Womanizer becomes a Berber
Manila (Philippines), April 5th 2010

Sometimes, like today, we run into people whose life story keeps hanging around in our mind for quite some time. He is only 66 years old, although we would guess him at least 75. His thin silver-grey hair, wrinkly skin and old fashioned glasses with thick lenses don’t give him the appearance of a Don Juan, although he certainly has a striking appearance. He has been in the Philippines for the last two years; a period he can’t wait to end. While retirees flock to the Philippines to spend their old age at the side of a beautiful Filipina, he wants to leave this dream behind him. As soon as this French speaking Canadian can buy a cheap air ticket, he is gone.

It all started 25 years ago, when he left his Canadian wife with his two children behind, to start travelling around the world. He doesn’t tell the reason why his marriage came to an end, “that’s all in the past”. During the last 25 years he worked a few months a year on cash basis in New-Zealand and Australia, to spend this money in the remaining months of the year that he was travelling. Asian countries had his preference, because this is where the “sexual activity is hanging in the air”. When turning 65, he became to know that he could get a small Canadian pension. Because of living such a long time abroad, he only gets 450 Euro per month. For Western standards this may be a small amount of money, but this is more than enough to live comfortably in Asia. Officially he should stay 6 months per year in Canada to stay entitled to receive this entire amount, but he guesses that it will take a long time for the Canadian authorities to find out that he isn’t in his home country.

After all this years of travelling around he looked forward to settling down, preferably with a nice and beautiful lady at his side. The mainly English speaking Philippines with its stunning girls and easy immigration rules seemed to be the perfect country to head to. A friend learned him an easy way to get to know a nice girl: www.filipinaheart.com . Soon he had contact with tens of women who wanted to meet him. All were between 20 and 25 years old and all were simply gorgeous. However, while dating he came to know that the Filipina’s who he was seeing weren’t putting all their eggs in one basket. As soon as a richer foreigner was interested in them, they were gone. The biggest disappointment in this dating phase, however, was the lack of love in a relationship. While sex was his only objective in the past, now he was looking for a combination of sex and love. Looking backward, he thinks that the Philippines is the wrong country to find this golden formula: “Men are only seen as the provider of the family, while the women are only loving their children”. After a lot of dating and messing around, he finely found what he was looking for. A beautiful girl of 22 years old seemed to be head over heels for this 44 year older man. Because she wanted to be a good Catholic, she didn’t want to have sex before marriage, so they had to get married. After piles of paperwork a big wedding party was held with 175 invitees. The girl was the shining centre of attention, as she was proud of hooking a foreigner.

Three weeks later, the fairytale ended. The girl left and told him that she didn’t want to live with him for the time being. Sometimes she called to let him know that she wants to come back, but as soon as she received the money to cover her transportation costs to get back to him, she finds other ways to spend the money. He didn’t see her ever since. Finding new love in the Philippines is more complicated since he is already married. Because of the high costs of getting a divorced, this isn’t an option for the Canadian. The girl faces the same problem. She can’t get married in the Philippines anymore, even though she has a whole life ahead of her.

At this moment, the Canadian is about to leave the Philippines. He doesn’t have financial obligations to his Filipina wife and can’t wait to go. The Philippines isn’t the country anymore, where he wants to spend his old age. As soon as he can buy an air ticket, he will go to the new country of his dreams: Morocco! For a short while we think that he makes a joke, but he is deadly serious. Morocco is the country where he wants to get old. Because he speaks French fluently, he expects to integrate easily in the Moroccan community. This way, he hopes to find a nice and young widow that wants to marry him and that will give him the love and the sex that he his longing for. After buying new clothes, he will use his last money to buy a herd of goats that can support his new family when the pension payments from Canada will stop. The new clothes are necessary to go to the mosque every day. He realizes that he will have to convert to the Islam and he actually looks forward to it. A daily visit to the mosque seems to be a perfect way to get assimilated in his new living environment. However, to let this plan work, his new wife has to be a Berber girl. “Berbers don’t have any papers, so when I become a Berber I don’t have to worry about the immigration rules anymore” he reasons. He feels that Berbers have figured it out perfectly: no passports and no driving licenses while they still can do what they want.

When we ask him if he doesn’t think that the step from the “sexual Asia” to the more conservative life in a Berber community isn’t a step too far, he looks surprised. “No, in the beginning of your life sex is enough, but later on you also want some love”. He continues: “In the Philippines I couldn’t find this combination; hopefully I will succeed in Morocco. In Morocco, I will never tell them about my life in Asia. They can’t mind, if they don’t know it”. Soon he will come to know whether he can handle the step from womanizer to a Berber goat keeper. To us, the step looks a little big too big.

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