Makati holds free mass wedding
Thirty-five indigent couples tied the knot during the recent annual mass wedding sponsored by the Makati city government. And with the city taking care of their gowns, suits, and rings, all they had to do was show up at the Makati Sports Club in Barangay Bel-Air.
Mayor Abby Binay said the free mass wedding dubbed “Kasalan sa Makati” was organized by the Family and Men's Welfare Section of Makati Social Welfare Department (MSWD) to help underprivileged couples legitimize their union and strengthen their bond.
“These newlyweds are very lucky because in Makati, we give everything for free. For this year, we have also provided them with free wedding gowns and suits apart from the invitations, 14k gold rings, bridal bouquets, boutonnieres, wedding cakes, hair and makeup, venue, food for the guests, wedding singers and performers, photo and video shoots,” she said.
The mayor said the city government paid a total of P4.49 million for the event and gave six cubic feet refrigerators as a gift to the newlyweds.
Mayor Abby officiated the event while Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo and Cong. Luis Campos served as principal sponsors to 17 couples from District 1 and 18 couples from District 2 who have been living together out of wedlock for at least five years.
Councilors Armand Padilla, Virgilio Hilario Jr., Martin John Pio Arenas, Luis Javier, Rene Andrei Saguisag, Jose Villena, Anna Alcina Yabut, Dennis Almario, Maria Dolores Arayon, Benedict Baniqued, Arnold Cruz, and Kristina Sarosa served as the couples’ secondary sponsors.
After the wedding ceremony, the newlyweds signed their marriage certificates.
Mayor Abby advised the couples to stay strong in times of adversity, especially if they have children.
“You are supposed to be able to sacrifice everything for your children because that is the role of a parent. While the city government is here to help you, do your part as parents to make both ends meet,” she said.
Mayor Abby noted that the MSWD selected the couples who are beneficiaries of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
To avail of the program, couples should have been living together for at least five years and without any legal impediment to marry each other.
Other requirements include a valid ID with Makati address and voter’s certificate.
Newlywed Welsa Bonanciar-Holt, who was one of the 35 brides at the mass wedding, thanked the city government for sponsoring their wedding.
“The prices of goods and services are expensive these days. That is why we have waited for this event because all are provided by the city including my gown and my husband’s suit. We are very thankful to Mayor Abby and MSWD for sponsoring our wedding,” she said.
Bonanciar-Holt and her husband, Mark Jansen, would have spent P10,000 for a simple town wedding or more than P50,000 for a church wedding if they had not availed themselves of the opportunities offered by the city government.
“This means a lot to us especially to underprivileged Makatizens who want to get married but they do not have the means to pay for the cost of wedding services,” she added.
The Holt couple has been living together for seven years. They have a two-year-old daughter named Maue.
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