BULUAN, Maguindanao – The crowd waiting inside BBMG Restaurant here turned toward the doorway as the emcee announced the arrival of Freddie Aguilar.

In dark sunglasses, the folk singer strode in, wearing a tubao on his head and a silky white long-sleeved shirt accented with black and gold. He and his retinue headed straight to a stage where he waited for his bride, a 16-year-old girl from Oriental Mindoro.

It was 4:36 p.m., more than an hour behind schedule for the Muslim wedding which the 60-year-old folksinger agreed to be officiated here after he and his girlfriend converted to Islam so they could get married. Philippine law requires a girl to be at least 18 years old to get married whereas Muslim Sharia law requires only that a girl be in puberty.

Aguilar, according to Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, will be known henceforth as Abdul Fared while his bride also adopted a Muslim name—Sittie Mariam.

Mangudadatu said he had personally suggested to Aguilar that the wedding be held here.

At about 4:45 p.m., the bride arrived and was fetched by Mangudadatu, who acted as the “wali” or godfather. He also earlier adopted Sittie Mariam as his daughter so he could give her away to the groom in the absence of the girl’s parents.

Wearing a gold-colored silk gown and a Thai-inspired headdress, a beaming Sittie Mariam casually walked toward the stage, where Aguilar waited.

“She’s really in love with Freddie,” a woman murmurred as the bride moved closer to the stage.

At about 4:55 p.m., the ustadz assisting in the wedding of Aguilar asked Mangudadatu if the union had the blessings of the girl’s parents.

In response, Mangudadatu took out a piece of yellow paper, which he said contained the consent that the bride’s parents had written.

“If it was not for this, this marriage would have not taken place,” Mangudadatu, smiling at the crowd. see more

source: inquirer.net