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.
Men are still seeking out beautiful women who would be “out of their league” if they weren’t poor, and Filipinas are still looking for men who can provide for them and take them to the more prosperous West.
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.
Leonor grew up in a rural area of the southern province of Davao, a town with only one house that was made of concrete and boasted appliances like a refrigerator and washing machine.
That house belonged to a woman who had married an American man she met through the mail.
Filipino religious leader Cresencio Agbayani performs rites with LGBT (Lesbians Gays Bisexual and Transgenders) couples during a "Rite of Holy Union" ceremony in suburban Quezon city, Manila, Philippines on Sunday, June 28, 2015.