Pre-Wedding Gifts

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By Gladys Pinky D. Tolete

In the early times, Tagalog brides and grooms came from the same social class. Before the wedding, the groom is obliged to offer gifts to his future in-laws this is locally known as the bigaycaya. What comprises the bigaycaya undergoes negotiations. The bigaycaya is presented days before the wedding, witnessed by relatives, friends and members of the community. If the in-laws asked for more than what was usual, they then should give the married couple gifts like slaves, gold trinkets, or a piece of land. This is called the pasanor.

In addition to the bigaycaya, the groom also pays the bride’s mother for taking care of his beloved – this is the pasuso. However, Tagalog weddings then were not permanent. Should the bride wish to remarry, she should return the bigaycaya to the groom. The husband, on the other hand, could forfeit the bigaycaya if he is not satisfied with the marriage, but if they have children, the bigaycaya is passed on to their offspring.

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Source:

Cojuangco, Margarita delos Reyes. Tarlac: Prehistory to World War II. (1997)
http://members.aol.com/tarlaccity/prehistory.html#chapter1

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