Marriage Practices of the Kankanaey Tribe in Northern Philippines

Marriage from courtship to post – marriage activities is a community undertaking in the Kinali culture.

Pre-marriage activities ensures the compatibility of soon-to-be partners in the Kinali community, and once united are expected to become productivemembers of society.

Kinali tribal courtships starts with the anag. Bachelors, after the farm works return to their villages, and take their rest at the dap-ay. From thence forth, they will make the customary journey into the olog, the designated dormitory for young girls and unmarried ladies of the village. Stories commence into the night, with the bachelors doing everything they can to woo the ladies into their side.

At times, farm works are required of the ladies to test the mettle and determination of the bachelors. These includes, but are not limited to pounding rice with mortar and pestle, gathering of firewood for the girl’s family, fetching water, carrying rice grains from the farms to the abode of the girl, and even looking after the cattle and livestock.

Every available methods are employed to test the soon to be member of the family, it include the observance of his character as well as values and attitudes.

At times, when bachelors have passed marrying age, of which is often nearing the mid-forties, the elders of the community perform the sagut. The sagut, is the traditional practice of pairing bachelors with spinsters, and at times younger girls even half their age. The idea for the latter, is for the girl to take care of the aging bachelor at old age. The consummation of such requires the approval of both parties, and the families should be amenable to the agreement.

Sukat the makan follows once the partners agreed to get married. This is the traditional practice of exchanging food, usually sweet potatoes and meat, between the families. In the old days, when the belief on tala (witchcraft and sorcery) and, kedet (food poisoning) was still prevalent, there is a need to established trusting relationships between families, thus the purpose of the sukat di makan.

Other practices includes the:

Daw-es – cleansing ritual

Begans – thanks giving ritual

Dawak – Traditional wedding

Senga – thanks giving party

Sekad di Gameng – passing of the inheritance during the wedding night

Bab-a-at – claiming of traditional gifts from relatives of neighboring villages

Bakid – the closing ritual to end the festivities

Summer festival(Ayyoweng di Lambak ed Tadian) a call to a big celebration in Tadian,Mountain Province,Philippines,March 5,2011-The Kankanaey Tribes of Tadian Mountain Provinces clad in their colorful traditonal ethnic wear featuring the evolution of their native costumes from ancient time when barks of trees and plants were used as clothing material to the advent of cotton wherein colorful traditional ethnic designs are still beinbg used to the present time.the festival is three day celebration of traditional ethnic dances,music and merry making celebrated during summer after a bountiful rice harvest.


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Philippines: More than just beautiful beaches!

Found on the south-east part of asia, known mostly because of ist beautiful beaches. But do you know that Philippines is more than all oft hat? Yes, Philippines is more than white, pure grain sand,and it is deeper than blue pacific ocean.

Starting with a rich history during Spanish, Japanese and American Era, who greatly influenced the country’s culture and perspective. The Filipinos is a mix of all habits and characteristics from its colonizer; religious like spanish people, nature loving like japanese, and appreciative of the western culture like the americans. Nowadays, filipinos are competetively working and living abroad, i guess everywhere you go there is always a filipino living in the community.

When we talk about Pageantry, Filipino women „Filipina“ is always someone to watch out for in the universe of beauty pageants, they are most of the time one of the judges‘ favorites, and just few years ago a filipina won the crown as Ms. Universe. In the world of artistry and music, filipino singers are also making a name not just in Asia but also in other continents, maybe for the reason that singing is one of the favorite hobbys of every filipino; they sing while they cook, during at work, or just during some free time they do „karaoke“.

Filipino Delicacies is something that always get the heart of its tourists. Mainly with rice, like the other asian countries, but there is something to ist dishes that made it unique unlike the others. I myself couldn’t explain what that special ingredient is, since we are using globally known products too. If i may say, maybe it is the pure joy and love the filipinos give while cooking dishes for their visitors and to the tourists. Once you get a taste of it, the taste will always leave a special mark on your memory, and maybe, just maybe you will smile when you think of that food you had in the Philippines.

