Instead of taking Leonor to the US, Dan poured his energies into building a wellness center in the mountain town of Valencia outside the provincial capital of Dumaguete City, a cool area in that perennially hot country that was beginning to see some tourism.In addition to raising his children Dan expected Leonor to run the center day to day, coordinate with helpers and gardeners who did not speak English well, and do a lot of the cooking herself.That house belonged to a woman who had married an American man she met through the mail.
That dynamic was just beginning to change in 2001, when Leonor became one of the first Filipina women to meet a Western partner online.
For the next 15 years, Dan provided her with a more comfortable life than she could have expected, but one where her own needs always took second place.
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.
So when she found out about his infidelity, she was disheartened but not entirely surprised.“We didn’t really know each other,” she concluded.