Different Tribes, Same Traditions

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There are more than fifty tribes in the Philippines, each with distinct, diverse and independent courtship and marriage customs and traditions.

However, a scrutiny of these readily establishes certain incontrovertible features common to all, among which are:

  1. Courtship is practically non-existent.
  2. A marital union is always addressed to a pagan god.
  3. Marriage is generally within the same tribe.
  4. Women of the tribe usually marry young.
  5. They are generally monogamous.
  6. Superstition plays a significant role in the realization of marriage.
  7. Parental intervention always attends a marriage.
  8. A marital union is always for and in consideration of a dowry.
  9. Dowry is meant only for the bride-to-be and held by her parents for safekeeping.
  10. Dowry is always arranged and delivered before a wedding.
  11. Dowry casts some form of stigma.
  12. A wedding takes place shortly after a dowry’s negotiation.
  13. The brunt of a wedding celebration’s expenses usually falls upon the would-be groom’s parents.
  14. Lavish and ostentatious celebrations always characterize a marital union.
  15. The consummation of the sexual act before the wedding ceremony is not subscribed to.
  16. The sexual act is consummated on the wedding night.
  17. The price of infidelity or changeable disposition is exacting.
  18. Divorce disgraces the parties concerned, especially the women.

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Source:

Anima, N. 1975. Courtship and Marriage Practices among Philippine Tribes. La Loma: Omar.

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