Monday, September 26, 2022

When Decent Filipinas Get Indecent Proposals

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First, to be clear, let us define what “decent” means in this article. It refers to a Filipina working abroad (OFW) who is not a prostitute. The job or salary does not matter.

Whether she is an office employee, a teacher, a sales staff, or a household helper — as long as she is not in the sex trade — she is decent, as far as this article is concerned.

If you are a decent Filipina and you decide to work abroad, especially in an Arab country, you have to bear in mind that you are carrying a stigma. And that you will be working and living in a backdrop of prejudice related to loose morals and sexuality. More likely than not. Unfortunately, you could be mistaken for a prostitute or a low-income worker moonlighting as a hooker.

You would then have to prepare yourself for insulting remarks, degrading looks from men and women from other countries, including brazen attempts to take advantage of you.

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“Indecent proposals” can be everyday staple of a Filipina OFW’s work experience in certain places abroad. The proposal comes in different male tactics. She sits alone in a café, and someone passes a piece of tissue paper, which says, “Wanna go out? How much?” She walks on a street, a car passes by, and male passengers taunt her with “Five dinars!” (or riyals, depending on which country such taunting is practiced. And yes, that’s supposed to be her “tag price”). She goes jogging, a car trails her, and the driver ” offers a ride.” Many decent Filipinas experience this almost all the time. And sometimes, it’s hard to tolerate the insult and control the rage within.

Before we go further, let us take a look at the root cause of this perception problem. We have to admit that Pinays are working as prostitutes abroad. We can not deny that. We have no official statistics on this, but a short stroll on the streets of Dubai or Hong Kong will reveal the scope of this unfortunate truth. Economic hardships at home have forced some Filipinas abroad into plying this lowly trade. As the diaspora has widened, so has the stereotype.

Of course, prostitution, as the oldest profession, is a universal phenomenon. It seems that no country doesn’t have it. Some won’t just admit it. It is not confined to the Filipinas alone. But stereotypes are challenging to change. Even if you slap some people with a UN- or ILO-certified fact sheet saying that most ex-pat Filipinas are actually in decent, respectable careers — their perception won’t change.

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Their opinion has been marred by previous experiences or by what they hear from their kind. People will believe only what they want to find in. It’s useless to explain. This prejudice is not a problem for women who are really in the sex trade. They are ready for it. They have hardened their guts for it. It is the decent women like you who have to bear the brunt of the disdain, the heckling, the danger.

However, there are things you can do to dampen the likelihood of getting such a “proposal.” You have to be careful with your behavior when in public. Courtesy is always advisable, but too much friendliness can be misinterpreted as an “invitation.” Eye-to-eye contact with men poses no problem in the workplace or a professional context, but outside of work — like in a shopping mall or on the street — eye contact, especially a lingering one, can send the wrong message and interpreted differently. A revealing attire and a flirtatious gesture may also be taken as an “advertisement.”

So it’s better to cover that skin and watch your gestures.

Moreover, you should avoid isolated places where shady deals usually happen. When you are alone, a conspicuously plugged earphone often discourages conversation, let alone “indecent proposals.” It will even save you from hearing unwelcome comments.

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But what can you do when you get that “proposal?”

When it happens in a public place like a street or a restaurant, keep calm and make no scene when there is no imminent danger. Calmly, but seriously say, “NO.” Men who make the “offer” usually do not insist when they realize that the woman is not for it. If they do ask, then it’s time to make a little scene to attract other people’s attention. Say NO in a loud, raised tone if necessary. Public awareness will likely make them stop and leave. As for hecklers in passing cars, you can ignore them. It’s not advisable to yell back. By the time you have screamed your protestations, the car is gone, and all you get are puzzled or sarcastic stares from passersby.

Indeed, there are many times in your ex-pat life when you have to control your anger. Other women choose to exchange verbal tirades when they hear offensive comments. But this may spiral out of control. For example, if the man is a local, and he felt offended or embarrassed by your reaction, he can give you a problem more complicated than a bruised pride. He can easily trace where you live and harass you to no end. He may even be a relative of your boss and invent things that may jeopardize your employment.

Remember, you are in an alien territory. Locals can circumvent almost everything. So, before you go ballistic because someone made an indecent proposal — ask yourself how far you can fight back when things get nastier. Sometimes, walking away from an insult is the wisest thing to do. When the same person repeats the proposal –- such as a neighbor or a co-worker — you should tackle situations differently. Keeping quiet is not the right thing to do. If you continue quiet and ignore him, he may assume that you are just playing hard to get. Make sure that you have said “NO” in an obvious manner. Warn him that if he repeats his offensive offer, you will report him to authorities. With the use of your phone, you can record his attempts.