I know that Philippines is now one of the top destinations not just for asians but internationally. The beaches are indeed world-class, beauty untouched, and one could really say „it is worth every peso!“ but i would say, the trip would be unforgettable not just because of the natural beauty of country but mainly because of the experience with the filipino people. The joy they show on their faces even on the midst of problems.

I do believe it is better to tell a story than to turn pages of a book, so pack that bag and experience the filipino warm welcome!

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Why the Tagline “It’s More Fun in the Philippines?”

Where else would you want to live in a country that offers crystal-clear beaches, cost-effective accommodations, rich culture, friendly and smiling locals, sumptuous food choices, and beautiful natural resources? We almost have everything you need for your perfect vacation.

Can you imagine the happiness naturally painted on your face when you’re in the Philippines? Allow me to give you an idea what is in-store for you when you spend time in our touristy archipelago.

Weather in The Philippines

Philippines is strategically located in an area that has an annual temperature of about 26.6°C.

This tropical weather makes the country very adaptable to tourists from anywhere across the globe. It would be best to come here from the months of November to May. You can even enjoy our monsoon season between June and October as we created lots of activities indoors like recreational events inside hotels.

People in The Philippines

Ask as many non-Filipinos worldwide who have been here and you will be captivated by how they describe their experience with our one-of-a-kind hospitality. Actually, it’s already ingrained in our culture. We’ve been known to be friendly and kind to our guests no matter our status in life.

Flora and Fauna

The archipelago is gifted to have the most diverse wildlife throughout the world. You will find different animal and plant species wherever you are – in the highlands or under the ocean. We are proud to be the home of the cutest monkey (Philippine Tarsier) in Bohol and the smallest fish (Pandaca pygmea) in the world.

Visit and be awed by our scenic geographic offerings including the stunning Chocolate Hills in Bohol, the naturally-crafted Banaue Rice Terraces, and the 2016 world’s best island – Palawan.

Islands and Beaches

With the 7,107 islands composing the archipelago, it will make you feel like you are having heaven on earth. Have a feel of our very fine white sand with your naked feet and get a plunge at the clear waters of our beaches. Never miss Travel+Leisure’s list of “The World’s Best Islands” in 2017 including Palawan, Boracay and Cebu when you visit in our country.


Although we already adopted American, Malay, Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish cuisines, we still have our own menus for our guests. Among the must-try local Filipino foods are adobo, balut (boiled developing embryo of a bird), halo-halo dessert, pancit (noodles), and sinigang. Seafood is everywhere; just ask some locals where you can buy some.


Almost everyone in the country, no matter the age, speaks English. You will never get lost your way so long as you can communicate in English.


Complete your travel across the country, especially in remote areas or in the countryside, riding in or on a jeepney and motorcycle (locally known as habal2x). These vehicles are already part of our culture and this kind of ride will absolutely make you feel like a natural-born Filipino.

Isn’t more fun in the Philippines? Try to book your next trip here and experience all these first-hand.

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10 interesting things about Filipino which you may not know

1.Filipinos are easily influenced by social media

According to a recent survey, Filipinos are leading in social media use across the whole world; to them, social media is a part of everyday life. A study regarding effects of social media not only to Filipino youth but it is evident in all ages. Filipinos have a history of standing for what they believe in but in our digital age today, it is even more difficult to discern the truth to fiction.  One example is a video of escalator etiquettes, this video went viral all throughout the Philippines and for a few months after the said events, this etiquette was spread throughout malls and public places nationwide.

2.Filipinos are religious

Since time immemorial, Filipinos have always been religious, dated back even before Spaniards time, they already worship gods Bathala or Anito. It is practiced until today, An example is the famous Feast of Nazarene, the devotion of the people to the image of black Nazarene is tremendously exhibited by carrying the life- sized image in procession to a certain route. This practice has been carried throughout the years till present.

3.The Filipino pride

Filipino pride or also called ‘Pinoy Pride’, is a hollow knee-jerk reaction of the Filipinos that whenever someone with a Filipino blood makes a name outside the Philippines, Filipinos react to acknowledge this person who made it big internationally. Examples of which are Charice Pempengco, Manny Pacquiao, Pia Wurtzbach, Kylie Versoza and Megan Young are among the biggest personalities Filipinos tagged as ‘Pinoy Pride’.

