Filipino Flirting and Courtship during the Colonial Period

With Valentine's Day around the corner, one wonders how expressions of physical attraction and love were expressed by our foreparents. The harana (serenade) is of course, the manner by which the man expresses his love and admiration to the lady.The harana was an exclusively nocturnal practice. Because of the daytime tropical weather, the evening offers respite from the heat. It is the time when everybody comes alive, full of romantic ideas, and as is typical of Filipino nature, always ready to enjoy the company of friends and loved ones. It was during this old Philippines, before the widespread use of electricity, that haranawas at its ripest. In this endeavor, the most trusted instrument is the guitar with its intimate sound complementing Spanish-influenced songs, not to mention the breezy and quiet air of a tropical night. For a young man in colonial Philippines, it was certainly advantageous to possess musical abilities as it was often useful in wooing a Filipina woman. However, all is not lost if he lacks the talent. It was common practice to enlist friends as well as hire the best musicians in town. Thus, harana is not always a solitary endeavor. In fact, it was also considered a social event. For the endeavor to be successful either or both of these two instances have to happen: if the lady invites the man and his company inside for refreshments. It then becomes an impromptu mini-soiree; and if the lady joins in the singing. The man would have to wait until the young lady opened a window to listen. It would be up to her if she wanted to invite them in for some refreshment and to chat after the song. Even if they had been asked to come in, the suitor would not expect that he could have the chance of a private moment with his object of affection. It was highly likely that the parents would also be there to entertain the man and his friends The love song, romantic and slow in tempo, is an expression of his undying love, even if this was unrequited. Thus, the kundiman was born (from the term, "kung hindi man). It is a little known fact that some kundiman pieces, such as Maala-ala Mo Kaya (lyrics Jose Corazon de Jesus, music Constancio de

the "Father of Filipino Musical Nationalism" declared in 1931 that thekundiman "is the love song par excellence of the Filipinos. Ipatong sa pisnguing caliwa Hindi. so sentimental that if one should listen to it carefully watching the tenor of words and the way the voice is conducted to express the real meaning of the verses. song which brings them untold emotions. Juan V. A woman does not directly communicate to the man: she shows restraint. Poblete mentions in detail the meanings behind the signs: SALITAAN SA PANYO CAHULUGAN Ihaplos sa mga labi Ibig cong maquipagsulatan Ihaplos sa mga mata Lubhang nalulungcot aco Ihaplos sa kaliwang kamay Ikaw ay quinapopootan co Ihaplos sa dalawang pisngui Iniibig quita Bayaang malaglag Tayo i magcacaibigan Ipatong sa pisnguing canan Oo. She believed that the man will love her more if he is made to work hard before giving him what he wants. even disinterestedness even if she felt otherwise. In 1916." Dr. Francisco Santiago. ayao cong maquialam sa iyo Ibuhol sa hintuturo Mayroong casintahan aco Ibuhol sa susuotang singsing Mayroong asawa aco Ibuhol sa buong camay Aco ay sa iyo Paglaroan ang panyo Pinaualan quitang halaga SALITAAN SA PAMAYPAY CAHULUGAN Ibig kong magcanovio Dalhing nacabitin sa camay na canan .Guzman). music Mike Velarde) are examples where the lady is invited to sing her part. Dr. Dahil sa Yo (lyrics Dominador Santiago. She may also convey her message through her handkerchief and handheld fan." Ambeth Ocampo mentions Pascual Poblete's 1922 work. Batangas described the kundiman as "a pure Tagalog song which is usually very sentimental. Pagaspas. a doctor of philosophy from Indiana University and a much beloved educator in Tanauan. Patnubay ng Pagsinta. the plaintive song which goes deepest into their hearts. Ihaplos sa balicat Sumunod ca sa aquin Ihaplos sa dalawang mata Lubha cang ualang aua Ticlopin Ibig cong maquipagusap sa iyo Ticlopin ang mga dulo Hintain mo aco Pilipintin ng dalawang camay Pagpapaualang halaga Pilipitin sa camay na canan May ibang iniibig aco Pilipitin sa camay sa caliua Pagpasial co. which sheds light to prewar courtship and flirting of Filipinos. he cannot but be conquered by a feeling of pity even so far as to shed tears.

