Mistresses are a Fact of Life in the Philippines!

Mistresses are such an embedded part of the Philippines society that newspaper columnist Julie Yap Daza even wrote a book on how they should behave: “Etiquette for Mistresses: And What Wives Can Learn From Them.” Ms. Daza calls them “holiday orphans” since they cannot meet with their lovers on such holidays as Christmas or Valentine's Day where they will be home with their wives.Dancing Hooters

Philippine politicians, including former president Joseph Estrada, even admitted to having children by different mistresses. Many of these corrupt politicians used (and still use) government funds to lavish their “girlfriends” with lavish homes and gifts.

But not only the rich and powerful keep mistresses in the Philippines. One of my wife's relatives just down our muddy subdivision road has one that he had a child with, and the woman now lives in the same home as his wife! If I were him, I would probably follow the advice of the Metallica song , “Enter the Sandman”, and sleep with one eye open. I'd be afraid of losing a certain part of my anatomy during the night.

Due to the majority of Filipinos belonging to the Catholic faith, and the heavy influence of the Catholic church, divorce is banned in the Philippines. Expensive and lengthy annulments are legal but rarely allowed. Some figures put the annulment denial rate as high as 95%.

Some couples merely separate, as my mother-in-law and father-in-law have done. My father-in-law was staying at the house last year after a knee injury but left when his 77-year-old, 75 pound estranged wife kicked down the door of the nipa hut he was living in that is located in our backyard. She wanted to get something out of the hut. He refused to unlock the door for her, and my mother-in-law, the Feared Giant Lizard Killer, smashed the door open with just a few kicks.

My wife's Cousin Chris, whose wife left him for another man, ended up marrying another Filipina he met. This is also a common practice in the Philippines. Divorce is not available even for philandering or abusive spouses so a lot of people end up doing what Cousin Chris did.

I told the story once of a  jeepney that I was a passenger of being stopped at a checkpoint by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Guimaras during a weapons check for the past Presidential elections. The PNP officer announced to me that he knew my driver, Larry,  did  not have legal marriage papers for his current wife, but as long as he had a valid driver's license, the officer said he did not care.

In an article in the Strait Times Blogs entitled “Filipinos and their Number Twos”, Ms. Daza, the writer of the aforementioned etiquette book for mistresses, states : "But for every 500 philandering husbands you will probably only find one married woman doing the same." Ms. Daza notes that Filipino women have too much to lose in terms of financial security to risk getting caught.

Before moving to the Philippines with my beautiful Filipina wife last July 2009, I had no idea that the practice of having mistresses was so accepted and widespread in the Philippines. I had thought with the majority of Filipinos being conservative Catholics that such a practice would be condemned.

However, I have even seen articles online where some Catholic priests have mistresses that live with them and their children. I have to shake my head sometimes and wonder what's going on. After I was even approached recently by a mistress,  possibly on the prowl, I really, personally,  have to question what is being taught in the local masses. Is anyone listening?

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14 Comments on Mistresses are a Fact of Life in the Philippines!

  1. Monty Man // 12/20/2010 at 11:31 pm //

    Again, this is a fascinating subject! Thanks for expanding on this one, Dave. Being approached by a cute, young Filipina asking to be your mistress has to be tempting, no? I know you wouldn’t do it, neither would I, but tempting!

    • Thanks, Monty Man, for your input. As far as being tempted, I was not actually directly asked by the young salesgirl about me taking her as a mistress, her coworker was pretty sure that is what she wanted. As an old geezer that’s been around the block, I know the girl was only after all my kano “riches”. We are both fortunate to have some great asawas, and as I’ve often said, mine carries a wicked bolo!

  2. Dave: That is the reason most Filipina wives have such a jealous streak… There has been more than once that Rebecca raised an eyebrow at a sales girl in the mall or that I received tampo for minding my own business.

    The worst was the woman who blatantly came up to me at Robinsons, Rebecca standing next to me, and said in front of her, “You make baby for me? I make nice baby. I make good baby!” Needless to say, my generally reserved wife was not so reserved (How the hell that was MY fault, God only knows! I was just standing there like a dumb shocked Kano)

    • Yeah, you’ve got to watch those sales girls, John, no doubt about that. I’ve said this before, but I like to check my pants to make sure I’m zipped up when I get a lot of looks.

      Wow! That woman at Robinson’s was unbelievable! I’ve never had anything remotely close to that happen to me in the States, but “only in the Philippines” could that happen. I don’t know what Rebecca did, but I can bet you my wife would have probably decked the woman. Yeah, you’re the innocent one, and me, too; it’s tough being a dumb shocked Kano. The guys that live in the Phils know what we’re talking about.

  3. fghsdf // 12/21/2010 at 2:47 pm //

    Hi Dave,
    I bet an article by you about Tampo would be funny for the readers and get a lot of comments from the readers if you ask about their experiences with Tampo from their Filipina wives and girlfriends. Maybe include a description of what Tampo is (for those lucky enough not to have experienced it).
    Lance

    • Good idea, Lance the Canadian! I think that is a good topic to cover, and I’m going to work on getting a post out on it in a couple of day. Thanks for the help. I have a feeling a lot of my readers would have some stories to share about their experiences with the dreaded Tampo, I know I do.