4.Time runs as ‘Filipino Time’

Filipino Time runs usually 1 hour late and excuses are always would be due to ‘traffic’ but they would consider this in time if the speaker/event /meeting has not started yet.

5.Filipinos are hospitable especially to foreigners

Filipinos are warm to visitors more so with foreigners, it is in their nature that they would always greet their guests warmly, make the guests comfortable and entertained. They place in their best to give the best services they can provide and many see this as one of the greatest positive traits of Filipinos.

6.Filipinos are superstitious

The Philippines is the melting pot of races but also local and foreign beliefs. Even in modern times, they still believe in some superstition. An example of a famous superstition is called Paglilihi is associated with to food cravings or any kind experienced by women during the initial stage of pregnancy.

7.A respect to elders thru ‘Pagmamano’

Pagmamano is a simple gesture used in Filipino culture by giving greeting bows towards the offered hand of the elder and presses his or her forehead on the elder’s hand as a sign of respect and accepting a blessing from an elder.

Pagmamano is a traditional common Filipino practice to respect people older than you.

8.Filipinos use a taboo and a timba for baths instead of showers or bath tub.

When staying in a Filipino home, you’ll usually see a pail or they call it timba and pail dipper or taboo for collecting scooping amounts of water for baths. Some Filipinos believe that this is a good way to conserve water but others do it because they were accustomed to the traditional way of bathing using taboo and timba.

9.Filipinos use their hands for eating.

What a better way to enjoy the food than to use your hands the same way Filipinos do. It is one traditional practice that is still present and you’ll usually see it in a fast food chain, Mang Inasal where they offer unlimited rice, but they would also practice proper hygiene of washing hands before and after meals.

10.Filipinos love to use banana leaves instead of a plate.

Get the ultimate ‘nature’ feel while eating your food on top of an efficient, budget friendly plate! One unique Filipino tradition that is not only fun, decorative and absolutely eco-friendly!


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What to expect when visiting The Philippines

The Philippines is considered as one of the most stunning countries with beaches and islands that each and every individual will find pleasing to visit. Traveling to Philippines is definitely going to open up your eyes to their traditions and the way of living Filipinos have. This country is known for all kinds of reasons, but they are generally known for its amazing hospitality, wonderful beaches and active volcanoes. If you are a bit confuse regarding which country you should visit in your next tour, the Philippines is certainly the perfect choice. Let us talk about the basic pros and cons of traveling to the Philippines.

The Philippines and it’s amazing culture

One of the major benefits to traveling to this country is the magnificent culture you will get to explore. Whether you plan on visiting Baguio and seeing the modern lifestyle and traditions prevailing in the Philippines or you visit Manila, you will get to explore about all the ways on how Filipinos live. The only disadvantage to traveling to this country is the fact that you can be amazed at how a number of poor people live in this country. It is overwhelming to see how some people live, thus you may find this to be a little scary in the beginning; but that is just the way it is in a few countries. On the other hand, it’s still a magnificent place to visit, and seeing these kinds of people will assist you to see how lucky you actually are.

Shopping culture in The Philippines

If there is one place you would like to see that signifies their traditions and culture, you must visit Villa Escudero. It provides you the opportunity to swim in their freshwater and experience the stunning waterfalls that no other country can offer. When you travel to Philippines, you should visit all of the malls like the Rockwell Power Plant Mall and SM Mall of Asia. The Philippines is known for creating malls that are stunning and extravagant, so expect to see best malls in this country; though, if there was one spot to get the ultimate mall experience, you must visit Eastwood City in Quezon, Libis City. This little town is known for having several malls, condominiums, theaters, and celebrities singing on stage almost every day. This magnificent place is the perfect hotspot to be in if you wishes to experience the nightlife version of Philippines.

