Other courtship practices
Tagalog and Ilocos regions
Rooster courtship is also another form of courting in Luzon. In this type of courtship, the rooster is assigned that task of being a "middleman", a "negotiator", or a "go-between", wherein the male chicken is left to stay in the home of the courted to crow every single morning for the admired lady's family.
In the province of Bulacan in Central Luzon, the Bulaqueños have a kind of courtship known as the naninilong (from the Tagalog word silong or "basement"). At midnight, the suitor goes beneath the nipa hut, a house that is elevated by bamboo poles, then prickles the admired woman by using a pointed object. Once the prickling caught the attention of the sleeping lady, the couple would be conversing in whispers.
The Ifugao of northern Luzon practices a courtship called ca-i-sing (this practice is known as the ebgan to the Kalinga tribes and as pangis to the Tingguian tribes), wherein males and females are separated into "houses". The house for the Filipino males is called the Ato, while the house for Filipino females is known as the olog or agamang. The males visit the females in the olog – the "bethrotal house" – to sing romantic songs. The females reply to these songs also through singing. 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.
The Bagobos, on the other hand, sends a knife or a spear as a gift to the home of the courted woman for inspection. Accepting the weapon is equivalent to accepting the Filipino man’s romantic intention and advances. Reckless courtship, known in the vernacular as palabas, sarakahan tupul, or magpasumbahi, is practiced by the Tausog people of Mindanao. Similar to the palabas version practiced in Luzon island, a suitor would threaten to stab his heart while in front of the courted woman’s father. If the father of the woman refuses to give her daughter’s hand to the suitor, the suitor is smitten by a knife.
Pre-arranged marriages and betrothals are common to Filipino Muslims. These formal engagements are arranged by the parents of men and the women. This also involves discussions regarding the price and the form of the dowry. The Tausog people proclaims that a wedding, a celebration or announcement known as the pangalay, will occur by playing percussive musical instruments such as the gabbang, the kulintang, and the agong. The wedding is officiated by an Imam. Readings from the Quran is a part of the ceremony, as well as the placement of the groom's fingerprint over the bride's forehead.