On the beaches, in the malls, scooting along the pot-holed streets, one sight is ubiquitous in the Philippines: The aging, white male and his bronzed, young Filipina beauty. And that certain degree of disgust sets in every time I see this sight. When a pockmarked, wrinkly white face that would do a naked mole rat proud pops up at the checkout line in the supermarket, I crane around to see where this mister's mistress could be. After all, it just would not do--could not possibly be!--that the man has come here to brave the hot beaches and the frigid waters of a calamansi-lime juice (and gin) on his own! In fact everyone I meet here is surprised that I travel alone, and am positively uninterested in the marriageable young things that surround me. So sad for these girls, I suppose, when at least I'm a young guy--even if I don't look so young--compared to the aged predators that limp in pursuit across the sands.
Some of those young Filipinas have aged as well, of course. It's not unlikely to meet a 40 yr-old Filipina lady with a 75 yr-old German. I suppose it does say something for her managerial abilities that she has managed to hold on to him for the past 20 years!
And then I came to the realization that one must give the Filipina her due. It is not so much that she is prey for the lecherous old Westerners, but that they are her prey. The average girl here has two options for bettering her life: (1) finding a job abroad, or (2) finding a hubby abroad. She takes this responsibility seriously, and every tourist is her potential fillet mignon. Amongst the legions of gold-diggers in this world, at least the union of lecher and young Asian has the potential to take the wealth of the west and transfer it directly among poor families as the elderly fellows move out here and allow their wives to start businesses that will in turn help pay for retirement. Net-cafes, small beach resorts, and shops selling local delicacies are the result. As recent history has shown, a shop selling buko pies is probably a more worthy place to put money than Wall Street is.