CEBU CITY, Philippines— Do you know of old wedding rituals that are still being practiced to date?
Cebuano photographer Jan Pagz shares his experience when he did a wedding photoshoot for a couple in the mountain barangay of Ilaya in San Fernando town in southern Cebu.
Pagz said it was the first time in his four years as a photographer to witness these traditions that were still being practiced by some Cebuanos especially those who reside in the mountains.
And he made sure to document these amazing traditions and share these on social media.
Pagz was hired as photographer for the June 12 wedding of Shermine and Herdel.
Before they left for the church, Pagz took photos as the couple’s parents made them kneel and pray before an altar and made them drink water from a single glass.
According to the photog, who witnessed these traditional wedding practices these are the meaning of each practice.
“1. Sudlay – Sudlayon ang mga bag-ong minyo simbolo sa ka hapsay nga pagpoyo. 2. Bugas – Sabligan ug bugas ang mga bag-ong minyo simbolo sa ka abunda sa panimalay. 3. Tubig- Pa imnon ug tubig ang mga bag-ong kasal simbolo sa kalinaw sa pamilya. 4. Dawat- Dawaton sa isig ka habig ang bag-ong kasal atobangan sa altar ug didto ipabuhagay ang mga kinasing-kasing nga minsahe sa isig ka mga ginikanan ngadto sa ilang mga ana.”
(Comb the hair – The hair of the newlywed couple are combed as a symbol of an ordered life with each other. 2. Rice — A handful of rice is thrown over the heads of the couple as a symbol of abundance in their house. 3. Water – The couple is made to drink water in a glass which is a symbol of peace in the family. 4. Acceptance or to be received — The couple are wholeheartedly received or be accepted by the parents of the couple at the altar in the house where the parents will give their heartfelt messages to the couple.)
Aside from witnessing these traditional wedding practices, Pagz also joined the couple and those who were part of the wedding entourage in their 30-minute walk from their residence to the main road. They passed by coconut trees and sugarcane plants among others.
According to Pagz, everything that he witnessed was something new to him.
He said that it was somewhat weird but it opened his eyes to the customs and traditions that were still being practiced by some.
“Nalingaw jud ko kay bag-o siya sa akong panan-aw. Nawala akong duka. Ang dili nako malimtan kay bisag unsa na ka modern atong panahon na-a ra gyud di ay gihapon traditional wedding nga atong masaksihan sa Cebu most specially sa mga bukid na nga part sa probinsya,” he said.
(I was very amused because everything was new to me. I was no longer sleepy. But what I could not forget is that despite our modern living, wedding traditions are still being practiced in parts of Cebu especially in the mountains.)
He had to think on his toes because he and members of his team were only told that their job included going to the mountains of Barangay Ilaya to document the wedding of a couple there.
Tiresome, yes. But it was all worth it, he said.
Pagz said, he decided to do street-style photography for this kind of an event to especially capture candid moments and the emotions of those who were present.
“I love their raw emotions, how they interact with each other, & most especially they are preserving the Filipino wedding tradition,” he added.