The Philippines, just like many countries, is wrought with rich culture and tradition which has developed throughout the span of hundreds of years. What makes our country unique, however, are the different traditions which one can experience, not just in a particular area (for example in Manila) but in provinces such as Batangas. One of the most important life events affected by tradition is weddings. For this reason, wedding venues in Batangas are one of the best places to spend such a day of romance.
Why hold your wedding in Batangas? First, it is part of the CALABARZON region in Luzon. It is easily accessible to those living in Metro Manila. Second, the Batangueños are known for their pleasant, time-honored wedding tradition called Paninilbihan which you can incorporate into your wedding.
Of course, it is a plus factor if the family of either of the couples comes from Batangas. But bear in mind that traditions are not kept only by certain people who belong to this culture, but anybody who wants a taste of heritage. This does not only concern the best wedding venues in Batangas to celebrate a Paninilbihan style of wedding, but how well this kind of wedding theme captures the beliefs and culture of the people of Batangas.
The wedding tradition known as Paninilbihan is somewhat distinctive. In a sense, there are rituals couples must do not only during the wedding but before the wedding takes place and after the marriage has been consummated as well.
In English, the word Paninilbihan means ‘employment’ or ‘to serve’. It is a service that is not only done by the lovers who are to be wed, but also for both sides of the family. This is a kind of tradition which, just like all others, takes its root from the people’s ancestors. It is believed that this should be undertaken because it makes the wedding a treasured event — something which should be remembered forever.
The process of Paninilbihan starts with what’s called the bulungan (in English, “to whisper”) which is done by the groom, along with his parents. What happens here is that they make a social call towards the bride’s family to ask for the lady’s hand in marriage. It is during this process that wedding plans are made.
In a practical sense, this is the time when both families are to plan which wedding venue in Batangas is to be occupied, who the sponsors are, when the appointed date for the wedding is, and so on and so forth. This also serves as a way for both parties to get to know one another better.
Now, the groom’s additional task, other than successfully asking for his woman’s hand in marriage, is to provide assistance for the bride’s family. This means the groom does service willingly for the (bride’s) family, hence the term Paninilbihan — an act of servitude.
Other than this show of the groom’s disposition by willingly accepting errands from his future in-laws, the wedding proceeds pretty much the traditional way we commonly see nowadays.
As previously mentioned, other than the traditional act of the groom’s servitude towards the bride’s family where the tradition got its name, the wedding does not really involve anything new, or beyond what may be called extraordinary. These are some elements that you might find unique if ever you are to come across or attend an actual Batangueño wedding that practices this tradition.
Usually, wedding dances (or the newlywed’s first dance) are held during the wedding reception. However, the Batanagueños tend to celebrate an advanced reception on the eve of the wedding rituals. This means that people need not anticipate the wedding day itself because the “party” starts in the evening, a day before the appointed wedding date.
This ‘wedding reception’ is to be held at the bride’s abode. At noon, the groom’s entourage starts to walk in. Everything that is needed for the celebration—livestock, vegetables, rice and all—are to be brought at the bride’s place. Even after the recitation of the wedding vows, the celebration will still continue in the bride’s home.
After the wedding rituals, when the couples have been blessed and united as one, they eat a Filipino delicacy called kalamay (sticky rice) and partake in wine. This is done to ensure that the couples have a long-lasting marriage.
In Sabugan, guests and relatives present their wedding gifts to the newlyweds. Money is usually given in order to serve as a seed for funding for couples who are starting a family of their own. In Lipatan, which is done after the reception, the bride transfers to the groom’s residence. All the things that were used for the wedding are then packed up and cleaned. This means that the traditional wedding venues in Batangas, especially way back in its historical past, are as simple as the homes of the main stars of a wedding celebration: the bride and her groom.
Unless the bride, the groom, or both, are of pure Batangueño descent, there will most likely be the talk of having the wedding celebrated in the tradition of their respective provinces. But even so, with the modernity of the times we live in, as well as the growing taste for different wedding themes which make each celebration unique, there will also be talks of mixing the traditional with the modern. Isn’t it that there are those who veer away from a traditional Philippine wedding (in general) just to show how unique their marriage could be?
