Monday, June 13, 2011

Getting to Know Each Other a Little Too Late

Getting to know each other a little too late

They say that the greatest paradox in the world is a happy marriage. But I think otherwise. So far my stand on the issue of the legalization of the Divorce Bill has not yet changed. This post will have sort of a resemblance to my first post. I’m still not a big fan of the divorce bill and this post is for emphasis on what I think is the most important aspect of a relationship.

 I want people to understand that investing in pre-marital relationships is the best thing that they can do. Investing as much time as possible with your partner even before you even come across the concept of marriage will make the biggest difference in your relationship. I believe that this is the best way for them to live happily ever after. Take years, decades if you must before you get married. Know your partner well enough that you can predict each other’s moves or words. Know every single aspect of him. Know every parcel of his character. Understand his or her behavior and attitudes. It’s not wise to get married when in fact, you’re only infatuated with a person. Know what makes him happy. Know what makes him furious. When you know your partner by heart, you can now think about marriage.

Investing that much time in your pre-marital relationship could very well pave the way for a happy marriage for you and your partner. For example, when you’re already married, you wouldn’t do things that would upset your spouse since you know those things very well already. Arguments can be avoided and excuses saying that your spouse didn’t know you were like that will not exist. Conflicts will definitely be minimized as couples are very familiar with each other.

Another reason why investing so much time in your pre-marital relationship would help a lot is that you can use that time to decide whether or not you really want to spend the rest of your life with that person. Time always plays a big part in relationships. Time is also your investment in getting to know the pros and cons of being married. The last reason why I think investing in pre-marital relationships is the best way to avoid a failed marriage is that, you should know very well if your partner is the one you want to start a family with. Do you really want to have children with him or her? Can you handle to obligations and responsibilities of being a parent and at the same time being a spouse? Because once you make that solemn promise in front of God and the law, you are bound by that promise to spend the rest of your life with him or her. Invest time to determine of you are ready to start a new life and begin a family with him or her.

Questions such as these can help people get through their lives a little bit better. Of course it’s not easy at all since we have to think long and hard about it, but this could very well be the only way to stay happily ever after. 

The Bandwagon

The Bandwagon

The Philippines is the only country in the world that does not have a divorce bill. Does that mean that it’s time for us to have one? Should we join the bandwagon of other countries? What good will it bring if we do have a divorce bill in our country? Would it really make that big of a difference? These are just some of the questions that are going around this very delicate subject.

Should our country join this bandwagon or divorce, we should not regret the consequences of our actions. There are countries out there that have the divorce law and yet they’re divorce rate is very low. Could this mean that it is not whether a question of the legality of divorce in our country but a question of what type of lifestyle we Filipinos have. Are we like those countries that have a low divorce rate or are we going to be like the U.S. wherein one out of every two marriages end up in divorce? How ready are we Filipinos for this law?

To my surprise Filipinos are very open to the idea of the divorce law being legalized. But we Filipinos are very hesitant about the passing of the RH Bill. I’ve always known that the Filipino culture is very adamant about change. We don’t like change. We are very closed-minded about change. We like things the way they are because we are afraid that new things will just bring problems. But why the sudden liking to this particular bill? Could it be that most marriages in our country end up as failures? Or is it just that the divorce bill would make it convenient for Filipinos to have new relationships?

What baffles me most about this bill is that, why are they so focused on the protection of women against domestic violence? Not all situations include domestic violence in the picture. And not to be sarcastic or anything, but aren’t there cases wherein the husband is the one being battered? The law strives for the protection of women and children but it doesn’t have any provision if and when the victim is the husband.

So what then should happen if and when a couple decides to file for divorce? Should they be allowed to marry again? If they make mistakes during their first marriage, it doesn’t mean that they won’t make mistakes should they be given the chance to marry again. What guarantee do couples have that if they are allowed to file for divorce, their spouses will continue to support or adhere to the agreement during the divorce procedure?

