Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Promenade. If it’s used as a verb, it means to walk, stroll: used as a noun it means a walkway or path. Corollary, a JS Promenade is a Junior-Senior Walk or Strut (if I may say so). The better meaning is: a march of guests into a ballroom constituting the opening of a formal ball. Where did this yearly-highly-anticipated-costly tradition originated? What is the rationale behind?

The tradition all started sometime in late 19th century. The term JS Prom is derived from promenade ball which stemmed from the academic year-end graduation ball observed in North America and England. The British counterpart of the prom is Valedictory Ball, Leavers' Ball, or Leavers' Dinner. In the U.S., a separate ball is sometimes held for the juniors who are finishing 11th grade and for the seniors who are finishing middle school.

Here in the Philippines, proms are observed obsessively and religiously. Mothers go out of their way to drape their daughters with the “best” gown their money can buy. Sons have themselves fitted for suits or tuxedos. It is not an easy feat to “survive” a prom. I know of one mother who spent 15,000 Ph for her daughter’s gown plus another 5,000 Php for shoes and bag. Another mother shelled-out 12,000Php for her son’s formal suit. In my opinion, it is a total waste of good money.

I have four daughters and a son who all attended proms. My daughters had their junior and senior balls at the basketball court of their school. The event was always organized by the graduating batch: the decoration, the catering, the program... everything. The parents were invited at the start of the ball for fathers to “first” dance with their daughters. In total, I provided dresses for my daughters for 4 junior proms and 4 senior proms. Expenses were minimal. I did not go overboard with gowns.

My son had his two JS Proms held in Hotels. I never did figure out how much I paid for each event for it was already included in his tuition fee. For his suit, I scoured Divisoria for suiting materials and had a tailor sew the suit. I paid half the price for a tailor-made suit.

Anti-prom or morp is a social event staged by high school students in the U.S. as a protest against their school’s official prom. The main reason for the protest is the high cost of a traditional prom.

I am not against prom. I am against the heedless expenses brought about by the pressures of proms. Schools must take into consideration the present economics and plan their proms with simplicity and relevance. Parents, mommies foremost, must not go overboard with their kids’ prom attires. Remember, they are just in high school. Reserve the ball gown/tuxedo splurge at their college graduation ball.

I don’t know if I’m just being bitter on the subject of proms and grad balls. You see, I never had a JS prom or a graduation ball. The related years were marred by Martial law. Crap!.


I was met with this scenario at 11:00 pm Mcdonald's. These "prommers" are from a public high school in Las Pinas, Metro Manila


The lady and her consort waiting at the jeepney stop for their ride home.

Reactions:
Posted by desperateblogger On 2/26/2008 08:27:00 AM 5 comments

5 comments:

  1. Screw Martial Law ahehe :) Were you 'gravely' disappointed Lena?

    ReplyDelete
  2. but of course! my whole batch wanted to kill marcos. we were day-dreaming of our js prom since 1st yr. hahaha tapos no j no s prom pa!

    the national theme then was: austerity. (for the pinoys not for the oligarchs)

    those were really oppressive days.... bawal lahat!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello, Lena. I was trying to get to your blog through the link you left at my shoutbox. I couldn't get through. After several tries, I checked the address. Kulang pala yung com ng m. He he he. Mukhang new ka rin sa blogging world. Ako din, up until a few weeks ago di ko alam ano yung tag. I am also from Las Piñas. Last Friday, my daughter had a party and when I picked her up at 11:00 pm, we also drove through McDonald's. I was also met with these high school students in tuxedos and gowns eating at the fastfood chain. Add na kita sa friendslist ko ha. Para madali kang hanapin pag balik ko.

    ReplyDelete
  4. well, if its any consolation, my Jprom date turned out to be gay several years later...but man, was he cute or what?!

    ReplyDelete
  5. ivy, grabe mrs na sya ngayon!

    ReplyDelete

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