The Philippines has a rich tradition with regards to courtship. In old days, men court their maidens through songs, poems, and letters. Women are not allowed to entertain men outside the house. They must court the women inside the house. Women cannot go to a date without a chaperone. I have a lot of first-hand stories from my mom. You won’t believe that most parents still practice this today. Most of the Filipino parents are still strict today.
Filipinos have close family ties. Women live with their family as long as they are single. It was also the case for me. We also support our parents and look after them until they pass away. Family’s blessing and approval are also important to us, especially in marriage.
Pamamanhikan is one of the old traditions that is still practiced in this modern era. In Pamamanhikan, the man together with his parents goes to the house of her woman to asks her parents for her hand in marriage. It is a sign of respect.
Last May 2017, my husband and my sister’s boyfriend asked for our hands in marriage the same day! My sister’s pamamanhikan was in the morning, and mine was in the afternoon.
For my sister’s pamamanhikan, both families agreed to do it in a restaurant in Balinsasayaw, Tagaytay. We shed lots of happy tears as each member of my family gave his/her blessing. We had sumptuous lunch, nice conversation, and lots of photos!
It was my husband’s turn to ask for blessing in the afternoon. We went to another place to meet our godparents. Godparents are like the second parents of the couple. In the Philippines, we choose godparents to witness the wedding ceremony. It was funny because I didn’t rehearse my husband of what to say to my mom and he was very nervous, he didn’t know what to say. When he finally asked, my mom immediately said “Yes!” and we all laughed. Here is a video clip and a picture.
All in all, it was a happy day!