Behind the SceneFloral EventsSpecial Occasions

A Princess’ Debut/Cotillion Dance Event: 18th Birthday

What is the Debut? The debut is a traditional Filipino coming-of-age celebration which celebrates a young woman’s 18th birthday, the age of maturity in the Philippines.

On her 18th birthday, a Filipino girl customarily throws a large party, complete with her own hand-picked entourage of 18 individuals or multiple sets of 18.

The celebrant’s court usually wears a formal dress, such as the Barong Tagalog or the western black tie.

A typical ceremony begins with a short prayer invoking blessings upon the debutante. She then enters and performs traditional dances with her court for their guests. The most important one is known as the “Grand Cotillion Dance”, usually a waltz.

An “18 Roses Dance” is also done, in which 18 males of the debutante’s choice dance with her after presenting her with a single red rose or her favourite flower. This dance is almost always preceded or concluded with a “Father and Daughter Dance”, and sometimes the father takes the place of the 18th rose (who is often the girl’s significant other). An older male relative, such as a grandfather, may take the father’s place if the latter is unavailable or deceased.

The debutante also has 18 “candles”, presented by female friends or relations. Each delivers a short speech about her relationship with the celebrant and any special greeting and lights a candle that is either in her hand or placed in a stand.

Music and other performances are usually interspersed between the “18 items” rites, while dinner and sometimes alcohol is served. A birthday cake ceremony often occurs, and a fireworks display may conclude more extravagant parties. The night ends with the debutante’s speech, in which she shares her thoughts on life and extends her gratitude towards her guests. – Wikipedia

Secret Garden inspired cake and cupcakes were made by Clara’s Aunts, Jiejie and Lani.

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