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'Exotic Love' reality show in The Netherlands angers Pinays

A heated online argument was sparked by a reality television show in The Netherlands — "ExotischeLiefde" (“Exotic Love”) — which features the relationships of Dutch men and their foreign partners. The show, which first aired in The Netherlands on March 8, International Women's Day, featured the problems encountered by four couples in long-distance relationships. Three of the couples featured were Dutch men and their Filipina girlfriends. ExotischeLiefde is a franchised television program from Belgium and is currently being broadcasted on Dutch television network SBS6, partly-owned by John de Mol, the producer of "Big Brother."
One of the stories featured in the pilot episode in The Netherlands was that of Peter, 56, and his Filipina wife Marita, 34, whose son is almost a year old.  However, Marita often has to leave her young son with his father in The Netherlands because her tourist visa limits her stay to only 90 days at a time. The immigration law of The Netherlands requires her to pass a Dutch-language exam at the Dutch embassy in the Philippines before she can apply for a verblijfsvergunning (staying visa). The second story was about a 54-year-old Dutch man, Wimand, his 29-year-old Filipina girlfriend Zyrin, whom he intends to visit in the Philippines very soon. This segment highlighted the big age difference between the two. The script also mentioned that Zyrin, shown in sexy poses, “is only a little bit older than his daughter.” One scene showed Wimand going to a lingerie store, looking for sexy undergarments. The third Dutch-Filipina couple showed on the reality show featured Jelle, 20 and his girlfriend Christina, 23. Jelle works and lives on a boat and Christina does not seem to agree with his lifestyle. During most of the segment, Christina was shown painting her nails. She was also caught on camera saying, “I don’t fall for Asian men because they have small d--ks.” Angry reactions The "ExotischeLiefde" episode drew  angry reactions on the program’s website. Lissa, 35, is a Bulakeña living in Enschede with her Dutch husband Erwin, 35. The two met while she was studying in California. Lissa said: “Ok, I can't help but rant. First, I think that the show could've done a whole lot better in featuring couples. Especially since it's supposed to be about love and relationships. Except for Marita, those two other Filipinas you featured --- the couple who lives on a boat, and the other with the huge age difference, do not at all portray the typical Filipina."  "As shameful as it is, yes, women who are in it for the money in marriage do exist (as in everywhere else in the world not just in 3rd world countries)," Lissa said. "There are many Filipinas who have chosen to be with their Dutch partners resulting from a relationship built on love and not with their bank accounts or the size of their d--ks. The title alone 'ExotischeLiefde' already suggests some racial overtones. Disappointed.” Ranessa, 33, a Filipina living in Almere with her one year-old daughter and Dutch husband Jos (33), angrily posted (summarized and roughly translated here into English): “A quick question, does SBS6 hate us Filipinas? Where is the respect here? ... I do not know what kind of image you want to make of us Filipinas, but this is not who we are." In another reaction, Ranessa said: "There are so much more other stories to share, like those that would promote the good sides of both cultures, or those who had found love despite their old age," Ranessa said. Mhy, 36, a businesswoman from Mindoro Oriental living with her Dutch husband Henk, 42, in Loo, also expressed her frustration: “I am so disappointed with this program. I was hoping before it was shown, that I will get a positive thing about Filipinas in this program so I took time from my busy schedule to watch it. But I was in for a very BIG disappointment," Mhy said. "I am a very hardworking Filipina here in Holland, who is trying to make the best to make a success here together with my husband," she said. Gianne, 27, a Caviteña, who is about to get married under Philippine rites next month to her Dutch husband Manauel, 29, (they have been first married in The Netherlands) said: “The problem is they featured only the negative side of Dutch-Filipino relationships. It would have been better if they balanced it. Now, Filipinas could be perceived as gold-diggers and mail-order brides when this is not so for others. " No representative of the program or the network posted any reaction on the website. Some Dutch viewers, on the other hand, assured the Filipinas that there seemed no intention to put them in a bad light. Peter Grootheest, one of the Dutch men featured in the program wrote this reaction (roughly translated to English): “I can assure you that SBS respects the entire Filipino people like I do." "I love the Philippines forever and Manny thePac Man, haha!” Grootheest said. Another Dutch man, Mark de Wit, 39, (not featured on the program), who is married to a Filipina, Rosalie, 35, of Cagayan de Oro City, said: "I don’t think that it is an in-depth research of what kind of marriages there are. It’s just to reflect a certain type and it’s because it’s television, they try to zoom in on the differences or the odd one out or really strange things." "Yes, I think there are those kinds of marriages but I do not think they are  the gauge for every (intercultural) marriage there is," De Wit said. - VVP, GMA News