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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, September 1, 2020

A royal wedding in Negros

“We see the world suffering, but still, we get married and have children. That is love”

I found this quotation apt for the nuptials of Negrense royale Ben Scharlin, whose mother Lilia hails from the Vargas-Villanueva clan of Don Generoso Villanueva, the visionary businessman who, not only depended on sugar, but went on to transportation (GV Buses and Taxis) and leisure - the iconic Santa Fe Resort.

It was in Sta. Fe almost 50 years ago that I attended the unique and hippie wedding of the groom’s parents - Craig Scharlin and Lilia - with their original ceremony ignoring religious traditions, garbed in flowered prints and…were they barefoot, then? They were fresh from Berkeley, California, which was the center of the “Flower Revolution” then.

For his bride, Ben chose a Muslim Princess of Melayu Maharaja Tabunaway (Tabi’un Nabi) Mindanao Darussalam - Tengku Jadeeyah Conlu Abang (Adam), daughter of Duli Yang Maha Mulia Padeuka Seri Baginda Al-Malik Billah Tank Lihondo Esmail Adam Ibni Almarhum Maulana Muhammad Adam Maharaja Tabunaway II and Duli Yang Amat Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Maharanee Permaisuri Tuanku Marieta Nor Aishah P. Mindalano Adam.

The groom was a sartorial fairytale prince in his white jacket with a Muslim standing collar embroidered in the front and back while the bride chose a modern pants version of the malong topped with a flowing beaded overcoat and carrying her Misbaha together with a bouquet of white lilies, roses and anthuriums. Her hijab was a typical Marawi headdress that covered her luxurious tresses but revealed her swan’s neck and patrician features.

Adding dash to the ceremony was debonair Mayor Manuel Escalante III, who officiated in the wedding vows. It was heart wrenching hearing the groom and bride professing their love amidst this “apocalypse” as they would phrase the global pandemic. There were about 30 guests and family members who attended the ceremony and I hope this would be a trend that would stretch beyond this scourge we are facing now because it was, indeed, elegant and intimate.

For our newlyweds, “Wishing you well as you embark on this next chapter of life. Cheers!”

My Prayer: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV*

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