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Batangas Governor Mandanas, 80, marries lawyer, 32

BATANGAS CITY — This one is for Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas has married lawyer Angelica Chua, 32, in a wedding at the Minor Basilica and Parish of the Immaculate Conception in Batangas City.

Among the sponsors and visitors were President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and First Lady Liza Marcos, former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, San Miguel Corporation president Ramon Ang and other national and local politicians.

Mandanas, 80, became a widow in 2022 with the passing of his wife, Regina Reyes-Mandanas. His new wife, attorney Chua, is nearly 50 years his junior.

Mrs. Chua-Mandanas hails from a political family from the town of Ibaan, Batangas. Her father is a doctor, while her mother is the executive judge of Batangas City and former legal counsel the provincial government under Mandanas.

“I came here not only of my own free will, but full of love,” the 80-year old governor said in his wedding vows as ABS-CBN reported.

“We are both ready to raise as good Christians the children who God will give us. That is really the essence of our union, of our marriage: to have children who we will raise in a Christian way,” he said. 

“I am ready whether it is going to be for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, til death do us part, exclusive,” he added.

Chua — who is nearly 50 years younger than the governor — revealed in her vow that Mandanas asked her out on Valentine’s Day.

“I thank you for having the courage to ask me to be your valentine and for choosing to spend the rest of your life with me,” she said.

“When we first started dating, you said you need someone stronger than you,” she said.

“Today, in front of God, our families and friends and of all the Batangueños, I promise to be strong for you, to support you, to always be by your side and to take good care of you,” she said.

Chua — who earned her law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University — said in jest that she would try her best to listen to her husband.

“I promise to listen to you and your suggestions, but not necessarily follow you,” she said.

“It’s only part of due process.”

The lawyer teared up as she explained why she agreed to marry the governor, ABS-CBN reported.

“I’ve had my heart broken so many times that I guarded up and raised my standards so high, so high no one was supposed to reach it so I wont get hurt again, until you came,” she said.

During the wedding reception at the Batangas provincial capitol grounds, Mandanas described his new wife as someone who is “never boring.”

“Harinawa ay makatulong kaming dalawa sa pagkakaroon ng tunay na masagana at happy life dito sa atin hindi lang sa lalawigan ng Batangas kung hindi sa buong Pilipinas,” he said.

“In our relationship we should not be boring. Nakita naman ninyo kapag si Angelica ang kasama, we can assure you it will never be boring.”

Chua-Mandanas introduced herself as a partner in the Platon-Martinez Law office in Makati, while her siblings also work either in the medical or legal fields, according to ABS-CBN report.

“I believe in the law of attraction. Believe it or not I actually manifested this day… I’ve always wanted and I knew I’d marry a politician because I know I’d be a great partner ,” she said.

“I know that my wedding will be the wedding of the year,” she said.

The new first lady of Batangas also thanked the governor’s siblings for welcoming her into their family.

“I would like to thank the Mandanas family for welcoming me with open arms,” she said.

“Sa totoo lang, noong una kaming nag-meet ng siblings ni Gov, takot na takot talaga ako… but they were very very welcoming. Thank you very much po,” she said.

The church ceremony and the reception were both livestreamed on the social media pages of the Batangas Public Information Office.

The couple confirmed that they signed a pre-nuptial agreement, which indicates that their only conjugal properties would be assets that they would acquire after their union.