DAVAO CITY: Sixty-six lumad or indigenous peoples (IP) couples formalized their union in a two-day mass tribal wedding initiated by local officials and the Philippine National Police (PNP) at Barangay Sibulan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur recently.

lumad - 66 ‘lumad’ couples tie knot in mass wedding
Screen-grab from Google Map.

LtCol. Jeffrey Latayada, spokesman for the Davao del Sur Provincial Police Office, said the mass wedding would pave the way for the couples’ access to government services.

He added that the 66 Bagobo-Tagabawa couples were grateful after experiencing the extraordinary fusion of their tribe’s culture and tradition and a glimpse of a semi-military wedding — they marched down the aisle wearing their colorful traditional attires underneath sabers held by police officers who acted as honor guards.

The event was initiated by the members of the Revitalized-Pulis Sa Barangay (R-PSB) who processed the needed papers of every spouse such as birth certificate, certificate of no marriage and other Local Civil Registrar’s prerequisites.

Sta. Cruz Mayor Jaime Lao Jr., who officiated the wedding, and Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative Norma Rivera praised the efforts of PNP for initiating the mass wedding and, at the same time, showcasing culture and tradition from the couples wearing colorful tribal costumes, sounding of the tribal gong, blessing of the newlyweds in Bagobo Tagabawa way and dancing the tribal wedding dance.

The deployment of the R-PSB especially in far-flung areas in the region is the counterpart of Retooled-Community Support Program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in adherence to Executive Order 70 of President Rodrigo Duterte mandating all concerned government agencies to work together to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in the country employing the “whole of nation approach” in delivering the basic government services to the Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas.

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