle includes a collection from "far right" anarchists, all the way to real communists( not the American coffee house types, but real deal Marxists) I seem to be able to entertain both without describing either one as parrots.
All that said, the vast majority of Filipinas will not be what you are looking for. In addition, I suspect that progressive liberals in general
would not find the Philippines to be very satisfactory. If you put in some time around a major university I think you would meet some
individual Filipinas you would describe as progressive liberal, they do exist, but I am not sure how open they are to relationships with foreigners. One element that might make for a hard life as a progressive liberal in the Philippines is that it is quite difficult to propose government as a solution in a place like the Philippines where it is so obviously not.
I suspect that the Philippines is not a good choice for you, but well worth a visit just to see it. It is difficult to impose American political caricatures on other cultures, whether they be "Right wing white male oppressors" (with mustaches too!) who spend their time parroting Sean Hannity from Fox News or or "Progressive liberal pinheads" who spend their time parroting NPR. In either case, it cuts off conversation with that most annoying of devices- the sneer and the one liner. With some time to contemplate the notion, one might find that neither one of those is a good fit for most applications abroad.
I suspect that Europe is a far better fit for you and worth checking out. A few areas in Latin American would also qualify.
Happy New Year!
Have you considered going to a country and blending with the locals? That is my preference anywhere I go, and also why I probably won't fit in the RP. I don't care how much like me the expat community is, because if I want to hang out with a group of English speaking Americans I could have stayed home. I didn't find blending with the locals, at least guys, to be a realistic possibility, for reasons Ladislav has explained at length in other posts.
“b***y is so strong that there are dudes willing to blow themselves up for the highly unlikely possibility of b***y in another dimension." -- Joe Rogan
There are a lot of those guys in Thailand as well and they are easily avoidable. It's already been mentioned but expats consist of people of all ages, races, and nationalities. If you want to hang out with a different social circle it's easy to move on. I really doubt the Phillipines is any different. My thing has always been to meet a lot of Americans who are of the ethnicity of the country i'm in. They can usually introduce you to a pretty decent wider social circle of people that isn't made up of aging expat reprobate types.
Most Filipinos are very shallow and they are brought up that way. It'd be up to you to get them interested instead of finding someone who's already into those things. It's just not a deep thinking culture and most are obsessed with the artificial pop version of America they see on TV and when you combine that with a really vapid worldview and a colonial mentality you get the sort of thing that you see. I have met regular Filipinos who are pretty smart but they are very rare. Thai culture isn't all that different to be honest. It's just SE Asia in general with the exception of Singapore and Vietnam which had more influence from Chinese culture.
Last edited by Repatriate on December 31st, 2010, 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Then you need to be in the USA, Canada or EU. Russia, too.
You are not going to find this outside of those nations.
Like others wrote, why not move to any of 1,000 small USA college towns?
Or move to San Francisco or Boulder or Eugene or Seattle?
You cannot have it all.
Living in the USA with it's cleanliness and services means you get USA women.
Living in the RP with its awesome women means you don't have the cleanliness, services or intelligentsia.
Living in Russia with it's intelligent, genius level women who are 17 and basically have a Masters Degree, means that you get to experience -60F winters.
I think you are getting my 2 complaints mixed up with each other. I'm not imposing "American political caricatures on other
cultures". My complaint about the Filipina women I'm meeting online is different from my complaint about the other American
expats I'll likely be meeting while there. But they do sometimes intersect. For example, one girl I met on a dating site posted a brief
anti-Obama rant on her Facebook where she said Obama "hates Americans". I asked her to explain and she admitted she had no
idea what she was talking about but was just repeating what American expats had been telling her. Oh boy.
To be honest, although I could nitpick a couple of the assumptions in your post (like NPR representing the opposite of FOX),
I have no desire to get into a political debate here. In fact, one of the reasons I'm leaving the US is to escape the
political mess here and not have to think about it anymore. So the last thing I want to encounter is a bunch of vehement
liberal-haters in the expat community.
And I don't like to stereotype but let's face it, a lot of people on both the left and the right do like to dress and act the
part in a very predictable way. I'm one of the few who don't seem to fit into a narrow box.
