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BACOLOD CITY – A total of 2,013 couples exchanged marriage vows in what was probably the biggest mass wedding in Philippine history here on Saturday, February 16.
Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, Senator Franklin Drilon and former Ilocos Sur Gov Chavit Singson were among the sponsors of the wedding officiated by Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
Dubbed “2013 in 2013,” the event was originally set on Valentine’s Day but was moved to February 16 to accommodate the schedule of Pacquiao and the other guests.
The ceremony, an annual event initiated by Leonardia since he took over as Bacolod mayor in 2004, was part of the 8th Bacolaoidiat Festival to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
“We are amazed at the very enthusiastic response of this very big number of applicants, but we feel it is a positive indication that our people in Bacolod would like to put their lives in order. This unprecedented ceremony is a tourist attraction by itself,” Leonardia said.
The ceremony was held in the New Government Center at 4 pm, and raked in close to half a million in donations from local businessmen.
Boxing champ’s advice
Pacquiao called on the couples aged 18 to 82 to kiss after Leonardia administered their marriage rites.
In a message delivered during the ceremony, the boxing champion told the couples marriage was “a lifetime commitment” with “no expiration.”
He also prayed for the newlyweds, saying it was a “powerful gift” he wanted to give them.
Bacolod City was vying for the world record of having the most number of couples married at the same time. – Rappler.com
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