Dalhing nacabitin sa camay na caliua Mayroong casintahan aco Ipaypay ng madalas Malaqui ang pag-ibig co sa yo! Ipaypay ng marahan Ualang halaga ca sa aquin! Itiklop ng bigla Quinapopootan quita! Bayaang malaglag Aco i tapat ang loob sa iyo Tacpan ang calahating mucha Sumunod ca sa aquin Bilangin ang mga tadyang Ibig cong magsalita sa iyo Paglaroan ang horlas Umiibig aco sa iba at iniibig naman aco Huag dalhin o ilagay sa bulsa Ayao cong maquipagligawan Loveletters were also exchanged by our foreparents. Poblete mentions the use of invisible ink. He understands that in courting and hopefully marrying her. milk or beer. Names of flowers were substituted for phrases and times. were also symbolically used in loveletters. Doing household chores was a way to endear himself to the family of the woman. Sticky substances like sap. ni Carlos V. Francisco . LIGAWAN: COURTSHIP IN PHILIPPINE CULTURE HARANA. a concrete way of showing his sincere intention for her. Such system of communicating was effective for their generation! Paninilbihan or service was also expected to be done by the young man. accordingly. Flowers. Ang pag-ibig mo i nacamamatay sa aquin is written as Dalauang dahon ng mirto at Cicuta or Cagalingan mong magsalita ay nacasisisra nang loob co becomes Dalawang dahon nang Nintea blanca at Verbena. can be read by the use of ground charcoal passing through it. while the second person was written as dalawang dahon and the third person was written as tatlong dahon. Thus. the young man and the woman had to know the secret vocabulary. Letters using Ilocano vinegar or onion juice as ink may also be read when the letter is passed through fire. when used in writing. Gentlemanliness was always a character associated with courtship. letters with ink made of water and the local tawas can be deciphered by wetting or by exposing to sunlight. he enters into her family as well. The first person pronoun was written as isang dahon lamang. Of course. Again.

A man who is interested in courting a woman has to be discreet and friendly at first. going out on several dates is like reaching the second and third bases. but this is still to be done discreetly. the metaphor often used is that of playing baseball. love). often with a group of other friends. The man is said to reach 'first base' if the girl accepts his proposal to go out on a date for the first time. Filipino men would make harana (serenade) the women at night and sing songs of love and affection.Panliligaw or ligawan are the Tagalog terms for courtship. A 'home-run' is one where the girl formally accepts the man's love. Filipino women are expected to be pakipot (playing hard to get) because it is seen as an appropriate behavior in a courtship dance. which in some parts of the Tagalog-speaking regions is synonymous with pandidiga or digahan (from Spanish diga. courtship is far more subdued and indirect unlike in some Western societies. they will tell their family and friends as well. In Philippine culture. 'to say. In the Philippines. courting a Filipina means courting her family as well. And if a guy wants to be acceptable to the girl's family. nililigawan is the one who is being courted. Manliligaw is the one who courts a girl. he has to give pasalubong (gifts) every time he drops by her family's house. and they become magkasintahan (from sinta. If the couple has decided to come out in the open about their romance. express'). Later. Thereafter. By being pakipot. he has to visit the latter's family and introduce himself formally to the parents of the girl. In courting a Filipina. a term for boyfriend-girlfriend. During the old times and in the rural areas of the Philippines. if a man wants to be taken seriously by a woman. Friendly dates are often the starting point. in order not to be seen as too presko or mayabang (aggressive or too presumptuous). This is basically a Spanish influence. It is always expected that the guy must show his face to the girl's family. apart from singing with him. the . It is said that in the Philippines. couples may go out on their own. It is rather inappropriate to court a woman and formalize the relationship without informing the parents of the girl. The man is usually accompanied by his close friends who provide moral support for the guy.

