By Mortz C. Ortigoza
CALASIAO - With countless couples he wedded already, the young mayor here said one of the funny incidents was when the groom wanted to revoke the wedding a day after he married them.
Mayor Mark Roy Macanlalay said the new husband wanted to be separated from the new wife because she would not allow the former to go out of the house to attend the evening event of the village’s fiesta.
“Meron iyong isa pero hindi ko alam kung natuloy ba iyan kinasal siya itong araw na ito dahil fiesta sa barangay. Next day nakikipag hiwalay dahil hindi ata pinayagan lumabas si lalaki,” he stressed.
He advised the husband that he could not do it aside that the wife was already pregnant.
Macanlalay would not cite the village here where the couples who quarrelled lived.
He said in his five years as mayor he solemnized already more than 500 pairs.
“In the mass wedding alone in the mall and at the plaza that were already 500! Not to mention the weekly wedding I officiated in the town hall”.
He said the couple chose him to officiate their ceremony because they already knew him and witnessed how he humoured the couples to ease them up.
“They know they have to spend money in a church wedding. They do not know the judge. The mayor is the most “flexible” person they know”.
The Local Government Code (LGC) of the Philippine allows chief executive of the towns and cities to officiate wedding while the Family Code of the Philippines allows only registered Church officials and any incumbent member of the judiciary to officiate at weddings.
In certain cases, a ship captain or airline chief, the military commander of a unit in the absence of the chaplain, and consular officials abroad may officiates marriages.
According to Abono Party-list Congressman Conrad Estrella in his late 1990s interview as quoted by UCANews.com: “There are many couples in the rural areas who want to get married but they cannot afford to pay the huge expenses of a Church wedding”.
In the Philippines, couples may pay for an "Especial Mass," which among other advantages includes a choir, flowers, red carpet and choice of dates.
Couples who cannot afford such a wedding are married in "ordinary" weddings, which are conducted on Saturdays during regular Masses with more than one couple. Couples can also opt for a wedding on another day without a Mass.
Macanlalay said several couples tried to give him monies even most of them came from the marginalized section of the society while the few came from the well-to-do, but they all rejected them.
“Many of them try to give monies but I declined. I told them what I do was service as public official. May mga well-off ginagawa magbigay ng fruit baskets. Siyempre pag may ganoon di ko tinatangihan. Pero pag pera tangihan ko, minsan nag-aabot pa sila ng sobre”.
LGC says the mayor can only wed in his jurisdiction.
The mayor was just wedded too with Byorn Mangahas from Barangay San Miguel here last May 1 in a Christian ceremony at Camp John Hay in Baguio City and an extended celebration at the air conditioned Stadia in Dagupan City for relatives and political supporters.
The crowd relished the twin celebrations as the mayor and his bride shook and gyrated to the tune of the music as one of the treats of the wedding.