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Although having a series of friendly dates is the normal starting point in the Filipino way of courting, this may also begin through the process of "teasing", a process of "pairing off" a potential teenage or adult couple.
The teasing is done by peers or friends of the couple being matched.
This serenading practice was an influence adopted by the Filipinos from the Spaniards.
During the courtship process, a traditional Filipina is expected to play "hard to get", to act as if not interested, to be not flirty, and show utmost restraint, modesty, shyness, good upbringing, be well-mannered, demure, and reserved despite having great feelings for her admirer; a behavior culturally considered appropriate while being courted.
Conservativeness, together with repressing emotions and affection, was inherited by the Filipino woman from the colonial period under the Spaniards, a characteristic referred to as the Maria Clara attitude.
After the girlfriend-boyfriend stage, engagement, and marriage follows.
Furthermore, this "testing phase" also helps a man who could be "torpe", a Filipino term for a suitor who is shy, "stupid", and feels cowardly, and is innocent and naïve in how to court a woman.
However, this type of admirer could overcome his shyness and naivety by asking for the help of a "tulay" (Filipino for "Bridge", whose role is similar to that of the Wingman in Western Cultures), typically a mutual friend of both the suitor and the admired, or a close friend of both families.
Dating couples are expected to be conservative and not perform public displays of affection for each other.
Traditionally, some courtship may last a number of years before the Filipino woman accepts her suitor as a boyfriend.
The suitor stops the courtship if he is quite sure that the woman does not reciprocate.