Filipina Dating Customs (Traditional And Contemporary)

The Filipino dating culture is one of the most unique in the world, although it has some similarities with other cultures, there are also many differences. One of the most notable differences is the importance of family. In the Philippines, families are very close-knit and they often have a say in who their children date or marry. 

Filipina dating custom includes a lot of processes and stages, these processes is called “courting.” The courting process starts with the man asking the woman’s parents for permission to court their daughter. If the parents approve, the couple will then start going out on dates.

This custom has been around for centuries, and it is still being practiced today.

The Philippines get to mix their western influence, religious customs, the influence of the elderly, historical rules, and their fundamental beliefs. So, naturally, these dating rules apply in the rural and suburban areas of the Philippines.

The younger generation, however, is shifting somewhat from the traditional culture due to the western culture. So, let’s take a dive into this article about Filipina dating customs.

Marriage and Dating

The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, which means that the majority of the population believes in the sanctity of marriage. This can be seen in the way that families and communities interact with one another. For example, it is not uncommon for a family to have a “courting couple” who they keep an eye on to make sure that they are behaving appropriately.

Dating in the Philippines is also similar to what you might find in other Asian countries. Usually, a man will try to impress a woman by courting her.

If ever the woman thinks the man is a suitable suitor, they will continue dating. We all have a significant level of freedom in terms of choosing marriage partners. However, the choice of partners may be influenced by the family’s preferences.

In some urban areas, dating and marriage traditions tend to be less conservative and more influenced by the West. 

Dating Customs In The Philippines

Asking for Parent’s Permission

In the Philippines, asking permission from a girl’s parents before you start courting her is considered respectful and proper etiquette.

Filipina girls are often raised in very traditional families and asking permission is just a sign of respect. It shows that you are willing to involve her family in your relationship and that you are serious about your intentions.

Her parents actually need to know where you will take their daughter and even issue a curfew most of the time. Yet, some would also demand a chaperone. But it’s not that common. But that tradition is not precisely followed by most Filipino people anymore. Though there are still people who follow this.

Nowadays, they normally allow the man to meet their parents after they officially become boyfriend and girlfriend.

The Man Always Makes The First Move

As the old saying goes, “the man always makes the first move.” When it comes to dating and relationships, this adage still rings true. That was how it was done in the traditional Filipino dating culture. The women usually just wait for the time until their man asks them out.

Today, the majority of people in the Philippines still follow this tradition, especially in the provinces or countryside. But some women take the initiative and ask men out all the time.

But for the most part, it’s still up to the guy to make the first move. So if you’re waiting for someone to ask you out, you might be waiting a long time.

Customary Courting Culture

The Philippines has a very rich culture when it comes to dating and courtship. Filipinos have a very unique way of going about this process, which is often what sets them apart from other cultures.

Each modern Filipino woman knows the image of Maria Clara for being reserved, gentle and respectful. Traditional beliefs dictate that Filipino women submit to this thought. 

Courtship in the Philippines is often more subdued and reserved than it is in other cultures. Chaperones are being used up to this day during dates, especially if the couple is not married.

Gift-giving is a big part of the Filipino courting culture. It is not uncommon for a suitor to give his date flowers, chocolates, or other small tokens of affection.

Meeting The Entire Family

When you are in a relationship with a Filipina, it is important to try and meet her entire family. This can be a challenge, as many Filipino families are large and spread out across the country. However, making an effort to meet her parents, siblings, grandparents, and other relatives shows that you are serious about the relationship and are interested in getting to know her family. It can also help you to better understand your Filipina partner and her culture. 

Family meetings have always been part of Filipino dating habits. Your relationship won’t last long or will be great without the approval of your family. So don’t forget to do mano or the traditional gesture Filipinos do to give respect whenever you meet their grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles.

Religious Beliefs

The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, and as such more than 80% of Filipino people are Catholic. That’s a huge number if compared to the other religious groups in the country.

The majority of Filipinos were brought up with religious values growing up, which is actually a good thing. These values include a belief in God, respect for human life, and the importance of family and community. This means they really put the value when it comes to relationships and family.

PDA Regulations

Public Display of Affection, otherwise known as PDS, was always something scowled upon in the traditional Filipino dating culture.

People from older generations did traditional dating, usually very conservative and reserved with their significant others. Instead of holding hands, couples normally link their arms or the woman holding on to the man’s arm. Others still even consider this a lovely gesture.

Today, people are open-minded and more lenient with PDAs, but there are some limitations. Yes, PDA’s in the Philippines are still moderately conservative. This is where the Filipino cultural background plays a part.


The traditional dating customs in the Philippines are described as indirect and more subdued compared to the Western dating cultures.

The culture in the Philippines when it comes to dating involves phases and stages before you certainly have the right to call her your partner or girlfriend. However, Filipino women still want to experience the courtship stage where the man will prove that his love is sincere and worth it.

Overall, traditional dating customs in the Philippines should be respected. So, if you are interested in dating someone from the Philippines, it is important to be aware of the customs in the area where you will be meeting them.

Regina and Joe

Hello! It's Regina and Joe here. Like many other couples, we met online and after a long-distance relationship, Joe decided to move to the Philippines, where we married and live together since 2017. In this blog, we will teach you how to enjoy the Philippines to the fullest and what to expect from Filipino culture. Who more than us can understand both the West and the East?

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