My cousin sent me text messages today telling me that he’s on his way to the town of his girlfriend. He’s about to ask her parents for her hand, as what we call it. In the Philippines, the tradition of asking the girl’s parent’s permission to get married, still exist. In the northern part of the Philippines, it is known as “Pamamanhikan”. In the city where I came from, we call it “Pamalaye”.
It is a man’s way of showing his respect and true intentions as well as the couple’s manifestation of respect to both of their families. It shows Filipino’s value for family, as what is taught in school that the number 1 unit in society is family. The family of the bride ask for assurance that their daughter will be well taken cared for. The guy is usually accompanied with his own folks and family. It is a way of saying that their son wants to marry the daughter of the other famiy involved.
In my cousin’s case, since his immediate family lives far away, our uncle is the one representing instead. In this event, the guy and his family would bring foods and other goods enough for his and her family to partake. It is also in this event that the wedding arrangements are discussed, as to when the wedding date would be, the venue of the ceremony and the reception, the cost, the estimated number of guests and entourage, among other things that pertain to the wedding. This is usually the official meeting of both families. After such event, making the necessary arrangements would start.
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