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WISHING EVERYONE A HAPPY DEBUT

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Kayla Ramos-Abuan and Alex Eide

Angeliza Talampas, Jayda Abulola, Kayla Ramos-Abuan, Alvin Justin Apilado

Soft smooth fabric flowed against her skin. Blinding gold, shimmering pink, cool blue, mystic purple, and several other colors may be the motif for a debut. A Filipina’s traditional coming-of-age celebration is a debut, welcoming the maturity of a new woman as her eighteenth birthday is the threshold to adulthood in the Philippines. It may be compared to bar mitzvahs, quinceañeras, and sweet sixteens.

There are certain traditions set and expected when you attend one, including the Father-Daughter dance, the waltz, eighteen roses and eighteen candles. Ciara Sarao from the class of 2018, planning a debut for June explains, “Your eighteen roses are eighteen guys that you are very close to; they can be family members; friends. They dance with you and they give you one rose and your first rose is supposed to be your father and your last rose is supposed to be your significant other, your special someone.” However, Sarao explains that if one is without a love interest, the final rose goes to their father. The eighteen candles are eighteen women you are close to; family members or friends. “Candles make a speech for you and they light up the candles, like they’re your light in your life. It’s tradition and the core, that’s all I really expect.”

Sophia Bambao a fellow member in the class of 2018 agrees with Sarao, “I expect the eighteen roses and the eighteen candles.” However, she has a more practical method of what’s seen at a debut, “Food, a nice place, decoration and color theme, an MC, a DJ, a bunch of Filipino line dancing– Electric Slide.”

Seniors, Kayla Ramos-Abuan and Alex Eide have slightly different expectations for their upcoming debuts.  Ramos-Abuan states, “I expect the person having a debut to have a poofy dress to show that they’re the center of the party.” Eide adds on, “A lot of Filipino food, a lot of crying– a lot of old memories to be shown, to be put through and you get to feel the warm nice feelings going around the room through everyone.”

Within a debut there may also be a court, which is supposed to be the debutante’s closest friends. She stands with her significant other or her closest friend as her escort and eight other pairs to represent eighteen. Together the eighteen may perform a dance known as, “Cotillion de Honor” or a “Grande Cotillion Dance” which is traditionally a waltz. Although the court may also perform other genres of dance: from Filipino folk dances like Tinikling to modern styles like Hip-Hop.

Eide, Ramos-Abuan’s escort explains how his role highlights the debutante, “I think the main difference is the focus on the other and you get to fully experience it with them. You get to share those emotions from your best time and you can look back at it forever.”

Janelle Espiritu a senior, Jayda Ablola, and Madison Mays, juniors from class of 2019 are a part Ramos-Abuan’s court for her debut describe their experience. Espiritu describes her role,“It’s fun because you get to come up with the dances and you can have a stronger bond with everyone in the cotillion.”

Ablola enjoyed the bond between each of them, “It’s good for us to become closer as a court with making the dances and preparing the debutante– it brings us all together.”

Mays elaborates on Ablola’s thoughts, “We’re another family,” she adds, “we give the debutante their moment to shine and we’re a part of this wonderful time. It’s a different experience being behind the scenes of everything.”

A debut can have various different results due to what could be included, but the bonds developed between everyone is valued the most. The Production wishes every debutante and all participants this year and the following years a happy debut!

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WISHING EVERYONE A HAPPY DEBUT