MANILA—Couples set to be married in once-picturesque Tagaytay have been scampering to rework their plans after the eruption of Taal Volcano sullied gardens and resorts in the popular wedding destination.
Ronel Arojado, who was supposed to hold a garden reception in the cliff-side city on Saturday, January 18, moved his wedding in the northern part of Luzon for the safety of their guests.
With less than a week before their wedding, Arojado said he opted to find a venue that was unaffected by ash fall, and book new suppliers for lights, cake, flowers and cocktails.
"We are set na for the big day, major suppliers were paid already especially the venue," he told ABS-CBN News.
"[Pero] ayaw namin na mahihirapan sila (guests). We all want to be happy and this is an unforeseen event naman."
(But we don't want our guests to have a hard time)
Van Aladin, who was slated to be wed at Caleruega Church also Saturday, did not encounter logistical problems, but said that about a third of their 150 guests have backed out from attending.
"Since Day 1 of the eruption, marami na pong guests ang nag-back out kasi they are coming from other countries po," Aladin said in a phone interview.
(Since Day 1 of the eruption, a lot of our guests have backed out because they are coming from other countries.)
"Safety ang concern nila kasi nakita nila sa news na 'yung mga road may hindi na passable."
(They are concerned about their safety because they saw in the news that some roads are no longer passable.)
SHARING THE BLESSING
Aladin said they decided to push through with their wedding since they have already spent some P1 million in payment for suppliers.
"Not all of them (suppliers) are willing to give us the full payment. Kaya ang Plan B namin is since maraming hindi makakapunta at bayad na 'yung food is to just donate some of banquet food to evacuees," Aladin said.
(Since a lot of our guests cannot make it, our Plan B is to donate some of our banquet food to evacuees.)
The supplier has agreed to repack some of the reception food in disposable containers without extra charge, he said.
" 'Yun ang gagawin namin kasi we are having mixed emotions about this wedding. Habang kami nagse-celebrate, 'yung iba naman nawalan so we plan to share our blessings to the evacuees," he said.
(We are having mixed emotions about our wedding. While we are celebrating, others lost nearly everything they have so we plan to share our blessings to evacuees.)
Other couples set to be married in Tagaytay have also sent N95 masks, bottled water and canned goods to private groups organizing donation drives.
"I was worried if matutuloy 'yung wedding, then I saw your post. I felt so sorry, selfish and insensitive kasi mas inisip ko 'yung wedding," a groom who did not disclose his identity told an events venue that was pooling supplies for the eruption's victims.
Other event venues in Tagaytay have waived extra charges for couples who need to rebook their weddings and receptions due to the Taal's unrest.
Aladin advised other couples planning to change their wedding plans to get in touch with their friends or to join online wedding groups to seek guidance.
"Very effective kasi nag-a-update sila sa isa't isa ano nangyayare, ano possible options, mga suppliers na ayaw mag-refund, very concerned sila," Aladin said as he praised the warm digital community among soon-to-be-wed couples.
"We just support each other. We just think positive."
About 15,000 people living near the Philippines' second most active volcano, have fled their homes after Taal started spewing ash over the weekend.
Hundreds of families living on the volcano island are expected to lose their homes as the government eyes to implement a permanent ban on residing near the foot of the Taal.