CITY of BALANGA, Bataan – The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bataan District Jail, and City Government of Balanga in coordination with His & Her (Wedding planner and events) by Ryan Gee and Beyond Beauty (Makeup) by Barbie conducted the 3rd Kasalang Bayan today, July 10, 2017, at Bataan BJMP Compound, this city.
The ceremony was opened by a processional wedding march wherein 38 couples, their parents, sponsors, Dr. Ruby Matibag, Atty. Fernando Mendoza II, Ms. Ledesma Morante, J/Supt. Andrew Tauli, Hon. Benigno Meriño, and Hon. Francis Anthony Garcia were present.
Before proceeding to the wedding rites, inspirational messages were first given by J/Supt. Andrew Tauli (Bataan Jail Warden), Hon. Benigno Meriño (City Councilor/Chairman, Committee on Women & Family, Senior Citizen, Persons with Disability and Social Welfare), and Hon. Francis Anthony Garcia (City Mayor).
“Love will find a way,” Mayor Francis said as he led the wedding rites of the 38 couples. Brides and grooms then exchanged vows, finally put rings on their fingers, signed the marriage certificates, had their picture as newlyweds taken, and also the chance to have a picture together with the Mayor.
After that, some couples were interviewed about their love story. “Kahit nagkamali kami minsan, may karapatan kaming lumigaya,” one newlywed couple said, and shared that they knew each other while they are still both inmates, until such time that the other got out and they still manage to love each other. Another story was shared about the oldest couple who got married just today, after 12 years of being together. The bride shared this conversation they had before: “Ano bang hinahanap mo?” the bride asked. “Kahit ano basta mahal ako,” the groom replied.
Also present that gave special messages to the newlyweds were Dr. Ruby Matibag (Dean, BPSU – College of Nursing), Mr. Francisco Corpuz (Philippine Statistics Authority Officer – Bataan), Atty. Fernando Mendoza II (Bataan Public Attorney’s Office), and Ms. Marilyn Cruz (City Civil Registrar, City of Balanga).
There were mixed emotions during the wedding, but for the same reasons – happiness, gratitude, and freedom, that even though they can’t be together physically every day, finally today they are together in marriage.