Posted by admin on May 31, 2012
What makes our Filipino wedding unique is our colorful and lively culture, be it influenced by the Spanish and American norm. Here emanates, the history of our wedding ceremony and reception.
With families and friends, a celebration on the day of wedding is a much awaited event being looked forward to. Nowadays, young couples, professionals with the financially capacity have risen up the bar in going about in the preparation and arrangement of their wedding.
Not too long ago parents of both the bride and the groom are responsible in the preparations and arrangements of the wedding ceremony in accordance to beliefs, customs and traditions of the region and province.
A majority are now availing the services of a wedding coordinator, a professional enterprise unheard of before. It is now a breeze going through the maze of the wedding details with professional supervision, a comfort to young couples that cannot squeeze in time into their tight schedules while working.
The skills in managing, preparing and arranging the ceremony by these enterprising coordinators come to fore to come up with a wedding ceremony and reception the couple desires and dreams about.
Nowadays, young couples are venturing in to the idea of originality, simplicity and practicality. And after a series of meetings these ideas are created into realities.
They now find that pleasures of a beautiful memory can still be achieved minus the extravagance attached to the wedding. To focus on the right concept and the purpose of matrimony is what is of utmost importance to them to which the coordinator adheres to strictly as much as possible.
A sage advice to young couple contemplating on marriage is never attempt to come up with a wedding ceremony and reception on a grand scale. The simpler the better.
What matters most at the end of the day is how two distinct and different personalities can be able to live and survive as one and eventually raise a family for the rest of their lives. This notion shall likewise be taken into one’s mind by a wedding coordinator.
The wedding coordinator can have a duality of roles in the lives of couples. They could serve as a butler with regards to the supervision of the marriage ceremony and reception and as marriage counselors in leading them to a happy and blissful married life.
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Let it be known to everyone, be it locals or foreigners, of whatever religious denomination, that the laws on marriage, are strictly applied, imposed and be complied with in the Philippines. Namely, these are the Family Code and the Civil Code of the Philippines. However, the Muslim law on marriage called the Shariah Law is applied to Muslim couples, only.
As reference, the following listed requisites are exact words as provided by law governing the exercise of matrimony.
- Legal capacity of the contracting parties must be a male and a female, 18 years old and above without any impediment to get married.
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A Filipino woman given much importance and significance in society. This is further emphasized in the tradition prior to the act of matrimony.
Our male ancestors during the pre-Hispanic era have the compulsory customary law of offering a dowry to the woman he so desires to marry. Unlike in some countries where tradition dictates that the bride brings a dowry to her husband at marriage.
The Spanish and American periods saw the practice of customs, namely, the “pamanhikan and panilbihan” for a husband in professing undying love and fortitude to the woman.
Pamanhikan is a term to describe a man seeking the woman’s father attention and approval to marry her daughter. It is a social meeting of both families with foods and drinks being served. Panilbihan is a term to describe the period of servitude by a man, conducting household chores in a woman’s house.
The proof of the burden in professing endearment to the woman he loves is on the shoulders of the man. Seeking among family members approval gives undue pressure, if one could imagine. But, sad to note, this is perhaps rarely or no longer a practice being performed by young couple nowadays.
A clear manifestation in honor of the family’s daughter bound to be wed is the lovely Filipino tradition called the “despedida de soltera.”
It’s a send off dinner party given days before the wedding. For daughters’ of every family, it is a fitting tribute of saying good-bye to a life of maidenhood and also a gesture of wishing her a blissful life towards the state of matrimony. It is also a way the family indicates their stamp of approval and their bestowal of blessings on her. Usually, it is a gathering of families, both of the bride and groom to know each other.
Come next is a social norm practice to also honor the bride to be that is not hosted by immediate family members is called the bridal shower. It is a party organized by close friends and held anywhere. The choice of venue is for the hostess to decide.
Never has feminism been placed aloft on a pedestal, as the foresaid events are aptly described. It set forth the respect and love for a woman days before her wedding.
The dignity of a woman, indeed, is worth mentioning and exacting in the formalities of marriage ever since. A defining moment for a bride…. Truly a woman of grandeur to exalt….
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Inherent to Philippine society and culture are rules and standards set out during the period of courtship that a suitor extends not only to the Filipino woman but to the family as well. Alongside with the manner that a Filipino woman undertakes during the period of courtship, is given insight.
However, these practices nowadays are a dime a few. So here goes, just to mention some, to reminisce the period before the onset of the twentieth century.
Filipino men are by nature romantics at heart in courting the woman they love. Recounting the stories as told by our grandfathers, a Filipino male suitor was not perceived to be aggressive and arrogant in the manner of courting.
Their expression of interest to a woman is shown in a subtle and mild manner way, to the point of even avoiding startling gestures to the woman they desire to be taken as offensive. Their expressions of interest to the woman are of many forms, such as, rendering love songs, poems, and letters of endearment and the bestowal of gifts.
In a rural setting, one delightful show of endearment is the practice of serenading the woman at night. This practice influenced and adopted by male Filipinos during the Spanish colonization is now a thing of the past.
The Filipino women not so long ago attributed character traits akin with the Maria Clara style of disposition. A testament to the influence of the Spanish colonization, the style of disposition is a description of the manner the Filipino woman exudes to be regarded as a conservative kind. The woman is a prize to catch the heart of a Filipino man, worthy to be taken as a wife. So to speak.
The following are some rules that a woman observes when courted.
They neither deny nor confirm their feelings towards the person. There are instances the woman will avoid the man just to test the persons’ fortitude. In summary, they subject the man to any imaginary ploy to playing hard to get, to test the strength of character.
The illustrations above are but some of the traditional courting practices that no longer are existent. Western cultural traditions have over taken and replaced the traditions once cherished by our grandparents. Even the woman with a Maria Clara style of disposition is now a rarity. So much so, if a man finds one at the moment, the woman certainly is a treasure to keep for a life time.