Because of constant transfer of residence, young Edmundo Roma couldn’t complete the required documents to marry his partner, Alecia.
So they decided to call off the wedding and just live together.
Seventeen years and five kids later, they finally received the sanctity of marriage.
Edmundo, 39 and Alecia, 35 along with 50 other couples officially tied the knot last Saturday, October 18, at the Nuestra Señora Patrocinio de Maria Parish in Poblacion, Boljoon.
“Luag na among pamati kay nabendisyonan na gyud sa pari among panagtiayon. Malipayon gyud kaayo mi (We felt relieved and very happy now that our life together has received the priests’ blessing),” Edmundo joyfully expressed.
Boljoon town officials led by Mayor Merlou de Rama organized the first mass wedding in celebration of town’s 415th founding anniversary.
“After consulting with the councilors, we agreed to do the mass wedding because we felt it would give much significance to the lives of unmarried couples,” said de Rama.
He added that they have also coordinated with barangay captains and councilors in identifying the unmarried couples in the community.
Boljoon’s local government unit (LGU) shouldered the couples’ registration and reception while other expenses were sponsored. The couples only took care of securing their certificates of no marriage and their make-up and wardrobe.
“Nihatag pud ug counterpart ang simbahan. Nindot kaayo nga ang LGU ug simbahan magkauyon, mao nahitabo ni karon (The church also had a counterpart. It is a good thing that the LGU and church cooperated with each other, making the event possible),” expressed de Rama.
Among the mass wedding’s principal sponsors were Gov. Hilario Davide III and wife, Jobella Angan-Davide, Congressman Wilfredo Caminero of 2nd district of Cebu, Boljoon former mayor Deogenes de Rama, and Samboan mayor Raymond Joseph Calderon.
As a married man for 26 years now, Davide reminded the newly-weds that there is no secret formula in married life.
“Importante nga ang magtiayon magrespetoay magpinanggaay, magtinabangay ug mag share sa mga kalisod (What’s important is that the couples respect, take care, help and share problems with each other),” he said.
Seeing the event’s success, De Rama said that they will aim to do this every year.
“Daghan kaayong nalipay ani. Wala naman sila tagai ug labad sa ulo, nahatagan sab sila ug higayon nga makasal gyud sila (Because they were given a hassle-free church wedding, many were happy with the event),” he said.