350 couples marry in Manila mass wedding

Manila, Feb 12 (IANS) Some 350 Filipino couples were married in a mass civil wedding on Friday in Manila’s commercial district of Malate, two days ahead of the Valentine’s Day.

One septuagenarian couple, each aged 74 years old, took their wedding vows at the government-sponsored ceremony in San Andres Sports Complex after 42 years of living together out of wedlock, EFE news reported.

“We could not get married before because our families did not allow us,” said Eduardo Munoz, 74, explaining that his family was Roman Catholic while his partner Angelina Manalo belongs to the Philippine Independent Church, a local religious sect that experienced a schism with the Catholic Church in 1902.

“As soon as I saw her, I was attracted to her, but her parents did not allow her to marry me because I was not one of them, so we did not go to the altar out of respect for our elders,” said Munoz, adding joyously “Now our elders are all dead … So we can do whatever we want!”

The 2.5-hour nuptial rites were officiated in the flower-decked gymnasium by former president and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada with over 1,000 friends and family members of the brides and grooms attending.

“It was very lively and happy, with a lot of jokes. The government even gave a flower bouquet and a small money gift in an envelope to each of the newlyweds,” said an attendee.

Mass weddings are often organised in the Philippines by local governments under the Civil Registrar Offices nationwide to help impoverished couples take their wedding vows.

“Many of these people are here because they want to formalise their relationship, but have no money to even pay a church to marry,” said Joey Cabresa, the director of the Registrar’s Office for the city of Manila, which spent 350,000 pesos ($7,300) on the nuptial rites for the 350 couples.

“We host this type of ceremony whenever we can, because for Filipinos, family and unity are very important,” Cabresa added.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here