Their birth country, the Philippines, has not legalized same-sex marriage (It is largely a Roman Catholic country). This did not stop actress Liza Difo from marrying singer Aiza Seguerra in the United States. Then, legally married, the couple came back to the Philippines to do it again in a symbolic ceremony.
SAN JUAN, Batangas—Phillipines. Thursday January 8, 2015.
The parents of Liza and Aiza could not attend the marriage of their daughters in the USA. (One Filipino newspaper, the Inquirer, kept referring to Liza as the “bride” and Aiza as the “groom.” Maybe this is a Filipino custom?). Joining the women’s parents were 500 relatives and friends.
The couple first married on December 8, 2014 in San Francisco, where same-sex marriage was legalized in June of 2008, overturned in the same year and re-instated in 2013.
Phillipines: Walk down the aisle
Liza Diño told the press, “I wanted to experience being walked down the aisle by my parents. Some people recommended the Metropolitan Church, (Gay Church) but we never intended to make a statement out of this. We’re doing this just to express love for each other.” The Metropolitan Community Church in Makati is considered to be the “spiritual home” to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) in the country.
At a sundown moment, Liza got her wish. Flanked by her parents, she marched to the altar on the beach, where Aiza (her wife) was waiting. The ceremony was conducted by Carelle Mangliang a motivational speaker. Carelle obtained her ministry license “on line” which certainly does not make her any-the-less of an ordained minister. While Carelle’s words do not have any legal bearing in the Philippines, they are legal in the USA.
The ceremony included traditional wedding features. However, instead of a Holy Gospel reading, there was a talk about union and marriage.
There was an exchange of vows and rings. The couple lit the same “unity candle” they used in the US wedding but, this time, along with their parents. And the vows were different.
“You have no idea how happy you’ve made me,” Aiza told her wife Liza. “I feel different when we’re together; I’m so alive. To me, you’re perfect even though you’re so messy and forgetful at times. You just think I’m angry at you [sometimes]; actually, I find you so adorable. If there’s one person who will love you and accept you for who you are, especially the bad [side], it’s me. Don’t be afraid. Whatever happens, I will be here.”
Lisa’s Turn at Vow Making
She told her wife, Aiza, “ “I’m glad that I will be spending the rest of my life with you. I love everything about you, even though in some places we’ve traveled to, people mistook you for my child.
I’ve [come] to accept that. As you continue to discover yourself as a person, trust that I will be there to embrace you, to support you 100 percent.”
Royal Gown Designer
Liza is known as a Filipinno icon of fashion. It was, therefore not a shock for people to learn that her dress was made by British designer Jenny Packham. Jenny created the popular midnight-blue dress of Kate, Dutchess of Cambridge. Liza’s dress was a teal colour that she considered ideal for the beach wedding. She described her US wedding dress as “white Monique Lhuillier gown, that was lacy and appropriate for the vintage theme.”
Designer with Male Flair
Aiza chose to let her ‘masculine side’ shine. She wore a gray-and-white piece from Oscar Danca, master cutter for Bergamo, who also made her suit for the US event. “The first one was tweed (three-piece gray suit and white shirt),” The desinger commented on the Filipinno outfit. Danca said. “This one’s more relaxed and lighter in color.” Dominant colors at the beach gathering were mint green, peach, khaki and light gray. Guests were discouraged from wearing black. Liza described the scene as “very festive and laid-back.”
Liza’s Statements to the Media
“We’re happy where we’re at. We respect other people’s opinions and understand that not everyone is ready to accept something like this. We went through a lot to make this happen. I sought divorce in the United States for my previous marriage. Aiza and I had all bases covered. This is the culmination of that long process.”
The LGBT is Delighted.
Noted LGBT rights advocate Anna Leah Sarabia stressed, “This is a personal thing between them; people should not meddle.”
Sarabia is a sociologist and women and media expert. She is with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association’s women’s secretariat in the Philippines. Anna is the author of “Tibok,” the first lesbian book in the country.
Anna was asked how this wedding would impact the local LGBT community. She responded, “Visibility is good because it makes [gay] people come out of hiding. This, specially, takes a lot of courage. Look what happened to [American TV host] Ellen DeGeneres. She couldn’t find work for five to eight years [after admitting, in 1997, that she was a lesbian]. Fortunately, she decided to say, ‘Who cares?’ because she is extremely talented. Aiza is like that.”
Aiza – The Television Producer.
ANNA told the media that she met Aiza when she produced a show that the latter hosted for the Knowledge Channel in 2005. “Body Talk,” a program that focused on teenagers and reproductive health, aired until 2007. “She was very young, but quite well-known. I used to see her a lot. We talked about many things.”
Another item of happiness is that Liza’s daughter Amara is delighted with the marriage and is looking forward to moving into their new home. Liza’s past husband says nothing negative about Liza and her new wife.
Good luck and hugs to all three.