Is the "Ay" Marker in Tagalog the Same as the English Verb "To be"?

One of the most common markers in the Tagalog language is ay. It may appear as if ay  is the equivalent of the English verb "to be", because, for example, the literal translation of a phrase like ako ay Pilipino is "I am  Filipino". However, in reality, far from being a verb, let alone the verb "to be", which doesn't really exist in Tagalog, the function of ay is simply to invert the order of a phrase, and in the example above ako ay Pilipino is merely the inverted form of Pilipino ako. In other words, because in Tagalog there is no such thing as the verb "to be", such phrases as "I am Italian", "she is beautiful" or "Mario is a doctor" in Tagalog have no verb and are literally rendered as "Italian I" ("Italiano ako"), "beautiful she" ("maganda siya") and "doctor Mario" ("doktor si Mario"). The "ay" marker simply switches the order of such phr

How to Date a Filipina


Dating "a Filipina" is a rather generic expression because there are several categories of Filipino women and the "category" they belong to affects the kind of man they look for.

Low class Filipinas who would date just any Western guy

The first category is those relatively few poor Filipinas who may use their looks to date just any Joe Schmo with a white skin and use him as a means to getting an entry visa to his country.

Those ones are very easy to find online and one of the reasons why I closed the Facebook page where I used to share the posts of this blog is because I was receiving a lot of private messages from Filipinas who taught I was looking for a Filipina for marriage, and some would continue to message me even if I let them know that I am already married.

Dating this kind of women could result in having a lousy relationship because those women have a rather skewed view of what constitutes a relationship.

I remember travelling to a Northern European country, some 15 years ago, and meeting a Filipina in her mid 30's who was married to an old Western man.

She talked very enthusiastically about the advantages that had accrued to her in terms of the financial stability she had gained and of how, by becoming the wife of a Western citizen, she had finally managed to get the residence permit in the country, after spending years in a state of clandestinity.

What she never mentioned is whether she had feeling for the man or not.

Although I don't know the whole story, the fact that she only mentioned the legal and financial advantages of being in that kind of relationship, seems to tell me that there is a risk that if you are old and single, as well as relatively well-adjusted financially, and look for a much younger Asian lady, you might bump into someone who is not exactly looking for somebody to share her unselfish and unconditional love with.

Each situation is different of course, and there might be young Filipinas who marry an old and wealthy Western man with the right motive and not for selfish gain.

High Class and "Sosyal" Filipinas

Rarely do Filipinas who belong to wealthy families look for a white guy.

The famous American songwriter based in the Philippines, David Di Muzio, in one of his videos, said that rich Filipinas are more drawn to Spanish looking wealthy Filipinos and, generally speaking, they avoid the stigma of being viewed like lower class Filipinas who date men with a white skin and they go for a good looking Filipino with a Spanish blood (

Middle Class Filipinas and O.F.W. Filipinas

I live in Italy and what I have noticed is that single Filipinas, who have been working here for a while, and are, as a result, rather financially self-sufficient, usually tend to look for a Filipino husband and many (at least the ones whom I know) would rather go on vacation to the Philippines to look for a husband than court an Italian here.

I know a lot more Italians who unsuccesfully tried to court Filipinas than Filipinas who tried to court Italians.

And I guess the same applies to middle-class Filipinas in the Philippines: those who have a good job and higher education would more likely go for a Filipino husband than try to court a Westerner.

So, the bottom line is (at least based on my experience) that very rarely do Filipinas who have a measure of financial stability look for a Western husband.

Another reason why dating a Filipina is not easy is because, especially in large cities like Rome, where tens of thousands of Pinoy live, Filipinos tend to associate with other Filipinos only and rarely do they widen out.

Their usual form of entertainment is going to Filipino social gatherings where the only Westerners are people who are somehow related to the Filipino community (like someone who is part of a religious organization) and rarely do they blend with local people.

Filipinas who might be interested in dating a Westerner

So, apart from a few low-class Filipinas who would marry a random white "Joe anybody" just to get an entry visa to the West, dating a Filipina is not that easy.

Nevertheless, there are Filipinas who do like Westerners more than they like Filipino guys.

Some Filipinas, for example, cannot stand heavy drinking and the macho-machunurin (macho masunurin or "submissive") attitude of many Filipino guys who seem to only be able to act out macho qualities when they drive a car or when they binge drink but in a family setting it is often the woman who takes the lead.

Many men in the Philippines are less educated than their wives who often have a better job and end up being the 'actual' family head.

I know Filipinas in the Philippines who are college professors and their husbands are tricycle drivers.

Even here in Italy there are Filipinas who easily find a job as maids or as nurses while their husbands barely work and, as a result, their man get put "under the saya" (or "henpecked"), and all the more so because there are Filipino men who, on top of not being able to find work, have serious drinking problems.

So there are Filipinas who view dating Western men as a better option than ending up being married to a macho machunurin.

Those are probably the ones who are easier to date.

Finding a Filipina who might be interested in having a relationship with a Westerner is one thing, meeting the challenges of a Western-Filipino marriage is quite another.

In my blog I have abundantly written about some of these challenges, like, for example, dealing with the extended family and dealing with culture-shock.

Such challenges can be so energy consuming that before asking yourself "how can I date a Filipina" you'd probably better ask yourself if you are ready for a multiethnic marriage and to go through years of stress and tension.

I can safely say that right now I am successfully meeting the difficult challenges of my interracial marriage but it took me years to pass some of the humps that characterize this kind of marriage.

So make sure first that you have enough openmindedness to be in a long-term relationship with a person who comes from a culture that merely has a very thin Western veneer, underneath which there are layers upon layers of cultural traits and habits that can drive a naive and unprepared Westerner crazy, and then keep in mind that dating a Filipina (I mean one who is interested in having a serious relationship) is not as easy as many Westerners assume.


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