May 29, 2016

Wedding Traditions in the Philippines

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  • Filipinos are usually big on weddings. Being predominantly Catholic in nature and accustomed to old-school traditions, you can see Filipino culture on weddings. Weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime event that people usually wait for, which is why it’s really meticulously prepared for. To see why Filipino wedding traditions are a cut above the rest, Primer lists five that tell things about Filipino wedding culture.




    1. Pamamanhikan

    There’s no exact translation as to what pamamanhikan means in English, but it can be roughly translated to “asking for the girl’s parents’ permission.” It’s usually done before the wedding, where the family of the groom-to-be visits the house of the bride-to-be to speak of the marriage intentions. It’s also a way of gaining approval to plan the wedding. This is the part where arrangements and seeking of blessings are being made. Pamamanhikan is also a way of honoring and respecting each other’s parents.

    2. despedida de soltera/Stag party

    Despedida de soltera is a lovely tradition which means “farewell to singlehood.” It’s usually a sendoff party where the friends or family of the bride-to-be usually a night before the wedding. Before, it used to be only a rehearsal dinner, but in this modern time, games and other special segments are held during the party. Its equivalent for the groom-to-be is the bachelor or stag party. It is usually planned by the best man, which celebrated the “last day of freedom” of the groom. The party is also restricted to men only.

    3. Money dance

    During the wedding, a ceremonial first dance is being done led by the newlyweds. While they are dancing, guests usually tape or pin paper bills on their clothes. This money dance is also a way for guests to give a little extra cash to the newlyweds which can help in setting up for their housekeeping.

    4. Throwing of rice grains

    The throwing of rice grains is said to be a way of giving luck to the newlyweds. This is also done to wish prosperity and happiness to the groom and bride’s life together. Some would say that the tradition of throwing rice grains also represents fertility and abundance for the newlyweds to bear children in the future.

    5. Reception

    Ahh, Filipinos always love to eat. After the wedding proper, the much-awaited reception is next. It’s where those who can’t come to the wedding get to attend. The reception is usually buffet-style, and the dishes served would usually star the famous lechon and other dishes perfect for group dining. Mini segments are also held such as the greetings of family and friends for the newlyweds, and some also have games in store for the reception program.

    Do you know other Filipino wedding traditions you can share? Comment below!

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