After decades of being together, Felipe Cabreros, 80, and Natividad Galapate, 77, tied the knot along with other couples in Malasiqui town on Valentine’s Day. (Photo by Hilda Martin-Austria)
MALASIQUI, Pangasinan — Some 87 couples tied the knot on Valentine’s Day in a mass wedding sponsored by the municipal government here on Thursday.
Municipal Civil Registrar Jean Cecilia Soriano said the mass wedding is the municipality’s way to encourage couples, especially those already living together, to formalize their marital relationship as it is beneficial to the family, particularly to their children.
“Eighty percent of the children being registered to our office were born out of wedlock. The law provides more benefits to children whose parents are married. For instance, with the health insurance, among others, which makes the children automatic beneficiaries if the parents are married,” she explained in an interview Thursday.
The oldest couple who got married on Valentine’s Day here was Felipe Cabreros, 80, and Natividad Galapate, 77, residents of Barangay Tobor; while the youngest were 18 years old.
“The Cabreros couple was married in Mindanao during their younger days but upon checking with the Philippine Statistics Authority, they discovered that their marriage was not registered. So they joined the mass wedding, like this is their renewal of vows and to formally register their marriage,” Soriano said.
The mass wedding was officiated by Mayor Noel Anthony Geslani, together with other officials and church pastors who gave marriage advice to the couples.
The ceremony was complete with free ring, coin, cord, veil and the cake slicing. Each couple also has their godparents.
Soriano said the couples spent only on their wedding dresses and certificate of no marriage.
“We invite other unmarried couples living together who were not able to join the mass wedding to visit our office and we would assist them, so they could get married through civil wedding. The cost is very minimal as they would only pay for the needed requirements,” she added. (PNA)