Posted by admin on July 7, 2012
No matter how modern a Filipino is, one way or another they still go through with the traditional pre-wedding rituals as practiced by the forefathers. The only difference is, the couple may not follow the same steps or even skip some rituals that they feel may be unnecessary.
Unlike the western counterpart, Filipinos do not dive in to the actual popping of question spontaneously. Filipinos like to propose a plan first; dropping in a few hints here and there to check if the woman does want to get married. For Filipinos, doing a little background check and finding out how the woman’s thought of marriage first is better than unexpectedly popping the question.
Then when the guy feels more at ease that the woman would likely marry him; then there goes the giving of the ring. If the woman accepts (which is most likely since the guy already did the prior check), then a “pamamanhikan” shall be arranged. The “pamamanhikan” is the formal meeting of the two families to discuss the intention of the man, and the details of the wedding (if the woman’s family agrees with the plan). Such event can be stressful for couples since Filipinos are family-oriented individuals and thus, the family’s thought on the marriage is always important.
Although traditionally, the guy’s “paninilbihan” or laboring for the woman’s family’s approval is done after the “pamamanhikan”, today such laboring is done prior to the first step. The guy usually labors for the family’s approval even at the point of dating so that when such event comes; it would be easier to deal with. And the woman’s family would less likely to disagree when the “pamamanhikan” happens.
If the immediate family already settles with the wedding details; couples are also expected to announce personally the plan to the elderly extended family (the grandparents and if possible, the relatives in the provinces or abroad). Although it’s not as formal as the “pamamanhikan” it is still an important ritual that couples do practice until now.
Finally, when everything else is settled, it’s time to meet the priest. The priest explains the duties and responsibilities of the couple as they venture into the married life. He may also assess if the couple is ready for such big leap and would offer spiritual guidance as well. It is also a pre-requisite that a couple confesses and come clean before the actual wedding as part of the wedding requirement of the church.