Pre-Christmas church wedding for Charlie & China

PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez - The Philippine Star
Pre-Christmas church wedding for Charlie & China
Tarlac Rep. Charlie Cojuangco and wife China after the wedding Mass officiated by Bishop Enrique Macaraeg at the San Sebastian Cathedral in Tarlac City.
STAR/ File

It was a new beginning before God and man  for Tarlac Rep. Charlie Cojuangco and the former China Jocson when they walked down the aisle of the San Sebastian Cathedral in Tarlac City to seal their marriage vows.

China was radiant in a white, long-sleeved sheath gown by Tina Romack Lirag of New Yorker PVR, reportedly the same atelier that Charlie’s mother Gretchen Oppen-Cojuangco used to frequent.

The couple earlier had a quiet civil wedding ceremony on April 7 at the Ysidra Cojuangco Compound in Paniqui, Tarlac, following a betrothal ceremony in late December 2020.

With groomsmen: Dingdong Dantes, Javi Hernandez, Ali Alejandro, Itos Carag, Anton Lagdameo, Mark Cojuangco, Jaime Cojuangco, Alex Revilla, Winston Mapua and Francis Tiu-Laurel.

Tarlac Bishop Enrique Macaraeg officiated at the wedding rites, which was followed by a reception at the Kaisa Hall, Tarlac Plazuela attended only by 35 guests, in keeping with safety protocols.

Among the couple’s well-wishers were SMC president and CEO Ramon Ang, SM Investments Corp. vice chairman Tessie Sy-Coson, Frabelle Group CEO Franciso Tiu Laurel as well as mayors and provincial board members from Tarlac.

Also present were Gloria Diaz (aunt of Charlie’s late wife Rio), Dingdong Dantes, Ruffa Gutierrez and Ana Roces.

Charlie’s older brother Mark delivered a speech during the reception, which was emceed by Tessa Prieto-Valdes.

“Happy wife, happy life,” Mark advised Charlie.

Charlie has two children by his late wife Rio while China has a daughter. Rio passed away in 2004 due to cancer.

To have and to hold: Tarlac Rep. Charlie Cojuangco and wife, the former China Jocson.


A few weeks before the Tarlac church ceremony, Charlie and China, a former broadcast journalist from GMA-7, invited a few close friends for a pre-wedding dinner in lieu of the traditional stag party and bridal shower.

According to a friend who was at the dinner, “It was a night of good food, warm company and music.”

All guests were fully vaccinated and were also tested onsite.

The couple is very active in Charlie’s passion project, the Carlos O. Cojuangco Foundation.

“Like me, my wife wants to be an instrument of positive change, to help better the lives of our constituents in Tarlac,” Charlie says.

Charlie recently filed his certificate of candidacy for congressman of the first district of Tarlac while China has taken her oath as member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition party, which Charlie’s late father tycoon Danding Cojuangco founded.

With bridesmaids: Richelle Singson, Jara Mae David, Ana Roces, Happy Ongpauco-Tiu, Allana Montelibano, Peewee Isidro and Nicole Jacinto.


Following a brief courtship after being introduced at a dinner party, Charlie and China announced their formal betrothal at the Jose Maria Escriva Shrine in Gerona, Tarlac last Dec. 29.

According to online sources, a “betrothal ceremony or rite of betrothal is a ceremony in the Catholic religion in which a couple pledges to marry one another on a specified date. The agreement is morally binding under canon law.”

Charlie and China certainly took all the right steps for their church wedding, and by God’s grace… their happily-ever-after.

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