Batangas Wedding Tradition

In one of my visit in Batangas, I was fortunate enough to have witness and experience a wedding tradition in Barrio Laguile in the town of Taal. The marriage practice among the villagers of Batangas is very distinctive.

According to the parents of the couple, the pair together with the members of the family has a lot of beliefs that they should do before and after the wedding. This significant marriage rite reflects the Batangas family tradition from their ancestors. For them, the wedding day should be treasured and remembered forever.

It all starts with the bulungan, where the groom together with his parents makes a social call with the bride’s family and asks for her hand in marriage. During the visit, all wedding plans are arrange including the date, the principal sponsors, secondary sponsors, budget and guests to be invited. The groom shoulders all the cost of the wedding expenses.

During the bulungan, it is a tradition in Batangas that the groom provides food and drinks for the family of the bride and his entourage. With the get-together, both parties get to know more of each other.

And for the groom, it is a practice in Batangas to provide assistance to the bride’s family, usually the groom has to run errands and services in the bride’s house. This wedding tradition is often referred as paninilbihan.

It is a custom in Batangas to hold the wedding celebration at the bride’s residence. At noontime, before the wedding day, the groom’s entourage starts to walk in, at the bride’s house. Everything needed for the celebration from live cows, pigs, chickens; vegetables and rice, including the condiments and cutlery are brought at the bride’s house.

The start of the celebration begins at the eve of the wedding, which is commonly referred as bisperas. During the bisperas celebration the bride and the groom will have their first dance wherein the guest pins paper money on their cloths for prosperity and good luck. After which the guest can join and dance until the wee hours of the morning.

The church wedding rituals follows the next day and normally held at 8 or 9 AM. Traditionally the bride wears an all-white wedding gown and the groom is clad in barong tagalog. The wedding rituals usually take more than an hour to finish.

Arnold & Myra's Wedding at Basilica de San Martin de Tours, Taal Batangas.

Now that the couple has Gods blessing, they go straight to the bride’s residence for the big celebration. Before entering the house, the couples are asked to eat a snack called kalamay and have wine drink for a long lasting marriage. Subsequently they are asked to look for the coins in the winnowing basket full of uncooked rice and flowers, for the couples to have good fortune.

Myra & Arnold look for coins in winnowing basket.

The feast starts with everybody taking and sharing of food and drinks until every guest is full and satisfied. This is the time wherein relatives and friends of both parties meet and get to know more of each other.

During the reception, wedding tradition such as releasing of a pair of white doves is done to symbolize harmonious marriage. Then the sabugan follows, wherein guests and relatives present their wedding gifts to the new pair. Money is usually given as a present to enable the new couple to start with in their new family life.

After the reception the newly weds prepares for lipatan. The wedding tradition requires both to transfer at the groom’s residence. All things used in the wedding are packed and cleaned.

At the groom’s residence, before entering the house, the newly weds are again asked to eat the kalamay snack. And guess what’s next?

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