Philippine Wedding, Traditions and Customs

Learn a bit more about how Philippine weddings are conducted…

Pamanhikan or ask the girl’s parents for her hand

Pamanhikan is a tradition where the groom and his parents visit the bride’s family to formally ask for her hand and to discuss plans for the upcoming wedding over lunch or dinner. It is customary that the the visiting family bring a gift (often, the mother’s best home-cooked specialty) for the hosts. Pamanhikan can be a really uneasy situation if it’s the first time for both sets of parents to meet.

The wedding outfits

Brides wear a white wedding dress that has become popular in the last hundred years or so with America’s influence in the Philippines. For men, the barong tagalog is the traditional Filipino formal wear. It is a cool, almost transparent, embroidered shirt, made from silky pina or jusi. It is worn untucked, over black pants, with a white t-shirt underneath.

The ceremony in Philippine weddings

The veil sponsors place a ceremonial veil over the groom’s shoulders and the bride’s head. This symbolizes the unity of the two families into one; it is also a prayer for health and protection during their married life.

The bride cups her hands under the groom’s cupped hands, the priest dribbles thirteen silver coins into the groom’s open palms. The trickling of the arrhae or arrets or arras (from the Spanish word Arras, “earnest money”) is “… a sign of fidelity bestowed irrevocably” and completes the marriage contract.

The Candles lit by the candle sponsors, is a call for enlightenment, a reminder of God’s presence in the ceremony.

A silken cord or coins, which the cord sponsors entwines loosely around the necks of both bride and groom in the form of a figure of eight. The cord symbolizes the infinity of the bond of marriage, a union that lasts a lifetime. The cord ceremony concludes the rituals in Philippine weddings.

Buddy Gancenia is a Corporate and Training video producer in the Philippines.

  • catering

    Excellent entry! I’ve been looking for topics as interesting as this. Thanks for sharing those information!Looking forward to your next post..

  • Anonymous

    very inspiring article some makes us reminisce because some traditions like the “pamamanhikan” are not being done for this modern times.
    great post though.

  • Leinar14

    these are great information, very well said, articles like these is very useful.

  • Leinar14

    these are great information, very well said, articles like these is very useful.

  • Leinar14

    these are great information, very well said, articles like these is very useful.

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