edu/Tagalog/love. or the lady would join in singing. A traditional dalagang Pilipina (Filipinpa maiden) is someone who is mahinhin (modest.girl tells the man that he has to work hard to win her love. there is the Filipino tradition of pamamanhikan (from panik.htm Online resources say that Harana is a tradition form of courtship where a man serenades a woman by singing at her window at night. The opposite of mahinhin is malandi (flirt). It is also one way by which the Filipina will be able to measure the sincerity of her admirer.seasite. Some courtships could last years before the woman accepts the man's love. with good upbringing. It is also an occasion for the parents of the woman to get to know the parents of the man. to go up the stairs of the house). which is taboo in Filipino culture as far as courtship is concerned. if the couple later decide to get married. and the couple become engaged to get married. If the guy has no talent in the singing department.niu. During pamamanhikan. I don‟t know though if he . http://www. After a long courtship. shy. With that. She is also not supposed to go out on a date with several men. the man and his parents bring some pasalubong (gifts). It was when people were always ready to enjoy the company of friends and loved ones. My father told me that it was the “in” thing during their time. and this harana thing was one of the barkada„s gig. This man is usually accompanied by his close friends for moral support as well as assistance in the “singing” part. well-mannered) and does not show her admirer that she is also in love with him immediately. It‟s either the lady would let him and his friends inside her house for refreshments (I saw this on the TV show). where the man and his parents visit the woman's family and ask for her parents blessings to marry their daughter. theharana is considered successful. It is also at this time that the wedding date is formally set. he could hire the best musicians in town.

“gher”. I think that harana is a sign of a young man‟s genuine love. Therefore. which directly translated means to “grasp or enclose”. I will blackmail Hopiaaa to do it! Bleh~~ He could do it over the phone. But for sure. thru text msg (check! LOL).. and so on. I‟m looking forward to experiencing this myself. Guys would just label this as “so old-fashioned”. (check! haha). my father could sing. “definitely not!” b. The purpose of courtship is to determine a couple’s readiness for marriage and to discern the will of God for a covenant marriage that will benefit the world. I say. HA! I‟m kind of sad to notice that this supposedly-big-event is not anymore (or. derives from an ancient Indo-European term. HA HA! http://lttlstps. one of the primary motivations behind courtship (as opposed to dating) is the protection of the emotions of those involved until the time when it is clearly God’s will to proceed into marriage. Foundational Principles of Courtship . Where have all the love songs gone? The guitar-plucking skills? The never-mind-my-voice-as-long-as-I-could-singyou-a-song attitude? Nah. It‟s been replaced with “modern” courtship practices such as a. courtship. *laughs* If not. thru PM’s in Facebook/Friendster I am totally liking this tradition. c.did this while he was courting my mother. While the actual manifestation of a courtship relationship will vary because no two couples are alike. I‟m wondering if there‟s still anybody out there who‟d be willing to do this? I doubt. that fast.wordpress..com/2010/07/06/probinsya-harana/ The root of the word. What Is Courtship? Courtship is experiencing the blessing of God by loving the Lord Jesus Christ and honoring both sets of parents. rarely) practiced at present. I am soooo gonna ask my future boyfie to do it! If all else fails. thru IM’s in Yahoo! messenger/Skype. instant relationship at that! Now. Yes dearest reader.