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Marriage in the Philippines

For most Filipinos, marriage is a holy ceremony. It is solemnized by a priest or any religious officiate and held at a church. It is a life-long decision and breaking it is considered an unforgivable sin. Before marriage, a period of courtship and engagement should be done first. During the courtship a suitor will have to prove worthy of the hand of a Filipino woman by performing different traditional courtship techniques. Some of these techniques include, the traditional “harana” or serenade, bringing foods for their family whenever visiting the woman in their house, and performing servitude wherein the suitor will do the household and farm chores of the family. If the woman and her family will approve the suitor, they will be an official couple.

After years of being together, if they decided to get married, engagement will then follow but before the man gets the approval of the woman he should formally ask for the approval of the woman’s family which is called “pamamanhikan”. The man will formally introduce his parents to the woman’s parents. If the family will approve the engagement, the wedding will be planned right away. Marriage in the Philippines will require legal documents. The couple should present original copies of birth certificate and baptismal certificate to the local civil registrar. It is forbidden to get married if you are under 18 years old. Couples within the age of 21 to 15 should obtain parental advice or else their marriage license will not be issued. Couple will have to wait for 10 days for the marriage application to be posted and they will pay certain amount, charged for their marriage license.

Marriage counseling is also an important requirement for the license to be issued. Two witnesses of legal age are required. Also, the wedding should be solemnized by any religious officiates. Also, the wedding should be held at public places unless they have sent a request to perform the wedding at a different location. Another thing is that the Republic of the Philippines does not allow marriage by proxy and marriage of relatives up to the fourth civil degree is strictly prohibited. The marriage license is valid for 120 days from the day it was issued. Those are the requirements needed to be able to get married. If the couple has already set the date of their wedding they can already start making preparations. The making of invitation should be the first one to be done since it has to be given to the guests before the wedding day. The bride will have to wear a wedding gown and barong for the groom. Same with the wedding guests, the color of their clothes shall be based on the couples’ choice. During the ceremony, an hour-long mass will be done. There are also certain wedding paraphernalia that includes the arrhae, the candles, the veils, the cord, and wedding rings. After the wedding, everyone will then proceed to the wedding reception.

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5 Reasons Why Experiencing Festivals In The Philippines Is A Must

The Philippines, an archipelago which has been colonized by many countries, is a place of diverse culture. From Luzon to Mindanao, every place in The Philippines has its own festivals as a way to continue their culture and tradition while welcoming new changes.

Some of the most popular festivals, and highly-visited by locals and tourists alike, are Cebu’s Sinulog Festival, Baguio City’s Panagbenga Festival, Lucban, Queonx’s Pahiyas Festival, and Marindugue’s Moriones Festival. People will always plan their visits and try to insert them to their schedules so they can go their hometowns and celebrate the feast with their loved ones.

Here are the reasons why it is fun celebrating Philippine festivals and why you should try it next time you visit the country:

The Performances

From ethnic dance numbers to cool performances depicting a town’s culture and tradition, a visitor will never get bored when going to a festival. Usually lasting for a week or two, a festival’s highlight will always be a street dance complete with drum and lyre. Performers, usually locals, don their costumes with pride as they dance and depict their place’s origin. Sometimes, these costumers are woven with intricate details, materials of which can also be found in their place.

The Culture and Traditions in The Philippines

Festivals are way to promote and relive the origin of the place. Activities you may enjoy other than dance numbers in the streets are beauty contest, photo exhibits, theater plays, and even free tours to their known destinations.

The Food

What is a festivity with the food? The Philippines, a food-loving country, is not at the bottom when it comes to preparing food in the table, especially during festivals. Each home will prepare sumptuous food for their visitors to indulge on. You know you are in a Filipino home (and in a good and happy company) of there are rice, adobo, menudo, pansit, and puto at the table.

The People

The Philippines’ is one of the world’s most happy people. They are known for their resiliency in trying times that is why there is always a joy in finding a good company with a Filipino friend. Your Filipino friend will gladly introduce you to his family and make them feel like you are at home with them. They will insist you try the trademark Filipino food like balut, halo-halo, and adobo during your stay. You will gain friends in no time because they are naturally friendly. They can even tour you around the city and tell you stories about their place. Truly, their hospitality is one-of-a-kind.

