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How to Embrace Cultural Differences When Dating Filipino Women

Filipino women exhibiting cultural differences
Cultural differences shouldn’t be a barrier between you and your Filipino lover.

There are many things that stand out about the Philippines — things that make it an underrated bucket list item for travelers around the world.

Among them are the picturesque scenery, the local cuisine, and the local hospitality.

But what about culture? Many old-school thinkers will argue that the Philippines has lost much of its roots, claiming that centuries of Spanish, American, and Japanese occupation have ruined national identity and fragmented its culture.

But those who think half-glass-full say that the culture, however it was formed, is still uniquely beautiful. And nevertheless, that culture will always be inseparable from its people.

If you have been eyeing an attractive Filipino woman for a while now and want to get to know her, then be ready to take a dive into Filipino culture.

That will help you brace yourself for the cultural differences between you.

Understanding Filipino Culture

Filipino culture is a melting pot of Eastern and Western influences. This fact makes it one of the most interesting cultures in the world.

Three centuries of Spanish rule, 48 years of American occupation, and interaction between Chinese traders before the Spanish conquest have undoubtedly shaped the Philippines. You can see all these in the architecture, food, and social norms.

The country’s predominant Catholic faith and archipelagic geography have also helped mold local identity. One famous example of a religion-influenced Filipino practice is fiestas (festivals); each province holds several of these annual celebrations in honor of its patron saints.

Some provinces have traditions that aren’t present in other places. For example, the Higaonon tribe in Northern Mindanao practices panlaoy, a sacred forest management custom that is unique to them.

Whether you’re on a business or personal trip to the Philippines, you may want to do some research on the country’s culture. This way, you won’t risk offending locals during your visit. Some thoughtfulness and sensitivity will go a long way in interacting with Filipinos, especially women.

Cultural Similarities and Differences between the Philippines and the West

Filipino sensibilities and Western norms may seem like they’re two poles that are miles apart from each other.

For instance, many Filipinos follow a collectivist mindset; they tend to consider other people when making decisions. On the other hand, people from Western countries like the United States highly value individualism. Once a person reaches adulthood, they expect to gain independence from their families.

Man and woman smiling at each other
Westerners and Filipinos share a lot of cultural similarities.

Another significant difference between Filipino and Western cultures is their attitudes toward power distance. Westerners tend to call their workmates by their first names, and they’re not afraid to express their opinions to their superiors.

Meanwhile, Filipinos make it a point to address senior work colleagues with appropriate honorifics. While they do assert their rights, they won’t speak up unless they find it necessary. Some may take this passiveness as a negative because they may be seen as pushovers.

For all their differences, Filipinos and Westerners do have some common ground. Both are open to interacting with and learning from people of different cultures. The challenges of cultural diversity may emerge, such as stereotypes, misinterpretations, and personal biases. However, that doesn’t stop both Westerners and Filipinos from embracing different people.

Filipino Dating Traditions

Cultural differences between Westerners and Filipinos exist in dating too. While many Filipino daters (especially Gen Zers and millennials) have adapted to modern times, others prefer to stick to old-school practices.

Before technology’s emergence, Filipinos followed the custom of panliligaw (courtship).

Men had to make the first move and ask permission from women’s parents. They also had to woo their dream girls in their homes with the women’s family members around. Some even went the extra mile and sang a romantic song with a guitar in tow.

If the men didn’t earn parental blessings, they weren’t allowed to date their objects of affection.

As technology and the internet arose, Filipinos slowly swapped traditional dating practices in favor of modern ones. People nowadays meet each other at random events, like band gigs or parties, and interact from there. Filipinos aren’t strangers to online dating either; it’s not unusual to see an adult swiping away at their phones for potential matches.

The Role of the Family

Placing the family first is one of the most notable Filipino cultural tendencies. The nuclear family may be the main unit, but extended family members also receive similar care and attention.

A happy Filipino family
Having family as a primary priority is one of the prominent Filipino cultural tendencies.

Most Filipinos view their families as their personal safety nets; when times and finances get challenging, they run to their parents and relatives for support and solace. Filipino kids tend to stay with their parents even as they become adults. They’ll only leave their parents’ homes when they get married.

Filipino families tend to get involved in their children’s personal lives, especially in their relationships. Some may see this as invasive, but most of these families come from a place of concern and love.

And with that, Filipino families will make their thoughts known regarding their children’s partners. Apart from securing their kids’ futures, they just want their genuine happiness.

Don’t be surprised if your Filipina match wants you to meet her family. Aside from gaining their approval, she wants you to get to know the most important people in her life. Isn’t that something worth rejoicing? We think so.

Managing Cultural Differences with Your Filipino Partner

Some elements of Filipino culture have evolved with the times, while others remain firmly traditional. This will create some cultural tension between locals and foreigners in interactions. You and your Filipina match may also have challenges as well because some cultural clashes are unavoidable.

However, that can be managed.

These tips will show you how to resolve cultural conflict with your partner and maintain a harmonic union:

1. Recognize your differences.

There’s no resolution when you don’t admit there’s a problem. You can’t fix differences if you don’t acknowledge them. Talking about them helps because it means you’re aware of their existence.

2. Talk about and pursue activities with similar interests.

What do you and your Filipino have in common? Focus on that and do activities based on your mutual passions. This helps build a stronger bond.

3. Learn about each other’s cultures.

Do you want to get to know each other better? Ask culture-related questions. You and your Filipino partner will better understand why you say specific things and observe specific practices.

4. Make adjustments.

Cultural adaptability doesn’t stop at listening. Actions hold a lot of weight too. You may need to forgo some of your preferences to meet your relationship’s needs, but know that compromise is necessary for harmony.

5. Exercise patience.

Changes don’t happen overnight because people have a hard time letting go of familiar things. Be patient and let your partner adjust to your compromises at their own pace.

You can’t run away from cultural differences when dating a Filipino woman because they’re inevitable. Instead of evading them, why not learn to overcome them? Your relationship will be much better if you embrace them.

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