Hi everyone, this week I am excited to take the dating scene to the Philippines written by Micah. Micah is one of my favourite bloggers who never ceases to amaze me with her passion and dedication in everything she does.
Hello, everyone. I am Micah from Markus + Micah. I am from The Philippines. Not really sure if I am Filipino enough to talk about dating in this country – I spent most of my time abroad and have only dated one Filipino whom I met in school so that does not count – but I suppose I can tell you what is traditional and expected when it comes to dating in The Philippines.
Some ancient practices
Traditional is the magic word. Like its South East Asian neighbors, The Philippines remains largely conservative. Big cities are more modern, of course, but the general sentiment is conservative. Dating multiple people at once is frowned upon, nobody talks about sex, and everyone pretends couples are only having sex post-marriage. It is just taboo.
On a similar very Asian vein, Filipino children are raised to a certain programming. It is a must to do well in school, find a good job, marry, and start a family. Dating comes after school, or at least this is what the parents enforce or desire.
It is common for parents to be strict with their children and forbid relationships growing up. Interestingly, after school, the parents become too eager for the son or daughter to snag a partner, marry, and give them grandchildren!
Love as a democratic process
Courting is a thing. Filipinos are romantics, big hearts and flowers kind of people. The modern concept of dating, where you go out with multiple people, does not apply. To show sincerity, a guy should only court one lady, and not just the lady, but her entire family.
Have I mentioned that The Philippines is extremely familial? The family has a huge say in everything and anything. In relationships, they must approve of who you are dating, and you can expect the wrath of the Gods if you dare disobey. It sounds like a soap opera, no?
The degree to which you can deviate from tradition depends on your location, family status, or individual family culture. Not surprising for my blog friends to know, I have deviated from everything that I just mentioned. Growing up for me meant moving away from being a democracy, where everyone had a say on my life, and into being fiercely independent and working diligently on self-determination.
Who am I outside of what my family expected and programmed me to be? What do I want and who do I want outside of their influence? Where do I want to be and what direction do I want to take my future if I only consider myself? These were important questions that I had to figure out over time.
Moving into modern times
Of course, not everyone is traditional. In the big cities, people sleep around and are not expected to have a relationship with people they are only dating. Some couples meet online and interracial dating is widely accepted.
Still, no matter how you decide to go about it, the family will always have to approve of your final choice. There is no escaping it, which I suppose has its up and downsides. Take it as a warning, I guess – if you are interested in dating a Filipino, be prepared to date his or her entire family, if not clan!
If you are interested in creating a life you love, practicing holistic wellness, and learning practical ways to be more productive, calm, and connected, you can visit the blog of Markus + Micah here or follow their tiny house life on Instagram.
Markus + Micah are digital nomads, yoga teachers, and organizers of beautiful Thriving Life retreats in Bali and The Philippines.
In case you missed them, here are the other posts in the series:
Want to join in on the fun and contribute to the dating series? Reach out!