A TOTAL of 202 couples in Bacolod City tied the knot in rites officiated by Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia Tuesday afternoon at the Bacolod Government Center (BGC) lobby.
The ceremony was witnessed by Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Councilors Cindy Rojas, Em Ang, and Bartolome Orola, Mark Mayo representing Congressman Greg Gasataya, Luis Gonzales of the Philippine Statistics Authority-Negros Occidental, and City Civil Registrar Hermilo Pauyon.
Leonardia said it’s the first time the mass wedding was held inside the Government Center building since in the previous years, the ceremonies were held on the BGC grounds.
It’s also the first time that he officiated a mass wedding with a typhoon where Negros Occidental was under Signal No. 2, he added.
The mayor said he arrived from Cebu City Tuesday morning experiencing the bad weather, and proceeded to officiate the matrimonial rites of the 202 couples.
“We are holding a mass wedding because we believe that family is the basic unit of society,” Leonardia said, adding that a family should live together harmoniously.
“We want this established because if the family is the basic unit of society, we want here in Bacolod that the families are also living together stable,” he added.
The mayor noted that Bacolod is one of the premier cities in the Philippines and it should have good families.
“Let’s have more stable lives together because good families will also make a good city, and a good city will make a good country,” Leonardia said.
The City Government allotted P103,000 for the mass wedding.
Almedo Revicente, 59, and Leonor Ellazar, 47, the oldest couple who are residents of Barangay Estefania, said they are happy to be finally married after living together for 15 years.
The couple said they are thankful to the City Government for holding the mass wedding rites for free.
Three couples Marvin and Eddie Bie Manaytay; Arcila Aljon and Charmaine Roca; and Sabino Eugene and Janice Medel were awarded Best in Attire.
Romnick and Sarah Jane Gitalan were awarded as the 80th couple since the city is now celebrating Bacolod @80.
The winning couples received gift packs and hotel accomodation certificates.
The mass wedding project of the City Government in February coincides with the observance of the Civil Registration Month.