The Bowling League and My SEA Friends – An Update
Great excitement here in sunny Cyprus – the new season of the OFW (organisation of Overseas Filipina Workers) has just started and Sunday afternoons/evenings at the local bowling alley have once again become the hubbub of gossip, trade, intrigue
and display that the Filipinas (and a few Filipinos) bring.
To be fair to them most of the Filipinas in legal employment, especially live-in housemaids get only one day (Sunday) off and some of them have to work part of the day even then so it is reasonable that they make the most of it.
The OFW has very worthy aims of mutual support and portraying a good picture of Filipina workers generally. They seem to love titles and honorary positions and at the beginning of the afternoon’s proceedings there will be announcements of OFW matters, the presentation of certificates for various things and (quite touchingly) all players repeat a declaration that they will play the game in a true spirit of sportsmanship and honour. The teams wear team shirts and caps and stand to attention while they make the declaration. All very noble and honourable – and then (to a cynic like me) the fun begins.
The bowling is taken very seriously. The league games, of course, because at the end of the season there will be a big function/party with presentation of seemingly innumerable cups, prizes and certificates and (it appears to me) anyone who bothered to turn up will receive something tangible and perhaps more importantly their few seconds on stage and a round of applause. More importantly – at least to a sizeable hardcore – are the games played for money. It is not unusual to see €50 on the table. That may not sound so much but it may represent ten hours of cleaning work for those Filipinas lucky enough to find it.
But it is the side events which are the most interesting, at least to my jaded eye. This is as much a social and business event as a sporting one. When you know who’s who you understand a lot more of what is going on. You can spot the recent arrivals from PI, the movers and shakers, and it becomes fascinating.
There are a couple of Filipinas who seem to be the contacts for most if not all of the part-time cleaning work. How they do it I don’t know, but if the girls want some work (especially if they’re illegal here) they need to keep on their right side.
Then there are the traders. Some Filipinas arrive with huge shopping bags full of cheap clothes and jewellery sent from PI. There is much trying-on of clothes, shoes, admiring of cheap jewellery – and much money changing hands. Some black looks as potential customers choose another vendor.
One of the most important functions of the gathering is the opportunity to display. Filipinas will proudly show off their latest acquisitions. Chief among these, of course, is their farang (sorry, I don’t know what the equivalent expression is in Tagalog) boyfriend or – better – husband. They get bonus points if he is half-way acceptable (i.e. doesn’t need a Zimmer frame and oxygen tank and is not paralytically drunk on arrival) and double points if he buys drinks for his girl’s bowling team. His marital, financial and citizenship status is vital for maximum Filipina credibility and will be discussed and speculated on at length. The Filipina GF will probably have implored, wheedled and begged him to attend and will stake her territory during the event by intense osculatory attention whenever she thinks other Filipinas are looking. For her the downside is that she must keep a close eye on him because there may well be younger, prettier, slimmer, etc. Filipinas who would be only too happy to take him off her hands.
Those who don’t have a farang with them are happy to show off the jewellery, clothes, motorbike or mobile phone their latest conquest has bought for them. One of the Filipinas I know (and quite like although she is an unprincipled tart – boom-boom, yum-yum and ow-ow for sure) has a husband and child back in PI, a Filipino boyfriend here, and is shagging her (married) Cypriot employer. For her birthday her employer bought her a new motorbike and mobile phone. She threw a tantrum because the phone was not the latest model. She was even more upset when her employer’s wife found the bill for the mobile phone and took the cost out of her meagre wages …
Another form of ‘display’ – and this is the first time I’ve seen this – is pregnancy. One of the Filipinas who I can only describe as ‘sex on legs’ with a superb body and an ass to die for (boom-boom, yum-yum and ow-ow for sure) has become pregnant by a married Cypriot guy. She displays it proudly and has refused an abortion, which sadly seems to be accepted by many Filipinas as a form of post-coital contraception. The father has told her that he will support her and the child but will never marry her because he is happily (?) married with a family. I was a little nonplussed at her decision until I worked it out. Her child will be born in Cyprus as a Cypriot (EU) citizen. As the mother of a Cypriot citizen she is entitled to Cypriot (EU) citizenship. What was that saying? ‘Thai girls will do anything for money – Filipina girls will do anything for papers’.
There is much to be seen at the OFW bowling league – and most of it has nothing to do with bowling!
