In sickness and in health: Valentine mass wedding defies virus fears in Davao City

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 14 2020 10:58 AM | Updated as of Feb 14 2020 12:16 PM

A bride is checked for fever before a mass wedding in Davao City. ABS-CBN News

DAVAO CITY (UPDATED) — Around 100 couples tied the knot in a mass wedding here in President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown on Valentine's Day, despite concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus from Wuhan, China. 

Organizers from state-run Pag-IBIG Fund, some of them wearing face masks, checked the couples for fever, a symptom of the pathogen COVID-19, before they were allowed to enter the venue of the free mass wedding. 

Some 100 couples tie the know in a mass wedding organized by the Pag-IBIG Fund in Davao City. ABS-CBN News

"I though the wedding won't push through. It's okay that our temperature is checked because that's for everyone's security. I'm thankful that we're finally wed," Atchome Jampang, who married her partner of 12 years, said in the local dialect. 

Couples exchange vows at a mass wedding in Davao City.ABS-CBN News

Couples exchange vows at a mass wedding in Davao City.ABS-CBN News

Couples exchange vows at a mass wedding in Davao City.ABS-CBN News

Davao Mayor Sara Duterte earlier canceled events for the celebration of her city's anniversary, as a precaution against the coronavirus that has killed some 1,500 people, mostly in mainland China. 

The Philippines has temporarily banned inbound travel from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan to halt the spread of COVID-19. 

All of the Philippines' 3 confirmed cases of the virus, including 1 death, are tourists from Wuhan in central China, where the virus was first reported.

Report from Vina Araneta-Pilapil, ABS-CBN News