Telling someone else about these incidents is also a good move. At work, you may inform your supervisor or a Human Resources staff or anyone else who has some degree of power. You may also tell the landlord or a trustworthy neighbor. It can also be safer to live with or near other Filipinos.

On the other hand, the case changes when a man insists and seems determined to force you. That’s no longer just a “proposal.” It’s an impending rape and assault. Your life is now on the line. That’s the time to make a scene. Attract attention. Shout for help. Use your gadget. If you have time, take a photo of the person and send it to somebody online. You have to move away from the situation as quickly as possible.

At this point, we have to emphasize the importance of personal image. Right from the beginning of your ex-pat life, you have to build a positive reputation. Excel in your work without bragging and behave in such a manner that commands respect. If you do this, more people will take your side. It also makes you credible when you make a complaint against someone. It sounds unfair — but no one believes a flirtatious woman or a sloppy worker when she sues someone for sexual harassment.

Let us summarize what we have been talking about. Calmly reject one-time random indecent proposals from strangers. Speak up loud and clear against a repeated offer from the same person in a familiar place. Runaway and scream for help when someone gets too close or starts touching you.

Indeed, a Pinay OFW’s life is a tough lot. Inevitably, you will face many trials and challenges. But with the right behavior, precautions, and prayers — you can survive the experience, achieve your dreams and get back home wealthier and wiser.

Marily Sasota Gayeta is currently an English lecturer in Salalah City, Oman . She has held this job since September 2013. Before coming to Oman, she was also an English lecturer in Sebha City, Libya for three years. Marily studied Bachelor of Secondary Education major in English at Tomas Del Rosario College in Balanga, Bataan ( her hometown ) and earned her MA in English Language Teaching from the Philippine Normal University. Her career, which spans more than 20 years, also includes teaching Vietnamese refugees in a training camp in Bataan , and teaching collegiate English in three private colleges in the same province. She enjoys watching action movies, listening to rock songs, reading and writing . Her articles are available on her blog at www.gardenerofthoughts.blogspot.com. Marily is married and has two children.

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  1. Indirect prostitution. Having a boyfriend/s and asking for luxury, free accommodation and money to send home to their country. That’s reality and common with SOME Filipinas in the Gulf. Better know what is your real objectives, which is to work and earn in decent ways why you are going abroad and not to deal with these indecent things.

  2. basta ayusin lng yung pananamit …nasa arab country tayo kung maaring wag munang mag suot ng mga maiigsi at sobrang sexy maiiwasan ntin ang mabastos ..d sila sanay makakita ng mga ganyang pananamit kaya tingin nila easy to get ka at nang aakit …d talaga nila ni rerespeto ang mga babaeng ganito manamit d2 ..maski yung mga araba na nagsasabi na mababa ang tingin nila sa mga pilipinang ganyan manamit….maging maayos po sana tayung manamit mga kabayan wag po nating pabayaang mababa ang tingin nila sa atin .

  3. We cannot please somebody…even anywhere decent people its either man or woman due on luck of financial , un ducated, frustration and luck of hope will faced on this situation even they dont want to happen in their lives even the ignorant which encounter abbusive treatment of their superior will commited on this so thats why become decent and delliquent.

  4. We cannot please somebody…even anywhere decent people its either man or woman due on luck of financial , un ducated, frustration and luck of hope will faced on this situation even they dont want to happen in their lives even the ignorant which encounter abbusive treatment of their superior will commited on this so thats why become decent and delliquent.

  5. I experience it how many times already,kahit simple lng ako manamit at di nga marunung m manguliriti.buti nlng God is with me,,,kaya nakakainis yung mga gumagawa ng mali kc damay lahat,,,di naman sapat na rason ang kahirapan para ibinta ang sarili,,mahirap din ako at salat sa buhay,pero may ibang paraan pa nman kung tutuusin e,,,God bless us all,,

  6. We cannot blame why other views like this..even here in hongkong i can see so many pinays if they wear cloth even in cold wether they very short mini skirt with only stocking wat u mean by that? Style so dont blame if thiers rape or miss interprit u as a prosti we can were decent dress simple is beautiful.

  7. Don’t just take it when someone is mistreating you, or taking advantage of you. Be professional and diplomatic, but don’t be silent. Speaking up for yourself is not always easy to do, which is why it is the mark of a person de not always easy to do, which is why it is the mark of a person deserving respect.

  8. Indirect prostitution, will be looking for a boyfriend/s and will ask luxury material things and even cash to add up to their monthly remittance is very common practice in the gulf. Sad to know many of these women are arranging relationships with foreigneers/ expats because they believe they are the most capable for that needed support.

