MANILA, Philippines – Mayors across the Philippines presided over weddings of hundreds of couples on the week of Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, February 14.
The mass wedding ceremonies had various names like ‘Kasalang Panlungsod’ and ‘Kasalang Bayan,’ meaning wedding of the city or town.
The Local Government Code of the Philippines gives mayors the power to solemnize marriages.
Here’s a look at the Valentine’s Day weddings across some parts of the country.
In San Juan City, Mayor Francis Zamora officiated the mass wedding with 63 couples from different barangays of the city.
“On behalf of the City of San Juan, we are congratulating the 63 couples on their big day and wish them a lifetime of happiness as they start their journey as husband and wife” said Zamora.
The city also held a reception for the couples after the ceremony. Each couple received a heart-shaped wedding cake, and a P3,000 cash gift from the city.
“Lahat ng manganganak sa kanila in the future, libre na panganganak nila sa San Juan Medical Center (All of those who have children in the future may give birth for free at the San Juan Medical Center),” Zamora said.
“I wish them all the best in their marriage and I hope that they will reach 50 years and even more so that they will be able to receive their 50th golden anniversary gift from the city,” he added.
According to City Ordinance No. 39, series of 2022, couples who reach 50 years of marriage are entitled to a P50,000 incentive from the local government.
“Happy Valentine’s Day,” Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto said in a tweet, with a human heart emoji. The mayor posted photos of the city’s mass wedding ceremony on Tuesday at the Tanghalang Pasigueño.
“Congratulations sa mga bagong kasal (Congratulations to the newlyweds)!” Sotto said.
In May 2022, at the tail end of his first mayoral term, Sotto marked the wedding of his 400th couple.
The municipality of Pamplona in Cagayan wedded 25 couples on Tuesday at the Pamplona Cultural and Sports Center.
In Cavite City, Mayor Denver Chua officiated the wedding of 31 couples at Chua’s Pavillion on Monday, February 13.
Brides at the ceremony used bouquets of onions and vegetables, a practical shift from the usual floral bouquets.
“This is first time po nangyari dito sa Lungsod ng Cavite – libre po lahat, from marriage license processing, to reception, plus free cakes and sack of rice pa,” Chua said. (This is the first time we are doing this in Cavite City – everything is free, from marriage license processing, to reception, plus free cakes and a sack of rice.)
Mass weddings occurred throughout the province, with 741 couples wedded in Dasmariñas, 150 couples in Bacoor, 151 couples in Trece Martires, 50 couples in Imus, 26 couples in Noveleta, 37 in Carmona, and an undetermined number of couples in Tagaytay.
Iloilo City Mayor officiated the marriages of 43 couples in a mass wedding ceremony on Valentine’s Day at the city hall.
Informal marriages, or common law marriages, and cohabitation are prevalent in the Philippines. Filipino couples have pointed to economic concerns as the main reason why they live together, but do not formally marry.
February has been declared Civil Registration Month in the Philippines. The Philippine Statistics Authority and LGUs take an extra push to encourage Filipinos to register their births and marriages. – with reports from Dennis Abrina/Rappler.com
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