Sunday, February 8, 2009

Rules of engagement: Preparing for a Moslem wedding in Bongao

Descending Bud Bongao was trickier with the slippery trail, taking longer than we expected. We arrived late for our boat crossing over to Simunul island. With the foreboding rain clouds casting a grey mood over the landscape, we decided to stay in Bongao and relent to an invitation to attend a Moslem engagement ceremony.I t just so happened that the son of the Tourism Council head, Ma'am Salve, is getting engaged to a beautiful moslem lass.I've only read about ceremonies like this in the books so we were curious. as Kit, the Tourism Operations Officer, describes it, this would mark the formal announcement of the couple's engagement along with the turnover of the dowry.
Whereas a Christian engagement would have the parents gather together for the formal announcement, the Moslem way calls for representatives of both parties to do it on their behalf as friends, relatives and neighbors play witness.

Apart from money and jewelry, there was also an offering of a truckload of foodstuff wrapped in festive colored wrappers. Oh, and there's also overflowing food and drinks for the guests as both Moslems and Christians (the groom-to-be is Christian) celebrate together, a picture of brotherhood and unity.
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