DAGUPAN CITY, Feb. 28 (PIA) — As the country celebrates the Civil Registration Month this February, a number of municipalities and some religious groups in the province of Pangasinan are holding mass weddings for free to legitimize live-in couples, including their children.
A mass wedding was held in Sual town last February 14 at the sports and civic center where 96 couples exchanged “I Dos” during the ceremony sponsored by the municipal government headed by Mayor John Rodney Arcinue. The program was staged for the fifth time for the benefit of their citizens. Traditional wedding highlights were held such as slicing the ceremonial cake, toasting the wine, and pinning of money on the bride.
On that same day, a mass wedding was also conducted in Alaminos City at the Don Leopoldo Sison Auditorium. The “Kasalan ng Bayan” (town wedding) is on its eighth year which continually address things for the Alaminians like lessening illegitimate marriages and problem on legal documents. City Mayor Hernani Braganza solemnized the union of 114 couples to legalize marriage union and make their children entitled to many benefits under the law.
Highlighting this year’s Valentine’s wedding is the longest kiss contest, the first dance of the newlyweds and the distribution of gifts from the sponsors as a gesture of appreciation to them for availing the program of the city government and for embracing the sacrament.
Also, a mass wedding ceremony was held in Manaoag town last February 16. Here, 91 couples enjoyed the rite initiated by the local government headed by Mayor Napoleon Sales in cooperation with the Civil Registrar’s Office. This activity was conceived by the government which is already on its eighth year to serve their constituents who are living together without the benefit of marriage because of poverty.
Let’s get to know the most and the least number of couples who joined the mass weddings in the province this February 2012. Recorded as the highest number of couples is the mass wedding in San Jacinto town with 226 couples who tied the knot in the town’s gymnasium last February 19.
The “Kasalan ed Baley” (wedding in town) on its second year was officiated by Mayor Robert De Vera. It was intended to legitimize the relations of couples, save them from the tiresome processing of papers and wedding preparations, and at the same time relieve them of the pricey finances that go along with the conduct of this event. The couples were given a slice of cake and wine glasses and toasted just like in a traditional wedding reception.
On the other hand, the smallest mass wedding happened in Binmaley town at the Our Lady of the Purification church last February 25. There were only 29 couples who underwent the sacrament of matrimony celebrated by Rev. Fr. Victor Embuido, parish priest of the this town.
This occasion was sponsored by the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF) in cooperation with the local government through the Municipal Civil Registry. WAF is an international religious organization whose mission and vision is to help other people save their souls since God doesn’t want couples living together without getting married. WAF gave out rosaries and scapulars to couples to spread the message of the Our Lady of Fatima to pray for world peace. (ANL/AMM-PIA 1 Pangasinan)