Contemporary Filipiniana was the theme of the highly anticipated wedding of vice presidential aspirant Senator Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas II and veteran broadcaster Korina Sanchez last October 27, 2009.
Dubbed by the media as the ‘wedding of the year’, Santo Domingo Church, their ceremony venue, was decorated with the bride’s favorite flowers: sampaguita, white roses, and rosal. Traditional wooden fans were placed at the seats. With the fans were the missalletes with bronze script and inlaid with piña fiber on the cover.
The wedding entourage and guests, composed of prominent personalities from politics, business, and media, were wearing native Filipino attires; Barong Tagalog for the gentlemen and Ternos or Maria Clara gowns for the ladies.
The entourage and guests include former President Joseph Estrada, Sen. Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino, Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, United States Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney, ABS-CBN Chairman and CEO Eugenio ‘Gabby’ Lopez III, ABS-CBN President Charo Santos-Concio, GMA Network President Felipe L. Gozon, Kris Aquino-Yap with husband James and son James Jr. Richard Gomez with wife Lucy, and Cesar Montano and wife Sunshine Cruz, among others.
Sen. Roxas wore an organza camisa chino under an embroidered piña barong made by Randy Ortiz. The groom’s barong was inspired by the ones worn by his father, late Sen. Gerardo ‘Gerry’ Roxas.
Korina, on the other hand, wore an intricately embroidered serpentine gown made from woven piña and silk with a 5-meter train. Designed by Pepito Albert and Amir Sali, the gown was made to look old in order to achieve the ‘vintage feel’ which the bride wanted. Korina did not wear a veil, instead, had a loose French twist as her do and wore a payneta (traditional gold comb) adorned with white flowers. As accessory to her bridal gown, she wore heirloom pieces from her deposed parents, Cecilia and Ramon.
More than ten bishops and priest concelebrated the Mass in Filipino. These include Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, Sorsogon Bishop Emeritus Jesus Varela, San Jose de Antique Bishop-Emeritus Raul Martirez, Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra, Fr. Antonio Labiao Jr. and Fr. Carmelo ‘Tito’ Caluag
Archbishop Lagdameo was the main celebrant while Fr. Caluag who delivered the homily.
Philippine Madrigal Singers, Manila Philharmonic Orchestra, Jamie Rivera, Ray Ann Fuentes, Robert Seña, and Basil Valdez performed Filipino and traditional wedding songs during the ceremony.
More than 2,000 guests were present during the wedding ceremony, with 3,000 more watching the couple exchange vows from outside.
After the event, guests were served a simple cocktail composed of stuffed pan de sal and rice cakes. An intimate reception followed at the Bahay na Puti, the Roxases’ ancestral home in Cubao, Quezon City. Staying with their theme, the tables in the reception were adorned with local flowers and accented with gasera (gas lamp) and specialized Venetian mirrors from Pampanga. The couple decided to shun away from the lavish reception they initially planned at the Araneta Coliseum. Instead, they donated the money to various organizations as aid to the victims of typhoon Ondoy.
The couple first met at the National Press Club Awards night back in 1998 and became a couple on May 22, 2002. Mar proposed to Korina on February 14 during their vacation in Cebu. The two publicly announced their engagement last April 25, 2009 at the noontime show, "Wowowee." On June 13, 2009, the senator officially asked for the broadcaster’s hand in marriage in a traditional "pamamanhikan” (asking the hand in marriage) held in Korina's ancestral home in Parañaque City.
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