Would you consider marrying somebody from the Philippines controversial? I never thought it was, but some years back I got an awakening.
My first foray into doing things online came in 1992. I joined Compuserve. This was before the Internet was really available to the masses, that didn’t come for another year or two, and didn’t really pick up steam until maybe 7 or 8 years later.
In 1992, when I joined Compuserve, I was kind of drawn to the Travel Forum there, and I liked reading about the Philippines in particular. Feyma and I were married in 1990, so I had already been introduced to the Philippines at that time. During my time on Compuserve, I met a friend there named Lyle. Lyle and I really hit it off, and we found that we both had a lot in common. Lyle lived in Canada, and he was also married to a Filipina. We started posting information about the Philippines, and about marrying a lady from the Philippines, and as we did that a lot of people started joining the discussion. We got to the point where we probably had 50 people or so who were regularly discussing the topic on Compuserve.
Then, one day, we got a message from the Travel Forum Administrator. He informed us that we would have to leave the forum, because our topic of discussion was “too controversial.” What? There were discussions on the same forum about taking trips to Thailand for sex with prostitutes, relations with underaged kids in the third world, etc, and they were acceptable. However, the topic of getting married in the Philippines was somehow taboo!
Well, we didn’t let this bother us too much, we found another forum on Compuserve where we could continue with our discussion. After a few weeks we got kicked out from there too. There was no bad language, fighting or anything like that going on in the discussion. As a matter of fact, it was quite similar to what you would find here on LiP. However, it was deemed too controversial, so we were forced to leave again. Next, we found another forum on Compuserve called “Cultural Crossroads” that was said to be very open to all kinds of ideas and such, so it should be perfect for us. We set up shop there, and in a month or so, we were again asked to leave. Our discussions were making the child molesters and the feminist crowd uncomfortable, and thus we were no longer welcome! Oh my goodness!
At that time, we were hearing about a new thing called the “Internet” that sounded interesting. I started checking it out, and actually got an account so that I could get online. The first time I opened up a browser and saw pictures come on my screen I was hooked! At that time, Compuserve and other services were all text based, seeing a picture was not going to happen. So, even in the early days of the Internet, it was a whole new ballgame.
After checking out the net, and liking it, I told Lyle and all of our other friends on Compuserve about it. I set up a new service called “Asialink” which was an Internet based e-mail discussion group that anybody could join. It was an instant success, although it no longer exists. At least we could talk about the Philippines, our love for our wives, and other such topics without being booted off, as had happened to us three times on Compuserve!
Amazing, don’t you think? Did you every realize how controversial you are? Ha ha….