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Thousands of Filipino women marry American men every year and it’s difficult to measure how many end up in abusive marriages and how many find the right mates, but there’s a spectrum of results, Annalissa Enrile said.
On a warm August night, 15 Filipino women gathered with their husbands in The Bungalows, a gated community in Orange County with identical facades and potted plants, for a birthday party.
She loves her husband but often feels isolated when he goes to work and she’s home alone without a network of friends to fall back on, Bonna said.
“If my husband is ready to move [to the Philippines] today, I’ll go,” Bonna Joy Holiday said.
She has been in the states for four years and met her body builder husband on Filipino
After a failed 18-month marriage and forays into the L. dating scene, he decided that women here were too independent. After five years of research, Richard ruled out Eastern European women because he wasn’t rich enough, but Filipino women fit the bill; English is their first language, Catholicism promotes traditional values, and they are petite.
The search for supplicant brides often leads American men to the Philippines, but interviews with brides and husbands show that the search for a mate can often lead to cultural consternation. Annalisa Enrile, a Filipino professor in social work at USC and a board member of the Mariposa Center for Change, said these marriages last because of a value in the Philippines called Utang Na Loob, which roughly translates as a debt of gratitude.
“They feel that they own this man something,” Enrile said.
Novac sorted through thousands of online profiles on Cherry Blossoms, an online dating service that connects Asian women and foreign men, before finding his wife Evangeline.
Today, Evangeline and Richard have been married for seven years, are raising a daughter, and expect another baby. “I wanted to meet an American guy because that’s my dream.” Their marriage was mutually beneficial; she gained a loving husband, financial stability and US citizenship, while he got a more traditional wife and a strong family.
“And they owe it to him to make the relationship work.” The Mariposa Center for Change helps about 50 Filipino women every year who came to the states through dating websites and end up victims of abuse and domestic violence.
Enrile says that these women often stay in the marriages because they don’t know where to turn for help in the U. and they worry they won’t be able to get their papers to stay in the country.