By Ben Rosario
Some 26 Dumagat tribe couples ignored the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat to say their “I do’s” three days before lovers celebrate Valentine’s Day.
As the mass wedding was held at San Jose del Monte (SJDM) City, Bulacan, local officials of one of the fast-growing cities in the country also inaugurated the Rising HeArt marker and Love Lock Repository in its bid to be part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN).
Rep. Rida Robes teamed up with her husband Mayor Arthur Robes to sponsor the couples for the mass wedding held at the Rising HeArt marker. Rev.Fr. Avelin Tubig and Mayor Robes officiated the pre-Valentine event.
Rep. Robes, chairperson of the House committee on people participation, said they expect to join the UCCN as city executives moved to promote one of the largest cities in the country in the international scene.
It will be recalled that through the efforts of the Robes couple, SJDM earned international recognition for setting a new record in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest number of living figures in a Nativity scene last December.
“Mayor Arthur and I envisioned this at the start of our terms, and now we’re following through on this promise. We have made sure that San Jose del Monte is a place that nurtures the creative arts,” she said.
“We want our city to be progressive in every way,” added Mayor Robes.
“A booming economy is great, but we must not forget that there are so many more things that a community needs in order to be considered as fully developed. We must not forget to celebrate our culture. We must be open to the ideas from various fields, such as the creative arts. They nurture a community’s soul,” Rep. Robes explained.
Robes also lauded Dumagat tribe leaders in Sitio Karahume, Barangay San Isidro for lending their full cooperation for the conduct of the mass wedding.
The event was witnessed by SJDM Councilor Rosalyn Canuck and Benjamin San Jose of the Indigenous People’s Minority.