For example, there's no rule that says socially and economically liberal views must go hand in hand with anti-male
extremist feminism, as you apparently assume they do.
The reason I haven't had much success in American college towns isn't becasue of the liberal views there in general, but
because of the other reasons (that have been discussed in detail elsewhere on this forum) why American women are so difficult
and impossible to please.
You're right that Europe would be a better fit for me. And I've often wished that I could have been born there. (for one
thing, I'd have the tremendous advantage of a free college education) But because they are mostly wealthy countries, the
dating field is scewed against men like me. And when I signed up for an international dating site, 90% of the interest I was
getting was from the Philippines. That's why I've decided to give it a shot. It would just be nice if I could find other
expats who I had something in common with philosophically and if I could find a girl who was interested in something more
than just the most low-brow American junk culture.
You can find educated, progressive women in Bogota, Colombia. I dated a woman from Medellin who studied the left-wing ideology in university. You could probably even get a guerilla girl. I personally don't think women in politics make good wives and lean towards someone who wants to be a good wife and mother.
In addition is it necessary to live in a community of people who like those things? Especially with the internet you can find forums and talk with people endlessly about whatever niche interest you have. The arty counter culture hipster types are pretty phony as well. They remind me of religious folk who constantly proselytize but never have any real convictions or discipline to follow what they claim to believe in.
"In addition is it necessary to live in a community of people who like those things? Especially with the internet you can find forums and talk with people endlessly about whatever niche interest you have. The arty counter culture hipster types are pretty phony as well. They remind me of religious folk who constantly proselytize but never have any real convictions or discipline to follow what they claim to believe in."
Wow your observations of the drawbacks of the PH are pretty spot on, in general.
So your choices are:
1. Find another country in Asia or Europe that is more educated and intellectual.
2. Go to the PH and try to find the exceptions, which are there if you spend the time looking and waiting, but in the meantime you'll have to wade through a lot of what you said.
Personally I've met a few enlightened expats that are easy to talk to, maybe 2 or 3 in 10. You will meet them occasionally.
Globetrotter is right that you can't have it all. But you can find places with the highest percentage of what you like. Europe is one example of where you can have general inclusiveness and approachability from women, coupled with intelligentsia culture and cleanliness. However, most girls there aren't attracted to Asian guys unless you are tall and sexy. But there are many brothels in Europe where you can get Asian girls at $30 a pop, such as in Poland.
You gotta weigh the pros and cons and find the optimum "derivative" as they call it in calculus.
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
The reason you see such expats in the Philippines is because they are former US military and have finally gotten their SS check in addition to the military pension. They are the most numerous for economic reasons and also because US military has been to the Philippines so long and they are used to it.
Intellectual Americans do not as a rule go to the Philippines although some do.
They US ex-military there have this in common. 99.99999999999 % of them a) do not speak the local language and either treat locals patronizingally or outright badly b) they have no idea that they are in the Philippines and think they are back home and they are surrounded by Filipinos who love America. They do not know the country at all and do not understand the soul of the people there. c) They do not help other Americans that they do not know and usually treat them with sarcasm and to long braggadocios. Unless you are from some formal society like VFW that you and they belong to. American men are taught to compete with each other and to view each American as a potential threat to their territory. This changes if you are a member of some exclusive club or has been introduced by someone. Still, most like to sit around and brag about how great they are. This goes for most Anglos actually.
If you have been there long enough though and make friends with many expat guys, you may be able to have 1-3 intellectuals as friends who are there for better reasons then just boozing and whores. What more do you need? It will just take time.
Some actually despise me because I speak the language and I treat locals nice. But I have a friend there now who is a Swedish college professor with a Ph D and we have struck a common cord. Then as time goes by you will network and it will yield some nice results. But as in all things, you will always have to work through a lot of bullsh1t people, events and all kinds of nonsense. You will just have to be patient.
