o3| On “AFAMs” & Why I’m Interested in the People Who Date Them

AFAM noun

1 A Foreigner Around Manila (aka Expatriates living in the Philippines).

2 Foreigners living in another place with an agenda.

KINDS OF FOREIGNERS: Whore-Mongers. Vegans Looking to Eat Cashews (or whatever the fuck they do to make themselves feel good). Couch Surfers & Wanderlusters. Foreigners Working in the Country.

FOREIGNERS IN THE PHILIPPINES – it’s strange now because I’m the foreigner living in California. Although, back when I was living in Manila, people who were racially different from me were such a spectacle. A lot of people adored the creamy milk to taupe hues, and a few preferred the slick copper to cocoa tones. Nonetheless they were strangers living in a strange land, and they were strange to me as I am equally strange to the people around me. Foreign; beautiful, exotic, practically one of a kind – these were thoughts that overwhelmed a majority race facing somebody far uncommon from them. I wouldn’t be saying this if my friends didn’t bitch about what ethnicity flooded their gene pool.

Nonetheless, I can’t blame people for wanting foreigners. Just like how I can’t blame myself for wanting a Hummer in gun metal pink. There’s something fascinating about being with someone from a different culture – until they get boring. I think it’s called fetish.

Personally I enjoy fetishism. It unlocks a lot of wonderful activities for sexual exploration. Nonetheless, racial fetishism is not in my itinerary. I feel that the moment somebody notices I’m Filipina all the middle-aged gut heavy white men from Nebraska want a piece of me. Be it for nurse-patient [in real] RPGs or a daddy-nanny type of relationship. Thank god, I don’t live in a backwater state! Yeehaw!

However, a lot of people dig fetishes from a cultural and socio-economic position. And some people find it awkward because it’s a Pepsi-Mentos kind of rapport. 90 Day Fiancé is a testament to why people are freaking out about interracial or visa related relationships. Honestly, I’ve never been in one, but I’m very engrossed in the conviction behind this.

As a Filipina with privilege, I understand the appeal to date foreigners. The attraction is based more on conquest versus necessity. I can follow my heart and marry some foreign guy my age (or younger) and force him to live with me in the Philippines. I can probably move in with him too and pack my bags if and when I get bored of living in Utah. Although, for people like Rose Vega and the other women who have no economic entitlement – emotional freedom and fiscal liberties are limited.

People often judge women in the margins. They’re labeled as gold-diggers or scorned due to their inability to exercise financial dignity. Or something gravely similar to that. Poor women have a lot to lose. Rich women? They lose their hearts and they can bounce back to whichever white guy they can snag.

In fairness…

Cate Deleon muses, “I find it hard to date here, too,” I said, fully aware that I was referring to a big, bustling and densely populated city. He turned to me then, clearly needing an explanation. “Most Filipino men are too conservative to understand me.” And it’s an emotionally jarring journey, tbh, to find the perfect firt because sometimes we just need to embrace the idea of AFAMS, AND WHY I TEND TO DATE THEM.

I’m in no position to shame anyone. If they feel dating their own people is bad for their ego – I completely respect that. And I completely embrace people aware of what they’re doing. Nobody can force a black man to date a white woman. Nobody can shame a coconut for wanting to drift off into the salty abyss that’s the Pacific Ocean in search of fertile sand to root on.

it is seldom felt by them as the symptom of an ailment accompanied by suffering. Usually they are quite satisfied with it. – Freud

I see all of human civilization as one big fetishization. A yearning constructed and conditioned by our colonial masters. Filipino men aren’t blameless. We wouldn’t have been here in the first place if they weren’t at fault. But the root of this entire matter rests on the pedagogical idea that every Likas Papaya Soap advertises. We are unhappy based on the trends imposed upon us. It’s all penis envy to me or some other metaphor I’m supposed.

Other races are far superior than our own. But they’re not. We just always seem to be at an impasse. Because my people and I are disconnected from our own reality. Making excuses that speaking in English is far acceptable than our own language. Or thinking that it’s cute every time Will Dasovich butchers something in Filipino. We’re not at fault. To a degree. However we are mostly at fault because we accept the other instead of our own. While the second generation of Filipinos are frothing at the mouth to market Adobo and Lumpia as the national dish of the Bay Area.

But what have we learned from our South America? That there “is the inbetween space that carries the burden of the meaning of culture, and by exploring this Third Space, we may elude the politics of polarity and emerge as the others of our selves.” According to Homi K. Bhabha. An acceptance… a hard acceptance that doesn’t use silly words like “decolonization”. I don’t want to eradicate the painful memories of being part of a colony. I want to understand it and build from there.

(Actually, I might be getting the meaning of decolonization from screaming SJWs with community college professors. Perhaps its real meaning is to recognize and accept that we were once imperialized.)

It’s easy to point out why we like what we like. It’s easy that our decisions in partners are a product of our resistance or acceptance of our environment.

I didn’t want Mr. Guapo – 5’7″ and under and…

The truth is, I never wanted to write about AFAMs and the mini plagues they bring. Most of them just want to exist in their plane. Find somebody to fuck. Fuck somebody to fuck. But when I saw my grade school bully’s IG, I was fascinated at how brave and self-actualized some women are. I’m not that, obviously. I didn’t go on a plane with a K-1 Visa or segue to Guam thanks to my parents. I was just pretending to be part of a country that I’m not really part of and talking about the issues that aren’t my own. But I grew up in the Philippines. And I’m not fond of our men either – for far superficial reasons.

There’s a lot to unpack. Coming from this culture that prizes its men like their faultless sons of bitches is an understatement. I’m at fault too because like Cate, my grade school bully, and the rest of us who are in this for own selfish gain (aka Love and other Prospects) your type is your type.

Until They’re Not…

The only problem I see is when people like Big Ed (from 90 Day Fiancé) use clout to get pity from the people around him. His obviously Filipino-American friends pass on the judgement – just like how their parents do with women who married Joes to gain a better life in the US.  There’s obviously an ulterior motive and exchange to every relationship. But the judgement, like most interracial relationships, is mostly on a socio-cultural and fetishistic level.

A woman falls in love with a man and vice versa. The man has certain qualities. That, in and of itself, triggers a response from people to pass judgement. Race fetishism is possibly socio-culturally a tolerated taboo. There’s power involved and most of the time insecurity is involved. An example would be the feminization of Asian men.

A Summary on my thoughts on Interracial Relationships –

Personally, I have no biases against how people find each other. As long as they’re in a good, healthy, and mutual relationship I’m happy for them.

Some people choose the path of dating foreign men because they want to feel liberated from themselves – emotionally and economically. Some people choose what they are because there’s no cultural difference.

Whoever it may be. Whatever they may bring. Regardless of power struggles, etc. As long as happiness and prosperity are involved, then that’s the right relationship for you. It’s good to analyze, rationalize, and power through racial biases and inequalities – together. Because that’s what love is, right? It transcends race and borders.

Published by Dominique S.

Smokes weed every day.

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