Till Taal do us part: Filipino couple weds under volcanic cloud

People attend a wedding ceremony as Taal Volcano sends out a column of ash on January 12, 2020 in this image obtained from social media. (Courtesy of Randolf Evan Photography via Reuters)
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Updated 14 January 2020

Till Taal do us part: Filipino couple weds under volcanic cloud

  • Chino and Kat Palomar exchanged vows under a gigantic cloud of smoke and ash from Taal
  • Despite the alarming backdrop, bridal couple little affected

A couple getting married in the Philippines over the weekend witnessed a surprise guest at their wedding.

In what has made for dramatic shots that have since gone viral on social media, Chino and Kat Palomar exchanged vows in Cavite province on Sunday under a gigantic cloud of smoke and ash from Taal, one of the world’s smallest active volcanoes.

“The mood was surprisingly calm despite the large billows of smoke that were already prominently visible in the ceremony area,” said Randolf Evan, the wedding photographer.

Evan related how the volcano began spewing smoke an hour or two before the wedding started, and said ash began to fall on the party toward the end of the ceremony.

More than 24,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes from the volcanic island on which Taal is located south of central Manila, and in the area immediately around it — normally a popular tourist spot.

Social media users responded with amazement to the shots of the bride and groom and their party in a white canvas tent lit with fairy lights under billowing clouds streaked by lightning.

“Kudos to the wedding planner,” read one jokey comment. “This is going to be tough to top.”

Despite the alarming backdrop, Evan said the bridal couple were little affected.

“They were actually relaxed and collected throughout the whole wedding,” Evan said.

“We later found out their wedding was 8 years and 2 kids in the making, so this day they planned for was going to be special no matter what, with or without the Taal volcano’s intervention!”


Girl who pedaled injured dad across India offered national team trial

Updated 23 May 2020

Girl who pedaled injured dad across India offered national team trial

  • Paswan and Kumari arrived home on May 16 after covering 1,200 kilometers in seven days
  • Father and daughter’s arduous journey makes headlines

DARBHANGA, India: A 15-year-old girl who pedaled her injured migrant-worker father more than a thousand kilometers across India after a coronavirus lockdown left them destitute has been invited to try out for the national cycling team.
Jyoti Kumari rode a bicycle with her father, Mohan Paswan, sitting on the pillion and holding their belongings from Gurugram city, near New Delhi, to their village in the northeastern state of Bihar, local media reported.
They arrived home on May 16 after covering 1,200 kilometers in seven days.
Paswan, a motorized rickshaw driver, was among millions of migrant workers left jobless after the country was suddenly locked down in March to slow the spread of the virus.
With no money to pay rent or buy food and public transport halted, many walked or — like Kumari and Paswan — rode bicycles back to their villages.
The father and daughter’s arduous journey on a second-hand bike bought with their remaining funds made headlines.
It also caught the attention of the Cycling Federation of India, which offered Kumari the chance to try out for the country’s team.
“She covered this distance in seven days with her father and some luggage too. I thought she has something in her... that endurance level. We can try her,” chairman Onkar Singh said.
“She said she only wants to pursue her studies. We told her that we also take care of studies at our academies.”
The cycling body expects Kumari to travel to Delhi after nationwide travel restrictions are lifted.
Singh said the federation would test Kumari to see if she is suitable for competitive cycling.
Ivanka Trump, the daughter of US President Donald Trump, praised Kumari’s efforts in a tweet, describing it as a “beautiful feat of endurance & love.”