Couples win P2M worth of raffle prizes in mass wedding

Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez (left) and First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos witness the signing of the marriage contract of the oldest couple representing the 2,023 couples during a mass wedding held at the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC) grounds Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Albee Benitez Facebook page)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Some of the 2,023 couples who tied the knot in a mass wedding here received more than P2 million worth of raffle prizes last Saturday.

Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez solemnized the couples in a ceremony dubbed “Officially You & Me sa ‘23,” held at the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC) grounds.

First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos, who was the guest of honor during the occasion, shared some marriage tips with the newly-weds.

As a lawyer, Marcos highlighted the importance of the Family Code which states that marriage is an inviolable social institution.

She said that choosing the “right” spouse is one of the most important decisions, as she noted that a spouse will have the most influence on a couple’s personal growth.

“There’s no magic formula that will make a marriage work a hundred percent,” she added.

Marcos told the couples to continue their courtship, to take care of each other, and to make their home a happy haven for them and their loved ones.

The city government celebrated the 2,023 unfold stories of hope, love, and faith this year – to infinity and beyond.

Benitez, in his message, said that “today is an opportunity to look at each other’s past and cherish all that you have learned; to look at each other’s present and savor each moment you share; and to look at each other’s future and embrace what tomorrow holds.”

The three couples who won P500,000 each were Mr. and Mrs. Jocel Dela Peña, Mr. and Mrs. John Mark Magbanua, and Mr. and Mrs. Joeper Galvez, while P100,000 were given each to Mr. and Mrs. Wilberto Maniclay, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Bagahansol, Mr.and Mrs. Roy Roger Navaroza, Mr.and Mrs. Joel Pasilan, and Mr.and Mrs. Andrei Betios. Other couples also received appliances.

The oldest couple is Maximino Mataquil, 79, and Patricia Doremon, 72, of Barangay 22. They received hotel accommodation in an Executive Suite room.

The three couples who won the best wedding garbs each received P2,000 worth of hotel gift certificates, while two couples who were living together for about 36 years, each received hotel accommodation in a Standard Suite room.

The job order casual employees of the city government from the LGBTQ provided free make-over to the brides during the mass wedding.

Other city officials, Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, and Victorias City, Negros Occidental Mayor Javi Benitez, with his mother Nikki Benitez, also graced the occasion.

Meanwhile, 28 couples tied the knot in a special mass wedding held at the BCGC lobby on March 3. They were part of the 2,053 registered couples in the city for the mass wedding.

The special wedding ceremony was requested by the 28 couples with special consideration, according to the local government.