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Understanding the Dating Culture of Filipino Women

Filipina wearing a white dress Learn more about the dating culture of FIlipino women. | Photo by Roland Hechanova on Unsplash

Every country and every culture has their own unique take on courtship. Some of these traditions go all the way back and are still prevalent today. Some traditions have evolved to adapt to modern times while others have been completely rendered obsolete.

Such is the case for the dating cultures of Filipino women. Although a fairly traditional country, the Philippine dating culture has since evolved through years of cultural change and a shift into a more technological society.


The traditional dating culture in the Philippines is built on conservatism. The entire courtship process takes a long while, usually a long while before the Filipina woman gives the suitor her yes. This conservative take on courtship is highly influenced by spanish traditions with a bit of Filipino zing to it.

It usually starts with the suitor sending a message to the lady about his intent to court. This can be done by the suitor telling the lady straight up or through a tulay (also known as a wingman in western cultures) in such a case where the suitor is torpe (cowardly, naive, or shy). Usually the admirer and the admiree belong to the same social and cultural groups.

Then comes the traditions of serenading the lady in her residence usually at night. This tradition is also known as harana. Other traditions also include the writing of love letters, the bringing of pasalubong or gifts. Since the dating tradition is usually conservative, dates were usually chaperoned and public display of affection was frowned upon.

The rendering of service is also common. Things like chopping firewood or gathering of water from the well are just some of the services that a suitor can offer.

After the dating stage, and with the intent to marry, the suitor would usually perform a pamamanhikan. Pamamanhikan is essentially the asking of blessing from the parents of both gentleman and lady for marriage. This also marks the first time both families will meet.

After all the details of the wedding and the discussion of a dowry is finished, the couple receives the blessing of both families and is then allowed to marry.

Modern Dynamics of Dating

The modern traditions of dating in the Philippines has since evolved from the lengthy and conservative culture of yesteryears. The dating culture is still influenced by the old traditions but has now adapted to a more modern and westernized scene.

  1. The man always makes the first move.
  2. The old tradition of men making the first move still stays. Over 90% of relationships involving Filipina women were first initiated by the gentleman. Whether it’s introducing yourself or setting up dates, you should be the one to make the first move.

    This doesn’t mean that Filipina women wait on the sidelines and leave it all to the men though. Filipina women, once they have warmed up to you and have thoroughly assessed your commitment to the relationship, are usually proactive in relationships.

    The important thing is to always be a gentleman. You don’t have to go too extravagant such as buying her expensive jewelry or pricey bags. The simple things that make a gentleman is usually what matters.

  3. Meet her family.
  4. Filipinos are known to be very familial and tend to keep close ties with their kin. The old tradition of having the suitor meet her family stays, but is now less conservative.

    When you’re dating a Filipina woman, expect to meet her folks, and I mean all of it. Since Filipinos keep a close tie with their family, chances are you’re bound to meet her extended cousins too. Dating a Filipina is also dating her family. Usually the filipina would seek the approval of her family before commiting to a long-term relationship.

    Don’t worry though, Filipino families are very receptive to guests. So long as they see that you are a gentleman and that they know their daughter is being treated well, you’re in. Prepare to eat a whole lot when you’re over her place too. You don’t have to render service as well, the days of chopping wood and gathering water or tilling the land is long gone. All the lady wants is for you and her family to get to know each other.

  5. Public displays of affection are now accepted.
  6. The liberalism of modern Filipina has been accepting of public displays of affection up to a certain extent. Filipina women are very affectionate once you have earned her love and trust. Holding hands and hugging are now common displays of affection. Though not as attuned to public displays of affection compared to western societies, Phillipine culture has slowly evolved to accept the concept.

  7. Religion is part of her upbringing.
  8. Most Filipino women were raised in a religious household. Religion, spirituality, and faith is something really close to her heart and she might want to take you to church sometimes. They put a high regard in values and morals and are usually taken back from people that don’t share the same moral definitions as they do.

    They don’t require you to share the same faith as they do; these days modern filipina women are open-minded. All they want is to know that they won’t have to redefine their understanding of spirituality and morality when they’re dating you.

  9. Filipinas venture to online dating.
  10. Online dating amongst Filipinos are becoming more and more popular as it is harder to find relationships and try to balance a career at the same time. Generally, Filipinas are the same online as they are in person. The gentleman is still expected to make the first move or, in the case of online dating, send the first message.

    Filipinas are good conversationalists most especially when they’ve warmed up to the person they’re talking to. Since there are still places with difficult access to quality education, there might be a bit of language barriers, especially when the only interaction you’ll be having is via messaging online.

Modern Filipinas Are More Open to Dating

The modern Filipino dating culture does not really have a specific pattern. It is highly influenced by old traditions, but due to the westernization of dating cultures, Filipina women are open to newer dynamics in dating.

What’s important to note is that whether you’re the traditional guy or the modern gentleman, it pays to be sincere and affectionate. Filipino women are very affectionate and loving. Spend time getting to know her, getting to know her culture, and her family.

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