Saturday, December 13, 2014

Four Couples Wed in Traditional B'laan Rites

"You may now hug the bride," says officiating minister Datu Edmund Pangilan.
He explains that there is no such thing as "You may now kiss the bride" in traditional
B'laan weddings. 

Clad in colorful beaded B'laan wear, four couples pledged each other lifelong love in a ceremony that featured B'laan music and traditions interspersed with teachings from the Bible.  The wedding was officiated by Datu Edmund Pangilan, provincial tribal chieftain, and held at the Malungon Retreat and Training Center in Malungon, Sarangani.  

One of the grooms and the four brides are B'laan, one of the grooms is a former street dweller ministered to by the Kaibigan Ministry of the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) Group of Ministries, and the two other grooms are graduates of the vocational-technical course of the CCT Training and Development Institute in Magdalena, Laguna. The grooms are members of the Kaibigang Maaasahan Multi-purpose Cooperative Construction Services.  

The equivalent of a bridesmaid and a groomsman in
a Christian wedding
bring bamboo cups and rice bowls fashioned from banana
leaves to the altar.

Young bride Angelica  is escorted down the aisle by her
mother and father who beats out a 

rhythmic pattern on an agung, a traditional
B'laan percussion instrument. 
Datu Pangilan says, "This is not a joke or game or 
presentation  but a sacred event." 

Datu Pangilan feeds the couples a little rice and

...and assistant officiating minister Danilo Tolentino
gives each couple a drink. "The officiating ministers 

symbolize God 
in the  food and drink ceremony which 
tells us that God is our provider.  But just as the
bride and groom have to open their mouths to 
receive the food and water, so also  should  they work 
in order to eat," Datu Pangilan explained. 

The groom briefly rests his knee on his
bride's shoulder to symbolize that
she is to submit to him.
Senior members of the tribe provide
music played on the agung and faglong,
a two-stringed instrument. 

The newlyweds.

Newlyweds Carlo and Hazel Mae

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