Debutante Ball

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Debutante Ball with Party Specialists

The Philippine Debut is a cultural tradition of the Filipino people. It is a coming-of-age celebration for Philippine women that is somewhat reminiscent of the Spanish tradition of the “Quinceañera” celebration. The difference between the Spanish Quinceañera and the Philippine Debut is the age at which the celebration takes place. The Philippine debut celebrates a woman entering into her 18th year, while the Spanish Quinceañera takes place on a young lady’s 15th birthday.

On their 18th birthday, Philippine women throw this large party, complete with their own hand-picked debut court of 18 people. These 18 people are 9 males and 9 females who the celebrant pairs off into partners. The celebrant’s court usually wears a uniform formal outfit chosen by the celebrant similar to that of a wedding party, while the celebrant typically wears an extravagant ball gown.

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The birthday celebrant along with her partner and court perform traditional debut dances for their guests. It is common for the debutante and her court to perform Filipino Folk Dances such as the Tinikling, even wearing the traditional Filipino folk clothing. The most important dance that the celebrant and her court performs is known as the “Grand Cotillion Dance” which is usually a classic waltz. There is also an “18 Roses Dance” where 18 males picked by the celebrant beforehand dance with her after presenting her with a single red rose. This dance is almost always preceded with the memorable “Father and Daughter Dance”.

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During the celebration, the debutante also has 18 chosen “candles”. These “candles” are females who know the celebrant and must give a short speech on either their relationship with the celebrant and/or any special birthday wishes they have for their celebrant. After all the food, entertainment, and Philippine Debut traditions for this wonderful occasion have been completed, the celebrant brings the celebration to a close with a Debutante’s speech in which she shares her life experience and gratitude with her beloved guests.