Honor parents The foundational command for the happiness and success of any marriage is ―Honour thy father and thy mother‖ (Exodus 20:12). but then making it null and void by man-made traditions. He that hath my commandments. the devourer will damage and destroy their present and future joy and potential. the decisions of one believer affect every member of the Body of Christ. Honour thy father and mother: and. Love the Lord Jesus Christ Every believer is in a covenant relationship with the Lord and with all other believers. If we say we love the Lord. Jesus said. saying. in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him‖ (I John 2:3–5). from a ―violent assigning to eternal condemnation‖ to a ―mild disrespect. which simply means ―to make light of ‖ and ―to bring into contempt. 2. ―Hereby we do know that we know him. 3.1. If God does not bless them. and I will love him. and will manifest myself to him‖ (John 14:15. his blood shall be upon him‖ (Leviticus 20:9). especially as they relate to marriage. and keepeth them. is a liar. A blessed marriage is described in the following passage: ―Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD. it maketh rich. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table‖ (Psalm 128). There are more than ten Hebrew words describing various degrees of cursing. and it shall be well with thee. He that curseth father or mother. ―If ye love me. and keepeth not his commandments. and he addeth no sorrow with it‖ (Proverbs 10:22). Therefore. (See Matthew 15:6.) It is impossible for a couple—regardless of their age—to keep this commandment if they refuse to listen to the counsel and cautions of their parents on the matter of marriage. I know him. let him die the death‖ (Matthew 15:4). ―The blessing of the LORD. he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father.―For God commanded. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be. He went on to condemn the Pharisees for giving lip service to this commandment. One way of loving God and others is to keep the commands of Christ. God emphasized the seriousness of this command by giving the following penalty for breaking it: ―For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother. that walketh in his ways. keep my commandments…. 21).‖ The word used in this command is the milder term qalal. But whoso keepeth his word. and the truth is not in him. we must realize how our actions demonstrate our love for Him and others. if we keep his commandments. He that saith. . Ensure the blessing of God The greatest asset of any person or marriage is God’s blessing.‖ Jesus singled out this command and reaffirmed it as well as the judgment that went with it. No couple will have a happy or prosperous marriage without the blessing of the Lord.

and especially to the father.) Does the young man have the character and the skills to support a marriage and family? What proof does he have of this? Are both parties free of bitterness and guilt so they can ―leave father and mother‖ and cleave to each other? Does the young man have a clear purpose in life that his wife can support? Are both parties living in total openness and in genuine love? (See I John 2:10. and despiseth to obey his mother.) Is the young man sanctifying himself by engrafting Scripture into his heart and soul. That it may be well with thee.) Does the young man realize that in marriage he must give control of his body to his wife and she must submit to him? (See I Corinthians 7:4. Most wedding ceremonies affirm this fact when the minister asks. Discern God’s will Since God has given the father of the girl the responsibility to protect her purity (see Deuteronomy 22:15) and the father of the young man the responsibility to evaluate his son’s wisdom (see Proverbs 10:1). .―Who gives this woman to this man?‖ (See also Exodus 22:16–17. The commandment does not say ―Honor parents only if they are believers. ―The eye that mocketh at his father. the responsibility to give the daughter in marriage. Paul pointed out that although this is the fifth commandment in the Decalogue. it is the first command to have a promise attached to it: ―Honour thy father and mother.        Does the young man have moral purity and victory over lust? (Involvement in pornography will make it impossible for him to love his wife. Determine marriage readiness There are many practical considerations that parents need to evaluate before giving their blessing to a marriage. so that he can cleanse his wife by the Word? (See Ephesians 5:25–26.‖ nor does it mean that to honor is always to obey. God has entrusted to the parents. To violate this command is to experience generations of grief and iniquity.) 4.) 5. and thou mayest live long on the earth [good health and prosperity]‖ (Ephesians 6:2–3). I Corinthians 7:38. If parents command a son or daughter to marry outside of God’s will. God’s first line of direction will be through them.If we say that a person over eighteen years of age has the legal right to make his own marriage decisions. which is the first commandment with promise. we are making the Law of God of no effect by our traditions. that son or daughter must respectfully refuse to carry out their wishes. regardless of whether those decisions please his parents or not. and the young eagles shall eat it‖ (Proverbs 30:17). the ravens of the valley shall pick it out.

