Things To Remember When Dating A Filipino Woman
Eastern and western cultures.
Love knows no boundaries, especially race. Gone are the days when people get jailed for being with a person of color, and even gender doesn’t matter in 2020. This includes culture and religion too. If you’re dating a Filipina woman, chances are you’ll clash with their beliefs, rules, and even traditions, but they’re the sweetest, most caring ladies you could ever hope for.
This article stated that back in 2017, 430,000 marriages happened in the Philippines, and almost 50,000 of those are between a Filipina and a foreigner. Filipina brides seem to have a growing taste in an American groom, with Japanese grooms coming in second and an Australian one for the third.
What does it say about the quality of Filipino men? Well, that’s their problem and your gain, especially when you’ve decided to settle with your girlfriend or fiancée. Still, being in love with one doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll both live a happy, blissful life.
You have to be prepared when you meet her or visit her family. Eastern and western cultures may be different in many ways, but only your determination and perseverance can allow you a peaceful life with your Filipina girlfriend.
Filipino Culture at a Glance
1. Filipino And Traditional Beliefs
The Philippines is one Asian country that encourages open-mindedness and free-thinking. It might be strange to say that, especially when superstition is deeply rooted in their everyday lives. But this is not talking about the Philippines as a whole, rather it speaks for the majority.
Currently, the Millennials, Gen Z, and an incoming new generation outnumbers baby boomers and beyond. This means if your girlfriend is 25-30 years old and below, she might be less traditional and conservative than those aging 30 years old and above.
This is not to say their families are the same. Most Filipina women’s families are baby boomers or even far behind those times (it is normal to have an extended Filipino family consisting of grandmothers, great grandmothers, uncles, and aunts.) So although you’ll have no problem connecting with your girlfriend, you might have to adjust to just a little bit more to the family.
2. Filipino And The Concept of Family
Speaking of families, this is one element that is extremely important regardless of their way of thinking. It is normal for a Filipina to think of her family first and foremost, and many of them venture early into employment to help their families out of poverty.
Based on a statistical report which you can read here: https://www.bworldonline.com/by-the-numbers-overseas-filipino-workers/), Filipinas account for more than half of the OFW (overseas Filipino workers) and range from ages 25-40. Most of them are either in elementary work (domestic and hotel cleaners, etc.) or healthcare (nurses, medical technologists, midwives).
Take note that anything related to her family, may it be their financial and emotional needs, will be a priority. Expect to share expenses and even possibly a house with them if you chose to move in with your girlfriend.
3. Filipino And Religion
Filipinos are Catholics and Christians in the majority, and those belonging to the former have masses every Sunday. They have similar routines as to a traditional Texan churchgoer, though Filipinos still firmly latch onto saints and their feasts or celebrations. A typical Filipina would be faithful to her religion, though she won’t work as hard to convert you if both of your religions differ. As said before, young Filipinas of the earlier generation is more open-minded than their older counterparts.
How To Date Properly In The Philippines
Step #1: Make The First Move
One of the more traditional habits a Filipina woman still practice today is the art of waiting. During the Spanish colonization, native Filipinos learned etiquette, societal rules, and courtship. In those times, it is usually the gentlemen who introduce themselves, ask the girl out on a date, and initiate everything that moves a relationship forward. Although it isn’t as conservative today as it was before, Filipina women still expect you to make the first move before revealing their own.
Though in rare cases, a Filipina will initiate the courtship, and this happens during an online meeting. Some take to the internet and Filipino dating sites to find love. We reckon this is where you met your current girlfriend as well. Despite that, during your relationship, it is still in their interest that you take the reins of the relationship as you would with making the first move.
Step #2: Ask Permission From Her Parents
We mentioned how important family is to a Filipina woman earlier, thus it will only be natural to ask their permission to court you. Traditionally, a man has to do intensive labor in the house of the woman to prove he is capable of taking care of her, but that was years and years ago. Today, showing you have a stable job and a stable income will be enough to replace cutting wood and tending to their farms.
Other than that, Filipinos need to attain their parent’s blessing. In their eyes, it is the ultimate form of disrespect to disobey them and go against their wishes. This is one reason why many toxic Filipino cultures such as abuse of power, and using age to excuse helicopter parenting have taken root even to the youngest of generations.
Step #3: Meet The Whole Family (Or Clan)
Since Filipinos are such a tight-knit community, it wouldn’t be surprising to find a family that goes beyond a mother, father, and children. And even if the families are chunked into small groups, it still isn't an excuse to not meet the aunts, uncles, cousins, and even far-off relatives.
According to this blog, family structures are often large, with the purpose to care for the elderly of the family structure when the children grow older. This is the reason why a small family with weak family ties is rarely seen in the Philippines.
With that, expect to meet a plethora of relatives coming from here and there, and bonus points if you can remember their names. Be ready to attend a ton of major life events from them as well, and keep your whole year open for any surprise family reunions.
Step #4: Know PDA and Rules Surrounding it
Showing affection publicly is still frowned upon in Filipino society, especially in the perception of older generations. This is because, in their heydays, courtship was always conservative with little to no touching.
They are also always accompanied by a chaperone, so they are averse to young couples today being openly sweet. When going around with your girlfriend, make sure to lessen any affectionate gestures, but holding her hand or offering your arm to link with hers is still an accepted form of affection.
How To Make Your Filipina Girlfriend Happy
1. Introduce Her To Your Family
Because she views the family as an important part of married life, what will please her most is your obvious pride as you introduce her to your parents. Filipinas might not be familiar with all cultures, but above all, they are a well-mannered, respectful, and humble bunch that will greet your parents respectfully.
And although this is a stretch, be mindful of how you treat her parents as well. To her, how you treat her parents will be how you will treat her for years to come, so be cautious with your tone and how you address them.
2. Go With Food
Food has been with Filipino tradition since the Spanish colonial times and has niched itself as something to center on during family discussions, birthdays, and festivities. You can’t go wrong with buying her favorite food or even cooking for her.
3. Respect Her Religion
Other than her love for her family, a Filipina woman was raised to be God-fearing and faithful. More than a religion, it is already a part of who she is and what she believes in, and the last thing you’d want to do is mock or discredit those beliefs.
Showing her you respect her religion and what she believes in will make her happier than buying her a bouquet. Especially when both go you don’t share the same religion, she will be delighted to know you’re not using her religion against her.
4. Do Karaoke With Her
Another Filipino culture that persists today is doing karaoke, especially when there’s a party. You’ll be asked to bust out your vocal chord skills and duet with her even. Singing is often known to lift spirits and would explain why Filipinos by nature are cheerful, even in the face of hardships.
5. “Pasalubong” Should Always Be Given After A Trip
Pasalubong is a Filipino term for treats and souvenirs you bring after a trip somewhere far away. It comes in the form of food most of the time, perishables that don’t get spoiled for a long time, like biscuits, bread, traditional Filipino delicacies, and even dried fish, squid, and mangoes.
It’s a sign that even when apart, the one traveling is thinking of their family at home, and thus buys them something from said trip. It is a sweet gesture that may win a particularly tough family member over.