‘Wala na munang mga abay’: Manila archdiocese bares 'new normal' for weddings

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 8) — As the threat of coronavirus disease persists, the Archdiocese of Manila is about to break a wedding tradition — there will be no bridesmaids for the meantime.

“Wala na munang mga abay,” the archdiocese said.

It also announced that only one set of sponsors and the immediate family of the bride and groom are allowed to witness nuptials this year once the government allows religious activities to resume. It's not clear when such gatherings will be allowed again in the predominantly Roman Catholic country.

But the archdiocese, which is comprised of churches in the cities of Manila, Makati, San Juan, Mandaluyong, and Pasay (except Villamor Air Base and Newport City), said the guidelines may be temporary since the country is under an “extraordinary situation.”

Some weddings in the Philippines have been postponed or cancelled, with officials prohibiting large gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On April 30, the government said it was allowing church and other religious activities to resume in areas with low-to moderate risk of COVID-19 spread and are under general community quarantine or GCQ. A day later, it reversed the decision following complaints from local officials.

GCQ is implemented in all parts of the country except in the National Capital Region, Calabarzon, Central Luzon (excluding Aurora), Pangasinan, Benguet, Iloilo, Cebu, Bacolod City, Davao City, Albay and Zamboanga City which are under stricter enhanced community quarantine. This will last until May 15, unless extended or modified by the government.