After 22 years, Negros couple gets married on Valentine’s Day
Cebu City, Philippines – It took five years for Dioscoro Pilarita to convince Melbeth Mabayag to be his girlfriend.
It took another 22 years for the couple to get married and officially become husband and wife.
In a ceremony filled with laughter and songs on Thursday, February 14, 2019, at the J Centre Convention Center in Mandaue City, the couple sealed their union with a kiss to the delight of their 12-year-old son, Melcor.
“Asawa naman gyud akong trato niya sauna. Karon lang, nawala na niya iyang apelyido sauna. Pilarita na siya,” said Dioscoro.
(I have always treated her as my wife. Today, she gives up her maiden name. She is now a Pilarita.)
Melbeth giggled as Dioscoro placed his arm around her shoulder, which reminded her of the years that her husband pursued her to become his better half.
Melcor, who was seated behind his parents, clapped and smiled as he watched his parents kissed and exchanged vows.
“Nalipay ko pag maayo nakasal silang Mama ug Papa. Mas malipayon na gyud ron. Unta, mausab na pud akong apelyido,” he told CDN Digital.
(I am very happy that Mama and Papa are now married. We are happier today. I hope that soon my last name will also be changed.)
Melcor’s last name is Mabayag, his mother’s maiden name.
When Melcor was born, they were told that the boy cannot have his father’s last name because they were not married.
“Karon na gyud ang nindot nga timing nga makasal mi,” said Melbeth.
(This is the perfect timing for us to get married.)
The Pilarita couple joined 80 other couples from all over Cebu province at the “I Do, I Do: Araw ng Pag-ibig” ceremony,” a free mass wedding program of the Home Development Mutual Fund (more popularly known as Pag-IBIG Fund) held at the J Centre Convention Center.
Dioscoro, 67, is a native of barangay Abante, Pamplona, Negros Oriental. The town of Pamplona is located 38 kilometers from Negros Oriental’s capital city, Dumaguete.
Melbeth, 51, lived in barangay Amio, Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental, which is located 97 kilometers from Dumaguete City.
Dioscoro, a mechanic, found a job in Santa Catalina. His workplace was located less than 500 meters from Melbeth’s home, where she was running a small store that sold softdrinks and beer.
Dioscoro became Melbeth’s regular customer.
It was the early 90s and the practice in the province is for the man to visit the woman in her parent’s house to court her.
“Naay nakaingon nako nga dalaga ug manggiuwawon. Ni-esplikar ko niya nga ako naa ko trabaho. Makasuporta gyud ko niya,” said Dioscoro in the Visayan language.
(Someone told me that she is single and shy so I explained to her that I have a job. I can support her.)
It took five years — 1992 to 1997 — before Melbeth accepted Dioscoro’s love.
She even moved to Bulacan to work in a factory in 1995 while Dioscoro worked in Manila.
When work brought him to Mandaue City, Cebu in 1997, Dioscoro went to Bulacan and asked Melbeth to join him.
They officially became a couple in 1997 and decided to live under one roof in barangay Tabok, Mandaue City.
In 2006, Melbeth gave birth to their only child, Melcor.
Melbeth was radiant in her white wedding gown made of lace and tulle. Dioscoro wore a white long-sleeve shirt.
“Kani tanan gipalit sa ukay-ukay. Wala man gani mi handa. Way mahay kay basta naa mi diri ron,” said Melbeth..
(We bought these from a second-hand store. We do not have any feast at home. We do not regret anything; we are here now.)
The ceremony was officiated by Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing.
Pag-ibig spent 300,000 for this event, said Sara Eloisa G. Javier, branch head of Colon Branch.
This include the couple’s lunch, wedding rings, the brides’ veils, bouquets of flowers and souvenirs.
Two couples also won “Sari-sari store Pangkabuhayan” packages worth P20,000 each. Small appliances such as rice cooker, television set, electric fans and food steamers were also raffled off.
This is the 8th year for Pag-ibig Fund to sponsor a free mass wedding program.
In a recorded video, Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees Chairperson Eduardo del Rosario reminded couples to only keep the good memories and not focus on mistakes and shortcomings.
“Marriage is a relationship between two people. Therefore, always give each other a chance and always be willing to share,” he said.
Del Rosario also said that couple should take care and respect each other.
“Do not let other people get in the way of your marriage. This is your relationship,” he said. /bmjo
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