Should You Have a Modern or Traditional Debut?

December 30, 2022

What are some things to consider when choosing between a modern or traditional debut?

  1. The customs involved in a traditional debut
  2. The innovations in a modern debut

A debut in the Philippines has always meant a lot to young girls. It marks the time in a girl’s life when she becomes a young lady. This moment is not only memorable for the debutante but also for her friends and family as they witness her coming of age.

Some certain practices and traditions accompany traditional debuts. However, in recent years, debutantes have started incorporating a modern twist to their celebrations, It still retains the same festive celebration, but with a hint of some 21st-century practices.

If you’re planning a debut in the next few months or even in the upcoming year, your mind might be battling between a traditional and a modern-style program for your debut. This article is here to guide you in making that decision by differentiating the two kinds of celebrations.

So without further ado, here’s what you should consider when choosing between a traditional or modern debut in the Philippines.

The customs involved in a traditional debut

The customs involved in a traditional debut

A traditional debut in the Philippines follows a specific structure that transcends time. Generation after generation has used this format because it’s been tried and tested, and still manages to be special every time.

The usual traditional debut structure always has a big, extravagant entrance ready for the debutante. As the festivities begin, her parents are asked to address the crowd with a welcome message. The two famous customs in this celebration are the 18 Roses and 18 candles.

18 Roses

In a traditional debut, 18 males are selected to waltz with the celebrant. Each of them holds a long-stemmed rose to give to the debutante before their dance with her. The last dance is saved for the father or father figure of the birthday celebrant.

18 Candles

Eighteen females are selected to relay a special message to the debutante. They hold a candle each as they deliver their speech individually for the crowd. The girls make a wish for the celebrant before lighting the candle at the end of their birthday message.

Some traditional debuts also feature a dance called the Cotillion. This is rehearsed months before her birthday, It is usually performed with an entire entourage accompanied by waltz music.

Because this structure is usually followed by the letter, some people opt not to go for traditional debuts. But there’s certainly something magical about a debut that follows tradition and incorporates all the symbolisms of each custom. For example, the 18 roses and 18 candles are beautiful symbols that shouldn’t be lost to time despite how long they’ve been popular.

The innovations in a modern debut

The innovations in a modern debut

A modern debut incorporates some aspects of the traditional debut, but with a 21st-century twist. The most notable aspect is the dress code. Instead of a formal affair, debutantes can choose a theme for their celebration.

There’s still a structure to them that keeps the program running smoothly, though this program is easier to adjust and change according to the debutante’s preferences. Here are some practices incorporated into a modern debut:

  • 18 Roses: Instead of the debutante’s father being the last to dance with her, he is instead the first. Her last dance is then reserved for a suitor or special someone.
  • 18 Shots: Some debuts incorporate alcoholic drinks in the lineup of activities. Here, 18 participants (male or female) will toast to the debutante and wish her a happy future before taking a shot.
  • 18 Treasures: Some debuts replace the 18 candles with 18 symbolic gifts, where her friends or relatives give the debutante a gift and explain why they chose that particular gift to give.
  • Modern debuts can have themes that aren’t necessarily formal, like costume parties or the like.

As you can see, modern debuts leave more room for adjustment and casual festivities, but they’re no less fun. If you think you’d prefer a modern debut, you’re not alone!

Key Takeaway

A debut in the Philippines is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration that commemorates a young lady’s growing up into a beautiful woman inside and out. Besides that, they’re also a chance for her to enjoy a night of glamorous dresses, towering cakes, vibrant décor, delicious food, and the company of all her loved ones. What more could she ask for?

If you’re a soon-to-be debutante and you aren’t sure how a traditional or a modern debut works, we hope our lists above were able to help you. Additionally, if you weren’t sure which kind of debut you want for your special day, we hope we were able to ease the decision-making process a little bit.

Once you have your debut theme decided, the next step is to look for a debut catering service. Contact us here at Juan Carlo. We can help you turn a debutante’s dream into a reality with our wide range of services.


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