Filipinos do not seem intellectual ( although they make up for it with good behavior and a heart of gold) to you because the country is still a peasant country and the intelligenstia class is small. But you can find them. There are clubs and organizations that you can join there. I saw one for the preservation of the Spanish heritage- a Cervantes Club or something. You can join them. Alliance Francaise is another one. Just keep joining such clubs and soon enough you will be surrounded by the people you want. Depending on your interests you can find them.
Also keep in mind that the educated and intellectual elite of the RP is abroad most of the time. And another thing that is very common in a lot of 3d world countries and must always be remembered- the richer/more educated, the more prejudiced and nasty, arrogant, snobbish and unfriendly. Kind of like the opposite of the US and Russia.
Same in Thailand. Peasants are nice, educated Thais are pieces of shit. The opposite of the West where you have nasty and angry poor and uneducated people, and open minded enlightened intellectual liberals.
Just accept this as a fact of life and deal with it.
Also, if you do not speak Tagalog or Visaya, you are pretty much cut off from the mainstream soceity, and studying them is a very interesting and highly intellectual endeavor. And you will be treated like a hero by the people. You will be surprised how sophisticated these languages are and how fine the thought is .
As far your girlfriend goes, well, again you can find an intellectual but keep in mind that she is in her country speaking her language and living out her life within her culture. You are the new comer there. So, what do you expect? For her to act as an American intellectual? I personally almost never talk to Filipinas in English, I try and do it on thier terms and in Tagalog and I have been called a poet by them even. I do not have unrealistic expectations from them. I can however take a girl and teach her many new things. But again keep in mind, she is in her country and she does not have to follow my teachings. I am not there to dictate and impose my views upon the locals. The locals have a million things to teach me about their traditions, culture , food, customs. A lifetime is not enough to learn all that. How is that for an 'intellectual" exercise? You could be reading all these books on Philippines history and culture and reading Tagalog poetry all day. You could learn to become a Tagalog poet yourself. And the attend a Tagalog poetry meeting. You will be a star!
And even in Russia, unless you speak the language and study the culture, you will never understand them.
We all want to find an improved version of the US abroad with smart English speaking people, pretty women and great culture. Reality check! No such place!
In any event you will never find an environment that will suit you to a T, and you will just have to build it when you are there and be patient.
Keep in mind though that you are on their turf and they do not have to adjust themselves to your requirements.
Anyway, if you go and put out the best effort, somehow, something resembling a pretty good situation for all involved will develop sooner or later.
Just do not try to be a colonial overlord in sovereign nations where you are an alien on a visa.
The whole expatting thing is not easy, man. And you will soon find out that the world does not necessarily meet your demands by presenting you immediately with an ideal situation handed to you on a silver platter as soon as you arrive. Find the place that, as Winston says will eventually yield an optimum derivative. Usually it will have to be several places, not one. That is what the five flag theory is all about.
And also, it helps to think in terms of "ask not what your new countries can do for you, ask what you can do for your new countries".
Last edited by ladislav on December 31st, 2010, 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Ladislav's post is spot on, you're only going to find higher intellectual minded filipino's in the larger universities, large companies or sometime the owners of local businesses. There is a very small minutia of Filipinos that can be considered highly educated and intellectual while being able to speak near flawless English. I probably work with most of them in Makati and there are maybe 30 all together, gathered from the three major Philippine universities.
Occasionally, I will interview a highly educated Filipino for the IELTS test (Between 8-9 band score), but this seems to be increasingly getting rarer as most seem to be leaving the country to immigrate to Canada, Australia or New Zealand. I interview thousands of Filipinos a year and they are supposed to generally be the higher educated of the mass population, and to be honest there aren't that many left in the Philippines. The ones with means have already left or are in the process of leaving the country permanently. Most Filipinos I interview fal between the 5-7 band range, more so the lower half.
If you want a GF from the Philippines and she is educated most likely you would have to meet her while she is in her teens and maintain a long-term traditional courtship. That's how it pretty much is with the higher end families with money. On the other hand, you can find a decent girl from a poorer background that has ambition and is willing to better herself and learn a bit of the western way of doing and thinking, but you will have to train her. However, once again that is rare to find as most Filipina's are already set in their ways and just as much as you may covet their good habits that made you attracted to her, she will have many local bad cultural habits that you will have to put up with if you want to maintain a relationship.