We really can’t say right now if this particular bill will be beneficial for us. On the other hand, we’ve lasted this long without a divorce bill. Why start now? Why now when we have more important things to worry about? Is the government just diverting our attention from issues that they have to face? Or does the government think that the Filipino society should be introduced to a new “solution” for their problems? Are we even ready for this bill? Do we even understand its provisions? We’ll see in the near future.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Divorce VS Legal Separation

Divorce vs Legal separation

Do Filipinos even know the difference between the two? In fact, what is truly the difference? From what I understand, legal separation, from its own name, is the legal separation of a married couple with the due process of law. In legal separation, couples are not allowed to marry again. The law still considers them to be married and still considers the bond to exist. Whereas in divorce, the law allows the couples to remarry and the law considers the marriage as it never existed.

As mentioned in the previous articles, my stand on this issue is not permanent. My stand could very well change through the course of my writing. So technically speaking, does our present 1987 Constitution prohibit Divorce? From what I understand from reading Article 15, I do not see any prohibitions against divorce stated in our constitution. The constitution states that it shall promote the welfare and development of the family and it (the constitution) shall protect and defend it at all times. It does not say anything that it does not allow divorce.

It’s really hard to take a side on this matter since situations where in married couples are considering divorce vary from couple to couple. I think the whole question here is whether we should allow people to remarry after being legally separated. Because in legal separation, the law recognizes still the couples to be married but they are not living together anymore. But in divorce, the law will allow couples to remarry.  

In my humble opinion, we should not allow people to marry again. We all are familiar with the ceremonies of marriage. There is a part in the ceremony where couples promise or vow to each other in front of God and the law to stay together for better or for worse. I believe that’s the most important promise a person will make. Spending the rest of your life with only one person and one person only is the best promise you can give to your partner.

Another thing that I wonder why people are thinking about legalizing divorce is that, why are they considering divorce to be legal in the first place? Are they thinking that they can just get a divorce if their marriage doesn’t work out well? In that case, they weren’t sure of their reasons for getting married from the start. But like I said above, it’s really hard to take a stand in this issue because different circumstances arise from case to case. Different situations call for different solutions. Who are we to say what’s good for someone else’s marriage. But I believe in the sanctity of marriage and marrying the right person. In my opinion, the moment we make that promise, we should never take it back. I know that relationships face problems which will lead them to part ways but I don’t believe in an irreconcilable problem. I believe that as long as you married the right person, you will find ways to come to an agreement and fall back on the right path.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 5 June 8, 2011 - Is the Grass Greener on the other side?

This is my fifth post in this blog. This entry will have quite a twist in it. I must admit that the events that occurred in my personal life will have a slight effect upon this entry.

I’m beginning to be open about the infamous topic of divorce being legal in our country. I was surprised to know that the Philippines and the Vatican are the only countries in the world that doesn’t have a divorce law. Perhaps this is a sign that maybe it’s time for us to have one already? We really can’t blame the fact the Philippines has a pre-dominant religion which is Christianity. Maybe it’s time we stepped outside of our comfort zone and start being practical? A few insights struck me within these past few days. What if the relationship can’t be fixed anymore? What if it already came to the point that the partners are not happy anymore with their relationship? What would be the best option for them? What would be the best option for their children?

The thing I fear most about divorce being legal in the Philippines is that people will tend to use it as an easy way out of their problems. Filipinos have the tendency to abuse things whether legal or not. Are we ready for divorce to be legal in our country? There are a lot of cases wherein couples have already filed for annulment. But there are a lot of instances also where couples don’t go through the legal process of separation. Then the complexity of the paper work begins. They cannot remarry without having the proper legal separation according to the law. People usually don’t go through the legal process of separation because it is very time consuming, expensive, and tedious for them. Would legalizing divorce make it easier for married couples to end their marriage legally? If so, would this pave the way for a more vibrant and productive society? Or would it just make a mock out of the institution of marriage? Would it even make a difference?
I asked the last question since it’s common knowledge that majority of the people in our country is drowning in poverty. Only the small percent of our population can afford such a process like divorce. Would the majority of our poverty-ravaged population take the time, money, and effort to go through the divorce process? Would it even make a significant impact on their lives knowing that they can end their marriage legally? Or would they just look the other way and let things be since they can’t afford it. What difference would it make on them?