Now to the update on my SEA friends …
‘W’ is doing fine. To be honest, she is not so much to look at. She seems to me (in my limited experience) fairly typical of a Filipina living in the West (or at least as West as we are in Cyprus) – she has developed a substantial belly, ass and thighs (probably only on Stick could I get away with such un-PC statements.) Too much KFC and McD. But she has big beautiful eyes, she is fun to live with and yes, I probably would hook up with her tomorrow. My deceased mate, her lover for a while and an ex-merchant seaman with a fair bit of experience in these things, told me that he believed Filipina girls went to a ‘sex college’ because he was impressed by her expertise. She has ‘refugee’ status (I don’t know how and I don’t ask) but is finding it tough to find part-time cleaning work. Many Brit ex-pats here who were her main custom base are cutting back because of the sterling-euro exchange rate. She is living with a Brit bar owner and doing some work for him. I’m not sure exactly what the relationship is and I don’t really want to know. She is still about the most honourable and trustworthy SEA girl I have met. I moved apartments last week and she came in to help me clean. Four hours working like a Trojan (the ancient warrior, not the condom) and she would not accept a cent because she thinks she still owes me for a ‘helping hand’ I gave her a long time ago.
‘J’ my former Filipina live-in girlfriend who within two weeks had met and married a European guy much better than me (younger, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink). I still cannot work out how the marriage went ahead, she is illegal and part of the process is approval from Immigration. But this is Cyprus; no different from this is Thailand. She looks forward to her new status as a European (but not EU) citizen – I wonder if she realises that – and hopes to find a job in a supermarket. She is 29 going on 13 and apparently there are already cracks in the relationship but she has her papers, is no longer illegal, so she should be fine. I understand that new husband had limited experience of Filipinas before the marriage, so he may be finding it strange getting used to clocks without hands and calendars without dates. (Why does she keep calling / SMSing me? I know that I was the first for boom-boom, yum-yum and ow-ow, but she is married now!).
‘C’ is the niece of ‘J’ and she is a nursing student (22) in PI. When I was with ‘J’ I helped her to support ‘C’ through college. Never very much. But recently ‘C’ got a bit creative and started asking for more and more. I ‘helped’ her a bit, sent her flowers for her combined birthday / graduation celebration, then she asked for money for a new phone, a camera, etc. I am sure that ‘C’ is a ‘good girl’ – in fact I believe that she is still a virgin (never so far any boom-boom, yum-yum or ow-ow) – but in my last message to her I accused her of acting like a Thai bar girl, congratulated whoever was coaching her in extracting money from Western men and told her I would discuss her pressing needs with her aunt ‘J’. I do not expect to hear from her again.
‘H’ is the Filipina who recently married an eastern European guy in a ‘fake’ marriage. She has, I believe, changed from ‘refugee’ status to ‘wife of EU citizen’ status. She has placed some of her clothing / photos in his flat, he has done the same in her flat. This way, they believe, they can fool Immigration if they call. She has her long-term plan in place: she is getting money together. When she has EU citizenship she can divorce her EU ‘husband’, marry her Bangladeshi lover and he in turn will become an EU citizen. I get the ‘cold shoulder’ from ‘H’ because I would not contribute to the fund she had to pay her ‘husband’ for the fake marriage (about €3000 I believe).
And to bring this submission back to Thailand …
My ‘TGF’ recently asked me for 20,000 baht because she was going to Udon Thani for New Year and wanted to give money to her family. I declined and explained why in some detail. This led to the most intensive exchange of SMS / text messages we have ever had, and the most ‘loving’. Finally, I told her that if her problems were so bad I would have to talk to Momma Nong about them (Nong lives and works here). Very quickly I received an SMS (unusually polite, I felt) to say ‘No, forget me, thanks for your help in the past’. (Thinking about it, probably some boom-boom and yum-yum, maybe not ow-ow).
I am relieved, in a way. No more financial support to SEA girls. Devastated in another way. After all, my TGF was ‘different’ wasn’t she?
Probably not, and now I think I am relegated to the back page of her ‘little black book’ only to be contacted in times of financial drought and desperation.
I have asked this before, and I still don’t know the answer. Is there something in the DNA of SEA girls that makes them this way? Is there anywhere an SEA girl who is honest, loving, truthful? Maybe I have just been unlucky in my experiences. I accept and appreciate the relative differences in terms of perceived wealth and the lifestyle it can fund.
We live and (hopefully) learn. I enjoy living and (probably too slowly) learning.
It's fascinating reading about the plight of South-East Asian girls in Europe, but at the same time it is sad. I watched a program on the BBS recently about immigrants in the UK and it highlighted a Filipino mother. She worked all the hours God sent for not a lot of money but then I couldn't help but notice the way she blew so much of hew money, eating junk food as opposed to cheaper and more nutritious food and then sending brand name items back to the Philippines from London because her family like the prestige that imported items bring them – even though it was clear they were living it rough. All very sad.