(See Genesis 24:58. ―As we have therefore opportunity. Romans 1:31–32. (See Ecclesiastes 5:1–7. through ―thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed‖ (Genesis 28:14).‖ In a covenant relationship. and God. if the son or daughter has been called by God to more years of single service. God blessed Abraham and said. that delighteth greatly in his commandments. Jesus said to His disciples. Paul also instructed us. Romans 7:1–3. Matthew 5:27–32. and Isaiah 56:1–8. Mark 10:1–12. if one party is an unbeliever. ―Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD. Proverbs 6:23–35.‖ although that would violate a covenant relationship and reveal a lack of genuine love. it would not be God’s will for that individual to marry another person. Benefit the world Paul points out that all believers are of the spiritual seed of Abraham. Also. because the individual has the final say.) Any minister who allows for divorce and remarriage. I Corinthians 7. and Matthew 19:1–12. Malachi 2:13–16. For example.‖ must answer to God for lying to Him and causing a couple to lie to God. Establish a covenant marriage Marriage is not a contract between two people. even though all of the parents give their blessing. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed‖ (Psalm 112:1–2). it is not good to marry‖ (Matthew 19:10). ―Ye are the salt of the earth… Ye are the light of the world‖(Matthew 5:13– 14). I Corinthians 7:25–37. God has serious consequences for those who violate their covenant vows. ―Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers‖ (II Corinthians 6:14). Those who are married with the blessing of God and their parents are ―heirs together of the grace of life‖ (I Peter 3:7) and can raise up sons and daughters who are mighty in God’s Spirit. . there is no tolerance of competing affections in either party. marriage to that person would violate Scripture.) If one party has been married and divorced. When the disciples understood it. an appeal should be made to their parents for their blessing. 6. two families. the parents cannot force a marriage. ―If the case of the man be so with his wife. and the previous partner is still living. with witnesses to the vows. A covenant marriage is joined by God and continues ―till death do us part. (See Luke 16:18. especially unto them who are of the household of faith‖ (Galatians 6:10). it is a sacred covenant between two people. let us do good unto all men. etc. Romans 7:1–3. It would be more appropriate to vow ―till divorce do us part. In any case. the marriage may still not be God’s will.However. Matthew 19:10–12. they exclaimed. 7.) Note: The ―exception clause‖ does not mean what many today think it means. but leads a couple in the vows ―till death do us part.

it is viewed as a lifetime commitment.com/teaching/courtship/ Filipino Courtship Customs . often lasts for several years and as far as marriage is concerned. Filipino courtship usually last for a long period of time. you have to be more indirect than in Western societies.Conclusion The actual pattern of a courtship relationship will vary from one couple to another. until the time when it is clearly God’s will to proceed into marriage. However due to the profileration of online dating services. . any courtship would benefit by incorporating the principles listed above. http://billgothard. because God directed and the individuals were not damaged. First Stage: Friendly Start Usually the beginning of a relationship starts with a casual date. During this stage of courting there will be no public displays of affection. the main point is being discreet. Again. because no two couples or situations are the same. Second Stage: Tactful Dating That is the second stage of Filipino courtship whereby the courting couple would go out together without the company of their friends. it is too early for physical contact such as kissing or holding hands. The couple will go out together in public places and will be accompanied by mutual friends. it can still be regarded as a successful courtship.How to court a Filipina When it comes to courting in Filipino culture. many lovers skip courting altogether as in cases of love at first sight or arranged marriage. An engagement. One of the valuable rewards of courtship is the protection of emotions that are stirred up by physical and emotional interaction. If. for example. during the time of courtship. the man has to be discreet and friendly or he will be slapped with a tag of being too stuck up or aloof. one party realizes that this is not God’s will and ends the relationship. At this point of time. However.

http://www. you are not just courting her but you are courting the entire family as well ”. This will also demostrate to the man that he has to work hard to win her love. When courting a Filipino woman you will find out that she is demure and reserved even when she has great feelings for you. You can find out more in 'Filipino Wedding Customs'. For example.htm . Filipino girls are expected to play hard to get because their culture deemed it as an appropriate behavior when they are being courted.com/filipino-courtship. You would be surprised that your life will be more enriching and fulfilled as you have never imagined.Filipino women do not like the courtship process to be fast. Third Stage: Making the Relationship Public After some time the couple may decide to make their romance known to their family and friends. A Filipino girl would never reveal her admiration for the man immediately. Every man who wants to be taken seriously by a Filipino girl is advised to visit her family and introduce himself formally to her parents. There is a unspoken rule here that says: “When courting a Filipino girl.asiandatingzone. You should treat your Filipino girl with respect and woo her with your heart. the first thing you should do is ask the girl’s parents for her hand. You can always ask any questions regarding which traditions you should observe with her older siblings in the family. if the man wants to be accepted by the girl’s family. Final Stage: Engagement and Marriage After spending a period of time with your Filipino girl and if you decided to get married. Some courtships may last for years before the woman accepts her admirer’s love and they become 'magkasintahan'. This is a part of her culture and even for a Western man there is no way around that. Following this rule will help you earn her respect by entrusting her family with high regard. There are certain traditions that have to be observed when visiting the Filipino girl's family. he has to give out small presents every time he visits her family's house. Playing hard to get is one of the way which Filipino women measure the sincerity of her courting partner. It would be inappropriate to court a Filipino girl and formalize the relationship without informing the girl’s parents. a term for boyfriend-girlfriend.

