Posted by admin on June 16, 2012
Historical knowledge is vital to bring back awareness to a once civilized ancient wedding tradition, uniquely Filipino in nature. Let it not be said that we are copycats in our wedding rites, as influenced by Spanish and American culture. But due to the Spanish legacy the happy wedding times of our ancestors is now a thing of the past.
The following illustrates once upon a time the beauty of our pre-Hispanic wedding ceremony for everyone to recall.
With the dowry agreed upon, presented and offered by both families of the bride and groom, the next step is setting the date of the wedding. The wedding ceremony takes three days every with every member of the clan involved in the preparation.
On the first day, the bride and the groom are carried separately in a procession moving towards the “babaylan’s” (a high priest) house where the wedding rites take place. The priest joins their hands on a plate of raw rice and blesses them. This is followed by the start of feasting until the next day.
On the next day, the groom and bride are again before the priest and this time a blood compact is performed. With a thorn at hand pricks their chest to draw a little blood. He later joins their hands and bade them declaring thrice their love for each other. He then feeds them cooked rice from the same plate and makes them drink from the wooden cup of the blood drawn from both, mixed with a little water.
Binding their hands and neck together with a cord, he declares,” This man is now one with the woman. Let all of you be witnesses to this union.” Like the exchange of rings in a Christian ceremony, the couple then gave each other a jewel. This ritual called “talingbuhol”, signaled the completion of the wedding and the start of yet another round of wedding feasts anywhere from one to two weeks or for as long as the grooms largesse held out.
On the last day of feasting the bride, ceremoniously bathed by her godmothers and decked again in her wedding finery, is solemnly and finally delivered to her husband in their new home.
To the new generation of young couples, take heed, the customs our ancestors once performed and practiced deserves fond memory. Keeping in mind what our national hero, Dr Jose P Rizal, once said: “it is necessary to open the book that tells the story of the past.” Knowing the past is akin to knowing our identity, as a Filipino.