by Danielle V. Nakpil and Regina Rose D. Laciste
Around 100 couples tied the knot in the 2013 Kasalang Bayan organized by the Calamba Local Government last February 14 at the Calamba City Hall lobby.
“Ginawa talaga ‘yang kasalang bayan para sa mga taong walang pampakasal,” said Senior Administrator Dick Mendoza, the event coordinator. The ceremony was officiated by Bishop Levy Erasga and Mayor Joaquin Chipeco Jr. at 10 am.
The Valentine Mass Wedding was conducted by the Mayor’s Office Extension in cooperation with Pag-IBIG. Since July 2004, the Mayor’s office has been organizing mass weddings for couples who cannot afford a church or civil wedding.
“Ang laki ng pasasalamat namin sa Kasalang Bayan kasi sa wakas nakasal din kami,” said Eufrocino Austria, 62 years old, a participant of the Heart’s Day Nuptial who is now married to Espitania Austria after ten years of living together with their six children.
Like Eufrocino and Espitania, a large number of couples living together in Calamba City are not yet married explained Senior Administrator Dick Mendoza. “Natutuwa po kami sa libreng kasal dahil nakasal po kami ng wala gaanong ginastos,” said another beneficiary of the event, Prescilla Sampelo. The 35-year-old is now a legitimate housewife to Rodolfo Espelimberqo, a factory worker. The now Mr. and Mrs. Espelimberqo have been living for ten years and was blessed with three children.
“Malaking tulong talaga sa kanila ang naganap na kasalang bayan dahil libre,” Administrator Mendoza added.
The participants brought their own set of witnesses as part of the requirements for the marriage contract signing. The newly weds also earned the chance to win a house and lot raffle courtesy of Pag-IBIG in Bougainvillea Subdivision in Calamba.
The winners of the Pag-IBIG house will be announced on February 15.