Skip to content

Expat In Bacolod Got Married!

Yes, you heard me right – me, an expat in Bacolod got married!

expat in bacolod got married

I was the lucky man to slip the ring on Zabrina’s finger at our wedding ceremony on August 17, 2017, at the Hall of Justice, Bacolod. We were both happy as I believe you will see from the photos and videos.


It was a great day for many reasons. Not only did I marry the woman I love but we had two dear friends as our witnesses, Ging and Edgar. Thanks for the flowers, Ging! To top it off, we were married by the most lovely man – Judge  Estefanio S. Libutan Jr.  He did his duty but added such a warm, personal touch.

expat in bacolod got married

Our two dear friends were instrumental in smoothing the path to fulfilling all the necessary legal requirements. We ran into an obstacle at one time, namely my Certificate of No Impediment (CNI), formerly known as a Certificate of Freedom To Marry, was deemed to have expired by a certain “jobsworth” who held some kind of clerks job.

I protested upon deaf ears. She was unable to show me any kind of source material for her declaration my Certificate had expired. I can tell you that was frustrating and I had resigned myself to yet a further trip and expense of obtaining a fresh one at the British Embassy in Manila.

I emailed the Embassy and was told there is no expiry date but local authorities in the Philippines interpreted the validity according to their own discretion. I would say no discretion was applied in my case!

Anyway, I mentioned this predicament to our dear friends. So many times in this country, you achieve results by knowing the right people. Our friends did know the right people and my CNI was accepted as valid without obtaining a new one. That was such a relief and we are grateful for ever more to our good friends.

Now we wait for our marriage certificate to be processed and issued before I start another bureaucratic process – applying for permanent residency by way of a 13A Visa.

We decided on a no-fuss wedding for a number of reasons which I do not bore you with. The ceremony was immediately followed by a meal at Italia Restaurant in Bacolod then on the Saturday we arranged a small gathering attended by Zabrina’s family and our friends. That was a buffet lunch at Jaimies in Bacolod. The buffet lunches are often a disappointment but this was superb and enjoyed by all. Some of our friends and my new family then spent a few hours at our home.

There was one disappointment however. My sister in the UK had planned to be at our wedding but sadly she had to change her plans owing to some scheduled elective surgery. See you next year sis! 🙂

The slideshow above are the photos taken at the buffet lunch at Jaimies. You may notice the look on Macky’s face. He is the eldest of Zabrina’s two boys but has this habit of deliberately looking grim/stupid/fierce/bored/unhappy on family snaps. Hopefully, he will grow out of the habit 🙂

We rested up on the Sunday then set off for Bugana Beach and Dive Resort in Campomanes Bay, Sipalay. We both love it there and had a great time in the company of our hosts and good friends Marc and Rosie. Thanks for the Gold Eagle, Marc!

Three nights there and then back home but not before we stopped off in Sipalay to meet Cindy. Cindy and Zabrina had not seen each other since Grade 2 so it was a wonderful occasion. Indeed, it finished off the whole week on a very high note.

Cindy and Zabrina Reunion

It was a high note despite having car engine problems on the trip to Sipalay but that is another post for another day 🙂

Follow Me On Social Media
Published inBacolod LifeRetiring To The Philippines


    • Thanks, John! Retirement for me is a strange phenomenon. Most non-retirees think of it as put your feet up time. Not for me, I have so many things to do yet 🙂

  1. Phil Phil

    Congrats! On a side note, my wife, who is also from Bacolod, was high school classmates with your wife’s friend Cindy in your last picture. Small world!

  2. Eric Eric

    Congratulations to both of you with this consecration of commitment; I attended a wedding of another there in Bacolod a few years back and the family warmth was cool …

I would love to hear from you

©2021 - 2022 Stephen Bentley - and Hendry Publishing Ltd Registered in England and Wales: Company Number 13486229 Registered Office: 20-22 Wenlock Road London N1 7GU All Rights Reserved