Pucker up: Sugar dating is on the rise in the Philippines amid COVID-19 pandemic

September 15, 2020 - 6:31 PM
Image by 99mimimi via Pixabay

A surge in sugar dating was seen in the Philippines by an online dating brand amid the community quarantine brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sugarbook noted that it saw a “staggering” 65% online traffic surge in the country from March to August 2020, where 79% of them were sugar babies.

The dating site registered the most number of Filipino users in the National Capital Region, where 12,450 of them are sugar babies and 4,507 are sugar daddies.

Calabarzon recorded the second-highest number of users, with 4,822 sugar babies and 1,442 sugar daddies.

It was followed by Central Visayas with 3,646 sugar babies and 1,086 sugar daddies.

Central Luzon ranked the fourth Philippine region where there were 2,391 sugar babies and 270 sugar daddies.

Meanwhile, Davao Region placed fifth with 1,799 registered sugar babies and 103 sugar daddies.

All in all, the country logged a total of 28,310 sugar baby users and 7,526 sugar daddy users.

The critically-acclaimed dating brand said that Filipino sugar babies had the age range between 18 to 34-years-old and earned an average monthly allowance of P49,700.

Majority of the registered sugar babies are students, which comprise 46%.

Others come from the entertainment industry and from the fields of hospitality, education and childcare.

Five percent are freelancers while the other five percent listed their occupation as “others.”

Sugar babies in Philippines Infographic
An infographic about sugar babies in the Philippines. (Infographic from Sugarbook)

The platform noted that the surge of sugar babies in the country was a result of the lockdown imposed by the government amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Driven by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, more users are signing up to Sugarbook due to unemployment and gender pay gaps,” Darren Chan, founder and chief executive officer of Sugarbook, said in a release.

“Unlike sexual workers, sugar babies are not forced into labor. Sugar babies have the freedom of choice and they do not sell their bodies. They are single mothers, divorcees, housewives or students who are driven, successful and goal-empowered to date financially secured people,” he added.

Sugar dating or sugaring is a setup where a well-to-do man, usually older, supports or spends lavishly on a girlfriend, who is usually younger.

The man is called sugar daddy while the one being supported is the sugar baby.

A look at metro’s high unemployment rate 

The national unemployment rate of the country went down last July when strict community quarantine measures were lifted.

READ: Philippine jobless rate hits record 17.7% in April due to COVID-19 pandemic

However, the figures went up in Metro Manila, the economic center of the country, where around 929,000 people became jobless.

Some of them have resorted to sugaring instead.

The percentage of unemployment in the National Capital Region went from 12.3% in April to 15.8% in July.

Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua  attributed the unemployment to the lack of public transport available to the working class at that time.

He added that the Duterte administration sees the unemployment rate worsening between six to eight percent this year, before sliding down to four to five percent in 2022.