MANILA • The tradition of a father walking his daughter down the aisle has become much more than just giving the bride away. It is a special and emotional moment shared between father and daughter during a life-changing milestone.
One father in the Philippines brought new meaning to this time-honoured tradition when he accompanied his youngest daughter on her special day while he was ill and bed-bound.
A picture of the walk, simply captioned "A Father's Love", posted on Aug 9 quickly went viral, garnering 22,000 likes and 15,000 shares to date. The picture was captured by Law Tapalla Photography, the official wedding photographer.
The bride, Ms Charlotte Gay Villarin, has her fingers laced around those of her father who, despite being weak, looks lovingly at his daughter from a stretcher, which is being pulled down the aisle. On the bride's left is her mother.
It was revealed in an interview with Coconuts Manila that Mr Pedro Villarin, 65, had advanced liver cancer.
Ms Villarin said her father was supposed to go down the aisle on a wheelchair. But because he was so weak on the wedding day, he had to be brought down from the ambulance on a stretcher.
Paradox Films, which filmed the wedding, shared that Mr Villarin called his daughter "Love". The first part of the wedding video pays tribute to him.
Ms Villarin admitted in a Facebook post on Aug 10 that the wedding was "not as happy as it should be", considering her father's condition.
From a December wedding, the date had to be pushed up to August due to her father's weakening state. She said that aside from the stress of planning a wedding within a month, "sleepless nights" were also spent taking care of her father who was "in and out of the hospital".
Still, there was much happiness at the occasion.
"As I always say, this wedding is not just for me... This wedding is mostly for my papu (father). He's been waiting for this moment, and finally we made it. His dream of walking with me to the altar became so possible by the grace of the Lord."
Ms Villarin announced on Aug 14 that her father had passed away. It seems this father knew he had one last mission before breathing his last - to testify to his undying love.
PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK