Around The World In 15 (Speed) Dates

5:07 AM

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.

speed dating in manila by telu events

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.

speed dating in manila by telu events

speed dating in manila by telu events

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. 

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. 

speed dating in manila by telu events

speed dating in manila by telu events

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. 

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