Filipino Wedding Traditions By Rafi Michael

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  1. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Darth Vindicatus Supporting Member

    Filipino Wedding Traditions By Rafi Michael

    The Engagement

    After the couple has decided to marry, the first order of
    business is the pamanhikan, where the groom and his parents
    visit the bride's family to ask for her hand in marriage.
    Wedding plans are often made at this time, including a
    discussion of the budget and guest list. Don't be surprised if
    the groom-to-be is expected to run some errands or help out
    around the bride's house. This tradition is called paninilbihan,
    where the suitor renders service to his future wife's family to
    gain their approval.

    The Wedding Outfits

    The white wedding dress has become popular in the last hundred
    years or so with America's influence in the Philippines. Before
    that, brides wore their best dress, in a festive color or even
    stylish black, to celebrate a wedding. Orange blossom bouquets
    and adornments were a must during the turn of the last century.
    For men, the barong tagalog is the traditional Filipino formal

    It is a cool, almost transparent, embroidered shirt, made from
    silky pina or jusi, two native ecru fabrics. It is worn
    untucked, over black pants, with a white t-shirt underneath.
    These days, a Filipino groom might wear the conventional black
    tux, but Filipino male wedding guests will usually show up in
    their finest barongs.

    The Ceremony

    In pre-colonial days, a wedding ceremony lasted three days. On
    the first day, the bride and groom were brought to the house of
    a priest or babaylan, who joined their hands over a plate of raw
    rice and blessed the couple. On the third day, the priest
    pricked the chests of both bride and groom and drew a little
    blood. Joining their hands, they declared their love for each
    other three times. The priest then fed them cooked rice from the
    same plate and gave them a drink of some of their blood mixed
    with water. Binding their hands and necks with a cord, he
    declared them married. The majority of Filipino weddings are now
    Catholic weddings, but some native traditions remain. Most have
    special "sponsors" who act as witnesses to the marriage. The
    principal sponsors could be godparents, counselors, a favorite
    uncle and aunt, even a parent. Secondary sponsors handle special
    parts of the ceremony, such as the candle, cord and veil
    ceremonies. Candle sponsors light two candles, which the bride
    and groom use to light a single candle to symbolize the joining
    of the two families and to invoke the light of Christ in their
    married life. Veil sponsors place a white veil over the bride's
    head and the groom's shoulders, a symbol of two people clothed
    as one. Cord sponsors drape the yugal (a decorative silk cord)
    in a figure-eight shape--to symbolize everlasting fidelity--over
    the shoulders of the bride and groom. The groom gives the bride
    13 coins, or arrhae, blessed by the priest, as a sign of his
    dedication to his wife's well-being and the welfare of their
    future children.

    The Food

    The Filipino wedding feast is elaborate. One feast celebrated
    at the turn of the last century involved these foods: First was
    served cold vermicelli soup. The soup was followed by meats of
    unlimited quantity--stewed goat, chicken minced with garlic,
    boiled ham, stuffed capon, roast pork and several kinds of fish.
    There were no salads, but plenty of relishes, including red
    peppers, olives, green mango pickles and crystallized fruits.
    For dessert, there were meringues, baked custard flan, coconut
    macaroons and sweetened seeds of the nipa plant.

    About the Author: Rafi Michael Babylon Productions Wedding
    Center Wedding Photography & Video Productions Toronto we
    specialize in individually tailored Wedding Photography, Videos
    and DVD's, offering an experienced, highly professional and
    affordable service. Vist: ( )


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