BACOLOD CITY – First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, who has been married to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for almost 30 years, shared secrets to a lasting marriage to 2,023 couples who tied the knot in a mass ceremony here Saturday afternoon.
"We'll be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary next month, on April 17," said Araneta-Marcos, who was the guest of honor of the event held at the Bacolod City Government Center grounds.
She said there is no magic formula to make a marriage work 100 percent, adding that each couple is unique.
"Since there's no magic formula, allow me to take this opportunity to share three lessons that I learned from being married to your President for almost 30 years," she said.
First, she said, couples should "make sure that the courtship continues" and having a regular date night with your spouse is one of the keys.
Second lesson, she said, is for couples to take care of each other and be "your spouse's biggest supporter and ardent advocate."
"Last but not the least, remember the saying happy wife, happy life. The real saying is happy spouse, happy house. Let's make our house a happy haven for our loved ones," she added.
The first lady said it was an honor for her to be "part of this important milestone in the lives of more than 4,000 lovebirds."
Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez officiated the wedding.
"As you embark on a beginning for the rest of your lives, my husband and I wish you all the best. Congratulations to all of you," she told the newlyweds.
Benitez thanked the first lady for gracing a "memorable and historic event in Bacolod City."
"Your 'yes' means a decision to sacrificially love your spouse, to do what is best to keep that love alive," the mayor said.
PHP2 million cash prizes
After the ceremony, cash prizes totaling PHP2 million were raffled away to eight couples.
Three newlyweds won PHP500,000 each while five received PHP100,000 each.
The PHP1 million cash prize was a gift from Araneta-Marcos while Benitez and Bacolod City Lone District Rep. Greg Gasataya gave PHP500,000 each.
Fe and Joeper Galvez of Barangay Singcang- Airport, who won PHP500,000, said they will use the amount for house repair and to start a small business for the sake of their two children.
Prizes were also given to the oldest couple, couple with longest cohabitation and best-dressed couple. (PNA)