Tag Archives: Filipina_Gal

Filipina_Gal: How A Pair Of Jeans And Heels Can Get You Many Dates Around The World


Ever since I’d decided to remorselessly launch myself into the dating world, I’ve looked back on my experiences and tried to understand how each encounter/relationship turned out the way it did in the context I was in. As a Filipina living abroad in Ethiopia, France, Indonesia, and the United States, obviously some pieces of random clothing from my (dating) life in different countries will find its way in the ‘baggage’ that I carry along. I decided to organize my luggage to help me in my future encounters and chances for dating success.


For the wandering soul in search of reasonably priced, good quality clothing to find your own dating style and mate, come right over!


Here are a few clothing tips for consideration:


  1. Skinny jeans: No matter who you are or where you come from in the world, skinny jeans are always a good staple to have. You can wear them to almost any occasion. Whether paired with flats and a blouse worn to a serious talk by the new head of the organization or snazzed up with heels and a sexy top for a date, they never fail you. Skinny jeans can be considered part of our anchor: they are like the good table manners your mother taught you when you were young, or the education you worked so hard to get. When it comes to dating, they are the values that you do not want to compromise, such as placing your career above all else or finding ‘The One’ your only goal. You may grow too big or small for your skinny jeans and need a new pair, but whatever happens, one pair is always a welcome sight when that bag is flipped open.


  1. Heels: Never forget to pack a pair of killer heels. It doesn’t matter what type, as long as you have them – wedges, platforms, stilettos, or even short high heels. It’s important to have something that makes you feel sexy and confident, something that oozes that extra ‘oomph’ and draws glances. Heels can be part of your dating repertoire, right along with flirting glances and smiles reserved for an attractive member of the opposite sex. For international flirting, it’s good to have a pair of nude, black, brown or dark blue heels – basic ones that you can pair with a variety of clothing and adapt to the occasion. For example, flirting in the States may mean smiling widely and conversing freely, while flirting in the Philippines may mean being open to seemingly intrusive questions like, ‘do you have a boyfriend?’ Heels take you places you never thought you’d be able to go to, but only if you have the courage to put them on.


  1. Black lingerie: That clichéd movie claiming black lingerie means you want to have sex? Whether you believe it or not, having a pair of lacy black underwear is extremely seductive long before you even end up in the bedroom. It doesn’t matter if you’re having sex tonight, the next year, or on your wedding night – it’s all about the subconscious desire to do so and the knowledge that you are attractive inside out and you’re not afraid to flaunt it. Just like heels, black lingerie lets loose an inner, bolder side that manifests itself in something as small as the brush of a hand on a man’s arm or looking him in the eye and asking, ‘Would you like to go back to my place?’


Your wardrobe, like your relationships, is made up of choices. You can push the limits a little bit each time, but always with the knowledge that you’re comfortable with how far you go. You keep clothing and dating habits that gave you success in the past hoping they will carry you to a successful future. These staples are good to have, but every now and then, it doesn’t hurt to buy an outrageous pair of green heels or make out with that random stranger who keeps winking at you from the bar. You never know where that openness might take you, just like it did me.

Filipina_Gal: A Perspective On Sex In Indonesia

Filipina_Gal: A Perspective On Sex In Indonesia

“Once a woman has seen a man’s dick, he has to marry her because either she or her male relatives will beat the man up,” says my program’s in-country coordinator’s husband. Whoa, talk about the extreme end. I know I’m conservative, but I’m not violent.

Here I am, checking in from tropical Indonesia after my stint in Paris. I had a summer internship with a local NGO. There are many interesting aspects of my cultural transition from French to Indonesian culture – and one of them is definitely sex. Since Indonesia and the Philippines are neighboring countries with the same roots, I was fairly certain that there would be plenty of similarities. In the beginning, I was mostly excited to eat tasty food with lots of spices – and good rice, finally. But this was put behind me immediately because of what I learned about sex and sexuality here.

First off, my pocket of Indonesian land called Jogjakarta city was much more conservative than many parts of the Philippines (see comment above) – and it’s supposed to be one of the more liberal areas in the country. Brides, for example, are heavily dolled up during traditional Javanese weddings, and one of their make-up symbols is the series of three Vs on their forehead. Women with black markings are virgins, while women with green markings are not. Though I know that in the Philippines, brides need to wear white when they’re virgins and other colors otherwise in Catholic weddings, nowadays, people don’t really care. In Indonesia, virginity seems to be much more of a necessary public declaration. According to some magazines, there is still a very strong stigma against non-virgins. They are addressed as if they ‘had made a mistake’. This creates an unwelcoming and isolating atmosphere for anybody who has engaged in sexual activity.

Our program also had classes on these topics, and here are a few tidbits. I found out that there are some studies stating that there are sometimes more than two sides to the heterosexual equation – for example, men and women who are married may have homosexual relationships on the side. Muslim students (which is most of the student population) usually live in dormitories called pesantren, where they have very strict rules but which also is a venue for a lot of sexual experimentation among boarders. There are accepted forms of homosexuality (or even just ‘cross-dressing’), such as the waria, or ‘males with women’s souls’. They dress in women’s clothing and perform in weddings and clubs. Despite the more conservative façade, sexuality seems to be fluid – and along with this, there are challenges to reproductive health.

An American friend of mine worked with the PKBI, a Planned Parenthood program here in Jogjakarta. It’s a clinic offering health services, fully equipped with trained volunteers, medicines, and instruments to deal with any situation. During his time there, he found that there is practically no sex education in most schools. The stigma mentioned is debilitating to their cause of providing reproductive healthcare – in the three weeks that he’d interned there, nobody came to the clinic in spite of their posters, social media, volunteer outreach programs, etc. The extent of the youth’s knowledge about sex education and health is probably frighteningly low – much like it is in rural areas in the Philippines. He also said that some Indonesians he met asked about and/or were obsessed with the idea that in the US, people practice ‘free sex’, a term with unknown origins or real meaning.

In terms of dating, my experience was very limited. However, some of my Indonesian girl friends have boyfriends. Some have been dating for a very long time, even as long as seven years. The topic of their sex lives never came up, so I do not have even anecdotal knowledge on this – which I think also speaks to the seemingly more pervasive taboo on sex. In a place where even wearing a tank top that covers your shoulders in public can be considered immodest, I can see how this could create challenges in trying to incorporate sex and reproductive health education into people’s lives.

Coming from Paris and into Jogjakarta (please see my previous blog) showed me the vastly different cultural landscapes of sex. It made me realize how big of an issue reproductive health is, and how much its implementation has to be patterned according to these landscapes.