DARAGA, ALBAY: Thirty poor couples in this town sealed their matrimonial vow in the historic Cagsawa Ruins in this love month.
Julie Ann, 23, and Romeo Cayas, 25, both of Anislag village, grabbed the opportunity for a free wedding that was offered by the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) in celebration of its yearly Pag-IBIG Day on Valentine’s Day dubbed this year as “I Do, I Do Casamiento de Cagsawa.”
Julie Ann is already four months pregnant with their first child.
The wedding ceremony was officiated by Fr. Jun Barquez and Fr. John Mendoza.
This is the second year the Pag-IBIG office sponsored a mass wedding in partnership with the Albay provincial government.
Julie Ann and Romeo expressed gratitude for the remarkable program as they were able to receive the sacrament of marriage with all the expenses paid and with free meals.
Roberto Salvosa, 62, Pag-IBIG Legazpi branch head told The Manila Times that their agency has been sponsoring mass wedding since 2011, although it started in Bicol only in 2014.
Salvosa said that these new couples with low income bracket can now avail of a housing loan from the Pag-IBIG with 4.5 interest rate per annum. He said this is a good opportunity for them to acquire their own houses instead of renting one.
Lucky couples may also be given house-in-lot and pang-kabuhayan showcase to start small businesses. After the wedding ceremony, the 30 couples also went home with 25 kilos of rice each given by the local government of Daraga.