I do this for free, so I cannot spend a lot of time and money keeping contact with these ladies. If you write only one or two once, and wait for a reply, then you may be disappointed to get no response. It now may take 10-26 days in each direction, since the terrorist attacks...maybe even longer during the holiday season.
They just send me an application (once usually), and I never hear from them again, unless they marry, and they notify me. Just try regular mail if other routes don't work out. It's crazy to wait that long for your letters, but that's just the way it is.
Cell phones are common because they are cheap there, and one does not need expensive contracts. If they don't keep the card up, they may lose the cell number, and you will get a bad number. I wrote every week to mine (12 to start with), and did not wait for a reply each time.
A common way for them to lose a regular house phone is when neighbors run up a big bill with long distance calls, and they can't pay it. if you find bad emails or numbers in my list, then please let me know. It took about 8 days to get a letter from the US to the Philippines, and from the Philippines back to the US in 1995.
Frequent letters also show interest and will make a good impression.
If your pen pal gets a letter every week from you, and a letter once a month from another pen pal, though he be well-to-do, guess who she will feel cares the most about her?
Sometimes Filipinas let their email accounts go without checking them a long time, and lose the account. Google's GMail requires that users sign in at least once every nine months; will close accounts whose owners have not logged in after 4 months.
For instance, I'd never recommend that a modern woman do as I did.
In the mid-1990s, when I was seeing the man who became my husband, we talked on landline phones late at night (when rates dropped from 25 cents per minute to 10 cents), sent just a handful of e-mails (seemed impersonal), and never texted (weren't pagers mostly just for drug dealers back then?
If you know they are honest, and wish to help them with cash, that is your choice.
Whichever you choose to go with, be careful and wise.