Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Around The World In 15 (Speed) Dates

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Welcome to the wedding month of June! We're not gonna talk about bouquets, bridal gowns or honeymoon destinations today. Let's step back a bit and make June an extension of the Valentine's Month as we discuss about... speed dating.

You probably think no one does speed dating today after it has gained social approval here in the Philippines about a decade ago. I was invited by Telu Events, one of speed dating organizers in Manila, to prove this wrong. I'm not really sure what to expect but I was excited nevertheless while I was on my way to the venue in Cab Cafe (East Capitol Drive, Pasig City) last Saturday.

I was preparing myself to see a very romantic venue adorned with Rose petals and with lighted candles on tables in a room infused with music by a violinist or a pianist. When I reached the venue, I found my expectations too traditional. Yes, there were candles and petals but the full-packed room of 30 participants, 15 girls and 15 guys, can be likened to a classroom of excited college freshmen. Everyone was talking!

Not that it wasn't romantic. The organizers thought that dimming the lights will help create the love ambiance but with the 5-minute time limit, I guess no one really cared about the venue. "We're here to meet people," says Ana, not her true name and one of the participants. "Sometimes, people have this shallow idea about speed dating. They think we're here to get ourselves instant boyfriends. That's an objective, yes, but that's not entirely it. We're also here to make friends and to meet people to talk to," she added.

Before I could raise another question to Ana, the bell rang and the emcee announced that the second part of the "dating proper" is about to begin. In this speed dating event, each lady participant is assigned to a table while the males visit each one of them. Each "engagement" is timed for 5 minutes. As soon as the bell rings, the males need to transfer to another table.

"Rule number 1: No exchanging of contact details yet. You sit down, introduce your name, ask questions and exchange smiles for 5 minutes. When the bell rings, you move on to the next table. On a piece of paper, a passport in this case, you write YES or NO. If both of you said yes, the organizers will give the girl's contact info to the guy. Now, that's a good way to spend your Saturday."

That night, the theme was "Around the World in 15 Dates". The females were assigned with different countries. All participants were given "passports" with the complete list of their dates' names. After the short talk, they noted either "Yes" or "No" on the passports to indicate if they liked or disliked the person they just had a conversation with.

Questions are free-flowing but the golden rule is mobile numbers, email addresses and social media aliases are not allowed yet during this part of the event. Telu Events emphasize that participants may wish to exchange personal information after the event to their discretion. The organizers will only actively provide the lady's contact details to the male if both of them are mutual in writing '"Yes" on their passports.

For Beth, also one of the female participants, speed dating is a more secure way of finding romance. For someone like her who had an unpleasant experience in doing instant meet-ups or "eye balls" with some people she met in social media, speed dating is a better option. Although according to Luis, also one of the participants, the downside of speed dates is the inability to pre-screen. "We don't know who the participants are until tonight. We don't have any idea how they look like and what they're like. There's a big risk that you're not gonna like someone although I'd love to think that's part of the thrill," he narrated.

Telu Events organizes speed dates once a month as much as possible. They seek for a registration fee of PhP900 per participant which will already include the dinner, prizes for the games and the special awards and some giveaways. They are planning for the next speed date event on July. If you're interested, you can check the details on Telu Events' Facebook page here:

You could meet your future partner in speed dating. This could be your ticket to being a June bride or groom. But just like life in general, be open to other possibilities. Listening to different stories from some of the speed daters and the organizers, it's very likely that a speed date can give you a friend who you can talk to about anything under the sun and around the world.

Contributed by Mark Joseph de Leon

Mark is a graduate of Development Communication with Majors in Journalism at the Visayas State University, is a writer by profession and a dreamer by heart. You can contact him at or 0917-379-6837.

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  1. Speed Dating is fun!

  2. Certainly in Philippines there are many beautiful girls. But you can find yourself a decent bride from Russia enough to visit their website. Order a bride by mail for a happy family life. I wish all men success and good luck in finding the woman they love.

  3. I haven't met anyone for a long time and I would like to change that. What's the best way to meet and start a relationship now?

    1. Hey! I would say that it depends on how well you know how to meet on the Internet, and on the choice of dating site. To find a good one and improve your chances, I recommend you take a look at as it's probably the best resource I know of. This is really the best place to start chatting online and start dating.

  4. This topic is reasonable because it is almost impossible to live without love for everyone. A dear friend of mine recommended me to do it where it's impossible to find a nice girl for you. Visit this site only and make sure how much it can help. There you will be able to find information about what you need to do before visiting dating sites. Good luck.

  5. Building a family is the most important stage in the life of every person. I like dating sites because it is very interesting, and you can meet a girl on the Internet. I like to look at the real mail order bride sites, because here you can read about different dating sites and find someone, who will be interesting to you. Do you often meet on the Internet?

  6. I find this post really alarming, well even if internet scams are already known, because of the thought that cybercriminals even take advantage of this celebration. Also, this article is helpful because cybercriminals may use these techniques to fool other people even if it is not Valentine's Day anymore.

  7. Finding a lifelong partner can be easy. But I know women who are passionate about it. I'm not sure if it's exactly like the books say. I myself prefer to search for a partner on You can search member profiles based on your preferences. This makes it much easier to get the results you want.


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