In Singapore, most users are locals and there are plans to roll out the service to Japan, South Korea, Australia and China."For me, if somebody else likes the guy, they can have them," says Aly, a 24-year-old blogger from the UK and Grouvly regular."Ok, they're nice, but I've met them for what, two hours?

I'm not going to cry about it."Aly finds these apps can be as much about making friends as looking for love, with Peekawoo's founder saying this change of focus also allows women to take back control."There was one Peekawoo event where a Filipino-American guy offended a Filipina girl by asking her to go home with him," Balace remembered."I told her, 'I'm proud of you'.

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I told myself that as long as I'm happy and my conscience is clear, the whole world can believe whatever they want. Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide.

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Not because I had been harboring anti-foreigner feelings. Race has never been an issue and never will be an issue for me.

I just never entertained the possibility of getting involved with a foreigner -- much less envisioned it would happen to me. For the simple reason that I wasn't in the market for a man.

But after one man suggested he come to her house after their first online conversation, Balace realised the set-up was not for her.

And so the Filipina entrepreneur created an app which not only discouraged users from meeting one-on-one but also offered a chaperone service for those who requested it.

But, besides this and the fact that I'd been riding high on the wings of a dream and basically trying to carve out my own career path, one of the biggest reasons why I shunned the idea of inter-racial relationships was the usual impression or public perception or even stigma attached to exotic Filipinas involved with foreign men. That Filipinas involved with or marrying foreigners are only after one thing -- greener pastures in the good old US of A or any western country! To make the long story short, I found love when I wasn't looking for it, from the last place on earth I'd thought of finding it, and with someone I never dreamed I'd find it with -- a foreigner.

Thus formed the basis for long-standing jokes about what to look for in a future partner: someone who has the "4 M factors" or Matandang Mayaman, Madaling Mamatay (Old, Rich, and Soon to die). Of course, love didn't happen right then and there but the "connection" was instant. That I was so desperate for a man I had resorted to acquiring one through the internet?

Now, it can be told and I must admit that, yes, once upon a time in my life, I had frowned upon such relationships and found myself thinking that I couldn't possibly get into something like that.

And, if I did, I'd have to be either desperate or simply out of my mind.

That carries on into the dating space as well."While apps are being created or tweaked to adapt to tamer local sensibilities, others like China's We Chat can lead to casual trysts with a location-based "Shake" function.