  9. What would you call a woman who is not a prostitute that eagerly encourages a married man to cheat on his wife while overseas? Then, act the innocent to deliberately break up a long marriage, just because the man had to work over seas to cover the spouses health costs. I call that no better than the ones you refer to, because it also entailes getting gifts from him and money. That is a prostitute to me.

  10. Indirect prostitution includes partying with married men from other countries and encouraging them to leave their spouses, taking gifts, getting them to spend money on them and their friends. They ban together to help each other. At least with a prostitute there is a certain amount of honesty, in admitting what she does. These other females are far worse.

  11. Kasalanan dn minsan ng mga pinay… but those ones cla lng yung mga mkkgwa neto which each dmy na ibng pinay…

    Their taking grnted us long us my pgkktaon cla.. they dont thnk na imahe na ng pgkababae nila nksalalay.. sana lng lht eh mgtino at mkpgisip ng tama…

    Kya ang baba ng tingin ng arab eh kc pinay dn ang dhiln kng bkt?

  12. Kasalanan dn minsan ng mga pinay… but those ones cla lng yung mga mkkgwa neto which each dmy na ibng pinay…

    Their taking grnted us long us my pgkktaon cla.. they dont thnk na imahe na ng pgkababae nila nksalalay.. sana lng lht eh mgtino at mkpgisip ng tama…

    Kya ang baba ng tingin ng arab eh kc pinay dn ang dhiln kng bkt?

  13. Realidad kahit asaan mang sulok ng bAnsa kahirPan ang dahilan….bawat kaganapan ay may kadahilanan rape case sa ibang bansa hindi masulusyunan bakit???? Ulti mo sa bayang sinilangan walang nagiging katarungan sa mga rape cases what more abroad masakit isipin mhirap tanggapin ngunit Ika nga eh REYalidad…

  14. I’m a teacher here in Malaysia and I experienced this kind of indecent tteatment many times, I just ignored them if youre i abroad however you dress up people will still think the same,like prostitute, I didnt mean all men,but because there are so many Pinays are doing this kind of job. I have no choice,but to tolerate some nonsense words from some nonsense men.

  15. I highly disagree with this…. Pilipino sacrifice their family and taken a high risk to go to the middle east with one thing in mind TO EARN MONEY FOR THE FAMILY. Being rape, physically molested, isolated, assaulted, battered, beaten up and burned are not in their agenda.
    It is perfectly alright to teach and train our kababayan the middle east culture months before departure. But to actually suggest and put the blame to OFW why they are raped, burned, molested and beaten up…..NO ONE WANTS TO SUFFER THIS UNFORTUNATE CERCUMSTANCES. Yes … that’s right blame it on the OFW after all its the OFW money that pays government officers wage and bring billions of pesos to the Philippines economy….. and what do they do to protect them …. fuck all!

  16. yong mga lalaki nga sa gulf nakasuot ng damit ng priest,,tapos yong mga kababayan nman nting mga pinays,nkapansexy,,,,maging aware po sana tyo,lalo na po sa kababayan nting pinay jan sa Dubai,kuwait,bharain,qatar,oman,,,respect yourself pra po di kyo nababastos ng mga ibang lahi,,,,kc po kpag meron tyong respeto sa ating sarili,hindi po tyo mgsusuot ng mga ganitong maiigsing kasuutan,,,tama po si mam lorina vitor,,nasa pidos po ang lahat na ipinagbabawal sa bansang gulf,,,,

  17. tulad po ng nsasabi ng lahat tungkol sa mga babae dto sa abroad,karamihan din nkakausap kung ibng lahi npakababa ng tingin nila sa mga babaeng pinay akala nila lahat ng pinay ay bayarin at pokpok!nkakasama lng ng loob dahil may mga babae talaga pumapatol sa kahit anong lahi mabaho ka man o mabango basta pera pinag uusapan papatol cla,kya nd nkakapag tataka marami ding pinay ang narereyp at npapatay dto sa saudi,

  18. Nothing all filipina prostitution it’s depend of him what she doing right or wrong she knows thre self but not only filipina are doing like this what About Chinese, Malaysian, utopian, going that’s kind for fucking business…its better to mind ur business not others

  19. I have a close friend who went on a tour to Europe and when he he was in Germany,he had a heated argument which resulted an exchange of fist.You know why.In the middle of their conversation,the German said,i am going to the Philippines to FUCK FILIPINAS.And from that days onwards,when somebody asks for his nationality,…HIS RESPOSE IS THAT HE IS AN INDONESIAN.Regarding this article,thanks to the publisher for her nice pieces of advices. The pokpoks who were operating at the Emirates,have migrated to the State of Qatar,maybe because the earnings here is more higher than other GCC countries.Lastly, i advise my Kabayans to dress,act,and talk decently wherever they maybe to avoid insults and other people will not look down and cheap on you.Maraming salamat po.