It’s really useless to ask people to stay in a relationship if both of them aren’t happy anymore. It’ll just get worse and worse as time passes. One cannot truly stay in a commitment if he or she does not want to be in it in the first place. It’s really up to the couple to decide on what they want to happen in their family. But if you ask me, divorce should only be a last resort. Nothing less than the last resort. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 4 June 5, 2011 - 1 Family, 2 Houses

This is my 4th entry for this blog. In this entry, I shall talk about the effects of divorce on the children. All cases of divorce will lead to a family having two houses, one house for each parent. That would suggest the scenario of children having to go back and forth the houses depending on the agreement of the parents. In some cases, children are deprived of the right to be with one of their parent because the parents cannot come to an agreement. It would be much difficult for the children if one of the parents move to a not so distant place.

 Naturally, parents need/have to see their children grow to support them and guide them. But how can they do that if they are forced to live far from their kids? It becomes the burden to the kids now that they have to travel back and forth just to see their mom or dad. It’s bad enough that they don’t get to see him or her that often but they have to ride planes in and out of the city/country just to be with their parent.

 Objectively speaking, children should not have to go through all of those just for them to see their mom or dad. This kid of lifestyle would definitely affect the child/children in so many ways. The parent with the children would have to work twice as hard since he or she doesn’t have a partner to share in the expenses of the household such as utilities, mortgage, and education. This would directly lead to diminished time with his or her children. The child would have to grow up within the supervision of the household help (given that they can afford it). The development of the child is now compromised since he or she is not given the full attention that he requires from his or her parent. More importantly, this could lead to the deterioration of the relationship between the child and the parent since they don’t get to spend much time together doing things that normal families should be doing. Imagine dealing growing up around people you are not related to at all.

I actually find it ironic how people need to pay other people to take care of their child. But that’s the sad reality that we have to face. The sad reality is that parents have to work even abroad just to earn enough so that their family can eat at least twice a day.  It would be naturally difficult for them. The child now will begin to seek attention elsewhere because he is not getting any at home. This could lead to the child growing up with the wrong kind of people doing wrong things. Many of mislead youth today can trace their problems back to their families. They would often reason out that their family is not really functioning like one. So they tend to get look for alternative ways for them to be noticed. So there you have it. It’s up to us to make things work for our family. We just have to figure out what to do. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 3 June 4, 2011 - The Politics of Divorce

So this is my third post and I must admit, I'm getting challenged writing in this blog without being repetitive. This third post is going to be about divorce and how politics is involved in it. For some, they might say that the proposal is all about the protection of the family, women, and children. They might argue that with the present condition of our country today, divorce is a viable option for the protection of the family. Could it really be a solution?

I say NO. Divorce shouldn't even be an option. Divorce will just be used as an easy escape route to their responsibilities and obligations. I'm quite a conservative individual. I've read the provisions of the bill already and right now, I don't think that my stand is gonna change anytime soon. I was 13 when my parents parted ways. I must admit it was very difficult for me at first but I sort of got used to it already by now. I grew up as a teenager missing a parent. I spend most of my time home alone. I have to admit, it can get very depressing. Especially when I have no siblings. Sometimes I say to myself, I would want other kids to experience this kind of life. 

I'm surprised that the authors of this bill is GABRIELA. I think this party-list is a group striving for the protection of women and children all over the country. I always thought that women would be the ones against divorce. I guess it's just a typical stereotype of guys on women. Perhaps it's because we don't have divorce here in our country. 

