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Being a Ninong

Shortly after I arrived in Davao Elena told me a good friend of hers asked us to be Ninong and Ninang. Her friend Vergie’sson Kenneth was marrying his beautiful fiancee Sheila.

If you’re not Filipino you will be saying, as I did, what the heck are a Ninong and Ninang. That is sponsors of the Groom or Bride. Ninongs and ninangs are expected to serve as the couple’s second parents or counselors especially when the newlyweds’ parents are no longer there to guide them.

We are the primary Ninongs and walked down the aisle after the groom and his parents. When the vows were being said, all the Ninongs and Ninangs were positioned around the back of the Bride and Groom.

Because of this honor, I bought a Barong Tagalog. That is a formal Filipino shirt that is a thin material, with long sleeves and embroidered on the front. It is also long and worn outside the slacks. Since it is of a thin material you have to wear a type of T shirt with a few buttons. Almost like the old Wallace Berry shirt.

The wedding was at St. Ana Church in downtown Davao. We were told to be there at 7:30 AM. As an American and not sure of the traffic we arrived about 7:20. At that time only the photographer and we were there. By 7:30 vans and jeepneys arrived with all the wedding party except the bride.

It was so hot in the Church, thankfully there were fans mounted around the church circulating the air.
When the proceedings started, first the Best Man walked down the aisle, then the Groom with his parents. Then Elena and I led the Ninongs.

The wedding was long as usual, but beautiful. Since it has been many years since I was at a Wedding at a Catholic Church, I do not know the differences.
From the Church we went to the reception at the Grand Min Sing Hotel.
At the reception all the Ninongs sat at the Dias or front table. The Bride and Groom sat at a raised area alone.

Once everyone was seated the speeches started. Boy could they talk. There was a lot of laughter during the speeches but since I do not understand Bisaya, I just sat there.
An interesting part was the guests had a buffet, but all of the Nanongs and the parents of the Bride and Groom were served. The foods were plentiful and delicious. There was soup, salad, beef, 3 types of pork including lechon and chicken. Then desserts were served.
There was no cutting of the cake, but each couple at the dais was presented with a small gift cake.
In the opening of the reception, they released 2 Doves which flew up to the ledges of the lighted coffered ceiling and soon after there was a green liquid on the floor. I hope all the guests sitting under the ledge were spared.
There was a money dance where anyone who wants can pin money on the Brides veil or the Grooms jacket and then can dance with Bride or Groom.
They also do something opening the largest and smallest gift. The largest was a TV and the smallest was 2 little cans of breath freshener (possibly needed on the wedding night)
The tossing of the bouquet and garter is done different here. Individual flowers are tossed by the Bride over her head and as each girl catches them they return to their seat. The last girl is the winner.
Then the garter is tossed over and over until the last boy is left.
Then the boy puts the garter on the girl. They are seated next to each other with the Bride and Groom standing behind them. Then the Groom kisses his bride in 3 places, and where ever he kisses the boy has to kiss the girl.
Over all, it was a beautiful wedding and an experience I will always remember.
My Prayers and Best wishes for the Bride and Groom.

2 Responses to “Being a Ninong”

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