Is there a possibility that tradition and modernism will clash? Not likely. Since there are elements in a Paninilbihan type of wedding that are common with those of the weddings Filipinos celebrate anywhere, there won’t be much of a difference, nor will it taint the preserved tradition of the Batangueños. A touch of modern doesn’t mean fully trespassing into the boundaries of what is considered disrespectful. Rather, it is like creating a historical theme in events such as weddings or debuts, for instance. Still confused with how an archival wedding could appear in a contemporary setting? Here’s where you can focus your efforts on:
When we talk about the venue in the historical concept of Paninilbihan, we are talking about two possible places for reception and feasts: the residences of both the bride and groom. However, the present day makes use of renting venues to accommodate not only the families of either couple, but as well as the abundance of guests which may come both invited and unexpected.
The case will be celebrated via a wedding venue in Batangas. Finding a venue in this province is appropriate because you are exactly in the area where Paninilbihan is practiced. This is as close as you can get to making a modern and traditional Batangueño wedding meet. If you are in Batangas, you can make use of the modern way of celebrating your wedding while still incorporating elements of paninilbihan.
Paninilbihan elements and processes are described above. If either of the lovers is of Batangueño descent, this would probably be part of the program. At the very least, a touch of this ritual should be accomplished.
However, when it comes to the modern inclusion of the tradition, incorporating paninilbihan into your wedding program is the right way to go. It does not have to be a game or for entertainment purposes, either. Rather, paninilbihan can be a solemn part of the reception where guests are to witness an act of love by the groom through means of service towards the bride. What that service is will depend on the couple. It can range from serving the bride her share of the meal to assisting the bride or the family throughout the duration of the reception and even after the celebration.
If you are ready to experience the wedding atmosphere in Batangas as well as the joys of a wedding with which Batangueños are willing to share, here are some venues to get you started.
What better way to celebrate the union of hearts, but in a church setting? Located in Nasugbu, not only is Caleruega Church a place to hold momentous occasions such as weddings. It is also a retreat area for people who want to find inner peace. This is because nature surrounds the expanse of this area, and the architecture of the church itself is a sight to behold. You can opt to have a garden wedding at this venue. Its different areas—such as the Plaza de Aza—will allow you to take in the beauty which Caleruega offers.
Wedding venues in Batangas are considered one of the most exquisite areas in the Philippines. Cintai Corito’s Garden once again proves this belief because of how it brings about a calming atmosphere which incorporates nature, with a powerful blend of beautiful structures. It is located in Sitio Pandayan and has 18 villas available—all complete with comfort and style which the newlyweds may enjoy just after their wedding celebration.
If you are looking for something more than a wedding reception venue, Club Ananda, once again in Nasugbu, is the right place to be in. Not only is it a great venue for your wedding, it is the perfect honeymoon location for you and your significant other as well.
Batangas is known as a community that’s one with the environment. That means their venues are often situated near the natural formations and art of mother nature. Club Ananda is situated on the acres of Mt. Batulao and Mt. Talamitam, so you can take in the mountainous surroundings, and the greenery wherever you turn.
Speaking of mountains, why not book a venue in Mount Malarayat found in Lipa? Here, you can make use of the various function rooms available for your wedding ceremony. You and your spouse can also enjoy the numerous amenities and activity areas in the venue. They have a golf club, The Sand Trap lounge, and a fishing lake among others.
If you want to experience the full splendor of the famous Taal lake, then have your wedding reception at Club Balai Isabel in Talisay. Not only is it beautiful on the outside, it also has a balanced beauty within. There are numerous event halls on all occasions. The climate is fresh and relaxing, plus the whole place speaks of luxury.
It is not out of the ordinary if someone says that the world has become too modern. Nowadays, many people tend to forget the historical past from where these traditions started. We have become used to unique, stand-out events that we look for ways to mark a wedding—even any kind of occasion may it be formal or not—entirely modern.
However, a touch of tradition won’t hurt our contemporary desires. If we were to mix in even just a little touch of Filipino culture at our weddings, it would make it that much more outstanding.
Therefore, it is important to consider Paninilbihan style or theme for your wedding. This is one of the Philippines’ beliefs which can never be taken away, nor replaced by any modern means. When choosing a theme for your wedding, it pays to take your time, look back, and reconsider your plans for the day of love.
As premier caterers in the Philippines, we understand the values of culture and tradition when incorporating it in a wedding event. Here at Juan Carlo, we ensure that we share your passion for every decision and the steps you take on your wedding plans.
We believe in the importance of superior quality, service, and experience which is why we perform our best through love, sheer hard work, and dedication. To find out more about what we can do for you, click here!
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