People from the Philippines celebrate a girls 18th birthday with a debut, also called a cotillion. The birthday girl is referred to as the debutante.
At the event 18 roses are presented to the debutante. The first presentation is given by 18 males composed of family and friends. At this time a father-daughter dance takes place and a short waltz is performed with the debutante.
The next step is for 18 females composed of family and friends to present 18 candles and give a speech. After the speeches, the candles are blown out and the birthday cake is cut and served.
The last part of the ceremony is the cotillion De honor. It consists of 9 pairs performing an elaborate dance waltz. This particular segment require several months of rehearsal prior to the event and complex choreography.
The newest addition to the event is called 18 symbolic treasures or tokens. 18 family members and friends offer gifts and explain why they were chosen
The following is a typical Debutante’s Agenda
INTRODUCTION OF THE DEBUTANTE, HER ESCORT
AND HER COTILLON COURT
TOAST IN HONOR OF THE DEBUTANTE
WELCOME REMARKS (BY THE PARENTS)
INVOCATION OR PRAYER
FATHER & DAUGHTER DANCE
GRAND COTILLON WALTZ DANCE
18 ROSES DANCE
18 CANDLES PRESENTATION
SINGING OF TRADITIONAL DEBUTANTE’S
BLOWING OF THE CAKE CANDLES
CUTTING OF THE CAKE
18 TREASURES PRESENTATION
A WORD FROM THE DEBUTANTE