Yes, and that’s exactly what they’re called in the Philippines. I know this because I paid for a cousin’s tuxedo rental in 2008 and a nephew’s junior prom last year.
I’ll be paying for the same nephew’s senior prom this year.
It doesn’t make sense to call them junior and senior proms in the Philippines, of course, because they refer to high school years by year numbers, first year through fourth year.
A lot of people know the junior and senior proms as formal dances, but they have no idea that prom is short for promenade. Promenade has a few meanings but the short form is specific to the formal dance at the end of an academic year. It’s called other things in other places, but the Philippines uses the same terms used in the United States for things like this.
I graduated from high school more than three decades ago. I didn’t attend the junior and senior proms because neither was important to me back then (I don’t regret missing them). The biggest reason? I didn’t like to dance. It isn’t like I couldn’t get a date or anything because that was never a problem for me.
The only thing I really remember about the junior and senior proms from high school is the phrase “off like a prom dress”. I don’t think I need to explain what it refers to.
I don’t think prom dresses are anything I have to worry about for a few years. I have no daughters. I have no granddaughters (yet). I have no nieces close to graduating high school. I’m sure I’ll be footing the bill for at least 10 nieces as they come of age. Luckily, it should be only one or two at a time.
Both of my son’s are well beyond their high school years. My older son only attended the senior prom and my younger son attended neither. I didn’t hold either of them back – attendance was their choices.
I’ll have tuxedo rentals to deal with this year and two more years in a row. I’ll then get a break for many years before my youngest nephews come of age. They’re still in their first years of school.
The Philippines is more Americanized, at least in the cities, than most people realize. If it wasn’t for some of the historical Asian and Spanish culture and traditions assimilated into the Filipino culture, you could call this the “little America”. Of course, some Americans I know would disagree, but they haven’t taken a look at some of the backwoods areas of the United States like I have – some places aren’t any better than the worst places in the Philippines.
The proms are nearly the same as they are in the United States (some of the music is different). The fees and the tuxedo and dress rentals are far cheaper, however, or I wouldn’t be paying for them at all.
By: RT Cunningham
February 1, 2014
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