Single Moms In The Philippines

In philippines business by Michael Michelini58 Comments

As I bounce around Philippines, Hong Kong, and China, I so constantly run into single Filipino mothers working to support their children and family. I think its the biggest problem in the Philippines, and its a deep rooted problem that I wonder if I am even qualified enough to blog about…I will try my best to explain my perspective.

During my last two weeks back, being a social guy, I strike up conversations all over the place….and many of them are single Filipino mothers. I am so curious how this happens, and I am getting more and more bold to ask questions of the story how it happened.

Some example stories…. I will leave out names.

  • She was under 18 (think 17), he was mid 20s, a filipino couple….she got pregnant, her father got so angry because she is so young, their families knew each other, so the girl’s father went to the boyfriend’s family to ask for (something?) and then got in a fight with the boyfriend at his home, punching out the boyfriends front tooth. In Philippines, girls under 18 are not allowed to date older men, and the boyfriend could have gotten in serious trouble from the police and government.
  • Bartender in Wan Chai I met, she is 22 years old, computer science degree in Manila, has a 2 year old son, father left after she got pregnant, she now works 6 days a week night shift in Hong Kong, with a 2 hour commute each way to her home. Sends money back to the Philippines regularly…very angry at her baby’s father who left.
  • Dancer in Angeles 22 years old with a 3 year old son, she was from the province (deep out in the islands far from city center) and she told me she thought she was in love…but after she got pregnant, here filipino boyfriend disappeared….

I can go on and on with stories, my friend MikeMo works at Western Union and the Philippines is one of the top countries to receive money from overseas workers….

Also in the airport yesterday, I met a European woman, Esther from Samaritana that supports Filipino single moms that become prostitutes to pay for their baby and their family. I was a couple hours early for my flight, and Esther and I went through some stories….her non-profit doesn’t do much internet marketing, she honestly said they don’t have the budget to scale too big and are focusing mostly on Quezon City area of Manila.

She also said facebook and website marketing wouldn’t be effective for her organization to find these victims, because most don’t have internet at all and sleep on garbage piles in back alleys. I still advised she make more internet awareness, guides, how to, and support networks….it inspires me to do something as well.

Lets analyze why this happens, try to break down points:


The Philippines is primarily a Catholic state, forbidding abortion and after morning pills. I am not going to get into pro-life and pro-choice discussions, I am just going to inform you guys thats how it is. Also people are not educated on condoms…asking some people they do not know what it is. And those who know what condoms is, either think its illegal in the Philippines (which it is not) or are too embarrassed to purchase them. They are afraid to purchase them because the cashiers give them strange looks, like they are a whores. Its just a deep rooted cultural topic in Philippines. Last year I blogged cultural differences between the Philippines and China that is worth a read.

Family First

In Asian culture, there is no choice, you need to support kids, family, whereas in Western culture, its a bit more of a choice or financial condition circumstance. And it seems women are expected to be the ones to earn the money…which is so opposite from anywhere else I know. Maybe the men feel women can earn more money, have better education. But overall, in my opinion, Filipinos really take care of their kids and so many times the mother has to leave her children to her parents (child’s grandparents) while she leaves the country or the province to a city to earn money….however she is willing or able to.

Sometimes the women get jobs overseas, Hong Kong or Singapore being popular places. I learned the basic process and hopefully the mother gets a job in a respectable family household that respects her.

Abuse, Cannot go to police

But many times, these single moms either willingly or entrapped, become prostitutes. Maybe they do it to earn more money than in a legitimate job, maybe they are not qualified to get a high enough paying job….or just have no idea how to get a job that can pay enough for their baby and their parents they are supporting. And prostitution is illegal in the Philippines, and Esther told me so many times boyfriends pimp out their girls, customers beat them and abuse them….and the mother cannot go to the police, as she is doing an illegal act of solicitation. And the overseas workers in Hong Kong or other places also may be subject to these conditions, also at a disadvantage being away from their home country and no one to turn to, no one to trust.

What about the men?

