The word Debutante, or Deb, in French, is a word which means a young lady is introduced to the Society. In the Philippines, a Debutante’s Ball is very popular, a milestone event and widely celebrated when a young Filipina teenager reaches the age of 18. Normally, a grand party is hosted by the family with huge budget sometimes more expensive than a wedding.
One of the traditions and usually the highlight of the Debutante’s Ball is the Grand Cotillion Waltz where the Debutante, her Escort and their Court (9 Pairs) will perform a highly -choreographed dance.
Part of the tradition is where the Dad takes the 1st dance of the night, usually a waltz dance. A typical practice too is that this dance is a part of the 18 Roses dance.
It’s when 18 pre-selected men starting with the Debutante’s Father will present her with 18 roses as they dance to a very special song. Usually the Debutante picks the dancers, which includes family members, friends, classmate, neighbors, cousin, brothers, her Father and sometimes the boyfriend.
Absolutely a must do in a Debutante’s Ball, the 18 Candles is when 18 women, beginning with the Debutante’s Mother, each present the Debutante a lighted candle symbolizing one year of the Debutante’s life. As the candles are presented, the participants often say a word of encouragement and/or birthday wishes.
A relatively new practice, where 18 pre-selected guests presents the Debutante a gift that the Debutante shall treasure as she journey into womanhood. Each participant typically announces what is the gift all about and the reason/s why she or he chose that particular gift.
We will not miss when the Debutante, after the guests sing together a birthday song, takes the center stage and cut the beautiful and elegant cake then one by one blow all the 18 candles.
Also a part of the celebration is when the Debutante, getting ready to party, changed outfit and take the center stage to thank all those who is responsible for putting this party together, as well appreciating the presence of the all the guests. Normally, dancing starts after the Debutante’s speech.