Why Does Dating Culture in the Philippines Involve Gossip?

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Living in the Philippines, in Manila specifically, dating can be a hassle. There is the obvious reason of everyone knowing everyone. The person you end up dating might have been your second cousin’s classmate in grade school or someone who has always been on your circle of friends. You also have the added factor of news traveling fast because people love to gossip.

Unlike other countries, dating culture in the Philippines is quite different. People don’t really go on multiple dates or date around. I don’t know anyone who goes to have dinner or drinks to try to meet someone. More often than not you’ll meet your significant other through a mutual friend or they might be someone who has been in your life for a while already. There’s nothing wrong with that but because of this, some don’t really get to expand their horizons and meet new people. Somehow, we stay stuck in our own little bubble. In relation to that, once you’re seen with someone, people automatically assume you’re an item. Can’t men and women be just friends? This also applies to the percentage of people who do try to date around.

Because social circles in the Philippines are so small, once you do start a relationship with someone, everyone will find out before you’re Facebook and Instagram official. I am guilty of this. We’re somehow just so fascinated with other people’s lives. Whether people are getting together or breaking up, my phone blows up with messages from friends.

Lately, I’ve been trying to mind my own business but somehow I can’t help but ask my own boyfriend about our friends’ relationships. And he usually replies with, “I don’t know” or “I don’t really care.” Before you start to think that he’s insensitive, he expounds by saying something like, “They’ll open up when they want to. As long as they’re okay and it doesn’t really affect anyone, I won’t bother.”

I think we can all learn from that. You might think that if you start talking about your friends’ relationships, you’re helping them. But that’s not always the case. Maybe respecting their privacy is the best thing you can do. You can talk about other people’s relationships all you want but if you’re not in it, you don’t really know what’s going on.

 

Art by Lara Intong

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