MANILA, Aug 12 (AFP) — A beaming bride defiantly marching up a flooded church aisle in the Philippines has won hearts as the country suffers a fresh bout of monsoonal rains.
Jobel Delos Angeles, 24, married the father of her two children yesterday as Tropical Storm Yagi and the south-west monsoon brought heavy flooding to the capital Manila and nearby areas, including their home province of Bulacan.
In a Facebook video shared over a thousand times, Delos Angeles is all smiles as she walks through brown floodwaters in a white gown and veil before her suited groom clad in flip-flops takes her to the altar.
“Even if it floods or it rains, nothing can stop me. You only get married once, will you postpone it? I was marrying the man I love,” Delos Angeles told AFP by phone.
“My gown got wet and heavy but I told myself it was as if I was walking on a red carpet.”
The Philippines endures an average of 20 typhoons and storms each year.
The latest storm brought misery to many, with 20,000 residents fleeing the riverside district of Marikina in the national capital region where floods swept away cars, authorities said.
But for Delos Angeles, the weekend was cause for celebration.
She said she and her partner of seven years did not expect bad weather but never considered calling off their wedding even after floodwaters entered the church in Hagonoy town.
It was a double ceremony, with their five-month-old daughter baptised in the same event, she added.
Guests were photographed barefoot, including children who were afraid to slip.
“We didn’t want a new schedule as we were already stressed out. Our hometown is really flood-prone,” Delos Angeles added.
“No car wanted to bring us to the church so I just rode a boat. We didn’t expect so many people would still turn up, even the entourage.”
MANILA, August 6, 2018 (AFP) - Hundreds of Philippine mothers simultaneously nursed their babies in public on Sunday, some of them two at a time, in a government-backed mass breastfeeding event aimed at combatting child deaths.
About 1,500 women, some of them wearing tiaras and superhero T-shirts, sat on the vast floor of a Manila stadium and let their babies suckle to the beat of dance music.
“Breastfeeding is love. It is difficult, but we do it for love,” said Abegirl Limjap, a pregnant 38-year-old property manager in a “Super Mom” superhero costume as she nursed her two boys, one aged five and the other 11 months.
The annual event aims to draw public support for a government campaign to get more mothers to switch to breast milk from infant formula, organiser Rose Padua told AFP.
The World Health Organisation and the United Nations Children's Fund recommend that children be given breast milk within the first hour of birth and be exclusively breastfed for their first six months.
Globally, however, three in five babies are not breastfed early, putting them at higher risk of death and disease, the two UN agencies said in a report earlier this year.
Twenty-seven children out of every thousand died before the age of five in the Philippines in 2016, according to WHO data.
WHO and Unicef estimate about half of Filipino babies were initiated into early breastfeeding in 2013, barely changed from 46 per cent in 2003.
“It's an empowering moment,” said first-time mother Joyce Balido, 29, as she cradled her four-month-old girl at the mass breastfeeding event.
“It was very difficult to establish a milk supply at first. I am sleep-starved but I committed myself to have my daughter exclusively breast-fed,” added Balido, an engineer.
Sixty-one other mass breastfeeding events were held in other Philippine cities over the weekend, said Padua, the event organiser.