Whenever we see half-foreign kids, many of us assume that they live a life of luxury and that they are destined for stardom. It’s rare for us to see the other side of the coin, the part where their mothers struggle to raise their child on their own. Doha-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera shone a light on the situation many Filipinas, especially sex workers, face when foreigners leave more behind than they’ve arrived with.
According to Al-Jazeera:
Prostitution is a trade that thrives in the Philippines, where there are an estimated half-a-million prostitutes, almost a fifth of whom are minors. Although illegal in the predominantly Catholic country, an estimated $400m is spent on prostitution there each year.
But when the sex tourists from European or North American countries depart, they sometimes leave more behind than they’d arrived with. A large number of children have been conceived in such exchanges and while some foreign nationals provide support for and, in some instances, even marry the mother of their child, many more children never even meet their biological father and are left to live in poverty.
See the photos below:
Fiona, 7, Tristan, 5, and their mother Jennifer, 32, at their home in the Hardian 3 slum. Jennifer met Tristan’s father, Jason, an Australian now living in the US, while she was working at Dolls House Go-Go bar on Fields Ave. Jason, a manager at an Ikea in California, visited Tristan when he was one month old and gives occasional child support
Peter and some of his classmates outside the Learn Yearn Nurture School for Young near his home in Balibago. Four of the 50 students at this private primary school have Australian fathers.
Peter, 8, and his mother Grace, 35, with a picture of Peter’s Australian father, Max. The picture was taken during one of Max’s visits to the Philippines. Grace met max when she was 24 and he was 78, while she was working in a bar in Angeles City’s red light district. Unlike many children of sex tourists, Peter’s father signed the boy’s birth certificate, helped him obtain an Australian passport, and bought them the house in which they now live. Grace and Peter have not heard or received financial support from Peter’s father in four months
Francine, 7, sits in her family’s hom in the Hadrian 3 slum as her grandfather washes vegetables. Francine, whose father is Australian, lives with her mother, her five half-siblings, her aunt, her aunt’s two children, and her grandfather in a 70sq m home. Francine has never met her father, who ended all contact with her mother shortly after she informed him that she was pregnant. Her father met her mother while she was working at a bar in the red light district
Azumi, 2, and her mother Angelica, 25, at the accommodation provided to them by Renew, a charity that helps Filipina women who leave the sex trade. Angelica says Azumi’s father is a German national named Ralf, 50, who is the owner of Camelot Bar on Fields Avenue. Ralf has been confronted by both Angelica and a representative from Renew, but he denies that Azumi is his daughter and refuses to takea paternity test
All photos by Dave Tacon from AJE
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