As early as five o’clock in the morning, groups upon groups from LGUs, LGAs, NGOs, Academe, PNP and AFP as well as other residents of the city participated in the Love Affair with Nature that was established by the city Government in celebration and sustainable protection of the marine environment in the coastal areas of Puerto Princesa.
Hundreds of couples attended and lined up to register for the free marriage ceremony. Several little cupcakes were nicely placed upon even a larger cake, which the couples were able to enjoy after the ceremony and before the mangrove planting ritual which was a condition for the free wedding.
The planting of mangrove is a requirement by the city government before any couple who wish to marry can participate in the mass wedding.
Mangroves play an important role in coastal ecosystems. They form important nurseries for many fish and shrimp species, but also for spiny lobster larvae. Besides, they produce good quality wood, basic ingredients for medicines, fruits and seafood products like oysters and several shells.