The Memories

More than the selfies and the photos uploaded on social media accounts, memories created during the celebration of each Philippine festival is a way to further promote the place. Every local aims that their place’s culture and tradition will still be continued even when changes made by technology has already made available for everyone. The bonding of family members, the camaraderie of the community, and the creative ideas of people behind a festival’s success, is rather vital. The culminating activity of each festivals proves that Filipinos loves where the place where they came from.

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The Fun and Fresh Filipinos

The Philippines has only two seasons – dry and wet. Arid lands cover most of the agriculture areas while hot and humid air permeates in major cities during the dry season. Rolling trickles of sweat from the temples to the cheeks of dehydrated men with parched lips is a normal scene. The Filipino practice of taking a bath daily is our way of beating the heat. We indulge in 10 to 20 minutes of fun and leisure soaked with water and soap so we can face another day under the sun.

Why Filipinos take a bath every day

It is a custom in the Philippines to take a bath, at the minimum, once a day. Skipping one would cause repulsion from other Filipinos. It can even be a source of a joke whenever someone is found out to have not taken a bath. He or she can be deemed as lazy or a slob. An interesting thing here is that even though the person does not smell or look like he or she has not yet taken a bath, the person can be judged nevertheless by fellow Filipinos.

Taking a bath is not limited in the confines of a bathroom. Filipinos have done it in many places. Those who come from lower income class families take a bath outside their home in the streets. With their boxer shorts and undershirts, they can bathe and groom themselves without any hassle or disturbance from passing vehicles. Another popular instance for taking a bath is when it’s raining hard. Majority of Filipinos do not have a shower installed in their bathrooms. When it rains, the outside becomes a large shower room that you can share with other people. Children, in particular, enjoy playing while taking a bath in the rain.

Filipinos and their “tabo

Because of the lack of shower heads or bath tubs in most Filipino bathrooms, Filipinos have to be inventive in order to take a bath. We use a tabo to scoop up water from a bucket and pour the water down to our body. A tabo is like a pitcher that is smaller than a pail but bigger than a mug. It is normal to see a tabo in Filipino bathrooms and wash rooms. It is also widely used by Filipinos to clean themselves after moving their bowels. It is a replacement for toilet papers since we, Filipinos, are not accustomed to using toilet papers in the washroom.

There are many traditions in bathing and hygiene among countries. Some give a spiritual meaning to taking a bath while others view it as a waste of time and resources. For Filipinos, taking a bath is an activity that should be religiously done for hygiene, for cooling down, or just for fun. The next time you visit the Philippines, try to observe the people how they live their normal lives. Because beneath these activities, there are deeper meanings that can reflect their culture and values in life.

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Ceremony Customs and Traditions in the Philippines

A lot of weddings in the Philippines are lavish and glamorous. Being the most important day for the bride and the groom, everything should be perfectly executed and beautifully done. Yet being a predominantly Christian nation, the Filipinos have infused their wedding ceremonies with Christian rites, with several traditional beliefs instilled in the ceremony.

A long list of godparents are usually prepared by the couple to serve as the witnesses to their wedding. Traditionally, they would invite the highest authority in their locality to stand as their primary sponsors. The entourage of the wedding will also be prepared.

The Ceremony Customs

Before the wedding ceremony, the bride and the groom are prohibited to see each other. A popular superstition, meeting each other before the wedding would have its repercussions. They arrive the Church separately, and are forbidden to see each other.

The ceremony begins with the groom walking down the aisle with his parents, followed by the entourage and the godparents. Clad in white, the bride is the last to enter the Church with her parents. Everyone greets the dazzling bride with a thundering applause. When the bride has reached the altar, the groom would ask the hand of the bride from her parents, a subtle symbol of the bride communing with the groom through matrimony.

In Catholic ceremonies, the wedding is done during a Eucharistic celebration. Other ceremonies usually follow the traditions of their religion. While other couples would want to be married under the court of law.

