Here’s what’s interesting: Filipino culture tends to prize features we’d associate with Caucasians. White skin, a pointed nose, and blue eyes are considered handsome or beautiful characteristics. Some of this goes back to the period in which the Spaniards ruled. Children of Spanish colonizers certainly had certain social/economic advantages, so “whiter is better” kind of got imprinted in the culture.
I don’t think this preference is purely based on cultural baggage from the Spanish era. Maybe it also has to do with Western media and the desire to look more like international actors and actresses.
For better or worse, people in the Philippines admire light skin. Filipinos spend millions on products designed to whiten their skin (I still remember my surprise the first time I saw a commercial for a “skin whitening” lotion). Many of the popular tv and movie stars are half Filipino/half Caucasian.
Most Filipino men I’ve talked to tend to prefer women with fair complexions (called mestizas). Women with darker complexions (morenas) are often not considered as beautiful. There are exceptions to this rule, but I’m speaking in very general terms to make a point.
Here’s where this gets interesting for Western men: the woman you consider beautiful may be looked upon as completely “average” by the standards here in the Philippines. I love the look of a “classic” Filipina beauty: dark skin, dark hair, dark eyes, and a petite figure. Most foreigners I meet also seem to choose morenas.
This is where a Western man is in a win-win situation as far as physical attraction goes. He admires the women of the Philippines who may not be appreciated by her fellow countrymen. She is attracted to his pointed nose and other Caucasian features.
I think this is an overlooked aspect of “Fil-West” relationships. Philippine women are often just considering all their options and responding to those who most appreciate their unique attractiveness.