Donning face masks and shields together with their matrimonial garb, 19 couples said their “I do’s” during a mass wedding in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental on Friday.
Mayor Renato Gustilo officiated the ceremony considered as the first mass wedding in the province this year in Sitio Sto. Niño in Barangay Buluangan amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The couples came from the different sitios of the village identified to have lived together for quite some time but could not afford to legalize their union.
Among those who got married were Ricky Samolde, 46, and Ma. Honorata Samolde, 53, who had been living together for 25 years.
They were married under Article 34 of the Family Code of the Philippines, which states that “No license shall be necessary for the marriage of a man and a woman who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and without any legal impediment to marry each other.”
“Guide your children well so they will not fall into bad influence,” Gustilo reminded couples about parenting.
The civil mass wedding was followed by a Mass and the reception was sponsored by the local firm Ledesma Hermanos Agricultural Corp. (LHAC).
Registration Officer IV Reynaldo Nilo Chan of the Office of the City Civil Registrar said each couple’s documentary requirements cost PHP550.
Meanwhile, Sipalay City is also calling on couples who want to get married to register and apply for a marriage license for the mass wedding set on Feb. 22, 23, and 24 at the New Government Center.
Before the rites, a pre-nuptial photoshoot and tree planting will be held on Feb. 18. (PNA)