Tag Archives: Weddings


imageILOILO, Philippines – Catholics who want to marry, have someone buried or baptized will soon be required to plant trees, according to a Memorandum of Agreement among the Catholic Church, the local government and the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources in the province of Iloilo  in Central Philippines.

Not just any kind of trees, but Bonsai trees.

‘Bonsai’ is a Japanese art form using miniature trees grown in containers. Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penjing from which the art originated.

The agreement, signed on April 22 (Earth Day),  was originally aimed to reforest the lands denuded by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013.  Thousands of trees, including century-old ones, were uprooted when Typhoon Yolanda hit the province.

However, many Catholics in the province — mostly from low-income families — complained that they do not own any land and would not be able to comply with the tree planting requirement.

As a compromise, the archbishop of Iloilo relaxed the requirement by allowing Catholics to instead plant Bonsai trees on pots and containers inside their homes or apartments.

Taking advantage of the new rule, SM Department Stores in the province quickly added Bonsai trees to their list of available items in their gift registries.

Couples getting married or parents having their children baptized in the Catholic Church can now request their invited guests to give them the gift of Bonsai.

For Catholic burials, families of the deceased can now add the following line in the obituaries:

‘In lieu of flowers, please consider bringing a Bonsai tree to the wake or funeral.’


IMG_3547Manila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Everyone who lives in, or has visited Manila and other parts of the Philippines knows that metal detectors and security checkpoints are all too common in hotels, government buildings and shopping malls.  It has become a way of life post 9-11.  But wait, metal detectors and security checks in Catholic churches too?

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Saturday warned wedding couples and their guests to be wary of strangers posing as a relatives or friends from one side or the other of the newly united family. They are actually thieves.

Tagle said these shady characters usually strike during photo sessions following the church ceremony. “When family members of the bride or groom are invited to pose for photographs with the newly-wedded couple, they tend to leave their purses and belongings in the church pews,” Tagle said.  “When they return to their seats, everything’s gone.”

Nuptials are not the only target of these wedding crashers, they also victimize people attending church funerals, according to Tagle.

In a move designed to protect its church-going constituents, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has required all churches and parishes in the country to install metal detectors and implement security checks to weed out wedding and funeral crashers.  CBCP also advised especially women to keep their cash and credit cards in their bras, as is the old custom among elderly women in the Philippines. “They’re safer there than inside their bags and purses,” the bishops said.