Tagalog and Ilocos regions
A Tagalog couple as depicted in theBoxer Codex of the 16th century.
A depiction of a mestizo couple from the Tagalog region during the 19th century.
Apart from the general background explained above, there are other similar and unique courting practices adhered to by Filipinos in other different regions of the Philippine archipelago. In the island of Luzon, the Ilocanos also perform serenading, known to them as tapat (literally, "to be in front of" the home of the courted woman), which is similar to the harana and also to the balagtasan of the Tagalogs. The suitor begins singing a romantic song, then the courted lady responds by singing too.
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The ongoing courtship ritual is overseen by a married elder or a childless widow who keeps the parents of the participating males and females well informed of the progress of the courtship process.
After the courtship process, the Batangueños of Batangas has a peculiar tradition performed on the eve of the wedding. A procession, composed of the groom’s mother, father, relatives, godfathers,godmothers, bridesmaids, and groomsmen, occurs. Their purpose is to bring the cooking ingredients for the celebration to the bride’s home, where refreshments await them.
In Pangasinan, the Pangasinenses utilizes the taga-amo, which literally means "tamer", a form of love potions or charms which can be rubbed to the skin of the admired. It can also be in the form of drinkable potions. The suitor may also resort to the use of palabas, meaning show or drama, wherein the Filipino woman succumbs to revealing her love to her suitor, who at one time will pretend or act as if he will be committing suicide if the lady does not divulge her true feelings.
The Apayaos allow the practice of sleeping together during the night. This is known as liberal courtship or mahal-alay in the vernacular. This form of courting assists in assessing the woman’s feeling for her lover.
In Palawan, the Palaweños or Palawanons perform courtship through the use of love riddles. This is known as the pasaguli. The purpose of the love riddles is to assess the sentiments of the parents of both suitor and admirer. After this "riddle courtship", the discussion proceeds to the pabalic (can also be spelled as pabalik), to settle the price or form of the dowry that will be received by the courted woman from the courting man.
When courting, the Cebuanos also resort to serenading, which is known locally as balak. They also write love letters that are sent via a trusted friend or a relative of the courted woman. Presents are not only given to the woman being courted, but also to her relatives. Similar to the practice in the Pangasinan region, as mentioned above, the Cebuanos also use love potions to win the affection of the Filipino woman.
People from Leyte performs the pangagad or paninilbihan or "servitude", instead of paying a form of dowry during the courtship period. In this form of courting, the Filipino suitor accomplishes household and farm chores for the family of the Filipino woman. The service normally lasts for approximately a year before the man and woman can get married. The Tagalogs of Luzon also refers to this courtship custom as paninilbihan meaning "being of service", but is also referred to as subok meaning a trial or test period for the serving suitor. The Bicolanos of Luzon's Bicol region, call this custom as the pamianan.
A Yakan couple from Mindanao performing a wedding dance.
Reckless courtship, known in the vernacular as palabas, sarakahan tupul,...