The Wedding symbols

The presence of wedding symbols in any wedding ceremony in the Philippines is widely accepted. These symbols are carried by bearers, or are placed by the secondary sponsors who are part of the entourage.

The ring symbolizes commitment to each other, its shape a symbol of eternity. Names of the couple are usually engraved on each other’s ring. One of the most important parts of the ceremony, the bride and groom exchange their vows and slips the ring on each other’s right ring finger.

An arrhae is composed of 13 unity coins which symbolizes prosperity. This symbol has rich Spanish roots, taking into consideration the fact that Filipinos have long been colonized by Spain. The symbol is given by the groom to the bride to symbolize the groom’s dedication to his bride’s welfare, and his promise to provide for the needs of his future family.

The lighting of the candles symbolizes the presence of God in their married life. The candle also reminds the couple of their baptism.

A veil is also embedded on to the married couple as a symbol for uniting the couple into one, signifying their vow to cherish and protect each other. The veil is placed over the shoulder of the groom and the head of the bride.

Finally, a cord is placed over the couple’s head and rests on their shoulders. This symbolizes the binding of the couple, and to symbolize the eternal unity of the two, till death do they part.

After the ceremonial placing of symbols, the rest of the Eucharistic celebration continues.

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5 beliefs and customs from The Philippines

1.Philippine Belief: Make a child smarter

A child will become smarter if he inserts a miracle leaf (kataka-taka) plant between his books that he uses for his studies.

2.Philippine dining custom: Kamayan

There is one trait that Filipinos happy to do and that is by eating without spoon and fork or natively term as “Kamayan” (eating using bare hands). This custom usually relates more to the poor because it mirrors poverty but can be practiced by whatever social status one has.

3.Philippine gesture custom: Pointing lips

Filipinos also has their own cultural quirks and one of it is by pointing with one’s lips. This kind of mannerism can be annoying if you’re not familiar with it. When you’re asking for something or looking for someone, then they would answer you back by pointing their lips to direct you to what you’re looking for.

4.Philippines customs on love and dating

Is there a way of finding out how your future partner will look like?

You don’t have to sleep to find out how the man or woman of your dreams will look like instead, wake up at exactly 12 midnight, hold a lighted candle and face the mirror. At first, the image will be blurry but after a few minutes, you will see the face of your lifetime partner.

Are you itching to go on that dream vacation just before you tie the knot?

You might as well wait for your honeymoon. Engaged couples are prone to accidents and should not travel before their wedding day.

Thinking about whether your pet dog or cute little toddler should bring the rings during the wedding?

Better ask one of the groom’s men to hold your precious marriage symbols or tie them tightly on their little white pillows. Dropping the wedding ring, veil or arrhae during the ceremony means an unhappy marriage.

Philippine beliefs:Respect and bodylangauge

Pay respect to other creatures when you pass by a vacant lot. We believe that vacant lots and eerily quiet spaces are home to mythical creatures. We say Tabi tabi po” (Excuse me) when we pass through these areas.

When people are lost, they should wear their clothes backward so the spirits can guide them back to where they came from.

Don’t rest your chin on your hand, this invites bad luck.


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5 Budget-Friendly Tips For Traveling To The Philippines

The Philippines is amongst the most beautiful and friendly countries with incredibly breathtaking beaches and tropical island chains. Not to mention the one-of-a-kind mountain views; the Philippines easily tops the list of must-visit travel destinations.

For the travel hobbyist or just about any other person looking into visiting the Philippines, the cost is often one of the first key considerations.

Traveling doesn’t have to mean breaking your bank, so here are five budget-friendly tips for traveling to the Philippines.

1.Take Advantage Of Low Seasons

Visiting the Philippines during the low season can save you as much as 20 to 40% of off hotel costs, not to mention the overall saving costs you’ll make if you travel during this time.

The low season in the Philippines falls between the months of June to September. Any month during this period offers an excellent opportunity to travel to the country without having to burn a hole through your pockets.

Look out for the country’s festivities and holy weeks, because they often attract a throng of visitors to the country and ultimately drive prices up.