  20. This article is very well written based on reality and true experience of many OFW women. thanks to the author for this great piece of information. But beyond what has been said above, including the thoughts many people have expressed via comment, there are far more deep issues or questions that everyone, especially women must have to ponder that could bring more light on this matter. Human beings were all pleasure seeking creations and men are more expressive than women in terms of finding ways to experience pleasure, regardless or race and religion, which in most cases, men find it through sex ( with different partners if only possible). Many women have been abused sexually, because of men’s innate desire for sex, but what has been discussed above is just a tip of the iceberg, or just a tiny consequences of a one huge, unearthed reality behind the knowledge of humanity. The idea why women are always abused, disrespected or became a plain sexual object before man’s sight is a result of the idea that women always have in mind. It is the idea that women must appear beautiful, sexy,attractive and tempting for men as much as possible. Its the idea that beauty is their greatest asset, next to their intelligence to conquer mans attention. Buy why? why Muslim women are covering their whole bodies and rejected the idea of becoming sexy? The truth is, women are just plain victims of the greatest conspiracy, men too..behind all of these occurrences…To know more about this conspiracy..visit this link and you will realize the truth…http://www.detourebook.com/women-conspiracy-who-told-you-to-be-sexy-attractive-and-tempting-for-men/

  21. Simple logic…respect the other countries culture! and thier stupidities! shallowness! thats it! true and yes independent minded will say its discrimination! same time bullying ! i am also filipina had experienced disrespected by the bengali working as one of the mall staffers! i was asking him to help me finding the real price but he refused to help me! instead he said and pointed his fingers..” look are those arab women they are the one righteous people to help with! boom! kinabog ako! what i did was i went direct to the manager and told manager better train his staffers well of i will be the one to train you! (manager) haha! and he suddenly talked to the disrespectful smelly bangladesh haha! not all bangladesh are bad some are good too but this man i experienced the most smelly person i encountered!

  22. I have gone through the detail & you have written very nicely, I like to add that ,when one fillipino is have relation with arab then friend of arab is taking help of his girl friend to get another fillipino for him , like this chain link is going on,
    Other then this most of the married fillipino who are having husband & kids at home are getting involved here with arabs, which makes them dishonest with their husband.
    I support those fillipino who are maintaining healthy relationship with some good persons with reciprocal respect.

  23. Huwag na kayong mag argyuminto. Mabuti pa sisihin natin yong bansa natin dahil sa walang kwentang mga corrupt na politician kong hindi dahil sa kanila WALA SANANG OFW na decent @ indecent na mga kababayan natin. Dapat para ma ewasan ang mga ganyang issue Bigyan nang magandang tarbaho ang mga kababaehan sa pinas para walang babae na OFW kasi kadalasan ena abuso ang mga babae kawawa naman. Mabutipa LAHAT NA MGA BADING SA PINAS EPA DALA SA MIDDLE EAST para malaki yong kita heheehehe…

  24. Start nalang natin sa sarili natin. If tayo ang naka experience ng indecent proposals, nasa atin kung papansinin natin o hindi. Marami ako.na experience niyan both in Singapore and hongkong. Paano mo ipagtatanggol ang lahing Pilipino dahil totoo na may mga pumapatol sa mga indecent proposals na iyan. Lagi nating tandaan, wala tayong Tag price at tayo Ay not for sale.

  25. Talaga pong sasama ang tingin ng mga ibang lahi sa mga kababayan nating pinay specially dito sa Qatar ang mga kasama ng pinay puro ibang lahi.Makikita mo sila around mall,clubs,restaurants.etc.kaya po hindi katakata na sa halip na decent eh indecent po ang tingin ng ibang lahi.Sad to but its true.Kailan kaya matitigil ang ganitong scenario?

  26. mababa kc ang tingin nila sa mga kababayan nating mga pilipina ..hindi nyo po ba napapansin na ang daming mga pinay na pumapatol sa ibat ibang lahi? pero guys tingnan nyo ang mga babaing araba ang laki ng tiwala nila sa mga pinoy kc alam nila na mapagkatiwalaan daw ang mga lalaking pilipino kc alam nila na sanay na tau sa ganyan..at bihira lang ang pinoy na nakipag relasyun sa ibang lahi..napapansin nyo ba sa fb kadalasan na nagpopost ng mga picture ay puro babae…halos buong katawan na ang makikita panu yan e rerespito? anu sa tingin nyo? kung may gusto mung erespito ka ng mga lalaki hindi mo dapat ginagawa ang ganyang bagay…but di nating subukang manamit ng maaus..

