IN today’s issue of Malaya, Ellen Tordesillas talks about a recent Pulse Asia Survey on the coping strategies of the poor. She quotes that fewer Filipinos think that the poor is likely to look for jobs overseas. Tordesillas probes some reasons and says stories of harsh life in places like the Middle East have perhaps discouraged some. She then cites the interesting account of Jose Torres Jr. in his three years in Jeddah, published in the 2nd quarter issue of the i Report:
Joe revealed a lusty side of Saudi Arabia, which many of us know only as a religiously-rigid kingdom and a major source of dollars that keep our country economically afloat: “For most Filipinos, the Kingdom is a confusing country of contradictions. While most drugs are prohibited, for example, kababayans say it could be had more easily there than in Manila. ‘And it is cheaper,’ one Filipino told me.”
"Multiple partners would also seem common in a place where the law allows a man to have up to four wives at any one time, so long as the women are given equal treatment — from the size and design of their homes to the number of visits each gets from their husband. But even as intimacy with other women outside of marriage is high on a long list of taboos, some have figured out ways to wiggle out of the rules. When I was there, some ‘marriage brokers’ offered men ‘trapped in an unhappy marriages’ an easy and safe escape — the so-called ‘marriage in passing’ or zawaaj al-misyaar in Arabic.”
i Report is the quarterly publication of the PCIJ.