This . The teasing practice assists in discerning the actual feelings of the male and the female involved. the Filipino man fears rejection by a woman and would like to avoid losing face and embarrassment. this may also begin through the process of "teasing". a Filipino male suitor expresses his interest to a woman in a discreet and friendly manner in order to avoid being perceived as very "presumptuous or aggressive" or arrogant. The proper rules and standards in traditional Filipino courtship are set by Philippine society. It involves "phases" or "stages" inherent to Philippine society and culture. and gift-giving. The teasing is done by peers or friends of the couple being matched. On the other hand.1 Tagalog and Ilocos regions 2.[1][2] Evident in courtship in thePhilippines is the practice of singing romantic love songs.6 Mindanao region 3 19th-century Hispanic Philippines 4 Modern-day influences 5 See also 6 References 7 External links [edit]General overview Often.[3] This respect extends to the Filipino woman‟s family members. reciting poems. a Filipino woman is "shy and secretive" about her feelings for a suitor.3 Apayao region 2.Courtship in the Philippines From Wikipedia.[2] Culturally. another gentlemanly way of seeking the attention of a woman is not to be done by the admirer by approaching her in the street to casually ask for her address or telephone number.2 Pangasinan region 2.[4] Contents [hide]   1 General overview 2 Other courtship practices o o o o o o      2. the free encyclopedia Traditional courtship in the Philippines is described as a "far more subdued and indirect"[1] approach compared to Western orWesternized cultures. writing letters. a process of "pairing off" a potential teenage or adult couple.5 Visayas region 2.[4] Although having a series of friendly dates is the normal starting point in the Filipino way of courting. Traditionally.4 Palawan region 2.

typically a mutual friend of both the suitor and the admired. This behavior serves as a tool in measuring the admirer's sincerity and seriousness.[4] or private dates. would engage in serenading the woman he adores at night. In the past.[4] During this preliminary evaluation period.[3] After the girlfriend-boyfriend stage. and marriage follows. and feels cowardly. because formal introductions to family members are done. particularly in a rural courtship setting. This serenading practice was an influence adopted by the Filipinos from the Spaniards. or letters. was inherited by the Filipino woman from the colonial period under the Spaniards. The suitor stops the courtship if he is quite sure that the woman does not reciprocate. [2][4] The "human bridge" acts as the suitor's communicator. and is innocent and naïve in how to court a woman. and friends. The serious suitor or boyfriend visits the family of the woman he admires/courts or girlfriend in order to formally introduce himself.[2] During the courtship process. In addition to the woman's culturally appropriate behavior. the "teasing stage" comes to a close and a "serious stage" of Philippine courtship begins. this type of admirer could overcome his shyness and naivety by asking for the help of a "human bridge". and show utmost restraint. to be not flirty. Courting a woman in the Philippines is described as a courtship that also includes courting the woman's family. Bringing gifts or pasalubong[4] (which may include flowers. the Filipino woman will either deny her feelings (or the absence of feelings for the suitor) and avoids her admirer. relatives. to act as if not interested. a Filipino man. or does not become angry because of the teasing and encourages the suitor instead.[5][6] The actual boyfriend-girlfriend relationship may also result from such formal visits. chaperoned dates. Traditionally. With regards to the engagement and pre-marriage stages. some courtship may last a number of years before the Filipino woman accepts her suitor as a boyfriend. accompanied by friends. As a norm. engagement. with cards. Dating couples are expected to be conservative and not perform public displays of affection for each other. this "testing phase" also helps a man who could be " torpe". good upbringing. modesty. which may be performed by the "human bridge". together with repressing emotions and affection. However. particularly to the lady's parents. Informal conversation also takes place. she is not supposed to have dates with several admirers simultaneously. But once the female encourages the suitor to continue.[1][4] a behavior culturally considered appropriate while being courted. It is within this stage where the couple engages in a series of group dates.[1] The couple later on decides to come out into the open and reveals the status of their relationship to family members. demure. the bachelor can also ask permission to visit the woman at home from the bachelorette's father. a traditional Filipina is expected to play "hard to get".[2] Through this "human-bridge". the couple will not be left alone with each other during this first home visit. and the like) is also typical. or a close friend of both families.teasing phase actually helps in circumventing such an embarrassing predicament because formal courtship has not yet officially started. shyness. a characteristic referred to as the Maria Clara attitude.[1][2][3]Conservativeness. and reserved despite having great feelings for her admirer. be well-mannered. Furthermore. a Filipino term for a suitor who is shy. Filipino tradition dictates that the man and his parents perform . "stupid".

