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Filipino Wedding

The Despedida de Soltera

One of the loveliest Filipino marriage traditions is the despedida de soltera, farewell to the single life. As the Spanish gender clearly indicates it is a feminine leave-taking: the send-off dinner for the daughter of the house by her family close to the wedding date. One might say it is the ritual show of the family's consent to the marriage and bestowal of its blessings, capping all the parties and showers honoring the bride-elect. By this time the groom-to-be on his part has been "toasted and roasted" by his friends at the traditional Bachelor's party, possibly the only instance he ever got to enjoy the limelight among all the prenuptial festivities. Henceforth until the wedding, and especially on the wedding day, the spotlight will be unwaveringly on his fair intended. Thus is the novia celebrated in the Philippines.

To the despidida de soltera are invited the family of the groom, close relatives and close friends of both the bride and the groom. Sometime before the wedding there must have been an occasion for the relatives from both sides to meet and to know one another, at least enough not to be total strangers at the wedding and at the reception. Both families might have already extended invitations to each other for this purpose. If there has been no previous opportunity, the despedida may serve as the formal introduction of the two families or clans to each other.

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Source:

Alvina, C. & Sta. Maria, F. 1987. Essays on Philippine Culture.





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