MANILA, Philippines— Senator Manuel Roxas II and ABS-CBN anchor Korina Sanchez finally exchange marriage vows at the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. Sanchez, 45, beaming in a white Filipiniana terno, walked toward the altar with her brothers Milano and Mickey Sanchez as the world-renowned Philippine Madrigal Singers sang “Ave Maria.”
Clad in barong tagalog, Roxas was accompanied by his mother, Judy.
“I take you as God’s special gift. I love you as you are,” said Roxas, 52, as he exchanged vows with Sanchez.
For her part, Sanchez said Roxas was the “fulfillment” of her heart’s desire, describing him as an ally and a friend.
“Ikaw ang katuparan ng lahat ng aking hinhintay at minimithi ng aking puso na makakasama, karamay, kaibigan at kakampi,” Sanchez said. “Dumaan man ang unos, ang mga pagsubok, ang sakit at kabiguan, ako ay mananatiling dikit sa iyong piling.”
Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, who together with more than 10 Catholic bishops and priests officiated the two-hour concelebrated mass, officially pronounced them husband and wife shortly before 6 p.m. Hundreds of guests—relatives, friends, politicians, dignitaries, celebrities—came to witness the much-awaited union of the high profile couple.
As early as 11 a.m., hundreds of people—including children—gathered outside the historic church to have a glimpse of the Roxas and Sanchez. Like a movie star, Roxas, was mobbed by the crowd when he arrived at around 3:00 p.m. Before proceeding inside the church, Roxas took time to shake hands with the people, who were chanting his name.
“Excited,” was how the senator, who is running for vice president in the 2010 polls, described his feelings about the wedding. Roxas said he last talked with Sanchez Monday morning. And just before the wedding, Roxas said he received a mobile text message from Sanchez saying, “Pray for me so I will not trip.”
Just a few minutes after Roxas arrived, the well-wishers went wild again on seeing former president Joseph Estrada walking down the red carpet outside the church.
Some of the spectators, however, went to see popular TV host Kris Aquino, who arrived with his youngest son, baby James Jr. James served as ring bearer in the wedding.
Teresita Pancho, 62, said she came all the way from Pampanga just to see Roxas in person.
“Nagugutom na nga ako eh pero ‘di ko pa nakikita si Pareng Mar (I’m already hungry and I still haven’t seen Mar,” said Pancho.
Aside from Estrada, other prominent politicians and personalities who came to witness the union were US ambassador Kristie Kenny, Vice President Noli de Castro, Chief Justice Reynato
Puno, former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, former vice president Teofisto Guingona, Representatives Lorenzo Tanada III, Satur Ocampo, Teodoro Locsin, Neptali Gonzales, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, former senator Franklin Drilon, former congressman Florencio “Butch” Abad, and Pepeng Cojuangco.
Also in attendance were actress Gretchen Barreto and live-in partner Tony Boy Cojuangco, actor and television host Richard Gomez, and celebrity beauty doctor Vicky Belo.
Paolo Zaldarriaga, Roxas’ son from past relationship, served as his best man, while the maid of honor is the bride’s close friend, Dang Cecilio-Palanca.
The principal sponsors are Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, former Senate president Jovito Salonga, ABSCBN chairman and CEO Eugenio Lopez III, Roxas’ uncle Jorge Araneta, multi-awarded actress and philanthropist Rosa Rosal, Helen Costales, groom’s aunt Ruby Roxas, TV host Cecilia “Che-Che” Lazaro, and the groom’s aunt Maria Flores.
The secondary sponsors are: (cord) Ria Roxas-Ojeda and Au-gusto Ojeda, (veil) Victoria Fores and Manuel Roxas, (candle) Juliana Valencia and Jorge Fores.
The bible and coin bearers are Mathew Garcia and Miguel Sanchez, respectively.
Anika Custodio, Ana Conchita Khouri, Saila Sanchez and Louise Tan served as flower girls.
Twelve are listed as bridesmaid, including news anchor Pinky Webb and ABS-CBN senior reporter Ging Reyes. (PDI)