LOOK: 'Ninong' Duterte in Koko Pimentel, Kathryna Yu wedding

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, 54, married partner Kathryna Yu, 36, in a civil wedding ceremony on Thursday, October 18, at the Coconut Palace.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio officiated the wedding, which was attended by big names in politics and showbiz. President Rodrigo Duterte and close aide Bong Go led the principal sponsors.

In his vow, the usually strict and stiff senator related his reelection bid to his marriage, making the people laugh.

"Today, we vote with our hearts. Thank you for electing me as your husband. This is the election I really want to win," Pimentel said, eliciting smiles and laughter from the crowd.

Turning serious, the senator said: "I have loved you all these years. I may not verbalize it because you know I'm a man of few words, but I hope you felt my love and genuine concern for you in one way or another. Kath, you will always be my baby girl until our baby girl actually arrives."

MARRIED. Senator Koko Pimentel marries Kathryna Yu in a ceremony officiated by Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio. Pimentel's first marriage was annulled early 2018.

Photo by Ron Munsayac

Yu, in her vow, promised to be patient.

"I promise to be patient for the course of our marriage, be the constant pillar for our family wherever our lifelong voyage takes us. I will be there for you and I promise you will never have to be alone in facing your challenges," she said.

In an earlier Rappler Talk interview, she said she is "ready" to be a politician's wife, knowing fully well what it entails.

Other sponsors, guests

Aside from Duterte and Go, also present were former House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, the secretary-general of PDP-Laban, as well as party mate Senator Manny Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee Pacquiao.

Duterte is PDP-Laban chairman while Go is auditor.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III and wife Helen Gamboa Sotto were also among the principal sponsors or ninongs and ninangs.

MARRIED COUPLE. Mr and Mrs Koko Pimentel.

Photo by Ron Munsayac

SPONSORS. Senate President Vicente Sotto III and wife Helen Gamboa Sotto, with the groom and the father of the bride.

Sourced photo

ALLIES. President Rodrigo Duterte attends the wedding of his party mate. Here he is with Leyte 1st District Representative Yedda Marie Romualdez.

Photo by Ron Munsayac

NINONG. Bong Go at the Koko Pimentel-Kathryna Yu wedding. He is with Isabelle Faeh, one of the ninangs.

Photo by Ron Munsayac

PACQUIAOS. Senator Manny Pacquiao and wife Jinkee.

Photo by Ron Munsayac

ALLIES. Former House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, secretary general of PDP-Laban, is among the principal sponsors.

Photo by Ron Munsayac

BEARERS. Senator Koko Pimentel's sons Martin and Akio with the bride's nephew, Jose Yu.

Photo from Jola Yu

YU FAMILY. The family of the bride.

Photo from Jola Yu

The wife of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Mila Drilon, was also a ninang. But the couple was unable to attend due to a commitment abroad. They instead held a dinner for Pimentel and Yu weeks before the wedding.

Pimentel and Yu got a total of 9 pairs as principal sponsors. Others in the list include:

NINONGS, NINANGS. President Rodrigo Duterte and the other principal sponsors join the newlyweds.

Malacau00f1ang photo

Pimentel's other colleagues from the Senate were also present.

SENATORS. Koko Pimentel's colleagues and their spouses pose with the newlyweds.

Photo from Senator Joel Villanueva

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Sen Joel Villanueva (@joelvillanueva) on Oct 18, 2018 at 5:12am PDT

Foreign dignitaries, including United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, were among the guests as well.

FOREIGN GUESTS. United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim (2nd from right) is among the guests at the wedding.

Sourced photo

The wedding's motif was Filipiniana. Pimentel's barong Tagalog and Yu's gown were both designed by Paul Cabral. The catering was done by Chef Florabel Co-Yatco while the cake was made by Penk Ching.

Yu also serves as the head of PDP-Laban Cares, the humanitarian arm of PDP-Laban.

Pimentel's marriage with his former wife Jewel May Lobaton was annulled in January this year. Lobaton and Pimentel got married in 2000. They have two children, Aquilino Martin and Aquilino Justo, who served as the ring and Bible bearers in their father's wedding with their "Mama Kath." – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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