So, too, are the great exchange rate, the gorgeous scenery, the friendly and warm people, the active and exotic Spanish-Asia lifestyle, and the OPPORTUNITIES that abound.
But one of the cultural "nuances" I just can't stand is "hit and run dads."
These are the macho guys who get a girl pregnant and then deny it or flee, abandoning the mother and the child. Or married men who shack up with an mistress and beat the wife if she complains.
Yes, yes, the girl is at fault too, never having been taught that sexual heat is different than everlasting love. And having no way, no "tools", to succumb to the heat without getting pregnant.
The Catholic Church has these high-minded ideals that are simply humanly impractical. I'd say perverted, but that may be too strong. The idea that priests and nuns can live a lifetime without acting on sexual urges. The idea that contraceptives will encourage prostitution and abortion, as if what goes on now is virtuous, the babies conceived in dark alleys that priests deny, the dangerous abortions that take place in hidden places that priests deny. The miserably poor lives that people live, that priests deny responsibility for.
But back to the point. It is this peculiar idea of macho that drives me angry, that being sexual is something to brag about, that having a kid and getting away with it free of obligation, is something to be proud of. That being cruel is a virtue.
NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman's father lives in the Philippines. Dad Rodman is an American who moved to the Philippines where he found the fields ripe for the kind of picking he likes to do. He has taken on the name "Philander" as if his behavior is just a joke, haha. The father brags that he has sired 29 children with 16 different women. Dennis was just one of them who did well in America playing with a big rubber ball. Emotionally and personality-wise, Dennis is a tad, ummm, unusual. Let's just say he puts the eek in freak. I liked watching him play.
Dad Rodman is a caricature of the real Philippines, a larger-than-life being who exudes macho and lives a lifestyle that holds women and kids up as throwaway beings. He is an extreme form of malignancy who found the perfect playground in the Philippines. A place where people in need look for ways out.
I have often wondered why Filipino men don't get more upset at the old white guys who come to their country and make off with a lot of the beautiful young women. I understand pretty well the perspective of both the old white guys and the beautiful young women because I am the former and married the latter.
The "playing field" that Dad Rodman romps in is the same one that attracts the ancient whities to the Philippines. Filipina women of little financial means look around and see nothing but desert on the home front. The men of their class are native philanderers, adhering to standards of macho behavior that are a major put-down to a woman of who holds herself in reasonable respect.
Then a white guy comes up and politely holds the door open. And behind the door is a life. One with real food on the table and even plates and silverware, and a home to put them in. Possibly a family, small and manageable. A housekeeper to take care of the drudge. Malls and trips and, yes, the power to say to family members, yes, you can have P500, or no you can't. A life.
If Filipino men were to complain, which they do not, I suspect women would respond back, rather sharply, "then give us a decent choice, not one where we are second class to your chickens and tuba and overbearing need to strut your manhood all around the neighborhood".
As in all things Filipino, the solution comes from looking inward, not outward. It is a skill set largely gone missing.
But back to the point.
I don't like that the Philippine laws and court system give women little way to hold a man to account for the responsibilities that are his. Rather, the laws hold married women in bondage to abusive macho men who beat them and brag to their buddies, or proudly tout to their friends the mistress or two tucked away around the corner. In the courts, the women are treated as criminals for wanting annulment. Grilled as if it were THEY who had committed a crime of wanting out of a dysfunctional marriage.
"Hit and run dads."
Is that manly in your value book?
It's not in mine.
- Manly to me is accepting responsibility for one's decision.
- And it is going back before that decision to THINK about outcomes, and risks, and what might happen.
So this is one of those cases where I think Philippine culture is shitty.
It's your culture, not mine, and it is shitty. I refuse to buy into THIS one.
You want ME to tell you what to do about it?
No, no. This is your deal entirely. You either accept it or do something about it. Or do nothing, which is the same as accepting it.
So to all those hundreds of thousands of piss-ant, dead-beat, flee-in-the-night Filipino guys I say:
- "You are not a man in my book of values. You are a thief, stealing lives of innocent children and the honor of women; you are a jerk, a scurrilous dog."