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Courtship in the Philippines today
March 29, 2009 at 5:52 pm A. Definition of Courtship in the Philippines “Courtship is the best part of a girl’s romance and love life”. This is the reason why in the earlier courting practices there have been a lot of rituals involved. Thus, in those times, before they get married they are able to enjoy the labors of a suitor for her love even if it takes a year or more of courtship. In the span of courtship, they are able to enjoy themselves by being treated with outmost care and be given with all kinds of presents, from which it can be observed why some young women put off marriage to some late time to enjoy the privileges of being always free to be showered with affection (Molina, 1983). The kind of rigorous courtship practice that is well supervised by guardians is different from the west and one of these significant differences is dating. Dating is an art developed in western countries which is not original in itself but part of the courtship system in the Philippines. Unlike in the founded practice of chaperonage, the aim of dating from the western perspective is to “provide an occasion where a man and woman can be alone”. It can be a series of meetings where it would be best for them to develop romance, learn compatibility if they choose to get married, find similarities or attracting spiritual or life values, “mutuality in sexual satisfaction and the meeting of psychological needs” (Molina, 1983). Also traditional courtship was participated in or controlled by the parents and other kinsmen. This system was rooted in the Filipino view that marriage was a union not only of two individuals but also primarily of their families. Therefore, it was important for a son or a daughter to marry well so that the resulting union would enhances the good name of the family. However, in this generation, single dating is already a normal occurrence but the Philippines had originally developed a number of courting practices before dating came as an influence from the west. Before this modern period, almost every region had a different courting practice handed down to their families to practice (Medina, 2005). a. Luzon Luzon provinces or tribes had developed courting practices that were similar to each other since there is closeness of cultures formed in between the provinces. Their courting practices are formed by their life conditions, traditions and resources. …….The Ilocanos practice “tapat” a simple serenading of one’s love. Serenading is a means by which a suitor would be able to express his feelings for the woman he is courting through singing of

romantic songs at moonlit nights with his friends in the accompaniment of a guitar. This is very similar to the balagtasan. It is the responsive song of lovers that the boy starts first then the girl answers in a song too until they arrive at an understanding. Added to this, rooster courtship is a practice wherein a rooster becomes the middleman into the prospective bride’s house where it would be left in the house of the girl to crow for the mornings of the family. On the other hand, the Pangasinense used love potions/ charms or known to them as taga-amo to make the loved one slave of one’s love as soon as it rubbed or drinks from it. Some also are serenading, reciting verses, making love letter, and giving gifts of symbolic objects to make courtship romantic. Palabas is the last way where the boy threatens to commit suicide then the girl saves the day by confessing that she loved the boy all along. The Apayaos practice mahal-alay (liberal courtship) wherein there would be sleeping together in the evening where the boy tests the girl’s feeling if she really nurtures a reciprocal sentiment toward him by stealing beside her in bed. The Bulaceños practice naninilong wherein there is prickling of the girl beneath girl’s house during the midnight by stick and they are talking in whisper. Houses in the provinces of Bulacan were made of pawid and...
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