A number of Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel on Tuesday marked Valentine's Day by getting married in a mass ceremony.

The 21 brides, wearing lacy white gowns and veils, in Quezon City streamed up the aisle after the ceremony commenced with organ music, singing by the choir and the scattering of flower petals by little girls wearing blue silk dresses, the colour of the PNP, Efe news reported.

Since the founding of the PNP over 25 years ago, free mass weddings are held annually for the personnel, who are encouraged to tie the knot to create an emotional support system to cope with the hardships encountered in the profession, according to senior officials.

Mass weddings are a popular event in the Philippines, where churches, civil society groups and local governments often sponsor ceremonies held in churches, town halls and even gymnasiums to help young couples cover the otherwise hefty costs of nuptial rites in a country where 86 percent of the population is practicing Roman Catholics.