[4] For the Filipino people.[6] After setting the date of the wedding and the dowry. Therefore. is provided by the groom‟s family. not just of two persons. pamamanhikan is known as tampa or danon to the Ilocanos. the Cebuano version of the pamamanhikan includes bringing in musicians.[2] The dowry. This is when the formal introduction of the man's parents and woman's parents happens.[3] [edit]Other courtship practices and Ilocos regions [edit]Tagalog A Tagalog couple as depicted in theBoxer Codex of the 16th century. a Tagalog word that means "to go up the stairs of the house" of the girlfriend and her parents.[4] the couple is considered officially engaged. . marriage is a union of two families. marrying well "enhances the good name" of both families.the pamamanhikan[4] or pamanhikan[6] (literally. Apart from presents. as a norm in the Philippines. This is where and when the man and his parent's formally ask the lady's hand[4] and blessings from her parents in order to marry. as pasaguli to the Palaweños. and as kapamalai to the Maranaos[6]).

the rooster is assigned that task of being a "middleman". then prickles the admired woman by using a pointed object.A depiction of a mestizo couple from the Tagalog region during the 19th century.[6] After the courtship process. In the island of Luzon. relatives.[3] Rooster courtship is also another form of courting in Luzon. while the house for Filipino females is known as the olog or agamang. meaning show ordrama. who at one time will pretend or act as if he will be committing suicide if the lady does not divulge her true feelings. A procession. wherein males and females are separated into "houses". then the courted lady responds by singing too. The suitor may also resort to the use of palabas. the Bulaqueños have a kind of courtship known as the naninilong (from the Tagalog word silong or "basement"). In this type of courtship.[6] [edit]Pangasinan region In Pangasinan. the Pangasinenses utilizes the taga-amo. wherein the Filipino woman succumbs to revealing her love to her suitor. At midnight. bridesmaids. [3] The Ifugao of northern Luzon practices a courtship called ca-i-sing (this practice is known as theebgan to the Kalinga tribes and as pangis to the Tingguian tribes). The ongoing courtship ritual is overseen by a married elder or a childless widow who keeps the parents of the participating males and females well informed of the progress of the courtship process. godmothers. Once the prickling caught the attention of the sleeping lady. The females reply to these songs also through singing. where refreshments await them. or a "go-between".[3] In the province of Bulacan in Central Luzon. a "negotiator". composed of the groom‟s mother. The males visit the females in the olog – the "bethrotal house" – to sing romantic songs. which literally means "tamer". occurs. Their purpose is to bring the cooking ingredients for the celebration to the bride‟s home. The house for the Filipino males is called the Ato. wherein the male chicken is left to stay in the home of the courted to crow every single morning for the admired lady's family. the suitor goes beneath the nipa hut. It can also be in the form of drinkable potions. Apart from the general background explained above. and groomsmen. "to be in front of" the home of the courted woman). a house that is elevated by bamboo poles.[3] [edit]Apayao region . the Ilocanos also perform serenading. the couple would be conversing in whispers. The suitor begins singing a romantic song. known to them as tapat[6] (literally. which is similar to the harana[4] and also to thebalagtasan of the Tagalogs. the Batangueños of Batangas has a peculiar tradition performed on the eve of the wedding. father.godfathers. a form of love potions or charms which can be rubbed to the skin of the admired. there are other similar and unique courting practices adhered to by Filipinos in other different regions of the Philippine archipelago.

