Courtship and Dating in the Philippines, Then and Now

     The traditional courtship in the Philippines is described as “far more” subdued and indirect approach compared to westernized culture. It involves stages or phases. Over the years, Filipino dating culture has evolved into traditional customs and westernized influences especially to the young and those living in urban areas like Manila. Some Filipinos keep the traditional, conservative way, others embrace the more liberal practices while some combine the two.


1. The suitor must visit the girl at home in the evening and talk to her in the living room with her parents watching nearby.
1. Texting is one way of modern Filipino courtship communication

2. If the suitor wishes to go on a date, the girl will only be allowed with a chaperone

2. With the use of mobile phone and social media, Filipinas are allowed to participate with the dating process without the interference from their parents
3. The couple can walk on the park or some other public places

3. Dining out is the most common way of dating. The couple can also watch movies, play sports together, and watch concerts. Travelling and going on coffee houses are also gaining popularity nowadays.
4. Serenading or Harana is one of the most popular way of courtship. Accompanied by male friends, the suitor will offer a love song in front of the girl’s house
4. To serenade the girl, one can hire a professional singer, a singing telegram or request a love song from the radio station

5. For the eager suitor, one way of showing his sincerity and dedication is by doing difficult household tasks like fetching water in the well and chopping the woods to be used as their “panggatong”
5. Sending flowers, chocolates, jewelries and gadgets are popular gifts from a suitor to her lady love.

6. Writing love letters is proven to be an effective way of stealing the girl’s heart
6. Sending e-cards and messages on Facebook and Twitter are modern ways of showing love and sincerity.
7. Courtship may last for years. The girl may play “hard to get” a character referred to as Maria Clara attitude

7. Group dating and Online dating are popular forms in finding potential partner. Modern Filipina may encourage courtship but she can also initiate the dating process.


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