Thursday, October 19, 2017



title pic Pamamanhikan: Between Engagements and Weddings

Posted by admin on July 9, 2012

In the western culture, when a guy pops up the “will you marry me?” question and the girl says “yes”, wedding plans soon rolls out. But in the Philippines where people have strong family ties and great respect for the family’s opinions, before even reaching the step one of planning the wedding, the guy almost usually need to seek the approval of the girl’s family first thus the “pamamanhikan”.

Pamamanhikan is nothing like the “meet the parents” set-up since most Filipino women introduces the guys they are dating even before they officially become a couple. The Filipino family is very strict and protective of the girls in the family that’s why from the start; they expect the guys courting to have the courage and respect to introduce themselves and their intentions towards the girl.

Pamamanhikan is when the guy together with his family (parents and siblings) visits the home of the girl, to formally announce his intention to marry the girl in front of his family. Sometimes, the pamamanhikan affair may also be done outside like in a reserved venue or restaurant. The guy would invite the rest of the important family members and make the announcement there. Once the family accepts, the wedding’s important details are settled at this point and become a family decision instead of the couple’s alone. These are common situations seen in Filipino weddings or any other important events in one’s life: any preparation and decision always becomes a family affair.

Another traditional practice is the gift giving. The guy’s family usually brings something for the girl’s family as a gift in exchange of their approval. The practice is almost similar to the dowry practice in some cultures.

At this point, a guy’s great relationship with the girl’s family prior to the announcement would come in handy. Since it would be a great foundation for a smooth sailing wedding preparation and married life.

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title pic The Filipino Pre-Wedding Rituals

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.

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