(Group picture of all couples before the Kasalang Bayan para sa Katutubo.)
(Wearing of ceremonial wedding ring.)
(Newly-wed couple thanking IBP Pampanga and Mayor Pamintuan. Contributed Photos)
ANGELES CITY – In order to legalize the union of Aeta couples living together outside marriage bonds, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Pampanga Chapter initiated a mass wedding dubbed “Kasalang Balen” in Barangay Sapang Bato here last Friday.
Atty. Gener Endona, IBP Pampanga Chapter president, said this is for them to obtain legal documents required for getting proper education for their children, suitable employment for themselves, as well as other civil and social benefits.
The ceremony where 18 Aeta couples tied the knot was officiated by Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan at the Puning Hot Spring and Restaurant.
“Ang purpose namin dito maging lehitimo ang kanilang pamilya, ang kanilang pagsasama, yung record nila maayos, may marriage contract, yung mga anak ma-legitimate,” Endona said. “Malaking bagay iyon kase iba yung karapatan ng lehitimong pamilya sa ating batas.”
Among the Aeta couples are Allen and Shirlene Cosme who expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the IBP-Pampanga initiative.
It was observed that even in these modern times, Aeta couples often have no legal documents because in their society, only the consent of their elders is enough to seal their union.
For his part, Mayor Pamintuan thanked IBP Pampanga for their efforts and for continuing with their advocacy to help the indigenous communities in the city.
The couples were dressed in resort wear, flowery sarongs for the brides and white shirts and equally flowery shorts of matching colors for the grooms, complete with leis, in keeping with the resort ambience.
Wedding singers sang in the ceremony while the reception was held in a huge function room of the restaurant where wedding cakes were sliced by the couples.
The principal sponsors included IBP Pampanga Chapter past president Atty. Peter Paul Maglalang who started the mass wedding for Aeta couples during his term in 2014.