The Philippines is a rich source of courtship rituals. Although some of the traditional ways of courting are no longer observed, given the Western influences, there are still those that persist particularly in the rural areas.
Filipinos are very romantic when it comes to the affairs of the heart. Serenading was one of the most popular forms of courtship to show that a man is very serious with his intentions to a woman right up until the 1950s.
Panliligaw or ligawan are the Tagalog terms for courtship, which in some parts of the Tagalog-speaking regions is synonymous with pandidiga or digahan (from Spanish diga, 'to say, express'). Manliligaw is the one who courts a girl; nililigawan is the one who is being courted.
In Philippine culture, courtship is far more subdued and indirect unlike in some Western societies. A man who is interested in courting a woman has to be discreet and friendly at first, in order not to be seen as too presko or mayabang (aggressive or too presumptuous). Friendly dates are often the starting point, often with a group of other friends.
In the Philippines, if a man wants to be taken seriously by a woman, he has to visit the latter's family and introduce himself formally to the parents of the girl. It is rather inappropriate to court a woman and formalize the relationship without informing the parents of the girl. It is always expected that the guy must show his face to the girl's family.
During the old times and in the rural areas of the Philippines, Filipino men would make harana (serenade) the women at night and sing songs of love and affection. This is basically a Spanish influence. A serenade would require the young man to sing a love song in front of the young lady's house. It would be up to her if she wanted to invite them in for some refreshment and to chat after the song. Even if they had been asked to come in, the suitor would not expect that he could have the chance of a private moment with his object of affection....