Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said that a couple living in an evacuation center for typhoon “Sendong” victims in Cagayan de Oro won a house and lot package during the Home Development Mutual (Pag-IBIG) Fund’s mass wedding rites on Tuesday, February 14.

Reynaldo Evangelio and Maricel Atasan who used to be from Barangay 13, but now lives in an evacuation center in Cagayan de Oro, won the raffle for a house and lot package picked from Pag-IBIG’s list of acquired assets. The raffle was held during Pag-IBIG’s  inaugural Valentine’s Day event dubbed “I Do. I Do. Araw ng Pag-IBIG.”

A total of 2,025 couples from nine venues around the country exchanged their vows with no less than Vice President Binay, Chairman of the Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees, standing as witness to the ceremonies.

Binay witnessed 750 couples – the largest count among all locations- exchange rings in Bacolod. The nuptials in the city were solemnized by Mayor Evelio Leonardia.

Gaya ng inyong pag-iibigan, ang Pag-IBIG ay naririto bilang inyong sandigan sa lahat ng inyong pangangailangan,” said the Vice President, whose message was beamed live to SM Malls in Pasay City, Baguio City, Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro, Naga City, and Davao City and in Calamba City Hall in Laguna and Kidapawan City Gymnasium for the mass wedding.  Vice President Binay also participated in the festivities at the SM Mall of Asia.

“Ang masayang okasyong ito ay siya naming paalala sa lahat ng manggagawang Pilipino, na kumikita ng higit sa P1000 kada buwan, na sila ay dapat maging miyembro ng Pag-IBIG Fund.  Sa inyong pagpapakasal, napapanahon nang pag-isipan ang inyong kinabukasan, hindi na bilang indibidwal, kundi mas higit bilang magkatuwang sa pagtaguyod ng inyong pamilya,” said Atty. Darlene Marie B. Berberabe, Pag-IBIG Chief Executive Officer, to the couples and their guests.

Pag-IBIG not just helped the couples undergo marriage rites but also used the event to promote financial literacy and greater appreciation of the concept of savings among the newlyweds.  The couples, at least one of whom is a Pag-IBIG member, included an OFW pair from Taiwan, household service providers, drivers and security guards among others.

The wedding in the giant mall turned out to be a memorable event not just for the brides and grooms, but for their solemnizing officer as well. Court of Appeals Associate Justice Josefina Guevara-Salonga celebrated her 70th birthday also on Valentine’s Day and spent part of her last day in office facilitating the union of 328 couples. Among those who happily exchanged their “I Dos” were Salonga’s long time driver, Dindo Duja, and his lovely bride, Vangeline.