11 Mandaue City inmates marry

By: Norman V. Mendoza November 03,2017 - 10:35 PM


AT a glance, they seemed like ordinary couples about to get married, with the women elegantly dressed in white gowns while the men looked dapper in dark suits and Barong Tagalogs.

But the eleven couples, normal as they seemed, were under extraordinary circumstances when they exchanged their vows yesterday inside the Mandaue City Jail.

Officiated by Mayor Luigi Quisumbing, the nuptials took place inside the jail’s compound in partnership with the Junior Chamber International (JCI)-WoMandaue, a civic organization.

The men were inmates of the jail mostly facing illegal drug charges while their brides were the women who vowed to face life with them no matter what, for better or for worse.

“Andam gyud kaayo ko nga magpakasal niya bisan og naa pa siya sa prisohan kay nahigugma man ko niya, bahala og magduawan lang ko niya pirmi (I am really ready to marry him even though he’s in jail because I love him. I don’t care if I have to visit him all the time),” said 32-year-old Jasmine Tokay.

Tokay, a resident of Barangay Paknaan, Mandaue City, and her boyfriend Nick Otero, 33, had been planning to get married before Otero was arrested in a police anti-drug operation last August.

In one of her visits to the jail, Otero learned from the prison administrators that JCI WoMandaue had planned to organize a mass wedding for inmates in November.

With the help of Otero’s parents, Tokay immediately complied with all the requirements needed for the civil wedding such as a marriage license and the baptismal or birth certificates of both parties, among others.

“Dako kaayo akong pasalamat kay bisan og dia na ko sa prisohan, andam gihapon siyang magpakasal nako (I am very grateful that even though I’m in jail, she is still willing to marry me),” said Otero.

A wedding reception followed the ceremony, which also had some Mandaue City councilors standing in as sponsors.

“It’s always been inspiring to learn that the inmates have been seeing the importance of a family life and step by step learning to come back to the community as a good citizen,” said Quisumbing.

According to outgoing Jail Warden Renante Rubio, they had long planned the project after learning that several inmates were already engaged but had to put their wedding plans on hold after the grooms-to-be were arrested for different offenses.

He said that there were close to twenty applicants for the mass wedding, but only eleven were able to comply with the requirements.

The ceremony was also attended by incoming Mandaue City jail warden Supt. Justin Calumpang, who will take over the post next week.

Blanche Aliño, a member of JCI-WoMandaue, said that the wedding was made possible with the help of the group’s partners who offered their services for the decorations and makeup and donated cakes, wine and food.

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TAGS: 11, city, husband, inmates, knot, mandaue, married, marry, tie, wife

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