2.Forgo Check-In Luggages

Pack light and you will take a chunk off of your overall traveling costs. There are always ways to maximize the space you have with carry-on luggage without needing additional bags that you will have to check in.

You do not need a week’s worth of clothes, even if your visit to the country will last a week or so. Three or Four changes of clothes will work, and you can always launder your clothes.

Having extra luggage space in your carry-on bags also allows you to have room for those treasured souvenirs you will want to bring back with you.

3.Bargain And Negotiate in The Philippines

Everything that has a price comes with a level of cost flexibility. The same applies to all costs related to your travel to the Philippines. Always ask for a bargain and negotiate for better rates.

In the case of souvenir shopping politely ask vendors for discounts. Often, tourists would not want to get caught up in bargaining battles, but usually, you will get a better priced if you just take the time to ask.

4.Travel Like The Locals

To get around within the country, travel like the locals to save on transportation costs. The Filipinos will often use the cheapest forms of transport, and you should not shy away from asking about these options.

For nearby places, get around on foot, and the friendly locals will always help you out with directions. Walking is also an excellent way to view the sights and attractions all around you.

5.Exchange Money Wisely

Last but not least, be money wise when changing currencies. Do not change your money into local currency at the airport. The airport exchange rates often fall on the higher side, which means that you will lose some money during the process.

It doesn’t hurt to carry out research on reputable currency exchange bureaus within the country ahead of your trip. Also, avoid ATMs because some may have commissions charged on foreign accounts and only notify you after the transaction. If you must use ATMs, carry out research on commission-free banks.


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The Pamamanhikan Process: Rules & Script Explained

A couple’s decision to get married is a big happening for both. In the Philippines, the involved of parents are even more significant. The practice of asking the bride’s family for approval is an important one known as ‘Pamamanhikan’.

Follow the tradition of Pamamanhikan, gain the blessing of parents, and you’ll start your wedding life more happily ever after.

Pamamanhikan in English: Meaning

The meaning of the word ‘pamamanhikan’ is derived from the word ‘panhik’ (to climb) which means to ascend or climb the house’s stairs. This may sounds strange, and you perhaps wonder why this has anything to do with asking parents for your marriage approval. You’re not alone. Even many Filipinos don’t know.

In the Philippines,  most houses in the past in  where built a flight of stairs to the entrance. As this isn’t the case anymore, the literal meaning of Pamamanhikan becomes less obvious.

Before Pamamanhikan: Paninilbihan

Before we explain the process of Pamamanhikan, there’s an important Filipino customs that happens before this event: Paninilbihan.

Paninilbihan” (Servitude) is a Filipino tradition usually done during courtship and before “pamamanhikan”. Paninilbihan is performed by the soon-to-be-groom by doing household chores such as “pagsisibak” (chopping firewood), ”pag-iigib” (fetching water), and many more. The Filipino elders say it’s a way for the groom to show that he is a responsible man. Some say paninilbihan is a dying tradition, I would say it is not since men subconsciously practice this tradition through modernized chores such as car and electrical repairs for their girlfriends and many other “modern” chores.

After this practice, you’re ready for Pamamanhikan!

The Art of Pamamanhikan

One of these customs is the Pamamanhikan and it is usually started by the Groom and his family.

Pamamanhikan process

  • During the “Pamamanhikan” the groom will first gain the approval of the bride-to-be’s parents by asking them for the daughter’s hands.
  • If the approval is given, the groom together with his family would then make a visit usually at dinner time. This is actually a way of showing courtesy.
  • Such a meeting often first starts with a basic introduction if the both families haven’t yet met.
  • Afterwards, the fundamentals of a wedding plan will be discussed such as, the wedding date, possible venues and who to invite.
  • Traditionally the groom and his parents must shoulder the wedding expenses, though some couple nowadays pays for their own wedding ceremonies, or sometimes the bride would help with some expenses. These arrangements particular can be discussed during the “Pamamanhikan”.

It’s important to note that this meeting’s program will significantly depend on whether the families already know each other. If it’s the first meeting, the focus of the event will mainly be about getting to know each other.

