WEDDINGS are a few of most people’s favorite things. The grander the wedding and the more prominent or powerful the wedding parties — we are all the more interested and hooked.
When politicians wed, however, the event often involves two levels of union — between the families of the bride and groom, and between their political clans or allies or parties.
Have a blast from the past with photos of famous political couples on their wedding day at MoneyPolitics Online
The marriage of Benigno A. Aquino Jr. to Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco in 1954 remains one of the most famous political weddings in Philippine history. Aquino’s father, Benigno S. Aquino Sr., was a member of Congress from 1919 to 1945. Cojuangco herself was a product of political union. Her father Jose Cojuangco, a member of Congress, married Demetria Sumulong, daughter of senator Juan Sumulong (1925 to 1935). Many members of the Sumulong clan had also been elected to the Congress.
To this day, sixty years after ‘Ninoy’ and ‘Cory’ were married, the Aquinos and the Cojuangcos remain political royalty of sorts in Tarlac and in the Philippines.
It was also in 1954 when Filipinos witnessed the whirlwind romance of Ferdinand E. Marcos, a member of the 3rd Congress who would later become president and dictator, and Imelda R. Romualdez, whose cousins were also into politics. They wed and forged a union of shared dreams and ambitions. Ferdinand courted Imelda for less than two weeks, and promised her that she would become First Lady one day. Two of the three children born of this marriage, as well as the cousins and uncles of the wedded families, remain etched in national and local politics to this day.
Many times in Philippine history, marriages have helped fortify and expand the elite stronghold in politics and business. The union of Gerardo L. Roxas, son of President Manuel A. Roxas, and Judy L. Araneta, who come from a family of hacienderos in Western Visayas, is one example.
Yet another political wedding of note was that of Gloria M. Macapagal, daughter of President Diosdado Macapagal and who would later become president herself, and Jose Miguel ‘Mike’ T. Arroyo, scion of the hitherto vastly affluent Tuasons of Marikina and Manila.
In recent years, however, a number of politicians had chosen to wed with celebritees from the movies and the media, or vice versa.
The examples of note are when Ralph G. Recto married movie actress Vilma Santos; Francis N. Pangilinan and singer Sharon G. Cuneta; Manuel ‘Mar’ A. Roxas II and TV host Korina Sanchez; Robert Vincent Jude ‘Dodot’ Jaworski Jr. and movie actress Mikaela Maria Antonia ‘Mikee’ R. Cojuangco; Julio ‘Jules’ A. Ledesma IV and movie star Assunta de Rossi; and Juan Miguel ‘Migz’ F. Zubiri and movie star Audrey Tan.
On the local level, the recent wedding of Datu Amer Hussein ‘Jeng’ Ampatuan-Macapendeg, grandson of Andal Ampatuan Sr., to Bai Donna Dilangalen, daughter of Maguindanao Representative Didagen P. Dilangalen has drawn attention, too. Andal Sr., patriarch of the Ampatuan clan, and his sons are the principal respondents in the murder of 58 persons, including 32 journalists in the “Maguindanao Massacre” of November 2009.
One wedding that has also stirred national interest was that of Pasig City congressman Roman T. Romulo and Shalani Carla R. Soledad, councilor of Valenzuela City and former TV host, in 2012. Shalani and Romulo had dated for over a year by then. But before Romulo came into the picture, Shalani and President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III were a pair. They had a high-profile break-up within months after Aquino became president in June 2010.