Friday, March 1, 2013

Two-time widower, 72, takes widow, 71 as bride in Aurora mass wedding

DIPACULAO, Aurora – A septuagenarian businessman, who was a widower twice over, took a septuagenarian businesswoman – herself a widow - as his wife, highlighting the mass wedding of 28 couples in this town Thursday afternoon.
          Marcelo Sebulboro Niegos, 72, and Estrella Palit-ang Gomez, 71, got lawfully wedded after 11 years in ceremonies officiated by Mayor Reynante Tolentino here.
          Niegos and Gomez, both of Barangay North Poblacion here, vowed that while the deaths of their previous partners led to their marital union, it is also only death that could make them part.
          “We want our union to be pure so we got married,” said Niegos, after sealing his union with Gomez with a kiss.
          Niegos, who was born on February 19,1941 – coincidentally the day the province celebrates Aurora Day-  has two children from as many previous marriages. His first wife Amparo Pimentel died in Lipa City in 1992. His second wife Juanita also died in 1999.
          Gomez has six kids from a previous marriage to her late husband  Felixberto Calderon who died in 1999.
          Niegos and Gomez met in North Poblacion where they happened to be neighbors.
          Gomez said it was love at first sight. But she clarified it was Niegos who feel for her on sight, not the other way around.
          Niegos said what is important is that they will now live together for better or for worse, in sickness or in health and yes, “till death do us part.”
          Asked jokingly if she had no misgivings that she would suffer the same fate as Niegos’ previous partners, Gomez said she has no such fear and that her love for Niegos overcomes all fears.
          Tolentino, in his speech during the mass wedding, emphasized respect among the couples as the foundation of their love for each other. “It’s important that you respect each other because if you have respect, it means you love each other,” he said before the 28 couples.
          Tolentino said since he became mayor in 2007, he already officiated in the mass wedding of at least 5,000 couples in the town. He said these couples were married without paying any single centavo to the municipal government, saving them expenses of at least P1,500 per couple.
Last year, Tolentino also officiated the wedding of 29 couples, including Ireneo Balangue Jr., 58, and Emelinda Bellong, 49, both of Barangay Dimabuno, who finally got married after living together like husband and wife for 27 long years and having two children sans marriage.
Candido Velasco, municipal civil registrar, said that aside from Niegos and Gomez, the others who got married were Juan Paolo Dolores and Mary Joy Rojo, Loderico Gamilla and Jocelyn Gonzales, Joel Bernardo and Virginia Evangelista, Leonard Agua and Jennalyn Tumala, Marcelino Mico and Teresita Terre, Judy Carbonel and Girlie Barte, Melchor Villamar and Mary Ann Hetosis, Dominador Garcia and Crisanta Ruiz, Eliseo Pascua and Desiree Arcega, Frederick de Guzman and Ronalyn Ramos, Allan Viernes and Geraldine Jose, Oscar Asuncion Jr. and Miriam Penaranda, Nestor Montero and Jessica Ogian;
Elmar dela Cruz and Maureen dela Cruz, Jovan Pacis and Melody Amin, Arnelio Marquez and Jenny Posidio, Eduardo Blanco and Jocelyn Posidio, Martian Cuaresma and Genelyn Alavar, Darwin Buenconsejo and Ma. Fatima Baroro, Edgardo Agustin and Emilyn Peralta, Melvin Orpiano and Charibel Pelantagaan, Aristotle Sarenas and Mary Jane Ocmer, Jesus Marzan Jr. and Yolanda Moreno, Virgilio Sevilla and Julieta Lagmay, Kristopher Fernandez and Rodelyn Calaunan, Jayson Drapeza and Dolores Canonigo and Orville Von Forbes and Ana Rose Acosta. – Manny Galvez


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