What if you were given an opportunity to choose which nationality will you have? Will you choose to have a new nationality, which is to be a Japanese? Or will you still choose to stay in the Philippines and be a Filipino?
In this upcoming August, Filipinos will be celebrating "Buwan ng Wika". As expected, Filipinos should be wearing the traditional barong tagalog (for men) and baro't saya (for women). The Baro’t saya is the unofficial national dress of the Philippines and is worn by women. The name is a contraction of the Tagalog words baro at saya, meaning "dress and skirt". The barong Tagalog (or simply barong) is an embroidered formal garment of the Philippines. It is very lightweight and worn untucked over an undershirt. In Filipino culture it is a common wedding and formal attire, mostly for men but also for women.
But come to think of it, if you were a Japanese, and not a Filipino, you would be wearing a kimono or yukata. Traditionally yukata were mostly made of indigo-dyed cotton but today a wide variety of colors and designs are available. As with kimono, the general rule with yukata is that younger people wear bright, vivid colors and bold patterns, while older people wear dark, matured colors and dull patterns.
Today, kimono are most often worn by women, and on special occasions. Traditionally, unmarried women wore a style of kimono called furisode with almost floor-length sleeves, on special occasions. A few older women and even fewer men still wear the kimono on a daily basis. Men wear the kimono most often at weddings, tea ceremonies, and other very special or very formal occasions.
I haven't witnessed a Japanese wedding before, but I've seen a Filipino wedding once. Unlike the weddings here in the Philippines, which are usually held at churches, Japanese weddings are held in Shinto style at a Shrine. Nowadays, this shrine may be located inside the hotel where the festivities take place. A Shinto priest conducts the ceremony, which is visited by only the close family members of the couple.
According to what I've read in japan-guide.com, in the wedding ceremonies at Japan, the couple is purified, drinks sake, and the groom reads the words of commitment. At the end of the ceremony, symbolic offerings are given to the kami. A kami is the japanese word for an effigy, a principle and anything that is worshipped. Usually the party is visited by about 20 to 200 guests among whom are relatives, friends, co-workers and bosses of the bride and groom. The party normally starts with the introductions of the bride and groom.
For me, a Japanese wedding ceremony is not that different from the Filipino wedding ceremony. The place may be different, but most of the things they do during the ceremony are the same. For example, the groom and bride will exchange their vows, and a priest is the one who conducts the ceremony.
After reading all of these, ask yourself again, will you rather be a Japanese or a Filipino? Me, I would still choose to be a Filipino and wear the Philippine traditional outfit, baro't saya.