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20th December 2014, 10:23
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Filipinos are known for being superstitious and traditional, and in every season and occasion, there is always a bunch of traditions and customs that are being followed or observed. Like many occasions, a wedding is one event that follows many traditions. These traditions were mostly influenced by the Spanish and Americans, since they both colonized the Philippines, but there were also some customary practices before the Spaniards came to the Philippines.

Filipinos are known to be very family oriented and a wedding means not only uniting two persons, but a union of two families. That is why one of the most popular wedding traditions in the Philippines that is still observed today is pamamanhikan or parental marriage proposal, where the parents of the groom visits the bride’s parents to formally ask them for their approval in the wedding, this is to show the groom’s sincerity and his family’s warm welcome for his wife-to-be. After the pamamanhikan takes place, that is the time that the couple is officially engaged.

The most common pre-colonial Filipino wedding traditions are servitude and dowry. Servitude or paninilbihan is a tradition where the groom-to-be stays at his fiancee’s house and does household chores, such as fetching water, chopping firewood, doing carpentry repairs or helping on a farm. Giving dowry is a custom influenced by Arabs where the bride’s father asks the groom for a certain amount of gifts before giving his approval of the wedding. This tradition is still observed in Mindanao, a Muslim region in the Philippines.

In an old Filipino tradition, the groom or its family must pay the full wedding expenses, including the bride’s wedding dress as to show that he is capable of building a family of his own. Also, as a part of the wedding ceremony, the groom will offer the bride an arrhae or coins as a symbol that he will be providing for her needs and the needs of their children to be.

Other traditions are practiced because they carry some beliefs like; the throwing of grains on the newlywed will bring abundance on their marriage, trying on of a wedding gown will encourage a wedding cancellation and a wedding couple must not see each other on their way to the church as it will bring them bad luck.

Some of these traditions are still observed today, but since not most Filipinos are conventional, some couples tend to forget it and opt for the practical modern ways.

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