DR. LEILANI Rosalind P. Caragos, the youngest daughter of Rotary Past District Governor Salvador "Doring" Caragos and Rosalinda Marfori Picardal, exchanged married vows with Dr. Deaver P. Merin, son of Dr. Florentino P. Merin and Dr. Aurelia Pontanilla-Merin of Tacloban Doctors' Hospital, on the 29th day of May at two o'clock in the afternoon at St. Jude Thaddeus Church, Camp Lapulapu, Lahug, Cebu City.

The bride's love for the medical profession must have been inherited from her great grandfather, Dr. Jose Unas Marfori, the first doctor of Cagayan de Misamis in the early 1900s. The scare of his injections during epidemics made early Cagayanons hide in the shelter of Huluga and Macahambus caves.

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Doc Leigh inherited most of his medical books, some written in Spanish, dating back from Rizal's time, seventy-five of which she donated to the city museum, together with the antique brass match box carrier, which was used to boil and sanitize his syringe needles.

Doc Leigh joined a family of physicians with a surgeon for a father-in-law and a pediatrician for a mother-in-law, both of whom have four children who are either doctors or currently studying to be one. Doc Deaver is the eldest.

The bride, a former Rotary Exchange Student of the Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro to Fukushima Prefecture in Japan, a Chinita beauty, made her regal and majestic church entrance to the choir's heavenly voices of the Prayer song.

Couturier Alex Lañojan was commissioned to do her bridal gown, the bodice of which was heavily embroidered with crystals and pearls and complimented with a detachable veil and train measuring eight meters long.

She had on her head a specially made tiara of baguette, oval and heart diamonds and a sprinkling of thirty diamond stud hairpins in white gold which made her hair glitter. The wedding rings were two-toned, in yellow and white gold, thick bands but no diamonds as preferred by the couple as they have to take them off on hospital duty. The arrhae was made up of thirteen one peso pure silver coins circa early 1900s (1907-1908-1909) from the numismatist bride's coin collection.

For bridal jewelry, she wore a set of blue square diamonds encircled with small white diamonds with dangling white south sea pearls for earrings, a blue diamond ring, a diamond tennis bracelet, a six strand mikimoto pearl bracelet on the other arm, and a necklace of six dangling south sea pearls from a diamond lattice pendant - all in white gold and executed by the city's famous Rosalinda's Golconda Jewelry owned by the bride's family and designed by the bride's mom who has been in the business for more than two decades.

The reception followed at the five star Waterfront Hotel's Baltic Riga Room which was prepared with two hundred seats and spruced up with the turquoise and brown color motif and enlivened with yellow dancing lady and white dendrobium orchids.

The big wedding cake was a three-tiered chocolate fondant, also in turquoise, with brown and silver trim. The bride and groom toasted and sipped on goblets of Cana wine which came all the way from the Holy Land.

The buffet table had a central attraction of an ice sculpture of two dolphins forming a heart.

The program started with an invocation and prayer before meals by Rafael "Pepot" Fortich, a successful businessman and Past Chapter Head of the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP) West Chapter. Pepot and wife Charisse Chaves-Fortich flew all the way from Cagayan de Oro to join the celebration.

The bouquet and garter game was made memorable and exciting by a prize of one-fourth carat diamond ring courtesy of the bride's family, which went to one of the bridesmaids, the bride's best friend, Dr. Collen "Cwix" T. Casinabe of Bukidnon.

Wedding give-aways consisted of 200 black onyx, white crystal and pearl rosaries given by Maria Teresa Marfori Picardal, owner of Sophia's Boutique and the bride's aunt. The same number of special and personalized wedding chocolate bars was also given away.

Most of the guests were relatives of the two families. From Tacloban came the Merins and friends, mostly doctors, and since the Caragos family hails from Pardo, Cebu, the whole clan of the Caragos-Labis-Abellanosa-Noval attended the joyous occasion.

The historic Pardo Church was the couple's first choice for the wedding as the land where the church stands, as well as the nearby cemetery, was donated by the clan's Cabeza Juan Labis' great great grandfather but due to the distance from the Waterfront Hotel's reception, the St. Jude Thaddeus Church was the best alternative choice.

The officiating priest was the bride's uncle, "Cycling Priest" Rev. Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, the rector of the Redemptorist Seminary in Davao City. He was assisted in distributing the hosts for Holy Communion by the bride's aunt, a nun of Oblates of Notre Dame, who came all the way from Marbel, South Cotabato, Sr. Nilda Labis Balaba, OND.

The first reader was only brother Kerwin Caragos while the second reader was eldest sister Melanie Caragos-Talimio. The commentator was brother-in-law Ray G. Talimio Jr.

For the offertory, the chalice and ciborium were offered by Tess Picardal and sister-in-law Dr. Odette Leh Valdehuesa-Caragos, respectively.

Principal sponsors were Philippine Army's Brig. Gen. Marlou L. Salazar, the cousin of the bride's father; Mrs. Doris Chiongbian-Oliva of WGA Shipping Co., Rajah Hotel and Bo's Café - who is the STC classmate of the bride's mother; District Engr. Crisostomo Acebu of DPWH in Oroquieta City and a close family friend; Flordeliz Milagros Cañizares-Reyes, PBCom's Manager and the bride's cousin, and Engr. Ricardo Polloso of NGCP (formerly Napocor) of Cebu, the bride's uncle.

From the groom's side were Mr. Rogelio and Dr. Fe Merin, OB; Dr. Joseph Al and Carmelita Alesna and Atty. Alert and Violita Alocieja.

For bridal entourage, the Maid of Honor was the bride's sister Stephanie Caragos - founder and CEO of Syntactics Inc., a software development company, and President/CEO of Asia Pacific Telecenter Inc., a call center in Trafalgar Square, Makati City; the best man was Robert Darren T. Cinco, best friend of the groom. Bridesmaids were Dr. Mitzhel P. Merin, the only sister of the groom who is with Cebu Doctors, Dr. Cwix Casinabe and the three lovely Talimio nieces - Roselynne Rae, Rosamund Rae and Melrose Rae. Escorting them were groomsmen Dr. Pablito Q. Vallar Jr., Ian Alfred M. Fajarido, Victor Yamani C. Merin and the two brothers of the groom, Lambert P. Merin and Richardson P. Merin.

Junior bridesmaids were Katrina Dominique V. Caragos and Cheriz H. Ato. Flower girls were Carmel Rae Marie C. Talimio, Kristina Danica Caragos, Kara Daniela Caragos and Julianne Ellenet V. Cañizares. Ring and Coin Bearers were Alex Andrew D. Patano and Karl Niño C. Dacuycuy, respectively. Secondary sponsors were Peter Piper and Melissa Pates, Rochyll and Arlene Amarille and Lloyd and Michelle Lelina.

The couple plans to settle in Cebu City where they will also pursue their specialization.