MANILA, Philippines - One super reason moi loves Muslim weddings is their customs and traditions vary like the gorgeous colors in a rainbow, palanggas.
Like other religious traditions, Muslim marriage customs are in line with Islamic values.
In the Maranao tradition, the bride and groom are treated king and queen for a day.
The Zia Alonto Adiong-Hafsa Dimaporo Balindong grand wedding at the posh Xavier Estates Sports and Country Club in Cagayan de Oro City is a fine example of the Maranao tribe's rich culture and history. It's the Maranao Wedding of the Year, palanggas.
Modern, unpretentious and pretty-pretty head-turner Hafsa met the diminutive, suave, articulate and good-looking soon-to-be politician Zia by chance. Zia was with cousin Salam Balindong, who is also the first cousin of Hafsa. Someone asked Zia if they were bound by marriage arrangements. He said, "Partly, but it's also love at first sight." After that, romance was in the air.
"Zia is the youngest son of the late Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Sr. and Hadja Soraya Alonto Adiong, while Hafsa is the daughter of Vice Mayor Alinader Balindong and Hadja Omaima M. Dimaporo. Her grandfather is the late political kingpin Mohammad Ali Dimaporo and Sultan Mohammad Naga Dimaporo at her mother's side and Sultan Picong Balindong, her father's side. Zia is the grandson of Sen. Domocao Alonto and Princess Tarhata Alonto Lucman, and the youngest brother of Lanao del Sur Gov. Bombet Adiong and ARMM Vice Gov. Hookie Alonto Adiong," the very nice Ayo Gunting explained.
The country club was superbly decorated. Tables were full of gorgeous flowers, dahlings.
The radiant bride Hafsa looked divine in her simple but elegant wedding gown, which was enhanced by embroidered silver sequins and long veil delicately hand-embroidered. The proud groom Zia was in a classic barong Tagalog.
Their relatives and close friends were all excited. They knew it was a memorable moment and the start of a great union between the Alontos and Dimaporos who are known in Lanao as "political rivals."
Moi noticed many of the invitees listened attentively to the speeches given by my good friends Gov. Bombet Alonto Adiong and Hattah Dimaporo. Best wishes for a perfect union, palanggas.
Leading the very, very important guests were Lanao del Sur First Lady, Raifa Raki-in Adiong, and her children; articulate, modern and smart young Sen. Chiz Escudero; gorgeous China Cojuangco; Maranao PR man Ayo Gunting; Mayor Eleanor Dimaporo Lantud; Lanao Rep. Pangalian Balindong; Sultan Hattah and Lady Dimaporo, ARMM Vice Gov. Hookie Alonto Adiong; Shariff Kabunsuan Acting Gov. Ibrahim Ibay; Mayors' League of Lanao del Sur headed by Mayor Mamintal Grande Rasuman and Usman Saranggani, Jr.; Mayor Motalib Dimaporo with sister Khadija and Fahmy, Ambassador and Madame Abulkhayr Alonto; Sisters Babette and Belvette Alonto Adiong; Zia's close pals and escorts, Gaz Macala, Abuali M. Alonto, Ahmad Jamel L. Alonto, Amer Alauya Alonto and Abdul Rakim Adiong. Plus, tons of other namedroppable personalities from the far south.
To Hafsa and Zia, may Allah bless your beautiful life forever.