This is a touchy one….but I have to say, in my experience in call centers and web work, Filipino women are more diligent and willing to work hard. I’m not sure where this happens in the upbringing or educational system in the Philippines, but the men mostly work general contractor construction jobs or manual labor. They do not seem to be as computer savvy or as strong in the English language. Then they seem to rely on the women to earn the money.

Again, its another frustration in the Philippines that as Leon tells me, and I have to agree, has to be “bred” out over future generations….hopefully as the world is becoming more “flat” and information and opportunity are spread globally equally, all human beings will have a better chance at living the life they want.

  • True story.

    Philippines is a country where extrem poverty is constantly “in touch” with extrem wealth.
    And where extremely high potential people can drop down to basic stuff just because of a lack of money.

    It’s kind of crazy having so many high graduated Moms (especially Moms, but true also for others) sacrificing their skills, future and opportunities to stick to something crual but safe: a little job in here or abroad (China, Singapour, Middle East…) to get enough money to raise their “fatherless” kids…

    Good to read such a “true” article!

  • yea it was hard to push the publish button on this one…..but i think awareness is the first step towards change…….

    but i really believe the world will become more equal as technology and information flow becomes more advanced.

    the biggest problem is government corruption

  • The article is very true but I know that we can use the technology to improve the status of our country… Starting from survielance against corruption in every brgys… I’ve my system proposal for the IT’s there who wants to help… 😀

  • whats brgy? this may be another way……

    my idea was technology up enough people can work from home and earn income….bottom up, grassroots style!

  • Norn

    Mike- thanks for shedding light on this subject.
    I agree with your assessment on why…Although I grew up in the states, my parents (both born in the Philippines) always stressed to my brother and I that “blood is thicker than water” and family always came first. It was like another commandment (see the catholic reference).
    I had never truly understood why people (men and women) would work hard in other countries just to send the majority of their money back to the motherland. Some living almost in poverty- saying that they must sacrifice for their families.
    My parents struggled while I was growing up and there was no extra money to send back – so I never experienced this part but, I have seen people (from other countries too) do this.
    Glad you blogged about this. It’s another subject you learned about on the road that they don’t teach you in class- Trying to bridge technology annd social issues. It can work!

  • JIM

    there is andy capp carton will send to you
    women are the stronger they do everything world
    wide 95 percent of world and have children
    55 percent of college students women
    all countries work in USA send money back to
    poor countrys family

  • eve

    This may be brutal but Filipino men are mostly spoiled. I worked in several call centers women are mostly the top performers, nowadays when a straight Filipino guy dates a girl first thing he ask is she earning well, what’s her course, if she’s nursing jackpot! LOL

    Personally I find Filipino men lacking in ability, I find them weak, male chauvinist lot. Don’t worry I did not get pregnant like those women you wrote but I have many friends who are single mom’s but when she starts earning the father appear suddenly appear.

    I’m not saying all Filipino are lazy but sad to say most are lacking initiative, no plans except for the day and most are just conscious about their cute looks, buying papaya soap to make themselves white and to look cool among his friends to find a sexy gf that earns more than him.

    Will I date a Filipino guy? Once is enough, so I prefer foreign men.

  • There is a bill right now very controversial – the RH (Reproductive Health) bill to give access &

    information to many Filipinos about contraceptives being highly scrutinized & overly debated. A

    famous tour guide Carlos Celdran who is very open supporting this, made him more famous that his

    Twitter account rose from 2,000+ followers now it’s already 88,000+.

    The Catholic Church is strrrroooongly opposing this citing abstinence over sex education. Our

    president is very open that he is pro. International organizations are sending their representatives to

    help the bill to pass. I even met one from UN, he said his presence is for the same reason.

    There’s so many Filipinos who are now very open-minded to changes and practicality as there’s much

    Filipinos who thinks this way can offend their moral standing. So the question of when will this bill be signed as law, no one knows. But im sure there are so many Filipinos really wanting to have decent lives for their family.

  • hi Eve,
    thanks for your real opinion and perspective…….unfortunately that is a similar impression i have of filipino men…..of course there are guys who do stand by their women…..for the most part they seem to rely on women to support the family.

    such a strange culture…..not sure if i have witnessed any other country with this tendancy

  • gwen

    Help im depressed about my situation im 25 yrs old from Philippines a 6months pregnant no work, no money, sometimes not eating properly cause of no budget for the food, living with my siblings. My ex ignoring my situation even though i begging him to help or support us..He’s working in US as radiology technician.. What can i do guys,im worried about our situation?

