Before the year 2014 concluded, GMA Network’s royal couple, Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera, had a grandiose wedding which was officiated at the Immaculate Concepcion Church in Cubao, Quezon City and had a reception at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena. With eight bishops and seven priests officiating the wedding, a two-million peso wedding gown, a seven-million peso gigantic wedding cake and a lavish reception at the MOA Arena, Dingdong and Marian’s wedding can very much qualify as a local “royal” event.
Although thousands of fans were happy for the couple’s grand wedding, many people also raised their eyebrows for the “extremely extravagant” multi-million peso wedding. It was even cited in an article on Get Real Philippines for a possible violation of Chapter 2, Article 25 of the Philippine Civil Code.
Art. 25. Thoughtless extravagance in expenses for pleasure or display during a period of acute public want or emergency may be stopped by order of the courts at the instance of any government or private charitable institutions.
The author stated two different arguments on the extravagant event: first, that the Philippines is always in a state of public want or emergency; and second, that no order of courts can stop the wedding since it was graced by the highest official of the country, President Benigno Aquino III as the “Witness of Honor”.
But what really is the significance of this law on “thoughtless extravagance”?
In an article from JLP Law, Civil Law Author Arturo Tolentino stated that indulging in “thoughtless extravagance” may provoke the less privileged to rise against the inequality displayed by such events.
“When the rich indulge in thoughtless extravagance or display during a period of acute public want or emergency, they may unwittingly kindle the flame of unrest in the hearts of the poor who thereby become more keenly conscious of their privation and poverty and who may rise against the obvious inequality.”
Indeed, many netizens were actually bothered by the costly wedding, stating that it was too lavish and they should just have donated to the Haiyan typhoon victims. On the other hand, other netizens stated the opposite stating that it is reasonable for the couple to spend that much since it’s from their own hard work.
Wedding for a Cause?
Gifts to the couple were donated to foundations Dingdong and Marian founded. Kapuso Adopt-a-Bangka Project which aims to helps rebuild and rehabilitate bangkas (pumpboats) for local fishermen at Bantayan Island Cebu, will receive a sum of the couple’s monetary gifts.
YesPinoy Foundation, founded by Dingdong, was also included in the bridal registry. The foundation’s advocacy is to support youths in school and to help Typhoon Ruby victims.
On a final note, the lavish wedding has already been concluded, there was no defined “acute public want or emergency”, and no government or private charitable institution filed any complaints to stop the event. In addition, the couple’s monetary gifts will be donated to their foundations. But was the lavishness and extravagance really necessary? Different points of view have been about the local “royal wedding.”
So, was it really a violation of the Philippine Civil Code?