Cebu grand wedding draws 50 legislators, other VIPs
MANDAUE CITY—It was dubbed Cebu’s “Wedding of the Year” in a city whose people have grown accustomed to grand nuptial shows.
On Saturday afternoon, Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. led at least 50 legislators, Cabinet officials and entertainment personalities who witnessed the exchange of marriage vows between Rep. Gabriel Luis “Luigi” Quisumbing of Cebu’s sixth district and businesswoman Ma. Carmen Carmela Hofileña at the National Shrine of St. Joseph church here.
At least 3,000 people gathered outside the church to catch a glimpse of the 300 high-profile guests, members and friends of both families. At least 50 policemen secured the grounds.
Even though new air-conditioning units were installed inside the church, Quisumbing decided to open the doors to allow the public to see the spectacle.
A scene stealer was a toddler on a red bicycle, whose front carried a whiteboard swamped by white roses and bearing the words: “My favorite uncle is getting married.”
The bride started to walk down the aisle at 3 p.m., looking spectacular in a gown by Cebu’s top designer, Cary Santiago.
Aside from Drilon and Belmonte, the 20 principal sponsors included Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Energy Secretary Rene Almendras, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad (who was not able to attend), Mayors Jonas Cortes of Mandaue City, Teresa Alegado of Consolacion town and Adelino Sitoy of Cordova town, and Justice Hector Hofileña.
Senators JV Ejercito and Juan Edgardo Angara, and former Rep. Rachel Marguerite del Mar of Cebu City’s north district were among the secondary sponsors.
Readers included Representatives Lucy Torres-Gomez of Leyte and Susan Yap-Sulit of Tarlac.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, who officiated the ceremony, reminded the couple to always put their trust in God. “When trials come and problems become part of our life, Pope Francis said, ‘We know he will not abandon you,’” he said in his homily.
Two buses and 15 Toyota Coaster minibuses ferried guests from the church to the reception venue at the plush Radisson Blu Hotel at the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City.
About 600 guests came. They included Interior Secretary Mar Roxas; Director General Joel Villanueva of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his sister, Ilocos Gov. Imee Marcos; Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and at least 40 members of the House of Representatives.
Actress Marian Rivera and her husband, actor Dingdong Dantes, as well as actor Piolo Pascual were also seen at the reception.
Singer Bituin Escalente and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra serenaded the guests.
The newlyweds come from wealthy families. Quisumbing, now on his second term, is the grandson of Norberto Quisumbing Jr., chair of the Norkis Group of Companies based in Mandaue.
Norkis businesses include production, distribution, sale and servicing of Chinese motorcycle brands and multicabs. It recently ventured into the business process outsourcing (BPO) office building development with the opening of Norkis Cyberpark, a six-tower development project in Mandaue.
Hofileña belongs to an old rich family in Silay City in Negros Occidental province. The family is into sugar production and construction.
Quisumbing, 37, met Hofileña, 35, when he was 14 years old. He had admitted in an earlier interview with reporters that Hofileña was his first crush.
Quisumbing left for the United States to complete his secondary education. After 20 years, he again met Hofileña, the best friend of a cousin, in March 2014 during the wake of his grandmother in Manila.
This time, the man didn’t let her go.
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