Gray Matter


Junior and Senior Proms in the Philippines

RT Cunningham | August 23, 2020 (UTC) | Culture

junior and senior promsAre there junior and senior proms in the Philippines? 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 in 2013.

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. It’s even more confusing now that high school now includes two more years.

The “Prom” in Junior and Senior Proms is Short for Promenade

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 four 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.

Tuxedos and Dresses

I don’t think prom dresses are anything I have to worry about. I have no daughters and I have no granddaughters (yet). Both of my sons 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’m sure I’ll eventually end up paying for rentals for other nieces and nephews. There’s so many of them. I’m sure I’ll see way more prom dresses than tuxedos.

The Philippines Compared to the United States

The Philippines is more Americanized, at least in the cities, than most people realize. If it wasn’t for some 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 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 music is different). The fees and the tuxedo and dress rentals are far cheaper, however, or I wouldn’t be paying for them.

Photo Attribution: Renee Olmsted from Pixabay
Edited and updated. Originally published at one of my other websites in February 2014.

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