In the Philippines it is illegal to operate marriage agencies. The anti “mail order bride” laws are to protect the ladies of the Philippines from exploitation. Have you ever wondered why?
It is illegal to operate any matchmaking services with the intention of matching up Filipina ladies and foreigners for the purposes of marriage. That applies to online agencies and physical agencies. That applies to any business or service that even promotes matchmaking with men from overseas, and this is written in Republic Act 6955.
An act to declare unlawful the practice of matching Filipino women for marriage to foreign nationals on a mail order basis and other similar practices, including the advertisement, publication, printing or distribution of brochures, fliers and other propaganda materials in furtherance thereof and providing penalty therefore.
Why is matchmaking illegal in the Philippines?
I used to wonder why this law was put in place. It’s been law in the Philippines since 1990, and being an Aussie I initially didn’t get it at all. I’m not an exploiter myself, and I treat women as ladies no matter what. Therefore the need never really occurred to me. Marriage agencies exist in Australia. Why not here?
There was a feature film made in 1991 called Filipina Dreamgirls, and whilst it was released a year after the law was enacted, it aptly demonstrates the reasons why this law was made. How? It portrayed genuine exploitation that would most certainly exist in the Philippines if these laws didn’t exist.
The issue is not about stopping Australian men from marrying Filipina ladies. No one here has a problem with Darren from Perth falling in love with Jenelyn from Batangas, but they do most certainly have an issue with those people who see people as commodities that they can make money off, especially promoting pretty girls with shallow promises about how Filipinas make submissive wives. I can remember the online agencies in the 90’s made out that each Filipina girl was like a carbon copy of all the others, and they would encourage men to write to 4 or 5 girls, visit them all and then make his choice. I know! Yuck!
The movie Filipina Dreamgirls had a plot much like that. English men in the movie wrote to Filipina girls. Girl wrote back. Men came to Manila on a tour. Stayed at the agency guesthouse. Met the girl in person in a party-like atmosphere. Got her in bed that night. Done deal!
Now, if this was legal I could well imagine bar-owners here setting up “marriage-tour” operations on the side, offering bonuses to their bar staff to get involved, and encouraging them to jump on the men when they arrived. Easy money, and trash relationships resulting which would do no favours to either Filipina women or Australian men. An insult to Filipina women and an insult to the sacred institution of marriage.
I have no issues with girls working in bars. I’m a happily married man myself and don’t spend time in the bar scene, but the way I see it most are just trying to earn a living. I’m sure some human trafficking takes place, but I suspect most work there of their own free will and that’s therefore their own decision. Not sure I feel the same about the owners of the bars, but I’m talking about the girls themselves. We have clients who can, do and will meet girls in bars and they will hit it off and form relationships. But they will do so of their own free will, as will the ladies they meet. No manipulation, exploitation or profiteering. Everyone is free to choose whom they fall in love with and whom they marry.
It’s a small world these days, and that means couples meet online and they get to know each other, and relationships sometimes develop. In some cases couples form relationships when they had no intention of this ever happening. And that’s the way the world works nowadays.
Treating Filipinos with respect
This is a country where respect matters a great deal. Filipinos are generally shy and unassuming, and are generally always willing to help others. Kindness is seen everywhere, and you see very little arrogance or outward shows of pride. Most people you meet in the Philippines will show you a high level of respect, and showing a lack of respect to anybody is quite shocking to Filipinos. In return, they have very little tolerance to arrogant displays of disrespect toward themselves or toward other Filipinos.
Meet a Filipina lady, fall in love with her and treat her with kindness and respect. The law will have no problems with you, nor will you encounter objections from locals at you marrying their countryfolk, as long as the love and respect is there. Add in some exploitation and make marriage into a travesty, and it becomes a different matter. The law is a very good law.