Wedding Destination

An Extravagant Wedding with Iloilo's Culture and Tradition
By Rhea T. Ocampo
April 2011

Iloilo is known as The Haven Gateway in Western Visayas because of its fascinating natural attractions. Its cascading waterfalls and awesome white-sand beaches, perfect for an Iloilo beach wedding, are just some of the natural wonders Iloilo offers. Iloilo's historical churches, which are ideal wedding ceremony venues for couples who have deep Catholic roots, are also excellent sights for tourists in Iloilo. However, apart from these historical and natural sightseeing wonders perfect for destination weddings, what attracts both local and foreign tourists to sojourn in the haven, that is Iloilo, is the province’s penchant for colorful and lavish celebrations. Most tourists make sure to stop over Iloilo City to try out mouth-watering Ilonggo delicacies and to witness their festivals like the Dinagyang Festival.

Ilonggos always find events to exhibit their material affluence, culinary prowess, and wonderful hospitality. Such rich background and culture also says a lot about Ilonggo weddings.

Iloilo Wedding Traditions
Even after the cultural transformation brought about by colonization and globalization, many traditional Ilonggo wedding practices have survived. Iloilo weddings are characterized by conservatism. Many Ilonggos retain their rich and colorful courtship and wedding traditions. The pagbati or “testing the waters”, where the boy’s family tries to find out if the girl is already engaged, followed by the pabalayon or pamalaye, where the boy and his family woo the girl’s family, are still practiced in some areas. And some Ilonggos still observe and trust pre-colonial wedding practices and beliefs such as giving a lot of gifts to the bride, a light rain during the wedding means prosperity and happiness, a sunny day entails a blissful marriage, and throwing uncooked rice onto the newly-weds would bring prosperity, to name a few.

These wedding beliefs and practices show that Iloilo weddings exemplify romanticism, sincerity and solemnity. And you can just imagine the thrill and excitement observing those wedding practices would bring.

Goldilocks Emilion Restaurant
From left: wedding cakes and desserts by Goldilocks Bakeshop and Emilion Specialty Restaurant

Extravagant Iloilo Wedding
There are a lot of top notch restaurants, caterers in Iloilo that provide excellent food and great services, especially for special occasions such as weddings. Delicacies such as La Paz Batchoy, Pancit Molo, Biscocho, Piayaya, and Pinasugbo make for a truly authentic and delicious Iloilo wedding feast. These Ilonggo delicacies that are now found around the country could never be imitated. Other provinces might be able to approximate their taste but only authentic Ilonggo cooking can create the real thing.

Iloilo Wedding Photo by Paloma Photography Ysabelles Digital SKT Digital Productions
Iloilo wedding photographers (from left) Paloma Photography, Ysabelle's Photography and
Videography Services, and SKT Digital Productions

This inclination towards great cooking, together with the tradition of gift-giving, illuminates Ilonggos’ distinct cultural traits. Ilonggos demonstrate these parts of their culture and tradition in every possible instance and/or occasion, including weddings. No wonder why Iloilo is famous for its festivals and celebrations.

With these, you can just imagine how extravagant an Ilonggo wedding can be. A wedding with excellent and lavish Ilonggo food from the pastries to the main dishes, a romantic and solemn courtship and wedding at a historical Iloilo church, a festive reception venue like Emilion Specialty Restaurant in Iloilo, and talented Iloilo wedding suppliers like veteran Iloilo wedding photographers and videographers Paloma Photography, Ysabelle's Digital Photography and Videography Services and SKT Digital Productions, wedding gown designers like Noelle West Bridals and Ysabelle's Bridals, wedding favors and souvenirs from Passionate Design and wedding cake by Goldilocks – these would complete every woman’s dream wedding.

Noelle West Bridals Ysabelles Bridals Passionate Design
From left: wedding gowns by Noelle West Bridals and Ysabelle's Bridals, wedding favors
and souvenirs by Passionate Design

Truly, with Iloilo’s rich and vibrant culture and tradition, it is possible for a couple to have a festive and colorful wedding celebration. In Iloilo, you are bound to have nothing but a romantic, exciting, and extravagant wedding.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . thanks the following sources for this article:

Funtecha, Henry F. “What Ilonggo Culture Is.” (Posted June 9, 2006) Retrieved on April 2, 2011 from

Funtecha, Henry F. “Ilonggo Traditional Courtship and Wedding Rites (1).” (Posted on June 16, 2006) retrieved on April 2, 2011 from

Funtecha, Henry F. “Ilonggo Traditional Courtship and Wedding Rites (2).” (Posted on June 23, 2006) retrieved on April 2, 2011 from

“Iloilo: The Haven Gateway in Western Visayas.”