They also write love letters that are sent via a trusted friend or a relative of the courted woman. This form of courting assists in assessing the woman‟s feeling for her lover. as mentioned above. The service normally lasts for approximately a year before the man and woman can get married. Similar to the practice in the Pangasinan region. This is known as the pasaguli. the Cebuanos also use love potions to win the affection of the Filipino woman. The Bicolanos of Luzon's Bicol region. In this form of courting.The Apayaos allow the practice of sleeping together during the night.[3] [edit]Palawan region In Palawan.[6] [edit]Mindanao region . to settle the price or form of the dowry that will be received by the courted woman from the courting man. This is known as liberal courtship or mahal-alay in the vernacular. which is known locally as balak. the Palaweños or Palawanons perform courtship through the use of love riddles. the Cebuanos also resort to serenading. call this custom as the pamianan. After this "riddle courtship".[3] People from Leyte performs the pangagad[6] or paninilbihan or "servitude".[4] instead of paying a form of dowry[6] during the courtship period. the Filipino suitor accomplishes household and farm chores for the family of the Filipino woman. but is also referred to as subok meaning a trial or test period for the serving suitor.[3] [edit]Visayas region When courting. but also to her relatives.[3] The Tagalogs of Luzon also refers to this courtship custom as paninilbihan meaning "being of service". the discussion proceeds to the pabalic (can also be spelled as pabalik). The purpose of the love riddles is to assess the sentiments of the parents of both suitor and admirer. Presents are not only given to the woman being courted.

If the father of the woman refuses to give her daughter‟s hand to the suitor.A Yakan couple from Mindanao performing a wedding dance. This also involves discussions regarding the price and the form of the dowry. and the abrupt closing of a fan means the woman dislikes the man. Reckless courtship. Readings from the Quran is a part of the ceremony.[3] The Bagobos. a suitor would threaten to stab his heart while in front of the courted woman‟s father. The wedding is officiated by an Imam. fanning vigorously symbolizes that the lady has deep feelings for a gentleman. Accepting the weapon is equivalent to accepting the Filipino man‟s romantic intention and advances. ormagpasumbahi. sends a knife or a spear as a gift to the home of the courted woman for inspection.wikipedia. Similar to the palabasversion practiced in Luzon island. while fanning slowly tells that the woman courted does not have any feelings for the suitor. on the other hand. and the agong. the kulintang.[3] Pre-arranged marriages and betrothals are common to Filipino Muslims. known in the vernacular as palabas. the suitor is smitten by a knife. counting the ribs of the folding fan sends out a message that the lady would like to have a conversation with her admirer.org/wiki/Courtship_in_the_Philippines . while carrying the fan with the left hand signifies that she already has a lover and thus no longer available. These are non-verbal cues whichAmbeth Ocampo referred to as "fan language".[6] [edit]19th-century Hispanic Philippines During the 19th century in Spanish Philippines. sarakahan tupul. These are called as such because the woman conveys her messages through silent movements that involve a hand-held fan. putting the fan aside signals that the lady does not want to be wooed by the man. is practiced by the Tausog people of Mindanao.[7] http://en. will occur by playing percussive musical instruments such as the gabbang. there was a set of body language expressed by courted women to communicate with their suitors. as well as the placement of the groom's fingerprint over the bride's forehead.[3] The Tausog people proclaims that a wedding. Examples of such speechless communication are as follows: a courted woman covering half of her face would like her suitor to follow her. a celebration or announcement known as the pangalay. holding the fan using the right hand would mean the woman is willing to have a boyfriend. These formal engagements are arranged by the parents of men and the women.