In some cases, the families already know each other well, and the emphasize will be placed directly on the wedding plans.

It’s important for both the groom and bride-to-be to individually share the news of engagement first. Once they each individually obtain their parents’ blessing, the meeting will be a smooth formality. If one side isn’t happy with the wedding, it’s generally not recommended to proceed with Pamamanhikan at all.


There’s no written rule whether both sides to presents gifts to each other. However, in practice this often happens. Sometimes, it’s only the visiting site to bring gifts. Other times, even the bride’s parents prepare a gift.

Preparing Food

If the meeting takes place at the bride’s parents’ home, it’s also generally the bride side who prepares the food. Sometimes, the grooms parents may bring some food as well, but this is less common.


In some cases, the location of the meeting may not take place at the bride’s home. The reason may be that the home is simply too small to host a meeting. This is especially the case if siblings tag along.

In such a case, sometimes it’s decided to host the meeting in a restaurant. If you happen to go for this option, one important consideration is to pick a restaurant with private rooms. This will allow for a more quiet environment to discuss plans.

Farewell to Single Life: Despedida de Soltera

The soon-to-be couple can also choose to have pre-wedding parties such as the Bachelors’ party and the Bridal shower. They are greatly influenced by American traditions and are only done if the couple agreed to do it. Even though traditional Filipinos are conservative in nature, these practices are now widely used due modernization and exposure to foreign countries and media. Another party which is common here in the Philippines is the “despedida de soltera” and it is done by the bride’s parents which is a way to bid farewell to single life, it is usually a formal dinner done days before the wedding.

Ethnic Group Practices

Ethnic groups also have their own unique pre-wedding practices, one would be the “Kagen” and “Taltag” done by Muslim Filipinos. It is a ceremony where the man begs for the parent’s approval, basically it is the counterpart of “Pamamanhikan”, the only distinction is the “dowry” offered.

“Palamas” also done by muslims is a spiritual cleansing done to cleanse the couple of their sins and evil spirits prior to the wedding ceremony.

In the mountainous regions of the Philippines, the Ifugaos have their traditional pre-wedding dance called the “takik”.

Other Pre-Wedding Beliefs

Determining the Wedding Date

Luckily picking a wedding date isn’t as constrained as in other Asian cultures. In China, for example, there are lucky dates known as ‘huang dao ji ri’ and a specific date may be chosen with help of a fortune teller.

In the Philippines there just important rule to keep in mind: Don’t marry in the same year as one of your siblings. If one does, it would mean bad luck for both siblings. Some families extend this rule to include cousins as well.

Buying Gifts For a Wedding

When you’re attending someone else’ wedding, don’t buy pearls or sharp gifts. Pearls symbolize tears. In fact, brides aren’t allowed to wear pearls as jewelry during the wedding day. The same reasoning applies to pear shaped gems, which are also associated with tears.

Sharp things are associated with weapons and aggression, which also don’t fit the meaning of a wedding.

No Travelling

The bride is supposed to be more careful during trips before the wedding. It’s believed that more ‘accidents’ can happen. Therefore, long trips should be avoided.

Don’t Try Out the Final Dress

The rules regarding this aspect isn’t very clear or consistent. Some families believes that the final dress shouldn’t be tried at all, while other say that one shouldn’t try the wedding dress the day before the wedding.

Ceremony Traditions

Now you know about all the pre-marriage customs! Now learn more about wedding ceremony customs & traditions in Philippines

Moving Into Your New Home

Getting married means you’ll move together under the same roof. In the Philippines, there’s a number of customs regarding this topic. Learn more about this, in the following guide:

Filipino Beliefs and Customs When Moving in to a New Home


Philippines is known for its rich culture, and some are credited to various colonizers. Filipinos incorporated foreign cultures with their own, and that is evident through almost every aspect of our way of life. From our food, the way we dress ourselves, up to our religion.

Wedding is not exempted as most of our wedding practices are influenced by Christian wedding cultures, though there are some practices which can be considered heritage and are practiced way before the first colonizers landed on the Philippines.

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