  4. I think one of the reasons why there are more philandering Filipino husbands than there are wives is legal in nature.

    It takes ONE act of sexual intercourse (oops should I have made that less graphic?) by a married woman to a man who is not her husband to constitute ADULTERY.

    While for married men, even several acts of sexual intercourse with a woman who is not his wife, will not constitute CONCUBINAGE yet. For CONCUBINAGE to exist, the following requisites must exist: 1) that they cohabit together (live under one roof) and that the same is done under scandalous circumstances (that they live together as husband and wife). So if a married man never makes another woman a “kept” woman meaning he doesn’t “house” her, and only sleeps with her (even though several times), he is not liable for CONCUBINAGE.

    Unfair? Yes. But chalk it up to the fact that majority of the lawmakers in the Philippines ARE MEN!

    • Thanks, Claudette, for your valued legal opinion. As it used to be in the case of the United States (and still is to some degree), the laws in the Philippines definitely favor the males. Your information is a good example of this (don’t worry, you can use the term “sexual intercourse” here.) The law you state is so slanted towards the men and so unfair to the women it almost defies belief. And yes, having mostly male lawmakers in the Philippines, along with the machismo culture of the Philippines, it is no surprise such laws are in force.

  5. I think someone should tell my wife about this Philippine mistress thing being an embedded way of life. Something tells me that she wouldn’t think it’s such a good idea. If she did, I’d have to stay awake forever after that.

  6. anonymous // 04/08/2012 at 2:46 am //

    How about this one, folks?

    My wife and I got married in the Philippines, but she is now int the USA with me.

    She now wants to DIVORCE me, and has even suggested that I “get another woman” so that she “will be free.”

    However, I believe that marriage is for life, so I will not file for divorce; this means that SHE must file, and that means that she can never marry in the Philippines (since the divorce will only be recognized if I file for it) and that she will forever have my last name.

    Likewise, it means that I cannot marry another Filipina — unless there is a Philippine lady in the USA!!

    What a mess, folks. Any comments?

    Is there any way that I can marry another Filipina in the Phils or elsewhere?

    — Anonymous

    • Anonymous, sorry to hear about your situation. Divorce is a terrible thing. My first wife, an American, divorced me after only nine months of marriage. Thank God I met my beautiful Filipina wife years later who has put up with for over 12 years. Here’s is some info that may or may not help. Keep in mind that I am not a lawyer and will never be one. Here’s a website where a gentleman was in a similar situation as yours:
      “Unlike in the Philippines where they have a National Statistics Office which acts as custodian of all birth, marriage and death records that occurred in the Philippines, or occurring abroad and registered in the NSO, there is no such central agency in the United States. As a result, no U.S. agency can provide a certificate of no marriage (or cenomar) to attest that a certain individual has no marriage records in its files. Because of this, the Philippine government instead requires an affidavit from the American groom or bride that he or she is legally capacitated to marry. You can get this from the U.S. Embassy in Manila. Be sure to bring with you a certified copy of your divorce decree.

      Article 26 of the Family Code applies only to Filipino citizens who were divorced by their foreign spouses. It states that “Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.” The law was enacted to give Filipino citizens the same freedom that their ex-spouses enjoy from the divorce. Obviously, it does not apply to you.”

      My wife has known some Filipinas that were married to US citizens before AND were married in the Philippines. One guy was even married three times in the Philippines, and later divorced all of his Filipina wives in the States. Her Filipina friend was Wife #4.

  7. Not a mistress // 07/12/2012 at 3:33 pm //

    I’ve been in this country for a while and quite frankly the women here are beyond shocking. I do not understand them. There are, for the most part, two kinds of women here. The wives and the mistresses. Both kinds grow up with one thing on their minds. Hook a man. The wife kinds are the self righteous “I’m better than everyone because I’m a wife, every time I pop out a child I shall wear it as a stripe on my shoulder (even though I actually have nothing to do with the raising of the child the nanny does that)” now for the other kind. I had the same question what the heck are the children being taught here as a culture. I see twelve year old girls walk around with the practiced sexuality of a stripper. The bar girls, sales girls, waitresses, you name it, are so brazen about how they come on to a man. This culture is nuts. Divorce will send you to hell but adultery is just fine. And the funny part is the women are ok with it. The wives take it for granted that the husbands go to prostitutes and or have mistresses and they’d rather deal with that than leave the man. The mistress variety are ok with being mistresses. The fact is that both sides put up with the man dividing his time between two or three women. Ahhhhh. This is not true of allllllll of the population. But for a lot of it.

    • Well, “not,” I think that perhaps the fact there is no divorce law contributes to this problem. That, plus the fact that annulment is handed out mainly to the rich and famous, the wealthy, might have something to do with the tolerance level of the wives. That, plus the fact, that poverty in the Philippines is rampant, and if you find a guy that has a job or some income, you don’t want to lose that financial help, especially if children are involved. I honestly don’t know all the answers. It’s a sad situation but it’s commonly accepted here despite the fact that the majority of the population is Catholic. Some good observations and thanks for your input.

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