Dating in The Philippines starts with courtship or ligaw. As a growing trend that comes in various forms and relationships. Dating in The Philippines is rooted in a traditional way, courtship, meeting the parents and modern Filipino dating.
Traditional Filipino Dating
While there are a lot of intersecting points between Western and Filipino culture, dating can be a big exception. When a foreigner starts dating a Filipina, it can go from the most romantic fairytale to your worst nightmare. It’s without question that the contrast between your perspectives is sure to be a huge roadblock to your relationship. But if there is one thing to remember, it’s that every relationship Filipinos form — whether platonic or romantic — is almost always grounded in familial values. In short, family comes first while dating in The Philippines.
This might just be the trickiest part. In the Philippines, there is what we call “ligaw” or courtship. This is the first phase. Unlike dating in Western countries, it starts with no mutual understanding between the man and the woman. The male ‘suitor’ needs to pursue her in a way that is not perceived as aggressive or invasive. It is an approach where the guy tests the water and sees if the girl is interested in him.
” Dating in The Philippines starts with a courtship or ligaw. “
The most popular way is to do a “harana”. That is, singing (usually with your guitar) in front of the Filipina’s house to show your sincerity. Courtship is basically wrapped around in visits to her house. Also, courting the girl is not enough. You have to befriend her parents, friends and even relatives. When the girl starts reciprocating some interest, that’s the only time you can call yourselves dating. When a girl says yes to courtship, it means you can continue pursuing her and go on dates. But you are NOT in a relationship until she gives you another yes to being your girlfriend. “Ligaw” or courtship can last for some months or even a year before the official relationship starts. Crazy, right?
” The Filipino way of courtship is Harana. “
Meet the Parents
When you start dating, you have to expect that even at the early stage, meeting the parents is already part of the plan. As Filipinos are very much family-oriented, it is an important thing to ask for the blessing of the parents — even if it’s only for dating. You also have to be very careful with your actions around them. Filipino parents are very conservative with a public display of affection especially if you are just dating. But even if you’re already in a relationship, they’re still not very keen on seeing you hold hands, being very touchy or kissing their daughter. You’d want to get on their side because everything the girl decides on is always heavily influenced by their parents and family. Their approval is the key.
Modern Times Dating
However, as time progresses the dynamics in Filipino dating has radically changed. While conservatism is still present, it is evident that Filipinos have become open to much more aggressive dating styles. Interracial relationships are also a growing statistic and play a big role in changing these dynamics. It is now more welcoming to differences and diversity of perspectives. The dating process takes such a long time because both the girl and the family are making sure that you have the best interest. Filipinos are used to having such strict parameters to gauge the sincerity of a dating partner. It gravitates towards religion, values, and culture. However, nowadays it is laxer and less polarized.
Are you looking to meet Beautiful Filipinas online? Read our next article, Best Christian Dating App for Meeting a Filipina.
Dating in The Philippines
Interracial relationships can always be a challenging feat because of so many differences a couple meets. Given the cultural dominance in the Philippine dating scene, getting yourself familiar and adjusting well can make things work better. But most importantly, dating in general, when rooted in mutual respect and open communication, will always be successful whether in The Philippines or not.