a global audience faster and less expensively than any other media. One mail-order-bride agent explained why he preferred operating on the Internet,
“So when the World-Wide Web came along, I saw that it was a perfect venue for this kind of business. The paper catalogs were so expensive that the quality was usually very poor; but on the Web you can publish high-resolution full-color photos which can be browsed by everyone in the WORLD” 166
Asian Bride Magazine had a site on the Web by mid-1995. At that time this agent was still publishing magazines. The Web site advertisement claimed that each issue featured 250 Filipinas. The Internet version had pictures of women with their names, ages, height, w e i g h t , a n d b u s t , w a i s t a n d h i p m e a s u r e m e n t s . T h e c o u n t e r t o l d m e I w a s I n t e r n e t v i s i t o r number 64,411 to that Web page.167 The Filipina Connection claims that, “We publish
100 new ladies each quarter.”168 Soon after this, the number of women with each agency and on each web site sharply increased.
At least one mail-order-bride trafficker offers under-age girls from the Philippines to Western men. World Class Service, advertises “Mail Order Brides from the Philippines. The mission of World Class Service is to introduce girls from the Philippines who would like to correspond with, meet, and marry Western men.” In his catalog of potential brides there are 19 girls aged 17 or younger. Next to the question, “How do I order and how much is it gonna cost me?” Visa and Mastercard charge cards are prominently displayed. Men are also told that “We also accept payment through the First Virtual InterNet Payment System,” one of the first online payment systems. 169
ID # V001–Hazel; Age: 13; Height: 5’3” (160 cm); Weight 95 lb. (43 kg); Children: none; Looking for a mate in age range 20-35. ‘I am now a freshman student at Saint Pius School. … I like outdoors having fun. I like to read magazine which is nice to me, especially to religious books. I sometime love to see a movie but not so…. I really want to have a penpal who is loving, caring, honest, and family-oriented person. I am a marriage minded woman.’170
ID # Y011-Eddy Mae; Age 14; Height: 5;2” (157 cm); Weight 98 lb. (45 kg); Children: none; Looking for a mate in age range 18 to 25; ‘Currently, I’m a second year student of San Lorenzo Ruiz Academy of Polomolok; … My hobbies are writing, painting, and reading books. I love reading Valentine Romance and any love story pocket books. I like watching TV Patrol and Million Dollar Movies.’171
ID # 1F12-Edrilyn; Age: 15, Height: 5’0” (152 cm); Weight 95 lb. (43 kg); Children: none; Looking for a mate in age range 20 to 30. ‘I am working in my neighbor’s house as a servant. At the same time I am studying at public school – as a sophomore student…I like playing (as I am a sportsminded), dancing, reading, writing. I am fond of reading magazines, especially Movie Star and Teen Star. I love to watch TV shows such as Bay Watch and Power Rangers, which is interesting too. I am self-supporting.’172