Of Families and Rirey: A Manobo Wedding Ritual

The asking of marriage also known as Ginsa to the woman begins when the two families choose their datu or their
bai, their spokespersons. Like many other indigenous people, Manobo weddings are usually imposed by fixed or
parental arrangements in that elders of the groom’s family decide whether a bride is acceptable. The bride-to-be's
family asks for the bride wealth or kagun, which could be paid with money, land, animals, or precious stones and a
delundun or any property of value. If an agreement is reached, the wedding ceremony is formally started. After the
date has been set, the bride's family must send a chicken to the groom, the blood of which will be used in anointing
the groom and his relatives to prevent misfortune. For their part, the bride's family also prepares the apa, or food for
the wedding feast.
On the day of the wedding, the bride is hidden behind a curtain in another room. The groom wearing a handkerchief,
walks into the bride's house with his family with a gift. The groom and his companions are then fed. The parents and
datus of the couple can only eat after the ceremonial exchange of food or seru. The bride's party are fed next, entirely
from a different menu. After the feast, the elders sit on a large mat for the edteltagan he rirey to display the symbols
for the bride's value. Then, he also sets out the following to the groom’s family: ibatu (what the bride’s father had paid
to her mother), bata (one or five centavo given to the elders and spirits), lihilihi (porcelain plates given to the bride to
prevent omen), purangan and tugenan (value of endless nights the parents endured rearing their daughter and
nourishment provided) and pemuka (sum of eight pesos).
The value of the rirey is not paid completely because the groom is expected to serve the bride and her family
whenever needed. When the negotiation is over, it is time for the groom's family to give the tenges or headcloth to
the bride's family. This is followed by the seru, a ritual exchange of food among immediate family members and the
two datus. The two datus form rice balls that will be given to the couple to eat. The bride's mother then prepare a
betel chew which she hands down to her daughter who gives it to her husband. Towards the end of the ceremony,
the couple will be led the sleeping area where they will be advised by their elder. The groom's parents stay for three
more days, during which a purification ritual of chickens and rice is performed for the couple's soul-spirit (gimukod),
whose approval of the marriage is sought. The groom goes home with his parents to call his gimukod back. He does
not stay away too long from his bride's home because, for every day that he is gone, he must gift his in-laws with an
article of clothing. This marks the culmination of a Manobo wedding.
Commentary
A man and a woman, bound together, exchanged vows, engaged in symbolisms, and proclaimed as man and wife Manobo weddings or Ginsa are just like the usual Filipino weddings except that they are bound with much customs
and traditions, and not really much by love.
Fixed marriage is not rare or unusual in the Filipino culture. It has been a practice ever since then, and as much as
the younger or modern generation would refuse it, it will always be a part of a national identity cultivated by our
forbearers and ancestors. In the culture of Filipinos, the elders really play significant roles in marriages and
weddings. It has become so deeply etched in our customs that acceptance out of respect for tradition becomes a
commonplace. When talking about this sensitive topic, historical events and periods must always be considered. As
such, it has been wide accepted before. At present, cultural practices will not always be immune from criticism by
tradition or the claim that religion requires it.
When the settings of the fixed marriage is up-to-date, surely, many will not be in favor of it. The idea of love among
the Filipinos have been so colorful and glamorous, that it demands to be felt. Love is like a fuel that drives people to
do many beautiful and positive things. A lot of individuals would even trade their whole life for love, and as always
expected, this will be the undeniable foundation to be manifested by what the future holds for them. Love leads
eventually to marriage, and marriage must be built by love. Everybody today wants marriage to be as sacred as their

