93 couples tie the knot in Pag-IBIG mass wedding
Kristine B. Quintas/ATO (The Freeman) - February 12, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Proving that not even age can stop two people from being together, 61-year-old Delfin Villamor and 52-year-old Edwina Alcuizar joined other couples yesterday in a mass wedding sponsored by the Pag-IBIG Fund.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day tomorrow, Villamor and Alcuizar were the oldest among the 93 other couples who tied the knot in the mass wedding at the Sacred Heart Center in Cebu City.   Alcuizar, in a white dress with flowers, and the groom, dressed in a Barong Tagalog, were both teary-eyed as they exchanged vows.

Villamor was ecstatic to finally fulfill his personal promise to get married in his 60s.

The two have three children together. Both though also have children from previous relationships. Alcuizar has three children with her deceased husband, while Villamor has one with his former wife.

 Alcuizar, for her part, said their marriage is also for their children, saying “ganahan mi nga malipay sila nga kasal na mi.”

Another couple- Wilfredo Pareja, 58 and Elena Aquino, 58, has been live-in partners for 35 years. They started living together in 1980 and have five children. The couple learned about the free wedding through their friend, who is a Pag-IBIG Fund member.

Reflecting on Pope Francis’ message during the 51st International Eucharistic Congress, Rama advised the couples not to forget to say “Please, Thank you, and I’m sorry,” explaining that these words will make their relationship stronger.

Living up to its name, the Pag-IBIG Fund or the Home Development Mutual Fund sponsored the mass wedding for its members, including transport workers, household service providers and overseas Filipino workers.

  The mass wedding was held simultaneously in selected Pag-IBIG branches nationwide including Cebu North and Cebu South Branches.

 Each couple was provided with symbolic rings, buffet dinner, bride’s bouquet, souvenir photo and mugs, among others.

 According to Victoria De La Peña, Pag-IBIG vice president for members services branch operations for Visayas and Mindanao, the “I Do. I Do. Araw Ng Pag-ibig” expansion aims to reach out to more Pag-IBIG members.

 “The event is unlike the usual mass wedding where the celebration ends after the exchange of “I Dos between the couples.  Pag-IBIG’s kasalan not just enables couples to legally bind their union but it also paves the way for the newlyweds to start a financially-solid future for them and their family,” she said adding that Pag-IBIG stands witness as the couples celebrate their love for each other on their special day.  (FREEMAN)



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