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1st Daughter Luli weds investment banker

MANILA-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s only daughter, Evangeline Lourdes “Luli” Arroyo, and former investment banker J. Aloysius “Luigi” Bernas tied the knot in a private ceremony in Tagaytay City on Nov. 5.
[ad#featuredpost120x600-wht]Footage aired on QTV-11 television showed the groom, in a barong tagalog, raising his hands in the air as he and his bride, in a white terno, were exiting the church.
The President and First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo walked behind the newlywed couple. Footage showed Mrs. Arroyo folding what looked like a veil being blown by the wind.
Asked the next day how he felt about his daughter’s wedding, First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo said he felt both “sad and good” upon seeing his only daughter get married. In an interview following his regular three-hour rehabilitation at St.
Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) in Quezon City, the First Gentleman said “It was nice, very private with only few people, just the immediate family.”
He said he is “sad because I am losing her, but also glad because we’ll have a new son and she is already married.” “Hopefully, she can give us grandchildren,” he also said.
Luli married John Bernas in a simple and private ceremony at the Parish of Ina ng Laging Saklolo in Tagaytay City. Only 26 people, members of the bride’s and groom’s families, were present at the ceremony.
The ceremony was officiated by Fr. Joaquin Bernas, the groom’s uncle, and Fr. Danny Huang, the groom’s schoolmate at Xavier School who was the former provincial of the Jesuits in the Philippines, but has just been appointed assistant for Asia of the Jesuit director and will be based in Rome.
A simple dinner reception was held at an area beside the church after the ceremony.
The couple’s only wedding sponsors were Vicente Poblete and Nene Quimson.
Luigi used to work with Bear Sterns International and Bankers Trust Co. He is the son of lawyer Antonio Bernas, and was for a time a director at the Ayala Foundation. Luli, meanwhile, works with the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF). She is a passionate scuba diver and environmentalist. She was among the top in the foreign-service examinations years ago, but did not pursue a diplomatic career because of her mother’s position.
Luli is considered the most private among the members of the First Family, generally shunning media and rarely granting interviews. Arroyo, who holds a masters degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown
University, is the only unmarried child of the President.

Elder brother Juan Miguel “Mikey”, 39, married Ma. Angela Montenegro in June 2002 while younger brother Diosdado Ignacio “Dato” Jose, 34, married Maria Victoria Manotok in 2003. Mikey is the representative of the 2nd District of Pampanga while Dato is the representative of the 1st
District of Camarines Sur. Both were not present because of previous commitments.
Luli told ABS-CBN News reporter RG Cruz earlier in an e-mail: “I never talk about my personal life. My personal life has never been open to media and that doesn’t change.” Luli said she was willing to talk publicly about her advocacies such as environmental protection, but not about her private life.
“If you ask me about WWF [World Wildlife Fund] and the Coral Triangle Initiative, I’d be happy to talk about it all…All I know is that whoever is spreading these rumors is probably not someone I know
personally and doesn’t know what he or she is talking about,” she said. Luli said there have been rumors about her private life but she has chosen to keep silent. Like Luli, Luigi has been involved in civil society causes such his work with Ayala Corp. Foundation. He is a graduate of Xavier School, Ateneo de Manila University, and the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. Unlike her two brothers, Luli has chosen to take a low-profile role under the Arroyo presidency. She earned praise in the early years of the Arroyo administration when she opted not to join the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) despite topping the Foreign Service Institute exam.
Among the President’s children, Luli has been the most vocal defender of her father and mother when it comes to corruption allegations, especially in last year’s National Broadband Network-ZTE Corp. scandal involving businessman Jose “Joey” de Venecia III.

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