After two postponements, the Bacolod City Government Center grounds was finally transformed into a place of love and excitement as 2,023 couples tied the knot at a mass wedding ceremony on March 11.
The event was officiated by Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez and witnessed by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos.
The highlight of the ceremony was the raffle draw of P2 million worth of prizes. Five lucky couples went home with the prizes, with three couples winning P500,000 each and five winning P100,000 each. Other couples won appliances in the raffle.
The cash prizes were donated by the first lasdy who donated P1 million, while Benitez and Rep. Greg Gasataya donated P500,000 each.
The mass wedding ceremony was not only about exchanging vows and winning prizes, as special prizes were also given to the oldest couple, the “longest cohabitation” pair, and the three best-dressed couples.
The oldest couple to get married were Maximo Mataquil, 79, and Patricia Doremon, 72, of Barangay 22, Bacolod. The couple has been living together for 25 years and finally tied the knot at the ceremony. Mataquil and Doremon signed their marriage certificate, fed each other wedding cake, and sealed their union with a kiss on stage, to the delight of the crowd.
Patricia expressed her joy at finally being married to Maximo after 25 years of living together. She also shared the secret to their long-lasting relationship, which is to avoid fights.
Another couple who received a special prize was Jimmy Seva, 60, and Rosemarie Paredes, 68, of Barangay 3, who won the prize for “longest cohabitation”. The couple has been living together for 36 years prior to getting married. They have two children and five grandchildren.