December 02, 2017

Expats’ Guide to Pamamanhikan

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  • In Filipino culture, lovers would go through a lot of stages before actually calling it official. There’s the panliligaw or courtship stage, the harana or serenading, the old-fashioned love letters, and many other things that will make you feel all gooey and helplessly in love. Then, after all this, there’s pamamanhikan.

    Once a couple decides to tie the knot, traditionally, pamamanhikan is done by the man and his family to formally ask the woman’s family for her hand in marriage. Old-fashioned as it is, pamamanhikan is a tradition that helps bring the couple’s families closer, which is especially important in a very family-oriented society like the Philippines.

    If you’re marrying a Filipino woman and thinking of a way to bring her a surge of butterflies and at the same time win her family over, show your sincerity by doing it the old-fashioned way! To give you an idea, here’s what usually happens during the pamamanhikan stage.

    Offering gifts

    Pamamanhikan is usually done in the evening or at dinnertime. The man takes his parents with him and visits the woman’s home. To make good impressions, the man brings some gifts, usually food and drinks, for the woman and her family.

    Discussing marriage plans

    Pamamanhikan is also the time for you and your fiancee to share your plans with the whole family. Hear everyone out when they give suggestions. By doing this, the two families, especially the parents, feel involved and more supportive of your plans.

    Listening to the old folks’ advice

    The man and the woman’s parents would certainly have a lot of wisdom to share with regard to marriage. Listen to them sincerely and, although you may not agree with everything, let them know that you appreciate their advice.

    Bonding with the future in-laws

    When you get married, you will then be a part of a bigger family. Pamamanhikan is the perfect time for you and your partner to get to know your future in-laws and strengthen your relationship with them.

    Have you tried pamamanhikan? Share with us your experience in the comments below!


    Written by Rizelle “Rei” Leaño

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