  • Sylvia

    so so true! children are raised differently here in the Philippines. at a young age, girls are required to do the household chores while boys can play all day. so what can we expect from that kind upbringing? it would be as what summarized above. sad but true.

  • Jonnathan

    WTF!… u dragged yourself into the mess.. Just pay for it. You are so irresponsible without knowing how Ur future going to be you just became pregnant, I really pity the young kid who is going to suffer because of your childish act.

  • Jonnathan – not sure where you come from in the world. but sadly culture, lack of education, and “escape” where the girl currently is in life – this is their hope, they knight in shining armor….. also abortion is illegal in philippines, and condoms are made fun of…

  • maxen57

    I’m a single mother myself whom my ex left alone because he told me he wasn’t ready to be a father. I was afraid at first but i chose my baby over his decision for me to get rid of it. It’s not easy raising a son alone mainly because I’m unemployed, and I’m unemployed because nobody else would take care of my son. There are no babysitters and nannies cost money that I don’t have. We live in my parents house. I try making money from internet programs but my child is in kindergarten and what I make is not enough. My only consolation is that my son is the 2nd smartest in class, and that he makes everything better, making me want to push on and dream of a better future for the both of us. There are many women who are like me paying for our mistakes, but the only mistake I’ve made is that I have no savings. My son is the best thing that ever happened to me.

  • Martin

    Hey Eve, where do you find these Filipino men?? Almost all the Filipino men I know are hard working professionals. Most of them don’t date Filipina women cos they’re boring, and lacking in social skills.

  • Martin

    If you’re ex has a good job and sounds like he does, you can hire an attorney here and your ex will have to pay for your legal fees since you’re not working. Or you can have a friend or relative start the proceedings here for you. I know this cos my friend was in this situation and had to pay child support for his son in the Philippines.

  • martin

    I grew up in the Philippines but my brothers and sisters never had to do any type of chore. We had a full time cook, 2 full time maids and a driver that did all the work/chores. We just concentrated on school. I guess it all depends where you are in the sosioeconomic level.

  • Matin

    Don’t be judgmental, we all make mistakes. It’s both the father and mother’s fault and both should raise the child. Why should the mother be stuck with the child without support from the father, either physically or financially?

  • Anj

    True indeed. I’m a single mom too. I go to school full time, I have a full time and a part time job at night while taking care of my 3-month old daughter. It is not easy but I feel that its all worth it everytime I see my daughter.

  • Lia

    US is very strict when it comes to family laws. He should pay for child support.

  • i am a single parent who in need of financial support, my husband died 12 years ago we had 3kids since then my brother help me but he also have his own family, this school year my eldest will be in college, the 2nd one is 4th year highschool ang my daugther is gade 6…so pls help me thank you

  • nbv

    so did you bang her

  • fark

    you put the “mental” in judgemental

  • anonymous

    I am not from philippines, am an asian guy and have chat on social sites with many philippino (pinoy) girls, among the girls i have chat, 98% are single mother and looking for foreign boy friends or husbands so that they can live better life in future. and for this they can do any thing. I felt really pity on them. Philippines government must do some thing about it otherwise it would be very serious on future.

  • feeling hurt

    My husband had an affair with a filipino girl and got her pregnant. We had been married for 20 years and have 3 lovely children but he broke my heart and trust. I am trying to deal with the hurt and pain that he had caused. Presently he is still keeping in touch with the mother of his child. He is constantly in contact with them and giving her money for child support. He even refers to her as his wife and she calls him her husband even though he swears to me that they were never married. I still love my husband very much and willing to forgive him for him for his transgressions. I have even met the mother and child….who is now 3 years old here in Malaysia. He brought them here since November this year and they will be going back to the Phillipines on January 2016 when their visas has expired. I have only met her twice within the presence of my husband. I guess he is afraid what might be revealed if i was alone talking with her. I do not hold any grudges against her but my advice to all women, please do not have sex with strangers or someone whom you have no idea of their marital status. From my experiencei t causes a lot of conflict and emotional heartbreak for me. I have been a good wife and mother to his children and yet i have been betrayed like this. When he had a heart to heart talk, he told me it was never my fault but his own. But he promised that he had changed now and i am willing to give him a second chance. But there us still that lingering doubt regarding his sincerity and honesty in this whole situation. Everyday i just that God will give me the strength to move forward in life.

