Courtship in the Philippines - Pagpanguyab/ Pagpangulitawo

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So you want (to court)  manguyab  a Visayan Filipina?   Here are some useful tips and Visayan expressions related to courtship.      Like an...

So you want (to court) manguyab  a Visayan Filipina?   Here are some useful tips and Visayan expressions related to courtship.     



Like any relationship, a romantic one starts with a good first impression;  it starts with pagdayeg (admiration) of someone's katahom (beauty), kabuotan (kindness) or  kinaiya (character).   Later on, it could develop to a good friendship.  The friendship stage can drag on or it can be short depending on a person's approach. 

In the Philippines, traditional courtship starts with visiting the lady at her place of abode.  Men should do the formal courting at the lady's house.  The man is called a manguyabay (suitor).  But before he even visits, he should ask the lady if it's okay to visit her at home.  This is also a good way for the man to determine the upbringing that she has, whether she has close family ties and she comes from a small family, a big family. To ask permission if he can come to visit her at her place the man should ask:

Puydi ko mamisita nimo sa inyo?
May I visit you at your place?       


Men should not expect a straight answer immediately.  It is customary for men to ask a few times before they will get an answer.  It is called wooing.  Ladies should play padili-dili (hard to get) and not humok og ilong (easy to get).  Even if they have a big crush on the man, ladies should play hard to get.

Now, after visiting the girl and you finally made up your mind, you can ask her if she accepts suitors or if you may court her:  This is how you say it in Binisaya:

Puydi ko mangulitawo nimo?  
May I court you?


And guys, like I have said earlier, a real lady will play hard to get.  So you might want to ask her two or three times before you to get a definite answer.  Don't hurry, three to six months of courtship is really short; in the olden times, some men courted ladies for over five years.  If she asks you to wait, show patience.  Persistence will work eventually.



In the provinces or rural areas, the culture of pangharana (serenading) may still be practiced.  During the harana (serenade) the suitor wannabe wears a Barong Tagalog and serenades the lady with a song that pleads for her to open the window and listen  to him.  After that, she may invite him to come up the house and eat some snacks with the family.  

Lately, because of technology, courting is being done digitally.  Dating and pagpanguyab almost happens through texting and through social media platforms.  But still there are parents who would prefer to know their daughter's suitor and for the boys, who their son wants to court. 


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Cebuano Teacher: Courtship in the Philippines - Pagpanguyab/ Pagpangulitawo
Courtship in the Philippines - Pagpanguyab/ Pagpangulitawo
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