Filipino Love Stories

Postwar Brides

Postwar BridesFelipe and Aida Betita's wedding, 1948Beginning with the Second World War, Filipinos ‌‌who migrated to the United States a decade or two earlier could finally apply for citizenship. This status now made it possible for them to visit the Philippines and not be barred from reentry. Some of these new citizens returned to their homeland for the first time—to search for a Filipina bride.

Their brides became a part of the “second wave” of Filipino migrants to the U.S., joining the largely male first wave. The women were often much younger than their husbands who were left with few marriage options until decades after their first migration. Since the men had limited time in the Philippines, marriages sometimes happened quickly, as short as a month from first meeting to the wedding.

There is no simple way to explain why these women married. Perhaps it was family encouragement to marry an older American, a sense of adventure or freedom, an imagined better life—or even romantic love.

Weddings of Revelina and Roman Libanao (1954), Eulogio and Lucille Lor (1956), Arcadia and Apolonio Lapiz (1966), and Pedro and Lilly Aradanas (1953).

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