Asia is the leader of digital and mobile culture and the Philippines: the world’s texting capital. This paper provides an overview of my anthropological fieldwork and explores the intricate relationship between different types of love—platonic, familial, romantic, erotic, secretive, humanitarian and religious—and cell phone use. Platonic Love is explored by examining the way friendship networks are bolstered through continual text and Familial Love is investigated in light of the national economic situation, characterized by high relocation and migration overseas, whereby texting enables fractured families to maintain social cohesion, despite geographic division. When looking at Romantic Love, I discuss the cell phone as a medium to woo and demonstrate that the mobile phone supplies young people with an avenue to express their curiosities and desires where hitherto they would be more tightly bound to traditional courtship and gender rules. I then explore how cell phone communication aids sexual play, innuendo and can act to deepen intimate relationships: Erotic Love. Conversely, I look the cell phone’s role in enhancing partner infidelity, linking this to wider cross-cultural findings.
I turn briefly to discuss Humanitarian Love, and the role of the cell phone in the overthrowing Filipino president Joseph Estrada. Lastly I discuss Religious Love: the exchange of religious-coded texts among social groups and commercial markets whereby Filipinos are encouraged to “text god.”