Sarabia-Peña Nuptials: the Church Wedding of Red and Risa – Part 1

Mr. John Frederick “Red” S. Sarabia and Dr. Risa Maria Lourdes O. Peña recently tied the knot in a lavish two-day wedding that had Iloilo City abuzz. Red is the Vice President of the esteemed St. Therese MTC Colleges comprising three campuses in Iloilo City and Iloilo Province.

Red is the son of the former Department of Tourism Undersecretary and current Iloilo City MICE Chairman Mr. Salvador “Dong” Sarabia D. Jr. and Dr. Ma. Teresa S. Sarabia, President of ST. Therese MTC Colleges.

Dr. Risa is one of the distinguished anesthesiologists in Iloilo City and the daughter of sugar baron and Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. Chairman Mr. Rito “Judgee” Lopez-Peña and philanthropist-socialite and Miss Iloilo Chairwoman Mrs. Sarah O. Peña.

Both Red and Risa come from good stock, as Red is the great-grandson of Capt. John B. Lacson and grandson of Dr. Salvador Sarabia Sr. and Mrs. Amparing D. Sarabia on his father’s side, and Atty. Arturo A. Sebastian and Dr. Mary Lou L. Arcelo on his mother’s side.

Dr. Risa is the great-granddaughter of former Vice President of the Philippines Fernando H. Lopez and the granddaughter of Mr. Cristino Opolencia and Mrs. Tarsila Opolencia on her mother’s side, and Judge Remegio M. Peña and Yolanda Lourdes “Bobbie” Lopez on her father’s side.

The couple had their intimate Church wedding at the Sta. Maria Parish which was officiated by Fr. Rey Zerrudo. 

The Church was beautifully decorated by none other than the country’s top event stylist, Gideon Hermosa. The Church songs were beautifully sung by the angelic voices of the Sta. Maria Grand Choir.

The bride walked down the aisle in an elegantly beaded figure-hugging gown by Spanish designer, Pronovias which was perfectly matched by her white Christian Dior wedding heels. Red looked dashing in a sleek Barong Tagalog which was gifted to him by his dad, Dong.

Only immediate family, primary sponsors and close friends were invited to this special gathering. The bride’s sisters, Atty. Rita Carla Fernandina O. Peña-Antonio and Engr. Rica Marie Isabel O. Peña were matron and maid-of-honor respectively. Atty. Rita’s husband, Arch. Pablo Antonio III, was also cord sponsor for the wedding.

Not to be missed is Atty. Rita’s cute and adorable daughter, Sofia Beatriz Peña Antonio who was the sole flower girl for her tito Red and tita Risa.  The groom’s siblings were also in full support for their handsome brother.

Red’s older brother, Salvador “Don” S. Sarabia III offered during the mass, while Alejandro “Lee” S. Sarabia lead the second reading. Mary Margaret Rose Sarabia-Arcenas, wearing Atelier Debbie Co, and husband Angelo Arcenas were both veil sponsors.

Naturally, the fashion was also center-stage during this important event. Dr. Terry Sarabia was in a custom off-the-shoulder burgundy number by top Iloilo designer Eric Castelo.

The mother of the bride, Mrs. Sarah O. Peña, was in a regal dove colored cape gown by coveted Manila-based designer, Vania Romoff. The bride’s sisters, Atty. Rita and Engr. Rica were also in custom Vania Romoff creations. Baby Sofie Peña Antonio was even in an embellished piña Veluz Reyes gown, dahlings!

After the church wedding, guests were invited to cocktails which was held at the bride’s ancestral home at Casa Mariquit. Iloilo’s top caterer, Alejandro’s wowed the guests with their scrumptious serving of smoked salmon vol au vent, chicken en croute, beef salpicao and vegetable gnocchi.

Stay tuned for part 2 and 3 of my column which will feature the couple’s grand garden wedding which had the whole of Iloilo abuzz!