  27. mababa kc ang tingin nila sa mga kababayan nating mga pilipina ..hindi nyo po ba napapansin na ang daming mga pinay na pumapatol sa ibat ibang lahi? pero guys tingnan nyo ang mga babaing araba ang laki ng tiwala nila sa mga pinoy kc alam nila na mapagkatiwalaan daw ang mga lalaking pilipino kc alam nila na sanay na tau sa ganyan..at bihira lang ang pinoy na nakipag relasyun sa ibang lahi..napapansin nyo ba sa fb kadalasan na nagpopost ng mga picture ay puro babae…halos buong katawan na ang makikita panu yan e rerespito? anu sa tingin nyo? kung may gusto mung erespito ka ng mga lalaki hindi mo dapat ginagawa ang ganyang bagay…but di nating subukang manamit ng maaus..

  28. This is so true in my hospital some nurses are having affair with other nationality sad thing is they are married, their reason homesick. Is this even valid?. Ohers they are showing their dancing video t

    In my hospital there are nurses who are having an affair with an other nationality,sad thing is they are married,their reason its lonely out gete. Is this even valid?.wow this is so filipino, pity. Thats why others looking down on us, coz of some misbehaved pinays..

  29. This is so true in my hospital some nurses are having affair with other nationality sad thing is they are married, their reason homesick. Is this even valid?. Ohers they are showing their dancing video t

    In my hospital there are nurses who are having an affair with an other nationality,sad thing is they are married,their reason its lonely out gete. Is this even valid?.wow this is so filipino, pity. Thats why others looking down on us, coz of some misbehaved pinays..

  30. Those fucking indians,pakistans and also saudis they are really maniac.I’ve noticed that here in Saudi whenever they saw Filipina.
    Sometimes when I rode taxi they say that Filipinas are like this,like that.and i felt like I just want them to kick and put their faces on the road and smash them with a hammer.

  31. Ako ang masasabi ko nyn hindi rin natin masisisi ang ibang lahi kong mababa man ang tingin nila sa mga pilipina dahil marami din kasing pilipina na gumagawa ng hindi maganda kaya tuloy yong mga pinay na matino nadamay ako ilang beses na akong naka encounter ng ganyan piro ini ignore ko lang sila hindi ako nakikipag usap sa kanila kasi pag pinapansin mo sila hindi yon titigil sa pangungulit at isipin ng mga yon na wala kang kaibahan sa ibang pilipina na na binibinta ang sarili para lang magkapera .

  32. being prostitute is different! It depends to the climate you’re staying with. Here in Europe,they are civilized. During summer time,mostly we usually use shorts,mini,sando or other summer attires cos it is NEEDED! It’s too hot. I’m also used toO but it doesn’t mean we are prostitute cos we are not. I mean, it depends to the flow of the place where you are. But in Arab Countries, of course we Must wear clothes properly or else u will be accused! Cos its not uso.

  33. First of, i won’t justify anyone unless i’m on that situation. You can’t single out Filipinas and write an article to stress out what you see around. Both man and woman should behave with Decency – and it comes along with respect! Being in Gulf for almost a decade, I can go on a list on how men from being so creepy and disturbing stalkers and i don’t think it only happens in Gulf countries. Girls, there are only few men will hold doors for us, move the chair before we sit or look in our eyes and not our t*ts. #reality I can argue that even the most decent, well educated man (that i know!) will behave like a pervert uneducated person #uglytruth ops! Madami dyan Pinoy pa! at madami akong kilalang ganito!!! I won’t be hypocrite to judge others but the Filipina that I know, my mom, grandmom, relatives, friends, colleagues, even you who is reading this – we are the most caring, God fearing, resilient, family oriented, sweet and loving Filipina. #proudFilipina #stopstereotypingFilipina

  34. Ako ang masasabi ko nyn hindi rin natin masisisi ang ibang lahi kong mababa man ang tingin nila sa mga pilipina dahil marami din kasing pilipina na gumagawa ng hindi maganda kaya tuloy yong mga pinay na matino nadamay ako ilang beses na akong naka encounter ng ganyan piro ini ignore ko lang sila hindi ako nakikipag usap sa kanila kasi pag pinapansin mo sila hindi yon titigil sa pangungulit at isipin ng mga yon na wala kang kaibahan sa ibang pilipina na na binibinta ang sarili para lang magkapera .

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