Philippines: Filipino Intimacies in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has long been a major destination for Filipinos seeking work. The PCIJ blog hosts a podcast from a journalist who lived there for three years, on how they deal with their loneliness and isolation there.


  • dick

    …Saudi Arabia is one of the paradise of Gay people even its forbiden here…Dito mo malalaman ang true man(totoong lalaki)..during my first year here me nakasabayan akong Mag apply ..Macho at magandang lalaki in short pogi…then one day nagkita kami sa isang cafe me mga kasamang Gay..He enjoy his life here to pala Bakla pala sya ..Sa pinas meron syang familya d2 lang sya naglalad ng husto dahil malayo at walang nakaka alam sa familya nya!…and again one time a group of Gay come again to our shop..they laugh and sudenly one of them ring his cellphone then he go out side and chat to his mobile phone..then he come back to the group of Gay and he say …”Ay ang lalaki na ng mga anak ko”( my child was grow up now) :o)

    Translation of comment from Mong Palatino:
    Saudi Arabia is one of the paradise for Gay people even if it’s forbidden here. The real men will stand out. During my first year here, I met a macho and good-looking guy..then one day I met him in a cafe shop…he was with gays. He enjoys his life here too much as a gay pretending to be a man. In the Philippines, he has a family but he was only able to ‘out’ himself here since he is away from family and friends. One time a group of gay people came to our shop. They were laughing and suddenly one of them answered his phone. After a while, he said to his gay friends: “My children are all grown-up now”

  • Antonio

    Loneliness does not justify illicit relationships..

  • monkey dong

    I had stay for more than 10 years in the kingdom, a place where loneliness has its alternative if you are resourcefull enough. the true colors of a man/woman can not be assesed by the appearance. Mos t have a 2 yrs contract leaving the family is a big mental anguish, suffering emotional and personal pleasure. you have no choice is to use the win-win situation. its up the individual addicted being a giver or a reciever.. vis-a-vis enjoy while you are there if you know the resources..

    i was so lucky i live with my family but we did not long..

  • alex

    I have been here in KSA for the past 21years now, I have seen the lives of so many OFWs changed. Many married men & women have made a different lives here just to fight the boredom & homesickness. They enjoyed the life in sins for the sake of satisfying the human lust. I survived these kind of tempatation by clinging to the objective why I came here in this lonely place. There are still many OFWs here who remained faithful to thier marriage vows, find God & live in peace here.

  • i work in Saudi for 2years with a kind of a big jail hard drinks,ladies are covered with abaya and almost all forbidden. Im a married guy with 2 kidz but seems turns out wrong when i meet a nice and kind Bangladish guy. His so friendly,giving and down to earth person. We manage of being freind but it well turn out change as we been wake up with nothing cloths up. Seems i cannot beleive it as im not gay but it hook me up this relation and even him as he told me. Maybe as loneliness and away from home we intimately falling each other. Until now, im already here in Australia for a job but still we keep in touch and exchanging email; im confuse as we have no problem in our relation but it last until present; Through I been believe as LOVE IS ALL for HUMAN BEING,no matter what sex and race,

  • George

    it is not happening in saudi arabia… kahit saang arab country nangyayari yan… mapababae at mapalalaki man. tawid lungkot lang yan… minsan lust lang naman. sabi nga ng iba pang alis kati… i have friends also who are working not only in arab countries but as well as in other christian countries… pero ganon pa rin ang nangyayari… kultura na natin ang magiging malapit sa mga mahal sa buhay at ang hirap malayo sa kanila… pero kung talagang mahal natin ang ating pamilya di natin hahayaang mangyari ang di dapat mangyari… isipin niyo na lang ang mga anak niyo…

    Translation provided by Mong Palatino:
    It is not only happening in Saudi Arabia. It is also prevalent in other Arab countries, even in non-Arab countries. It happens to both male or female to overcome loneliness. Sometimes its just pure lust. It’s our culture to be too close to our families and it’s difficult to be away from them. If we really love our families, we won’t do what should not be done. Just think of your children back home.

  • arnold

    I have been working here in KSA for almost two years and i find it hard to comprehend that some people put loneliness and boredom as an excuse to have illicit relationship with either gay and/or the opposite sex.I have known guys here in the Eastern Province who has no qualms in desplaying there lesbian way of living.They are not afraid walking with matching “pakinding-kinding” as they go shopping with gay friends.They talk loud and with acting as if they were really gals.I dont really mind them because we have our own free will but the thing is, other nationalities branded as Filipinos as either “Bakla,”bading” or kawatan(thief).Mga kababayan huwag nyo kaming idamay please.Marming pweding gawin Just trust God.

  • coal

    arnold is correct, i have not live there nor do i intend to be in any middle eastern countries. sana nga lang if some pinoys would show their feminine side or whatever, they should be discreet enough so as not to embarass the rest of kababayan naman who are more strong willed and decent.

    God bless you guys and gals.

  • John

    yes arnold is very right… im here in oman and sometimes the locals branded us filipinos as either bakla or prostitute in the case of women and that is because some are are not holding back their being “gayish” in nature. i have known lots of Omanis and most of them perceived that we filipinos are natural gays because we get use to have sex with the same gender. and i went on to defend myself that not all filipinos are gays. meron din mga housemates (DH) nilang pinay are offering sex for 5 OR. anyway, if we filipinos behave just like human beings, then wherever we go people will respect us as much as we respect them. before doing it, just think of the consequencies that might happen to you and your countrymen… libog lang yan…

  • Hello;

    I am Romeo, what I can say is that the Filipinos must adhere to the rules and laws of the country where they were going. The homesickness/loneliness can be prevented by your objectives in going to the foreign land. Your religious belief is one of your option/medicine.

    God bless us,

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