I have heard of men sending thousands of dollars before they realized they were being used.... While it is true most have real needs there, it is bad manners to ask for money and most won't.
If you know they are honest, and wish to help them with cash, that is your choice.
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.
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.
My Way mail is one of the few that doesn't have a restriction.
Whichever you choose to go with, be careful and wise.
I advise, if she starts asking for money, forget her.