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Swipe Right for Love

By Lorna Zaragosa

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Valentine’s Day is a big deal for every Filipino. With this occasion just around the corner, establishments will be filled with different gifts such as flowers, balloons, and chocolates. Busy streets will once again hit by lovestruck couples “flexing” their feelings by wearing matching statement shirts, waving around their bouquet of flowers in Luneta Park, watching dancing fountains while Juan Karlos Labajo’s “Buwan” plays in the background.

Meanwhile, those who are still on the lookout for a new romance might just go riding the single train and treat the occasion just like any other day. But don’t lose hope, now is the perfect time to get yourself out there and go for that “one big catch” using online dating apps.

Just by making little taps and swipes on a smartphone, people of all genders can now easily start searching for a casual date or a serious relationship.

You might be wondering if you’ll ever meet the love of your life or you’re only wasting time by making multiple accounts on these dating platforms. Well, there have been success stories of people who found love in these dating apps. These couples have eventually settled down and built a family of their own. With the help of these apps and one bullseye hit from Cupid’s arrow, you might just soon bump into your perfect match.

To guide you through your online dating journey, here’s a roundup of some of the best online dating apps you should give space for in your smartphone.




Back in the old days, the traditional dalagang (maiden) Filipina is expected by society to act like Maria Clara—quiet, prim and proper, reserved, demure, and ladylike, especially when around men. A dalagang Filipina back then was very shy and secretive about her real feelings toward someone.

But times are changing, and women are no longer abiding to society’s expectations.

The modern Filipina knows what she wants. She feels truly empowered in getting the things she dreams of, and that includes making the first move on a man she is interested in.

Bumble changed the archaic rules of dating by allowing the “queen bee,” or any of its female app users, the power to initiate chatting in heterosexual matches. This feature, where the queen bees can send out the first message to the male app users, was obviously created to inspire more women to be bold enough to make the first move. In this app, the queen bees are the one in control of the conversation. Aside from avoiding unwanted messages and attention from the male app users, the women in this app get to form valuable relationships in a respectful way.

To those who are not interested in dating at all, you may switch the app from Bumble Date to Bumble BFF mode, and find friends (of the same sex) in your area. There’s also the Bumble Bizz, where users are allowed to network, meet new mentors, and provide job opportunities. At the moment, Bumble has 80 million registered users worldwide.

How it works


Users may register a Bumble account via Facebook, create a profile of themselves with pictures, and swipe through potential matches. Swipe to the left if you’re not keen of the person on the phone screen, and on to the right to like a profile.



Match. Chat. Date, it’s as easy as it sounds. Tinder is probably the easiest dating app to get your hands on as it has a simple interface that lets you go through profiles you’re interested in, and allows you to chat online with your matches. From there, you can choose when to step away from your phone to meet your match in real life, and see where the sparks would take you.

Referred to as “the world’s hottest app” for a reason, Tinder is like a powerful flint for making sparks for more than 26 million matches every day. It is currently the world’s most popular app for meeting new people, with about 57 million users worldwide. Just like Bumble and OkCupid, you also have to swipe right to like someone’s profile, swipe left to pass, and swipe up to use your Super Like feature.


Tinder gave the history of romance a new face when it was launched to smartphone users back in 2013. More dating apps followed suit shortly thereafter and became mainstream, but Tinder is at the top of its game for reinventing the concept of old-school dating. In the past, Filipinos would observe traditional courtship practices, including harana (serenade), where men would express their admiration for a woman by serenading her outside her window at night. Now, both male and female users on Tinder can share their feelings with their potential matches through their favorite songs, by linking their Spotify account to their Tinder profiles.

How it works

You may log in to the Tinder app or website using your Facebook account. From here on, you will meet fellow Tinder users who live nearby. As you skim through their profiles, you also get to see if you have mutual friends and the same interests with them. You may either tap the heart button or swipe to the right if you’re interested, or you can swipe to the left if you feel otherwise. If you and another potential match swiped right on one another, a notification will appear informing you that you’ve matched and that you can now send them a message.



If you’re the kind of person who would like to know more about their potential date online before meeting them in real life, OkCupid is the perfect dating app for you. OkCupid creators, find it important that you get to show your true self beyond a photo, and that you get to make fun, real interactions with the other app users. Because for them, great connections make great dates.

