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Pamamanhikan: A Filipino Wedding Tradition

Publish On 2016-04-19 , 11:05 AM


After you have proposed to your future wife it is time to talk to her parents. One Filipino tradition we cannot do without is the Pamamanhikan. The Pamamanhikan is simple and yet very meaningful. It is where the groom’s family go to the bride’s home and bring a lot of food, usually native delicacies from their province or barangay.

If the groom’s family is well off they usually bring expensive gifts for their future in-laws, this is normally in the form of jewelry…maybe a nice watch for the groom’s father and a pair of ear rings for the groom’s mother…and for the future bride it usually comes in the form of a bracelet or a necklace. In Filipino culture it is considered right to bring something when you visit someone’s house and it would be rude not to.

The groom’s family then asks the bride’s family for her hand in marriage. This after all means when you marry my son you will symbolically marry his whole family. Now a days the pamamanhikan is purely symbolic. Although the ones mentioned above like bringing food and small gifts still plays a huge part in the modern pamamanhikan, now it is purely to discuss wedding details. Set the date, the theme, the location etc…

A Pamamanhikan is very important to Filipinos. I wrote this post to help foreign men who wish to marry their long time Filipina girlfriends. A Filipino family is very close knit and this is true no matter where in the world you are. Therefore it is traditionally correct to inform her family of your plans for the wedding and it is considered ill mannered if you don’t. Please understand that because you are informing them and discussing wedding details does not mean they can interfere with your plans such as color scheme, flowers to use, how the ceremony would be organised etc…This is a whole different topic.

Remember in todays Pamamanhikan no rigid formalities are required. Just enjoy the company of family members and indulge in good food, good conversation and a good laugh.