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Mar and Korina's wedding a marriage of media, politics

One of the nation's most celebrated power couples tied the knot Tuesday afternoon before a crowd of leading personalities from the worlds of politics and media, including political opponents of the groom. The wedding date of broadcast journalist Korina Sanchez and Senator Mar Roxas had been planned for months, but the immaculate political timing was not lost on observers. Coincidentally or not, the glittering event occurred less than a month before Roxas is expected to file his certificate of candidacy for vice president. It also happened a day after it was reported that he topped a Social Weather Stations survey on preferences for vice president. Wearing a serpentina-style gown in a Filipiniana motif, his teary-eyed bride walked down the aisle with her brothers taking turns in escorting her to the altar, where a beaming Roxas awaited her. Eschewing tradition, the bride did not wear a veil with her Pepito Albert gown. The members of the entourage wore native Filipino attire, with men in embroidered barong Tagalog and women in long Maria Clara gowns.
For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV More than 10 bishops and priests led by Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, Sorsogon Bishop Angel Valera and Bishop Raul Martin of Quezon City, officiated the wedding mass. The UP Madrigal Singers gave an a capella rendition of Ave Maria and Umagang Kay Ganda while the bride walked down the aisle. An estimated 3,000 people witnessed the wedding ceremony inside the church, while an additional crowd of about 2,000 milled outside. Among those invited was former president Joseph Estrada, who recently declared his intention to run for president, which would pit him against Roxas's running mate and fellow senator Noynoy Aquino, who was also a barong-clad guest at the wedding. Roxas served in Estrada's cabinet but resigned in 2001 during the events that led to Estrada's fall from power. In an interview with reporters right before the wedding, the 52-year-old Roxas said he last talked with his bride on Monday morning. Roxas said Sanchez sent him this text message on Tuesday morning: “Pray for me so I will not trip (during the wedding)." Others seen in attendance were prominent political leaders including Vice President Noli de Castro, former Senate President Franklin Drilon, Batangas vice governor Mark Leviste, former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, and United States Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney.
The crowd outside Sto. Domingo Church flock near the steel barrier to get a closer look at the guests. Amita O. Legaspi
Media personalities including television host Kris Aquino-Yap and GMA Network President Felipe L. Gozon were also spotted in the church. Well-wishers Aquino-Yap, who arrived with husband basketball player James Yap and son Baby James, wished the couple “much happiness and a baby right away." Some people in the crowd outside the Sto. Domingo Church arrived as early as 7 a.m. to witness what they called “the wedding of the year." Those who were unable to get inside the viewed the ceremony through four giant television screens set up in the churchyard. Joey Bongolan, 47, said he just wanted to see the groom. Bongolan said he was able to interact with Roxas two years ago, when the senator went to Divisoria mall in Manila. “Nandito ako para makita siyang ikasal. Natutuwa ako kahit andito ako sa labas (I’m here to see him get married. I’m happy even if I’m here outside)," he said. Daisy Lladone, a resident of a nearby neighborhood, came with her toddlers and other relative as early as 10:30 a.m. to witness the event. As the couple exchanged “I dos" and when Sanchez told Roxas, “kahapon, ngayon at bukas, ako’y iyong iyo," the crowd outside broke into wild cheers. After the wedding ceremony, the newlyweds entertained guests in the churchyard, milling with well-wishers in an informal reception that featured a flower-decked pedicab decorated with the words “Bagong Kasal (newlyweds)." The couple served their guests with sandwiches, biscuits, sweets and other refreshments. At least a thousand small cakes in boxes were also distributed to the crowd waiting outside the church. The crowd became unruly upon seeing the boxes, forcing security personnel to order them to remain behind the fence. Despite the incident, Roxas expressed appreciation to everyone who spent time to witness the wedding. “I feel grateful. Sino ba naman ako, sino ba naman si Korina. Kasama namin sila, kabahagi namin sila sa pinakamasayang araw ng buhay naming," the senator said. Next goal Roxas said before and after the wedding that his next goal with wife Korina, 45, is to have a child “at the soonest possible time." He said she and Korina will have their honeymoon in Japan, and possibly proceed to Italy later. Asked how many children they want, Roxas, who has a 16-year-old son from a previous relationship, said in jest, “Hanggang sa kakayanin ng tuhod ko (As many as my knees can take)." [See: Baby in the offing for future couple Mar, Korina]
The garden beside the churchyard where Mar and Korina treated their guests with refreshments. Amita O. Legaspi
Roxas’ 16-year old son Paolo Zaldarriaga served as best man, while Dang Cecilio-Palance was the matron of honor. Baby James, Kris Aquino's son, served as ring bearer. The principal sponsors included Senator Benigno “Noynoy" Aquino III, Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, former Senate President Jovito Salonga, ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio Lopez III, Roxas’ uncle Jorge Araneta, broadcast journalist Cecilia “Cheche" Lazaro, Philippine National Red Cross governor Rosa Rosal, Helen Costales, Ruby Roxas, and Maria Fores. After the simple reception, the newlyweds came out of the church on board a top-down car and proceeded to the Roxas’ house in Cubao, Quezon City, for a dinner with members of their entourage. The couple decided to forego what would have been a grand reception at the Araneta Coliseum, donating instead part of the P3-million budget to various charities taking care of victims of recent calamities that hit the Philippines. [See: Mar-Korina wedding to push through sans grand reception] The beneficiaries include Caritas Manila, the Philippine National Red Cross, Sagip Kapamilya of ABS-CBN, and Kapuso Foundation of GMA Network. – GMANews.TV