  • Jonnathan Simpson

    Yeah Illegal kid born out of mother’s lust

  • Investor

    I know a story when a Philippine Muslim soldier lied a Christian virgin about love forever and marriage, made her 2 kids, but later family disclosed that he had more such “wives” and 6 kids in different cities where army sent him. I don;t understand how Ph girls can be so naive and believe such persons to chose them as bf… 🙁

  • Investor

    OK, maxen57 but why did u have sex unless being sure that ur lover will not just misuse u and he is the one whom u would like to live with forever ? Didn’t u know that u can get pregnant??? 🙁

  • brendankiwi

    I think its western values interfering with a family culture– they are innudated with false western images on internet and TV. and now the huge abortion/contraceptive industry from agents of america family planning. The pill means a man can have sex for free– no responsibilities- it all falls to the woman

  • Mitchell Milner

    I have begun asking this question as well, and have come to blame the Filipino men. The age of consent is ridiculously young for Filipinos (12), so they find the prettiest ones and bang them right away. When she winds up pregnant, they abandon responsibility and leave some foreigner to pick up where he left off. They can’t be sued for child support and have no money even if they did. By the time these women are of marriagable age for foreigners (18), they have already had a broken heart from their first “true love.” If Filipina women want to break the cycle, they’re going to have to do things the old fashioned way, and demand marriage before giving up their virginity at such a young age. It’s the only fool-proof way for them to stay off the streets. Divorce is also illegal in the Philippines. This phenomena explains why Filipino men aren’t hostile to foreign men. They knock up a 16-year old knowing that some shmuck from the US will show up at 50 years old and foot the bill when she’s 23.

  • Mitchell Milner

    Oh you mean after you gave him your virginity? That’s all he wanted anyway.

  • Mitchell Milner

    I think that’s called “feminism,” and womens right to “choose” what to do with her own body.

  • Mitchell Milner

    Or stupidity.

  • Jorge Saldaña

    Lol ill help you

  • Jorge Saldaña

    Now these Filipinas fall for foreign counterparts of slacker Filipino men. In America what a dumb Filipina thinks are good men are actually social outcasts and losers. They can’t get the best of their women there so they end up with Filipina rejects with excess baggage

  • Jay Franco

    Good topic. And I can contribute tons on this subject. U can call me a specialist in this particular topic. But without going through the details, I can only tell you the root cause and society will take the own course whatever direction this country want to move – Cause 1 ) In Filipino society single moms are accepted normally which is not the case throughout Asia – from economically advanced countries like Japan, Korea, to the poor countries like India, Thailand – it is a shame to be a mother before marriage. That is not the case in the Philippines – in fact, according to a statistics – more than 90% first-time mothers are still single. And why is that? There are some reasons behind this very critical societal problem – First – if a population is poor, uneducated especially in the sex education side (this is a Catholic country, bishops, and religious leaders control heavily so that girls do not get sex education – and contraceptives are not available) then societal control is required to keep the girls in check from getting pregnant. These girls when growing up, their mothers are not teaching them, that it is shameful to be pregnant and have a baby when u r not married . and what type of miserable life you will sustain without the father of the baby supporting the family. And you know the result – single moms are the poorest of the poor – not only in the Philippines, but across the globe. Cause 2) – They have an education system of 10th grade school and then straight to College (now they are changing that). Which made a 15/16 yr old girls going to College with the same age boys. The moment u r in the College, u have some relaxation in your lifestyle, and even a single day’s weakness is turning the life of a girl upside down. Lot of the time the girls are mingling with same age boys – and according to well-established studies, a 16 Yr boy is like a kid compares to a 16 yr old girl – girls has much more maturity . and these young boys become the father of the babies .. who do not have even any idea what is fatherhood means .. I have seen so many 16 to 20 yrs boys .. who made their girlfriends pregnant and immediately switched to other girls when their girl become pregnant. U can expect that from the young boys .. who sometimes looks like younger brothers to these girls. And the girls family has no restriction, they mingle around with these boys . and eventually get pregnant – boys move on with a new project in hand – making another girl pregnant. ..I have much more Root Cause Analysis . One day I will publish altogether . this is just the top of the iceberg. One thing is true – if the society does not take corrective action – they will be doomed for sure – without strong family – a country will never be strong.

