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Understanding Filipino Dating Culture

A photo of a man and a woman who are a couple Learn more about Filipino dating culture before starting a romantic relationship with Filipina women. | Photo by Brodie Vissers on Burst

Filipino dating has its conventional roots. The Philippines, similar to the orientation of fellow Asian countries when it comes to venturing into romantic relationships, is one that is of a non-liberal nature compared to the West. Filipino dating is embodied with very romantic expressions, especially if mutual feelings are involved.

In this modern time, though, just like other embedded cultures, the practice of dating in the Philippine setting has evolved into being more non-traditional. Men and women who are interested in each other have approached the quest of building a romantic relationship more straightforwardly. This is evident among young people who are more expressive than the older generation.

Nonetheless, regardless of the changes of the dating culture in the Philippines, it is best to know and understand the original worldview of the people on such concepts to acquire a successful relationship.

Learning the ropes of dating a Filipino woman is a sweet journey that is to be reckoned with. Foreigners are drawn to the innate warm and loving characteristics of Filipinas, which probably, for some, is the reason why they have joyfully decided to trod on the path to “forever,” finally saying their “I Do’s” to the person they are committing to. The warmth and care emanated from the embarked relationship is a unique experience for them that gets them to decide to tie the knot.

So, on the conservative concept of dating Filipina women, there is a high emphasis put on the period of courtship. The parents of the woman being pursued insist on asking for this from the man. The concept is about placing value on their daughter, that if he is genuine about his intentions, he should manifest it like a fairy tale’s “prince” from afar, expectant to behold the face of his “princess” at all times.

That’s how it should be. That’s the expected attitude from any man who wishes to date a Filipina. Traditional courtship among Filipinos varies in time durations -- it could take weeks or months, depending on the girl’s decision. The longer it is, the more the relationship that the man and woman have ended up with is perceived as substantial, thus having the chances of a stronger, stable one.

There are certain timeless practices which were rampant in the olden times and practiced by suitors. These date back during the Spanish era. It is still done now, but usually in the countryside or provinces. However, those living in the cities have their own modern take of courtship, which you’ll discover in the latter part of this article.

For now, there is much to learn about certain Filipino practices that are highly recommended if you are serious about finding your soulmate or lifetime partner on this side of the world. There is nothing too rigid or ritualistic in these cultures. In fact, they are fun and enjoyable for the determined pursuer. Here are some of them:

  • “Harana” or Serenade
  • This is a famous tradition where a Filipino man who is interested in a woman for a potential relationship goes to the woman’s house and offers her a song. Back in the old days, men would sing Filipino love songs with a guitar as an accompaniment.

    The setup mainly consists of the man serenading the woman from outside her house and the woman peeping through a window from upstairs.

    This is usually done in the evening. In some cases, the suitor would bring along comrades (fellow men) to sing with him in this momentous event. There were also instances where instead of a guitar, the man would utilize a stereo with large speakers loud enough to catch the attention of the woman he is pursuing.

    It is optional for a man to bring fellow comrades with him, considering that if all of them were to sing together, their voices would be heard in neighboring barangays (local villages), and of course, it would spark curiosity among dwellers. Overall, it is a joyous activity.

  • “Sulat” or Love Letters
  • Not unfamiliar to all, writing letters is likewise practiced during courtship. Normally, the man initiates the writing. In the Philippines, some suitors would request another male friend to hand in the letter to the woman whom they are courting.

    Usually, these love notes contain words that express the man’s feelings towards the woman of interest. Some write poems in their letters. If the Filipina likes her suitor and sees potential in him becoming her boyfriend, she replies with a letter too. In other words, one of the signs a Filipina likes you is if she responds to your sweet love letter.

    The courtship period is a time when two people get to know each other’s traits and see if they have chemistry together -- only then will they be able to say that they may have found the perfect match.

  • Going Out (for dinner or a stroll)
  • A dating staple that is not exclusive to Filipino dating is the invitation by the suitor to take the woman he is pursuing out, either for dinner or for a stroll. As the evolution of concepts in anything is inevitable, this practice has likewise been taken to various levels and forms depending on the two people involved.

    During the past generations, going out on a date is limited by the Filipina’s parents to only strolling. This was more likely when there were “fiestas.” Now, dating outside of the home anywhere in the Philippines includes eating out anytime, watching movies, going on a road trip, and doing leisure activities together. Parents have also been less strict and are now more lenient and open to new possibilities. City inhabitants, however, are more accustomed to these practices.

  • Gift Giving
  • If you’re wooing a Filipina, giving presents or gifts is also part of the culture. These material items range from chocolates to roses, or for the lavish suitor, jewelry, clothes, and other extravagant things.

What is the Filipino Dating Culture?

The Filipino dating culture in a nutshell is one of pursuance. Basically, the woman does nothing. Yes, it is more of a guy’s responsibility to know what he’s doing and to prove his sincerity and worth.

Courtship at times isn’t a walk in the park, most especially if you end up being interested in a girl whose parents consistently keep a close watch on her. The probability of you getting the girl as your girlfriend is starkly bright should you be persistent.

Most importantly, as a man, you can’t fake your feelings. What’s true is going to surface one way or another. Ergo, sincerity is the bottom line. This is vital because Filipinos are sensitive and emotional.

So, there you go. Dating Filipino singles is an exciting and worthwhile experience in itself. That is why if you are determined to find love among beautiful Filipina women, it pays to have a basic knowledge and understanding of how Filipino dating works.

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