Friday, May 28, 2010

Wedding Literature - Chinoy style

I recently picked up a special wedding edition of the Asian Dragon magazine. Publishing a wedding magazine that caters to Chinese-Filipinos (or Chinoys) was really a great idea because not only do Chinoy brides (and grooms) realize the importance of their ancestors' wedding traditions, it also emphasizes how unique Chinoy weddings are.

Having no close relatives or friends who are traditional Chinoys, the magazine opened my chinky eyes to the wonders of wedding traditions that many Chinoy couples go through.

There's the engagement ceremony or "ting hun", loaded with symbols and rituals in formalizing the upcoming union of two families.

Similar to the Pinoy "pamamanhikan", Chinoys also have the "kiu hun" or formal asking for the bride's hand in marriage. The groom-to-be's family pays a visit to the bride-to-be's family, and chances are, if their families have never met, this is something that helps break the ice. The parents of the groom-to-be formally ask the bride-to-be's parents that she marry their son. Once the bride-to-be's parents accept the proposal, both families can discuss the details of the upcoming wedding.

One of the things that will inevitably come up during the wedding preparations is choosing an auspicious wedding date. I know it sounds unromantic to rely on the moon, the stars or on whatever astral body to make a marriage work instead of celebrating one of the couple's special days (when they met or when they formally became a couple), but hey, maybe it works for others and if as they say, you've got nothing to lose, why not schedule your wedding on a "lucky" day?

The only downside to choosing a lucky day is that most venues and suppliers will probably be more difficult to book since a lot of couples would want to get married on that day. Also, there are many other factors that have to be considered in choosing a wedding day if you are truly a believer in Chinese astrology -- the phase of the moon, the compatibility of your birth signs and your elements. What if all these can not find you a lucky day? Should you cancel your wedding? Will you start believing that you and your beloved are not meant to get married?

I just think that finding a lucky day is but a fun aspect of a wedding and that everyone would like to find ways (astrological or otherwise) to make sure a marriage will be successful but in the end, I believe that there are only two that can make or break a marriage -- the bride or the groom. Self-explanatory, right?

The magazine also has an article about the beautiful tea ceremony which is a special ritual in meeting and paying respect to the future in-laws.

The magazine was extensive in also featuring drool-worthy wedding gowns in the some of the most magnificent churches in the country, bridal cars, flowers, entourage attire, lingerie, and these Chinese-inspired cakes:

I enjoyed going through the magazine and now, I am a bit more confident that the next time I attend a Chinoy wedding, I'll be more informed of the traditions that are uniquely Chinoy.
*no copyright infringement intended

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Something old

I always knew that I'd get married in an old church.

There's just something about ancient places and objects that fascinate me, and to this day, I still can't put a finger on it. An interest in history, perhaps? Attraction to unfamiliar objects imbibing secrets? Texture? More character? I really don't know.

With churches, maybe it's the ornate door carvings or wrought iron creeping with verdigris. Or the paint peeling from ceilings and wooden planks that have withstood wars, typhoons or earthquakes.

Sometimes, I wonder what old churches have quietly witnessed -- pompous wedding ceremonies, poignant funeral rites, answered prayers and scandalous confessions. How many times have the bells tolled? How many songs have been sung? How many heads have bowed before the altar, waiting to be blessed?

...Ooops, I'm sorry. Was I swooning mindlessly again? :-)

I guess a lot of couples choose to get married in older churches because obviously, older churches have more history and look more grandiose in wedding photos. I can only speculate that the architects and designers from our past were more meticulous in erecting the house of God during their time.

In Metro Manila, wedding favorites include the Manila Cathedral, San Agustin church, Paco Park (St. Pancratius) Chapel, San Sebastian, and the Nuestra Senora de Gracia Parish.

Here are photos of some of the oldest churches in the Philippines, found south of Manila. I've been to some of them when I was still in high school and college but I wasn't able to take photos then. I'm still crossing my fingers that one day, I'd be able to do a road trip through the towns surrounding one of the most popular lakes in the country, Laguna.

I do hope you like the photos, and maybe as tradition dictates, you can ask for three wishes for every church you visit for the first time.


This is one of the highland towns forming the southern part of Laguna. Liliw is famous for its slipper and shoe markets and cold spring resorts.


Aside from the church, another must-see in this sleepy town is the centuries-old Underground Cemetery.


This town is best known for its delicate wood carvings and papier mache sculptures.

I was inspired to do this post after I saw the above images photographed by my Facebook friend, Peewee Ligot. Peewee is the hubby of my highschool classmate, Mayen. Thanks Peewee!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy Ruby Daddy and Mommy!

This year, this month, marks the Ruby (4oth) Wedding Anniversary of the wedding enthusiast's daddy and mommy.

Forty years is a long time yet through everything, you've stayed married. Thanks Dad and Mom for marrying each other, and staying married. We love you!

Here's to many more years of wedded bliss!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Couples and Coupons

Below are two of my latest wedding-related purchases. The one of the left, I bought when I was in Los Angeles in January. The one on the right, a few weeks ago in National Bookstore.

The "flower cakes" used in the cover are identical, except for the cake stand. I don't know if it is because Martha Stewart Weddings (MSW) now requires Martha Stewart Weddings Philippines (MSWP) to utilize its existing photos for the local version but do you know what makes the magazine on the right much better? :-)

Discount coupons!!!

Some suppliers include:





Although most couples would appreciate discounts, just be sure what they offer is really something you want or need for your wedding because although a particular product or service gives you a discount, you might end up overshooting your budget because you added something that wasn't part of your original list of wedding vendors.

But then again, a discount is a discount is a discount!

Get your copy of the latest Martha Stewart Weddings Philippines edition and find out if the coupons are just what you need!

*no copyright infringement intended