  • Jay Franco

    This is a serious topic and shamefully i have noticed some people are posting loose comments. Please don’t do so. Try to comprehend the enormous problem this country is facing – its far reaching repercussions and please add your comments in a constructive way.

  • Strangewalk

    The problem is complex and multi-faceted but one factor is that Filipinas are very emotional and sensitive, and so are easily swept off their feet by the macho Filipino lover-boys who measure their manhood by number of conquests. Also, the Philippine’s entertainment media conveys sexual imagery and messaging maybe more than anywhere else, and it has spawned a deeply sensual cultural consciousness.

  • Wolfgang

    “In Philippines, girls under 18 are not allowed to date older men, and the
    boyfriend could have gotten in serious trouble from the police and
    government. ”

    You you RETARDED???

    You can date at ANY age. And can fuck at 12! Not that the police or government ever care. Many whores are only 6 years old or younger…

    Have you ever BEEN to the Philippines??? LOLOLOLO!!!!

  • Wolfgang

    Stupid scammers and beggars!

  • Wolfgang

    “Filipinos really take care of their kids”???

    Have you seen how dirty the kids are? How rotted their teeth is?

    How they whore them out on the streets?

    You are crazy man!

  • Chuck Hurst

    Motherfuckers, you dickheads only go there to fuck Filipino bitches. Don’t lie.

  • Chuck Hurst

    I can help. As long as you give me the pussy and ass at least 4 times a week, I’m down.

  • Aaron Gladstone

    Although she is unwise for posting here for this kind of help you are disgusting to make this kind of offer to her. You are all that is wrong with the world to have such an attitude.

  • Donnie Davis

    One day yes one day your Almighty foundation will fall down around your stupid ass, then maybe we get to see you begging on the street, and People making comments like your stupid ass dose ,will be there to give you the same type of encouragement.


    Shut up you stupid envious jealous loser who will never afford trip to Philipines so that why you telling these stupid bullshits ahaha.


    True, i am from germany and that same i can say about white european women, they are stupid spoiled bitches and that why i have beautiful Filipina wife 🙂


    Haha, shut up with your bullshits you fucking stupid retarded envious jealous virgin loser who cant afford trip to Philipines you retarded loser ahaha !!!

  • Serendipity

    Absolutely. Besides, marry an American woman and you end up paying alimony and you don’t get to see your kids. Your life is over. Now that is true stupidity. Go to the Philippines. Enjoy yourself

  • Jean Marc

    “because most don’t have internet at all and sleep on garbage piles in back alleys.” REALLY???? MOST??? These types of westerners that over dramatize the situation and then don’t want to give evidence of these outrageous claims that they proffer to make a living off of third world people are more exploitative than sex tourists …

  • William Luke Rice

    Hahaha sometimes that’s true but those *losers* are living it good! I feel sorry for my fellow Americans who don’t have the balls to get in a plane.They either gay…No GF or stuck with a bitchy white wife who’s taking them worse then a Filipina ever could!

  • Paul Dunn

    Hi Martin; Yes that has a lot to do with how the Filipino men behave. BUT when it comes to commitment and sex they are mostly the same. No responsibility, don’t want to contribute money to the Female partner, disappear as soon as the girl is pregnant>
    Filipinos are easily offended, High Pride whether what you say is correct or not. The law for libel allows charges even if the information is correct (Go figure that one).

    I never employed males in the Philippines. Females were much more responsible and reliable: More dedicated, less corrupt and deceptive.

    On the side of foreigner marriages to Filipinas.
    the statistics show a marriage success rate higher than the local marriage success rate and higher than the success rate of marriages in the Philippines when a Filipina marries a Foreigner so the comments from MEXEROS X are just his hurt pride talking. Not factual.

