Dating Customs and Modern Filipino Dating Culture in the Philippines

Traditional Filipino dating tilts back to the classic ways of chivalry and romance featuring several stages as the two people to move from being interested in each other, all the way through to marriage. Modern dating in the Philippines has changed a lot, so let’s take a look at the past and present to build a full picture which will be just the info you need.

A point to note with traditional thinking Filipinas is that dating it is geared towards being a lead up to marriage. It’s very formal, and a little more serious as opposed to western culture where couples may date without any vision of a long-term outcome.

It can be said that Filipinos are very romantic and very much believe in love. To a Filipino girl, small things can mean a lot. You have to be clear about your intentions, and understand how serious her thinking will become even from small suggestions you make or interpretations drawn from your actions. moves that you make.


Stages of Traditional Courtship


  1. group date – maybe a group or your friends and her friends together. The friends will likely go to work trying to pair you up behind the scenes.
  2. A date together – if the group date went well you can ask her on a date and usually, a friend will tag along as a third wheel who keeps it informal but can help ease the communication along.
  3. Meet the parents – and ask for permission to officially date, you should bear some give gifts, and maybe even ‘prove’ your love for her which traditionally may be done through serenading.
  4. The dating stage – may go for a while with the girl expressing no interest in you, yet, deep down she will be infatuated. But this stage is important for the girl to act withdrawn and for the man to show his love and for the girl to measure his sincerity.
  5. Boyfriend and Girlfriend – after a period of dating, maybe a few weeks, the man will ask for her to officially become his girlfriend, she may also suggest it’s time for her to become his girlfriend.
  6. Marriage proposal – with the family undoubtedly impressed by your commitment and good will, and with your loved one convinced of your undying love, it’s time to get married. Post marriage you can then become intimate.


Modern Dating in the Philippines


In the age of social media and APPs dating has fast forwarded a lot. Parents and family are less involved and couples may date without the parents having any knowledge. Meeting the parents and family may come later into the courtship.

You can surmise from traditional dating practices that it was not too different from classic courtship as you would know in the west, same goes for modern dating in the Philippines, which to some extent, reflects modern dating in the west.

Young people today are much more open-minded and liberal, although, they still draw inspiration from those old traditions. But, with that said, it is still completely possible that you will meet a girl who will still be holding onto those traditional values. In that case, it reemphasizes the importance of understanding the girl you are seeking to date, her views and what her expectations might be. That’s where it is still so important to have a common friend who can help as a bit of an intermediary.

More often than not, Filipino girls, especially from the middle class which I’ll talk more about further below, are very independent and make their own choices. You will find dating not that unfamiliar with the modern western culture. With an exception, they are very conservative and won’t consider sex on a first date, and perhaps not during dating at all, with some dropping you like a hot potato at the mention of it.

Modern Filipinos are also open to dating older men with it not uncommon to see girls as young as 20 dating guys in their late 30’s or even older. Important to a Filipino girl is financial stability, sincerity, and commitment. A reason for this openness is the fact that Filipino girls grow up really fast and mature at a young age. When they meet an older man they will see responsibility and great potential to create a family which is their greatest desire.



Asking a Filipino girl on a date


I know, I know, arent Filipino girls supposed to be easy? That’s the image that is portrayed, and that is certainly what you will believe if you go strolling down Walking Street in Angeles City but is that the girl you are really after?

I don’t think so.

Real Filipino girls still have a range of boxes in their mind they’d like ticked before committing to a relationship with a guy, even a foreign guy.

As a westerner, you obviously have a great head start, and you’ll have an advantage in that the girl will be willing to listen. You are a little exotic, there is a chance at least that you have a good job, and stable income opportunities for the future, and, that you are not a useless bum.

Exploit the positives of being a westerner as it also comes with negatives, she’ll also be wondering if you are just another one of those white guys that stroll the walking streets for gogo bars and spending every day in massage shops.

Making your move

Flirting doesn’t cut it here, there’s no interest. Chivalry works every time. An encounter might begin with eye contact, cute glances, a smile, and, if the feeling is right, make a gentle approach. Be polite, with a big smile, and simply say hello.

Introduce yourself and ask their name. And go straight for it, ask for a date. That could be grabbing a coffee, or inviting her to go to a place you saw during the day, or asking what she’s into and if she’d be willing to show it to you. Whatever you do, don’t work on the theory that you are somehow going to meet her for the first time, court her, and take her home there and then. Take it slowly, if you are serious.



What a Filipino girl will like to see on a date


  1. Chivalry – she will go crazy for it but its impossible to find these days
  2. Don’t be complicated – be easy going, easy to understand and straightforward
  3. Sincerity – it just gives such a great impression on a woman and instills a sense of trust
  4. Politeness – put your best manners on for extra points
  5. Don’t be loud or obnoxious – Filipinos are surprisingly reserved, at least at first
  6. Don’t talk about sex – they really are conservative people
  7. No touchy-feely – don’t try to sweet talk with your hands, it won’t fly
  8. Be humorous – they love light-hearted humor and quick wit and love to laugh
  9. Ask about her family – family is everything to a Filipino
  10. Eat – whatever you do on your date, make sure food is a part of it and remember it’s not a meal unless it comes with rice.



Classes of Filipina Girls

I’m not a fan of classes, especially when it comes to love, but, it’s kinda necessary here to save a lot of heartaches for everyone. Just like everywhere in Asia, heck even your hometown will be the same, you do have to pick your mark somewhat.


Underclass – if they are good looking it is highly likely that they will use those good looks and join the service industry. Usually, they did not have the chance to get a solid or formal education, may or may not speak English and have a wider family circle that can be dependent on the money they bring in.

These types of girls can cause a lot of heartache for foreigners. Communication can be difficult. The cultural gap is very wide as she has had little exposure to foreign culture. Her mindset is centered around the belief of value of the superficial as in beauty.

Middle class – generally hard working, multi-lingual and well educated. They likely speak English, Tagalog, Chavacano (a version of Spanish) along with a local specific dialect such as Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon (Ilonggo), Ilocano, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, and Waray. They maybe ear around $1000 per month and may work for any number of foreign companies who are based in the Philippines with call centers being a popular job opportunity. The BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) is booming.

Generally, they are open to dating foreigners. They have probably established an openness and understanding of foreign culture through their workplace, and some will have also worked overseas previously or traveled overseas. In this group, you have your best chance of finding a single Filipino girl which you can date on your own level. You can communicate successfully, have some understanding and openness to each other’s cultures, and there is less emphasis on tradition.

High class and Elites – worldly wise and widely traveled, and highly social. You’d better have you’re a game on when it comes to social status, being a white guy has little value. She is already financially secure, independent, and well educated. It’s likely that she will already have a number of handsome suitors and there is going to need to be a good reason why she would look at you. That could be because of your social circle, your more handsome than Brad Pitt, you are so wealthy that you can lift her status and that maybe that of her family.


Where to meet girls in the Philipines? Check out Filipino Cupid and my list of dating sites and apps in Asia. Do keep reading more about Filipino Culture