Weddings are really grand and prepared for in Manobo wedding rituals. it seems like only the groom’s family has the right to choose whom he should wed. Clearly. It seems like. they also promise to pass or carry it onto many more generations to come. Louis Exposition from the precious reading thought of this kind of practice as somewhat barbaric and not normal.love. Money. materialistic value or any priced possession cannot really buy love and happiness. In this Manobo wedding tradition. Besides. they will not be called as their own ethnic identity if they will be changed and affected by people’s views and perspectives of them. Early Filipinos even believe in spirits revealed through nature so they patronize nature. It may have a high rate leading to failed marriage which is even worse for a woman. Though there are still fixed marriages today and various ceremonies and rituals during weddings. Her parents too must be paid with something in return of the years of hardships they rendered taking care of their daughter. and for some. And the woman or bride-to-be has nothing in control. Filipinos today will always choose what they want. but it is what guides and leads them in their everyday lives. humble and honoring the young are to their elders because they let them facilitate everything. because it has been maintained throughout the years in spite of the advancements and modernizations of . It’s because the young would never do anything against what has been practiced. or with the tradition I have grown with. They will always choose something which could make them happy. or the woman or both. For the love and honor of their tradition. this cannot buy a wife or a woman’s intention for marriage. the bride is being sold. whereas in terms of the price or value for the lady. that they will never let themselves tied with someone who doesn’t really love them. views are pragmatic and we are speaking here of an ethnic minority tradition built for centuries. With beliefs that these spirits must be given importance for and still be offered burnt offerings truly show greatly how indebted they are to them. there is an equivalent value for her hand in marriage. arranged marriages seem unethical and should not be encouraged because it deprives the couple of their right to choose their potential lovers. survival and evolution Probably. I’ve also read that polygamy is being allowed. do they reach Market Equilibrium so as to say that the negotiation is over? This is another thing that may be noticed with the Manobo wedding tradition. The event is really celebrated with feast. Aside from these. Men can get married easily after a failed marriage without any influence from their previous marriages. More importantly. The beliefs of the Manobos are also reflected in these wedding traditions. what has been said earlier is the main difference of the basic general Filipino wedding tradition with that of the Manobos because with them. let us just see it as a positive step towards increasing variation among them. Their beliefs especially of unseen entities around them such as spirits and souls may not have Scientific basis. just like the Pagans. and if polygamy is allowed. I wonder. Though anyway. it is still widely showcased in this particular culture how they kill animals and anoint people using the blood. Speaking of these offerings. not thinking about others. even of their parents. The St. True enough. who after losing her virginity. It isn’t just specified if it is only for the man. people here just do not stick to one. or the other way around. specifically in certain cultures and ethnic minorities such as the Manobos. Filipinos really believe in Spirits. she cannot decide for herself. it is the bride’s family which has the say. because her virginity is her ‘dignity’ in some societies. In the same way. Between the two parties. but it’s just the way how this kinds of people live. It is safe to say that women are held to a double standard. This may be the reason why Manobo traditions have been intact as generations pass by. Today. Whether she adored or despise that she has been chosen. I cannot imagine this at present. It is sacred as all ceremonies of the weddings are guided too by principles and symbolisms. she really can’t do anything because there is a negotiation being established by both parties. both are powerful and influential in their own terms. often finds it very difficult to remarry. it reveals how respectful. I can see kagun like a general setting in the market since negotiations for values are raised and given importance for. which when speaking of evolution may increase rates of adaptation. these traditions must always be respected and in fact be proud of. not thoroughly considering their wills or the desires of the heart. she will just have to go with the flow. which have been strictly implemented to grant each of them and their family harmony and prosperity. The groom’s family are dominant over which lady is to be chosen. Basically.

It is nice to learn about the traditions of Indigenous People such as these because it gives a background of their rich and vast cultures. It is an amazing avenue that would promote a stronger identity for us Filipinos. distinct portrait of their true identity. too. be found and get the essence of the memoirs and roots which make us who we are today Reference: Melissa. Having known about the Manobos takes us back to the humble lives of Filipinos. Changes: Manobo http://ijennamel. as well as globalization and modernization. Learning about a tradition like this conveys to us a great piece of artifact from the past which gives Filipinos of today a clear. They have successfully resisted colonization. They.com/2011/06/manobo-wedding-rituals. Marriage within the Manobos must not just be seen as a fixed marriage in focus.the societies. This is an important step towards a peaceful and harmonious society. As they say. learning about places and people help us escape reality and get lost. it is better and would be more helpful to support and showcase them. (2011. where we can face reality. are Filipinos and we are one.html Wedding Rituals. in building this nation. June 30). but in reality. it is a traditional means of maintaining peace and order by which reciprocity mutual obligation between the bride and the groom is expected. Retrieved from . and ethnic minority group within them. Instead of insulting and dubbing negatives against their practice. J.blogspot.