Courtship, The Traditional Filipino Way

Courtship is different for each culture and I love how in the Filipino culture, it would require hard work, commitment and perseverance.  The time, the energy, the effort, the thoughts and the commitment will never be matched by a monetary value.  It’s like giving a part of yourself and your life to the person who hasn’t given her sweet yes to you yet.

See what a man has to do to win the heart of his beloved.

Tulay (go-between)

A man, no matter how much she likes the lady, can’t just approach her in the street and ask for her number or address.  He would need to seek the help of a common friend who will act as the bridge or the go-between (similar to a wingman) to ask permission from the lady’s parents to visit her in the house.

Thoughtful Gifts

When a permission to visit is granted, the man is expected to bring thoughtful gifts like flowers, chocolates and love letters.  Visiting the lady’s house will then be more frequent and consistent to show his commitment.


As the courtship advances, the frequent visits and thoughtful gifts will be accompanied by paninilbihan or servitude.  A man’s sincere desire to help in the lady’s house is a way to show his good intentions for her.  The usual act of servitude includes fetching water from the well to the lady’s house, chopping of firewood and pounding of rice.


Harana or serenade is also a big part of the courtship.  The man would sing a love song outside the lady’s house at night and until she opens her window to see and listen to him sing.  After the harana, he is then accommodated inside the house.

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Chaperoned Dates

The courtship progresses and the lady accepts her suitor’s love and they can finally go out on a date but this can’t be done without a chaperon.  Although already in the relationship, t is necessary the couple is not left alone; hence, a chaperon should always be present in the couple’s company when they go out on a date.


When the man feels he is ready to get married, he brings his parents to the lady’s house to formally ask for her hand in marriage.  If both parties agree to the engagement, the parents of the lady and the man will start discussing wedding plans for the couple.

Courting a Filipina in a traditional way is not easy and takes a real man with his true love to endure that long and arduous process of courtship.  But when it comes to true love, it’s all worth it.