A SIMPLE BUT ELEGANT WEDDING; POPE SENT WISHES OF ABUNDANT PEACE AND JOY
Lubao, Pampanga, June 25, 2002 (STAR) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today witnessed the union in marriage of her son, Pampanga Vice Governor Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo to lovely Ma. Angela Montenegro in simple rites at the 491-year old St. Augustine Parish Church here.
Accompanied by First Gentleman Atty. Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo, the President led her family, relatives and friends to the simple yet very much elegant morning wedding.
White flowers, which included roses, chrysanthemums and hydrangeas, highlighted the aisle of the newly refurbished St. Augustine Church as bright lights flooded the church’s interior and altar.
Made of brick, sand and stones mixed with egg albumen, the St. Augustine Church in Barangay San Nicolas is said to be the oldest church in Pampanga, and the second oldest church in the Philippines.
Unknown to many, the President’s father, President Diosdado Macapagal was baptized in the parish church. The young Macapagal, who was born on September 28, 1910 through midwife Escolastica Romero, was brought to the church by his parents Urbano and Romana.
Fr. Francisco de la Banda conducted Diosdado’s baptism on Oct. 12, 1910 when he was only about a month old.
Principal sponsors in the Arroyo-Montenegro nuptial included former Presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Corazon Aquino, Sen. Loren Legarda-Leviste, Don Emilio Yap, Gina de Venecia, Norma Chan and Salvacion Villarasa, Diosdado Macapagal Jr., Mario Cruel and Enrique Aboitiz Jr.
As in keeping with the Filipino motif, the Ninangs were in peach Filipiniana ensembles while the Ninongs were in pina barongs.
The march, led by Mikey’s brother Diosdado "Dato" Arroyo, was undertaken to the tune of Con Te Partiro, Pachelbel Canon in D and songs like the Promise.
Other songs during the ceremony included Tanging Yaman, Lead Me Lord, Theme from the Ice Castle, Panunumpa, Anima Christi, The Prayer, Take and Receive and Sa ‘Yo Lamang.
Clad in a celadon green terno, the President walked down the aisle unaccompanied as Atty. Arroyo walked in tandem with the bride’s mother, Charito Montenegro, while the father of the bride escorted Ma. Angela.
A beautiful sight to behold, Ma. Angela was clad in a gown made of pina with a detachable embroidered and beaded panuelo worn with an old heirloom tiara.
Mikey was in a Barong Tagalog circa 19th century with tiny embroidery evoking the peace dove floating on geometric callado designs on the edges.
Other members of the entourage included Emily Montenegro Yupangco, matron of honor; Rose Montenegro and Evangeline Lourdes "Luli" Arroyo, maid of honor. The secondary sponsors were Alex Macapagal and Joanne Downs (candle), Gregorio Montenegro and Marinela Montenegro (veil), Raphael Mondragon and Katrina Datoc (cord).
After the Church ceremony, the newlyweds and entourage and guests moved on to the church courtyard for the celebration and reception, which appeared like a barrio fiesta.
Caterers Plaza and Cabalen prepared food for the churchyard reception. The food consisted of an all-Filipino fare like lechon, halo-halo, crispy crablets, pancit luglog, tibok-tibok and a variety of seafoods.
The main celebrant of the wedding was Archbishop Paciano Aniceto of San Fernando, Papanga. Co-celebrants were Msgr. Patricio Lim, Fr. Rodolfo De Guzman, Fr. Dennise Antonio Paez and Fr. Manuel Roux.
During the wedding liturgy, the couple got a pleasant surprise – no less than a blessing from Pope John Paul II, sent through Papal Nuncio Antonio Franco, which was read by Bishop Aniceto.
In his homily, the bishop lectured on the sanctity of the sacrament of marriage while the liturgy touched on the oneness of husband and wife.
After the wedding, Mickey and Angela posed with their families and entourage in a brief photo shoot.
The couple later greeted Lubao townsfolk, who didn’t have the chance to see the church rites. Subsequently, the two proceeded to the churchyard reception.
Aside from family, relatives and friends of the bride and groom, Pampanga officials, most of whom are colleagues of Mikey in government, likewise attended the ceremony.
Mikey’s colleagues in show business to include Paquito Diaz, Tony Ferrer, Rez Cortez, Al Tantay, Roi Vinzons and movie scribe Aster Amoyo, who was among the liturgical readers, also attended the occasion.
Wedding giveaways at the church were paper and banig fans embroidered with the couple’s names and the wedding date.
Pope wishes Mikey and Angela abundance of joy and peace
LUBAO, Pampanga – His Holiness Pope John Paul II today greeted the newly-wed presidential son and Pampanga Vice Governor Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo and Angela Montenegro and wished the couple an abundance of joy and peace in their married life.
The Pontiff’s message, which was sent through Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Antonio Franco, was read by officiating priest Pampanga Bishop Paciano Aniceto shortly before the prayer of the faithful portion of the concelebrated mass.
"On the happy occasion of their wedding, the Holy Father invokes an abundance of joy and peace upon Juan Macapagal-Arroyo and Angela Montenegro," the Pope’s message said.
The Pontiff also said he prays that, strengthened and sustained by the grace of the Holy Sacrament of the Holy Matrimony, the Christian union of Mikey and Angela "will always be marked by mutual love, respect and fidelity and by unfailing harmony and confidence in meeting the challenges of family life."
"As a pledge of God’s continuing assistance, His Holiness cordially imparts to them and to all present at the ceremony his apostolic blessing," the message added.
According to Bishop Aniceto, the Pope’s message was signed by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State of the Vatican, and by the Papal Nuncio.
The couple exchanged vows this morning at a simple wedding ceremony held at the historic St. Augustine Church here.
The historic church was the same church where the late President Diosdado Macapagal, the bridegroom’s grandfather, was baptized on October 12, 1910.
More than 600 prominent guests attended the Arroyo-Montenegro nuptial. Thousands more of the President’s cabalens gathered at the church grounds to witness the wedding rites touted to be the wedding of the year.
Also present were some movie stars and friends of Mikey in the movie industry as well as local officials and prominent businessmen.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
2002 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS
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