In this app, there are personality quizzes where you can share your own views on life, politics, religion, sexual practices, your own lifestyle choices, as well as your personal interests. OkCupid acts like a wingman and introduces you to potential matches who are compatible with you based on your likes and dislikes, your personality, and the things that matter to you most.

This app is also all inclusive and doesn’t discriminate, so whether you’re gay, lesbian, nonbinary, or feel like you don’t fit into any one label, OkCupid can help you find your ideal mate, no matter your gender or orientation.


How it works

Since OkCupid is available on desktop and mobile devices, you may download the app or visit to get started. Just like other online dating services, you may choose to sign up by providing an email address or by linking it to your Facebook account. Once you have signed up, you will be sharing tidbits about yourself by answering a couple of prompts on the app to give your potential matches an idea about you. Once you’re done with the profile setup, it’s time to start liking other daters and see whose profiles you match with.

Just like most dating apps out there, OkCupid works on a mutual-like system, wherein you can only exchange messages with another app user if you have both liked each other’s profile. Registered users may send out messages to you even if you haven’t swiped right on them, but you will only get to read and reply to their messages if you have liked their profile. Once you have matched with someone, take the chance and start chatting. If you feel like you hit it off with your match, then ask him or her to meet and go on a date with you. Let Cupid do the rest.



In the old times, Filipino men showed their sincerity and true feelings for the woman they adored through “paninilbihan,” or servitude. He has to win the approval of the woman’s parents by performing certain traditional chores for her family,
such as pouting rice grains, chopping firewood for cooking purposes, and fetching water from the well. Back then, it would take so much effort from the men to win the love of which they were in pursuit.

Now, the only approval that you need in order to get a date is getting your account approved on Badoo. There is only minimal effort required from you and that is to follow the app’s strict three-step verification process, which allows you to interact with other verified profiles.

With about 400,000 new members signing up on a daily basis from more than 190 different countries, there are thousands of success stories from couples who have met on this dating app. Badoo came up with a variety of ways to help you find interesting daters—you may either browse profiles from those in your area, or you can go for the usual mutual-like swiping system.


How it works:

To get started, you may either download the app or, if you want to save space on your phone, you may also access Badoo through its mobile website, Once you have registered an account, you may now start chatting with new friends.

Badoo boasts of a lot of features on how you can choose and interact with your matches. You can tap the “People Nearby” feature, and see all the Badoo users closest to your location. There’s also the “Encounters” game where you can swipe left or right to accept or decline any users in the app. Just click X to decline, or press the heart to accept. Once you have matched with another user, you will both appear in each other’s mutual list. You may now have a back-and-forth conversation with them and get to exchange photos.


Back in the day, Leonor “Orang” Valenzuela had to apply heat to Jose Rizal’s love letters by passing it over a candle or a lamp. This was how she could read the secret messages he wrote in invisible ink, made with salt and water. This laborious way of reading messages is now just a thing of the past. This time around, with the Grindr app, you can initiate chat with them by tapping the messaging icon on their profiles. You may also exchange private photos with other app users.

Grindr is a geo-targeting hookup app that allows gay, bisexual, trans, and queer persons to meetup with likeminded people in their area. It’s the largest LGBTQ+ dating site in the world with more than six million subscribed users, so rest assured that there’ll be no shortage of potential partners in this app. It’s not your usual dating app, since its users can be very straightforward, where they ask other members about their sexual experiences rather than how they’ve spent their weekend.

How it works 
You may sign up for an account, create your profile, answer a few questions, and choose from 12 different “tribes” of men that describe your preference—from age range and body type to personal interests. From here on, you can filter your search and find who you want to meet. Since there are large and high-quality photos of users in the app, you’ll get a good idea of how they look and who you’ll be meeting with. You’ll also see men listed in order of proximity, and you can choose to turn off your location, but other app users leave theirs on.

Now that you have an idea how all these dating apps work, it’s time to bless these apps with your presence. Dive into the dating waters, enjoy your swim, and, who knows, you might just find the man or woman of your dreams—the one whom you can imagine slow dancing with to Apo Hiking Society’s “Kahit Maputi na Ang Buhok Ko.”

Source: Manila Bulletin

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