What is a Filipino Marriage Proposal

The traditional marriage proposal takes the form of the pamanhikan or pamamanhikan or the “parental marriage proposal”, a formal way of asking the parents of the woman for her hand. The would-be groom and his parents go to the would-be bride’s home, and ask the parents for their consent.

Yakan Couple from Mindanao

A wedding dance performed by a Yakan couple from Mindanao.

Once the woman’s parents accept the proposal, other matters will be discussed during this meeting include among other things, the wedding plan, the date, the finances, and the list of guests. The expenses for the wedding are generally shouldered by the groom and his family.

Pamamanhikan enforces the importance of the familial nature of the wedding, as traditionally a marriage is the formation of an alliance between two clans as well as the joining of individuals. This is sometimes further expressed in how the whole extended family goes with the groom and his parents, using the occasion as a chance to meet and greet the other clan. In this situation, there is a feast held at the bride’s family home.

This event is separate from the Despedida de Soltera (Spanish: “Farewell to Single-hood”) party some families have before the wedding. The local variant of the Hispanic custom normally holds it for the bride, and it is held by her family. It is similar in sentiment to the hen night, albeit a more wholesome and formal version.


Marriage between couples of the same sex is currently not possible under the laws of the Philippines because, according to the Filipino Family Code, both family and marriage are considered as heterosexual units. The legal concept of a family in the Philippines does not incorporate homosexual relationships. Furthermore, finding that a party to the marital union is either homosexual or lesbian is a ground for annulment of the marriage and legal separation in the Philippines, which leads to the severance of the homosexual individual’s spousal inheritance, claims to any conjugal property, and the custody of offspring.



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