Yet even as she went through the paces of partnering with him, Leonor found herself wanting to rewrite the script—and Dan’s betrayal became her chance to try again.For decades, Western men picked Filipinas out of catalogues, selecting from rows upon rows of hopeful women’s pictures printed on cheap paper, like a strange yearbook or police lineup.But a power dynamic that for decades favored Western men has steadily tipped toward Filipina women, largely because of technologies that level the information gap that used to separate the two parties.Filipinas no longer need to sit around and wait to be chosen, and they now have much more access to these men’s complex lives before making a choice of their own.After Aaron was born, Dan complained that he couldn’t sleep through his cries, and ordered Leonor to sleep in a tent outside their house while Aaron was weaning.After she got pregnant with their second son Zen two years later, Dan got a vasectomy without consulting Leonor, only calling from the hospital afterward to get picked up.She didn’t see any other way to make that dream happen.They’d only been living in Thailand for a month when Leonor found herself pregnant, and at first Dan didn’t believe the baby was his.
Leonor was hopeful he might eventually whisk her off to a new life in America.
Virtual connections must eventually be realized in physical space, where real-world politics, money, and bodies intervene.
For the earnest among these internet searchers, the hope is that in the midst of these complexities, a real, lasting love can bloom.
That house belonged to a woman who had married an American man she met through the mail.
“To marry a foreigner was really my ambition since when I was young—to have handsome and beautiful kids and also to have a comfortable life,” said Leonor.