Like in most countries, wedding traditions in the Philippines can be eccentric. From throwing rice on the newlyweds to pinning money on the couple’s clothes as they dance, it’s safe to say that weddings in the Philippines can be memorable and a lot fun, especially for those who are witnessing it for the first time.
Filipinos are known for celebrating even the tiniest of victories; so an event as grand as a wedding calls for an even bigger celebration. Immediate and extended family members are expected to arrive; neighbors, distant relatives and colleagues are also very much welcome to join. The bride and groom’s love is not the only thing that’s celebrated in a wedding, traditions and family are also highly regarded by the celebrators.
Aside from the usual party, weddings are also attended by Principal and Secondary Sponsors who play an active role during the wedding celebration and are regarded as very special guests. Principal Sponsors are picked by the couple to give them their guidance and wisdom during their marriage.Couples invite these people because they admire and respect them. These are usually the aunts, uncles and close friends of the couple.
Secondary Sponsors also play a special role as they are tasked to carry out some traditional activities during the ceremony. The cord sponsor, for example, is in charge of putting the cord on the couple as a sign of unity.
With the Philippines being a largely Catholic nation, there are many symbols used in weddings that contain religious meanings. For example, a white veil used to shroud the couple is meant as a symbol for God’s presence in the ceremony and their lives. Another symbolic relic are the coins or arras which are meant to signify mutual dedication to take care of their future life together with God’s blessing.
There are also wacky superstitions that make Philippine weddings such unique events. In the Philippines, couples pray for a rainy day during their wedding as this is taken as a sign of prosperity in their life as a married couple. Filipinos also believe that siblings must not hold their marriage in the same year as this will bring great misfortune to the family.
Weddings are beautiful. Yes, some may feel stressed and overwhelmed especially during planning but once you see the couple share that beautiful connection in front of good friends and family, you will feel how truly special the day is.
By AYEZA KAMILLE MALLARI, ASEAN Correspondent from Philippines