PAOAY, Ilocos Norte – Cash gifts during the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos grandson’s wedding will be donated for the rehabilitation and relief efforts of Marawi City.

In her official wedding hashtags, “#LoveWins,” Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos said: “Love wins as we celebrate and mend; as we rebuild Marawi. Your Ilocano brothers and sisters have not forgotten you, and with the ‘bitor’ we hope that you begin anew and rebuild soonest.

Indeed, the love of the Ilocano family is a love which makes winners of us all.”

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, 77,000 residents were displaced and 2,600 militants, government forces, and civilians were killed and injured during the 4-month Marawi war. Marawi was liberated from the radical Islamist Maute Group last October 23, 2017.

Lawyer Michael Ferdinand M. Manotoc, grandson of Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, commemorated their union with Carina Amelia G. Manglapus in an Ilocano wedding held on November 25 at the San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte.

Manotoc is the second son of Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos, eldest daughter of the late Pres. Marcos while Manglapus is the granddaughter of Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Raul S. Manglapus. Marcos and Manglapus were political rivals in the 1965 presidential elections.

The pair had a private wedding ceremony in Makati City last Wednesday, November 22, but in conformity with Ilocano tradition, they also held their “bales” today, which is a traditional celebration held by couples who get married outside of their hometown.

Their “bales” featured parts of traditional Ilocano weddings, including the “bitor” and “patupak,” and the “dallot,” which is a rhythmic dialogue detailing a couple’s courtship and performed by an older man and woman representing the husband and wife.

“Bitor” is a part in the ceremony usually involving the tossing of coins on rattan mats (“ikamen”) representing both sides of the couple’s family. It is an opportunity for those attending the wedding to give a gift intended for the newlyweds’ prosperity.

Davao City Mayor “Inday Sara” Duterte-Carpio was a “special sponsor” at the ceremony.

Expressing her gratitude for the couple, Duterte-Carpio said “everyone is very happy to hear that you are donating part of your wedding gifts to the rebuilding of Marawi, and especially renovating and rehabilitating a madrasah (school) for the children.

“The Maranaos are very proud and happy of your assistance.”

“Bitor” donors include the League of Municipalities in the Philippines – Ilocos Norte; the League of Provinces of the Philippines, represented by Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Singson; Japanese company Takara Inc.; and the couple’s other loved ones from Ilocos Norte.

Earlier this month, Governor Marcos met with the Ilocano Muslim community to plan aid that could be extended to the city, as many of those living in the Laoag City Muslim Compound are direct relatives of the Maranao affected by the Battle of Marawi.
The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) had also extended Php150,000.00 to the Ilocano Muslim families, preceding a youth-initiated “fun run” for a cause last August called “TEENaray: Barkada Run 2017” which coincided with the International Youth Day and featured the theme, “Youth Building Peace.” Proceeds had gone to school supplies for displaced pupils and students of Marawi City. (Source: Marcos Presidential Center)