    Filipinas seek love and comfort and give so much. The males take what they can because they can. The laws are ridiculous in the Philippines and give little protection or support to the women or victims.
    There are 4 girls to each boy meaning it is a lollie/candy shop for the men and they know it.
    My first trip to the Philippines (1980’s) I was told the horses on the bonnet of the Jeepney represent a girlfriend and so many had 3, 4, 5, 6, Horses on them:
    The men openly brag about the girlfriends
    The Rich all have girl friends.
    The ex president Erap had 4 wives or more and girl friends too and that was ok for all the Filipinos
    If that is the standard what can the girls expect?
    Doesn’t matter what the men say the girls are treated as a commodity.

    SOME Filipino men treat the women well and respect the marriage and stay with the one girl/woman.
    That is to their credit but they are not the normal male.

    Women are the hunters and the men are the game and they accept that. The men accept advances of a female or make the advances and the female accepts the advances because of limited choices.

    The only other country with an imbalance of women to me is Thailand 3 to 1

  • Paul Dunn

    Jay Franco: Constructive advice is to look at what is reality and then correct problems. Filipina women are far more abused by Filipino men than foreigners. If you are Filipino you know that.
    Filipino males treat the Filipino women as a commodity and not for long term.
    If a Filipina gets older the male looks for the younger one.

  • American Tourist

    Now that this post is 5 years old I’d really like to hear from you about how life is going. Your daughter is the same age as mine. I’ve been noticing the single mother problem in the Philippines and am looking for ways to help single mothers

  • Anj

    Hi! It’s Monday morning here and I just saw this comment notification while checking on my daily emails. Life is going GREAT! I was able to finish college but haven’t took the board exam yet. I work as a freelancer and been able to slowly recover financially. I am also currently working on a project to help single mothers having a fair wage to support their kids 🙂

    You are amazing helping single mothers!

  • Anj

    So sorry to hear that 🙁
    Stay strong!

  • keep us posted on this project – I can help support as well.

  • Irita Avila

    I agree with most of the points. As a Catholic, conservative country, birth control is not encouraged and not that accessible. There is also the stigma about contraception and abortion (which is quite ironic because they kill people when they’re all grown up, anyway – drug war, extra judicial killings). You can’t really force people not to have sex before marriage – society is heterogenous and so even if you are a high and holy Catholic (or any other religion), you can’t just expect all other people to live the way like you do. In the Philippines, young people gets hooked to romance very early but they don’t get much education on safe sex because in the first place they are discouraged to do that. Leading to sneaking from parents and having sex anyways then there goes an unplanned pregnancy.

    Another issue is the quality of Filipino men (not all but most, especially from low-income households). A part of the culture, at least with the older generation, is to expect more responsibilities from you if you are a girl. You are expected to help mom with household chores, take care of your siblings, go to the market, take care of grandparents, bathe the dogs, feed the family, you name it! While if you were a boy, you can get away with not doing anything productive. Watch TV, eat (food readily available thanks to the women), sleep, go out, hang out with your friends, come home past midnight – that’s the life! With having a baby, unplanned, just imagine how big that responsibility (most probably an alien word for them) is for these poor guys! And so, many cases, problems arise in the relationship after having the baby and girl ends up alone with the kid.

    BUT also an issue for me here is generalizing that all single moms are victims. There is the prejudice that when you are a single mom in a developing country, you have been abandoned aimlessly. That is not always the case! There can still be women in these kinds of society who choose not to get married (despite the pressure from conservatives) just because there is a baby coming. It’s just not rational. Take note that there is no divorce in the Philippines! And yes, I am proudly one of them!

    I am a 27yr old single mom to a 5yr old kid, breadwinner to a family of 5, struggled much in life. Lucky enough to get a postgrad scholarship abroad, and now I am working on a social business model (wish me luck) designed for single moms like me. If anyone knows where I can find statistical data on the number of single moms in the Philippines (in all developing countries, much better) please share! I’d also want to connect with other single moms out there for research purposes so pls message if you are willing! Thanks!