ZAMBOANGA City, Nov. 7, 2014—Unlike any mass wedding held in the country, the recent wedding of 35 Christian couples in Zamboanga City is considered one for the books because it was organized by a Muslim woman.
Through the initiative of Hja. Sarah Handang, principal of Lima Elementary School in Barangay Baluno, a mass wedding was solemnized on Oct. 23 to legitimize children who were formerly unable to get birth certificates because their parents were not legally married.
An advocate of interfaith harmony, Handang said she felt “satisfied and fulfilled,” knowing that after the mass wedding, her students would finally be able to get their birth certificates processed.
Aside from organizing a Christian wedding, Handang also lets Christian catechists to teach religion at their school every Tuesday and to have Mass celebrated in the campus every Thursday.
Despite being a practicing Muslim in a predominantly Christian campus, Handang, who wears a sulban everyday for the last four years she held her post, does not consider religion an obstacle to peaceful and harmonious relations with her students and the Christian community of the barangay.
Despite being criticized by her fellow Muslims, Handang continues to put her interfaith harmony advocacy into action saying, “The Qur’an tells us to love our fellowmen. What I am doing is one way of showing love for my fellowmen.” (CBCP News)