Debut Decorum 101: How Guests Should Conduct Themselves in Four Ways


“Maturity does not always come with age, in fact, it is deeper than age. It is about the way you see and understand things. The way you consider others. The way you communicate. The way you reach. The things you value. The things you entertain. The way you represent yourself and others as an adult. Everyone grows old, but not everyone is growing up” -Author Unknown

It is the moment every Filipino girl is waiting for, and it is something she has definitely dreamed of since attending her very first coming of age soiree. A Filipino’s eighteenth birthday or debut is indeed one very special occasion, it is not only a night wherein a girl gets to look and feel like a princess, but in a sense, it is like a rite of passage towards womanhood—in more ways than one. Apart from being allowed access to R-18 movies, getting a license to drive a car and finally be at a drinking age, a debut party marks the transition from a girl into a woman and in most cases, it is a girl’s grandest party in her life. In fact, the debutante’s parents would start planning and scouring for debut packages even months before the occasion is set to happen.

In several occasions, you would get invited to these parties and when you do, consider yourself as part of the exercise and practice proper decorum and embrace the etiquette. In order to conduct yourself properly as a guest, here are some of the things you must observe:

1.) Dress Right

Depending on the debutante’s theme, the invitation usually indicates the type of dress code guests is “encouraged” to wear. Though you need not exactly follow the dress code strictly, it would be the height of rudeness if a debutante invites you and you disregard the least of her wishes. Apart from adhering to the dress code suggested, it would be best if you do not try to dress in a way that would upstage the debutante in her own party. Remember, the night is all about her, and she would most likely want to feel the star of the show. Save your sultry dresses for another occasion or on your own debut party.

2.) Mingle

It might be a tad intimidating to mingle with the debutante’s friends—especially when they come in cliques, but a party is still a party. If you are not part of the debutante’s cliques or hardly know anyone in the party, take this as an opportunity to meet new people and engage in small chit-chat. You will never know, but this might be the night you will make new friends.

3.) Be patient and stay in your seat

Though a debut’s program can tend to get long winded especially after sitting through the eighteen roses, eighteen candles and eighteen treasures (and in some cases, even eighteen shots), sit through it and patient. While sitting through eighteen speeches and eighteen dances may not exactly be the most entertaining to the world, the debutante would appreciate it if you at least sat through until the end of it all. Consider that you were invited for a reason, make it a gift to the debutante instead to see through her debut and try to keep yourself awake and on your seat.

4.) Say goodbye properly

After sitting through a lengthy program and a series of dance numbers, it can be tempting to just make a quick exit when you are bored and sleepy. While you cannot wait until the program is over and leave, the least you can do is finish the program in its entirety and bid the debutante and her parents a proper farewell. It is only common courtesy after being invited after all.

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