ANG KASALAN (The Wedding Affair)
It was quite a surprise to see a party of people crowding at Ivie’s family’s house one particular evening for Lester’s pamamanhikan. Everyone was excited to have the two young lovers get set for their wedding day and know who were chosen as principal sponsors. Lester and Ivie officially told their ninangs (female principal sponsors) and ninongs (male principal sponsors) present in the meeting by mano (kissing hands) to the delight of the privileged soon-to-be VIPs!
This first traditional event set the whole affair on its traditional style, as we saw it at least.
Lester & Ivie on a prenup photo.
The wedding day started the day before, actually, with relatives and friends doing everything for both families. Traditionally, everyone shares a hand mainly in food preparations in what is called tulungan. When the groom’s party was done preparing at their place, they brought their share to the bride’s place where the reception was to be held. This was the lipat.
With fun and lots of noise, the groom’s party brings all their share in the wedding.
Obviously, pork would be served at reception.
Normally, men are in charge of all meats.
Meat preparations start the night before the wedding day so they have to be innovative in keeping the meat fresh and clean.
The ladies take care of the veggies, spices, and other light stuff.
Dulot of fruits, fresh meat cut, and sweets are being prepared for the principal sponsors which are later to be brought to their homes.
The cozy garden of a relative as a venue for the ceremony set the day relaxed for neighbors in the block. They got to witness a wedding ceremony which almost never happens in their area with the dressed and made up ladies and kids along with men who were earlier seen in house clothes but were now on handsome suits.
Traditional yet modern, this wedding had a share of the usual stuff.
Ivie walks non-traditionally by herself to be met by her parents on the other end.
And you thought they were dancing, right? Nope. That’s their reception entrance style!
With everyone fully satisfied with food and sweets, this community event went onto one of the most watched-out-for parts of a traditionally Tagalog wedding, the sabangan. The principal sponsors, relatives, and close friends gave their financial gifts announced by the facilitator to the delight of the audience.
Lester & Ivie received a huge amount which total was also announced by the facilitator.
And that’s still part of the tradition.
Ninang Mercy gives her cash gift with words of wisdom for Lester and Ivie’s new life together while two bridesmaids assist in handling the bills.
After all the leftovers, equipment, and utensils were kept, Lester had to take his his bride home on dapit with all those stuff and buzz and bangs!
The couple leading the entourage home.
Everybody helps out!
The wedding with a bang–lots of bang bangs!
Hooray, hooray! The newly weds are coming!
It’s more fun with this wedding style!
Papa, Mama, I got my bride!
Reaching the groom’s house, the bride was offered and ate kalamay (sticky rice cake) at doorstep for the new family member to ‘stick’ to the host family, or that Ivie would be at home. Upon entering, they were showered with coins and rice for prosperity.
Ivie takes a bite of kalamay while Lester looks on as it’s Ivie’s part only being the new family member.
One last thing before this kasalan was done: Ivie had to find her bag of clothes to change.
Only she couldn’t find them.
It was supposedly brought with the other stuff someone surely having it. She went around inside the house but couldn’t find it. Some older folks were already teasing her she might not really need it after all. After a while, she got the bag from a spot in the house.
Ivie tries to catch the best coaching she can get from onlookers to find her bag so she could finally change into a more relaxing outfit.
So, the idea was… getting teased about not needing the clothes?
Nope. So that the new family member would see the whole house. But it’s the teasing that stuck with us!
The whole kasalan (wedding affair) was quite an event for Lester & Ivie’s community and for us, it was a very rare opportunity to see traditional wedding practices done in modern times.
So, what’s with this young couple now?
‘Getting Married Is Not a Joke’
Photo courtesy: RC Studio, Ivie Casapao Boongaling, Netski Boongaling Ventura