Their name comes from the native term tagá-ilog, or “people living along the river”, or from another term, tagá-alog, meaning “people living along the ford”. The ford is known to be that shallow part of a river where people, animals or vehicles can cross it. Like any other wedding, Tagalog celebration starts with an engagement. The first moment after the couple has decided to marry is the pamanhikan. The groom and his family visit the bride’s family in order to ask for her hand.
Speaking about the wedding attire, the white wedding dress became popular in the last century with America’s influence in the Philippines. Before, brides wore a colored or stylish black dress to celebrate a wedding. Speaking of flowers, orange blossom bouquets and adornments were very important during the last century. For the groom, the traditional Filipino formal wear is the barong tagalog.
The barong is a cool, transparent shirt from silky pina or jusi, two native fabrics, worn over black pants with a white t-shirt underneath. Filipino male guests will also come to the wedding in their best barongs.
In the past, a wedding ceremony lasted for three days. Each day has its rituals. On the first day, both bride and groom came to a priest, who joined their hands near a plate of raw rice. While joining their hands, they declared love for each other three times. After this, the priest fed them cooked rice from the plate and a drink of some of their blood mixed with water. This is interesting and unique.
Most of the Filipino weddings are in present Catholic weddings, having special “sponsors” as witnesses to the wedding. These could be godparents, counselors or even one of the parents. There are also some secondary sponsors that have special roles for the unity candle ceremony, the cord and the veil ceremonies. During the unity candle ceremony, secondary sponsors light two candles, which are then used by the bride and the groom to light a single candle considered to be the joining of the two families and the light of Christ in their new married life.
During the veil ceremony, veil sponsors put a white veil on the bride’s head and the groom’s shoulders. This is the symbol of two people clothed as one. As for the cord sponsors, they drape the yugal (a decorative silk cord) in an eight shape over the shoulders of the bride and groom to symbolize fidelity. The groom gives his bride 13 coins blessed by the priest, as a symbol of his dedication to their well-being and the welfare of their children.
Tagalog ceremonies and weddings are accompanied by traditional Tagalog music. Here are some of the most popular songs:
Ikaw by Martin Nievera and Kuh Ledesma
Tanging Mahal by Regine Velasquez
Maging Sino Ka Man by Erik Santos
Pangako Sayo by Rey Valera
You Are My Song by Regine Velasquez
Hanggang ngayon by Regine Velasquez
Carry My Love by Sarah Geronimo
Pangarap Ko Ang Ibigin Ka by Regine Velasquez
Ala Ala Mo by Sarah Geronimo
Kahit Na by Sarah Geronimo