I've been living here years now and have only met a handful of local girls with lower educational and social background able to become interested in improving herself without you doing all of the leg work. Usually they will talk and wish they coud do this and that but wishing and actually doing are two different things and most generally don't have the foresight or will power to persevere through difficulties to keep their eye on the prize. Being undisciplined is a common trait here, which is why many guys like living here cause they can get away with so much. But if you like things orderly and working the way they should, then you will get very frustrated here. This goes especially with local relationships.
In regards to liberals and conservatives people from the UK and New Zealand tend to be more left, Canada and Australia in the middle and actually I've met all types from the states but perhaps many guys with money would tend to be more conservative than liberal. I tend to be more libertarian and would rather hang with conservative minded people than liberal, but that's just my thing. But most of the foreigners in academia tend to be leftists so I find myself around their circle perpetually. Most educated Filipinos would be more on the Christian conservative side. You will get the common phrase "I'm a simple, God-fearing Filipina..." This is their typical response which basically means she is traditional and she's not going to be very independent minded.
Women generally want security. So if you go to a 3rd world country and can support a women fairly well, then you will get a better choice of women, especially when most of these countries still have traditional male and female roles. You can be successful with women also in the West, but you need money and be fairly secure economically. Nowadays, it's difficult for the average person to have an income over $100,000 in America unless they have some kind of highly educated skill set or have their own business. Thus, for people like myself who could make a struggling middle class wage in America, I'd rather go overseas and live a far better lifestyle working less hours while my money goes farther. I sacrifice the cleanliness and orderliness for other social factors that are more important to me at this juncture in my life. I can always afford to live in a higher-end clean environment for much less money then what I would have to pay for the same place in the states.
Currently, I live in a 2 level, 3 bedroom/bath townhouse within the metro Manila area for 17,000 pesos a month, which is roughly $390 at current exchange rates. It's clean, modern and gated. I'm within walking distance to public transportation downtown so I don't need a car. The only drawback is the commute due to traffic. One can live even cheaper outside of Manila in other cities and have an entire house and lot for under 10,000 a month usually.
My life is much better then it has ever been except perhaps growing up until I moved out of the house after high school. I remember having to barely scrape by in transition type neighborhood apartments barely being able to afford anything or save much money living on my own. Although, when I moved overseas it took a few years to move up in living standards but once I achieved a certain level of academic credentials with experience, there were plenty of decent paying jobs either in the Philippines or other countries. Once you make a dedicated effort to live overseas, you will find a way to stay here and make various connections and network with other expats to help you find opportunities.
Don't get hung up on women from any country being better or worse. All women are a pain in the ass to deal with, it's just ones from the third world will be more traditional minded and thus seem easier but women are women no matter which country. They just want security and will lure a man to provide this. They know the best way to do this based on their culture and laws. American women are just using the system to their advantage, if our same law system was available in other countries I'm sure it wouldn't be long before the women there became bitches and hard to deal with as well overall.
There is no perfect lands of all smiles and no frowns...
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
If you try to identify people based on their consumption habits, you will be taking with you one of the very worst features of American life. You might consider the possibility that someone could have different tastes from you and still have half a brain.
I really want to insist on the distinction -- not carefully noted in this thread -- between liberalism and progressivism. Liberalism is what we have almost exclusively in the U.S. now, often called identity politics and driven by the feminists, gays, etc. For some time now this identity politics has undermined class politics, which is what progressivism was when the term was coined over a century ago. Identity politics is all about signalling your membership through consumption habits -- e.g., driving the Volvo rather than the Cadillac. It's just another way of playing the oligarch's game. Identity politics would be an awfully good thing to leave behind when you leave the U.S., especially going to a country where class interests are easily identified and not obscured my media propaganda.
You might take a visit sometime to Cuenca, Ecuador. It's a center of intellectual life in the country, and has a perfect climate year-round.
And I want to heartily endorse the post by Ladislav in this thread. What could be more of an intellectual feast than throwing yourself wholeheartedly into a new culture?