For Wedding Planners

It’s been years Tausug accustomed to make wedding party in renowned hotels.  The typical reason, in the so called place everything has set in order.  Thus, it could lessen the burden of a family in arranging, borrowing, entertaining just to make the event grand. How thick would be the money given to the coordinator for the service fee, the merrier or attractive would become the wedding party?

Photo by: Lujille Wheng
Last time I attended a wedding party of a friend conducted in one of the top hotel in Zamboanga City. I was told that the money spent for the wedding coordinator to arrange the party was quite big amount. 

Well, the program was delightful after the coordinators doing her part but there was something I was looking for right after the event. I don’t care how much amount been spent by the groom or bride. But I do care about the uniqueness of the event conducted. The thing I do care about is how a coordinator could offer something for the groom and bride an ambiance, costume and practices which is relevant to their faith and culture.  What I frequently observed, the coordinator were only doing her part to realize what the groom and bride wish for their wedding.

Here are some practices which always inserted in the Tausug wedding.

  • Walking up the Aisle
  • Drinking Wine [usually the coordinator replaces it with cola or 

    something for the Muslim]
  • Cutting of Cakes
  • Flower Girls

Culturally speaking, the practices mentioned above are alien to Tausug Wedding culture. However due to modernity, which usually become the reason, the mentioned practices are now inserted into Tausug wedding.

The culture of a Tausug is rich with practices and rituals most especially the wedding ceremony. In the Tausug - Buranun custom the first thing to do on a wedding day is the Magligu’ Pangantin – both groom and bride is to be bathed early in the morning. This ritual play a vital role in the family life of a couple, thus it can’t be skipped or do it not in accordance with the tradition. During the ritual there must be a Maglulugu’ to sing a song for the bride or the groom. The song sings by the maglulugu’ is in a form of langan or lullaby which has a connection with that ritual bathing.  

Eating Panyam instead of Cake. Oarmata-Jainal Wedding [this photo was taken from their blog]
As the bride and groom done the first activity the next task they would be accoutred by the make-up artist. On this level if to follow strictly the custom, the groom and bride faces must be filled with white dot which signifies their face paint. For beauty wise almost all Buranun and other tribes do not anymore cling to this adornment. On this part, the coordinator should have a sensitivity towards other Muslims who doesn’t like to be embellished by gay. 

Afterwards, the groom and his family will go to the bride house for Magbassa’ Kawin and Magbassa khutba’ Kawin [Reading Kawin ceremony and delivering khutba for the bride & groom]. The arrangement of the activities after the magligu’ and dressing up the bride and groom are the Magpassal, Magkawin, Magba’tal, Maggiling, Magkaun, Magsanding and Maglami-lami. The magpassal which literally means colouring the nail with henna is a serious part for the family of the bride. The groom’s family who undertake the magpassal must have knowledge of it and off course still have both mother and father.  The magpapassal or the one who do the magpassal must also be accompanied with maglulugu’.

Magkawin or Magbassa Kawin. Photo by Lujille Wheng
The Magkawin or Magbassa Kawin is to be done by the Imam, the groom together with his family and bride’s family who witness the ritual. After Magbassa  kawin the sermon or khutba would be delivered by the Imam or Ustaz. After this ritual, the groom will be guided by the Imam accompanied by the maglulugu’ to enter the bride’s room for performing the Mag-ba’tal. During the magba’tal the groom is instructed by the imam to touch his thumb at the bride’s forehead. While doing so the room is filled with langan of the maglulugu’. After the magba’tal the groom and bride will ask to sit side by side, then there’s two person man and woman [having mother and father] at their back to move them to each sides.  Just after the Maggiling the couple will then ask to eat the food served on the Dulang Pagtiyaunan. To eat food, on this part, is unlike we eat in the usual day.  There are steps to be observed by the couple enable to follow the custom, I’m sure there is always behind the custom and tradition. The other part is the Magsanding and then the maglami-lami or wedding party.

Andy & Frennie, Photo by Lujille Wheng
To summarize the activities on the Tausug wedding [this part is only 
for Buranun and Arab [Sharif] tribes] these are:

1. Magligu' Pangantin
2. Magari-ari
3. Magpassal
4. Magkawin
5. Magba'tal
6. Maggiling
7. Magkaun sin kakaun ha Dulang
8. Magsanding
9. Maglami-lami - These practices can be developed even the wedding is to be conducted at the hotel. Venue is indeed not a reason for not practicing this custom, which in fact all Tausug was used to do that. Unfortunately they only failed to give more value to it. To me, by just practicing a custom without giving prominence - by not inserting something foreign into it - is a form of corruption to Tausug culture.  Every Tausug [the Buranun and Sharif in particular] has to preserve their culture and make the wedding custom as attractive as they are during the wedding day.