If you read the introduction of the bill, there was a part there where the authors discussed about respect for religion and equality of treatments among religions in our country. They pointed out that in the Filipino-Muslim law, legal separation is allowed. But doesn't the whole point of the difference in religion contradict their argument? They're pushing for equality of laws among all religion. So why not respect the Catholic teaching of not allowing divorce? As I've mentioned in the first post, I am not a devout catholic. I don't even go to church that often. If parity in the laws among religion is what they're pushing for, they should probably reevaluate their thoughts because I think there is nothing unfair about our laws in the first place. It's amazing how ridiculous and silly some lawmakers can be. I was able to watch a plenary session a few years back and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was like a grade school class discussing the alphabet while singing nursery rhymes. I couldn't imagine how grown men and women can come up with such childlike ideas. 

My last point in this post that I would wish to convey to our great lawmakers who are in favor of the Divorce bill is to put themselves in a situation wherein they are deeply considering filing for divorce. I would like to ask them to think about how this could affect their lives and the lives of their children. Is this really the best way for you and your partner to resolve a problem? Is it best for the both of you or is it just the best for you only? Think wisely dear congressmen and women. It wouldn't hurt to use your brains once in a while.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 2 - June 2, 2011 The Remedy

This is my second post in this blog and i have to admit, I'm actually having fun writing. This blog has become my  refuge and my haven wherein I can say or be anything I want. So here goes nothing! 

I've read almost half of the proposal already. I want to start this post with the remedies that the proposal is offering.  HB 1799 offers the following remedies; “legal separation, declaration of nullity of the marriage and annulment and only adds divorce as one more remedy. Couples may choose from these remedies depending on their situation, religious beliefs, cultural sensibilities, needs and emotional state. While divorce under this proposed measure severs the bonds of marriage, divorce as a remedy need not be for the purpose of re-marriage; it may be resorted to by individuals to achieve peace of mind and facilitate their pursuit of full human development”.  The proposal gives us the following grounds for filling for divorce. According to “Title 2 Legal Separation and Divorce” under section 2, letter B, a person may petition for divorce based on any of the following grounds: 


First off, legalizing divorce in our country is a terrible idea for a remedy  because divorce only complicates things with the family. Yes, complications and conflicts are indeed inevitable in the lives of couples but I know that there are no problems that can’t be solved. Divorce shouldn’t even  be an option at all for a family. We all know that the legal processes here in our country aren’t really up to speed if you guys know what I mean. I could only imagine the time it would take just to even prepare a documents like divorce papers. Under the table transactions in government offices are as widespread as the poverty in our country. The only way I know how to speed things up in government offices is to give an undocumented “tip” or more popularly known as “lagay”. By the time the paper works for a divorce papers would be finished, people would have probably forgotten that they have filed for divorce. Another reason why divorce would just make things complicated between partners is the procedures it would take for them to determine the custody of their children if they have any.

There would also be a dispute over the assets of the couple when divorce is filed. It’s normally difficult for couples to come to an agreement when it comes to separation of assets. The provisions in the bill with regards to separation of property are as follows; The absolute community or the conjugal partnership shall be dissolved and liquidated AND THE ASSETS SHALL BE EQUALLY DIVIDED BETWEEN THE SPOUSES but the offending spouse shall [have no right to any share of the net profits earned by the absolute community or the conjugal partnership, which shall be forfeited in accordance with the provisions of Article 43 

(3) The custody of the minor children shall be awarded to the innocent spouse, subject to the provisions of Article 213 of this Code;[and]



As I’ve stated above, there is no problem that couples can’t fix. I’m pretty sure that COUPLES WILL FIND A WAY TO SORT THINGS OUT IF THEY REALLY WANT TO. No matter how deep a problem they may encounter, there will always be a common factor that holds them together. LOVE. Yes I said it. Call me a hopeless romantic if you must but this is what I think what matters most in relationships. Obstacles are presented to us to test us if we can get through them or not. Couples should be open with each other and more importantly, they must have trust.

This is just my humble opinion. Couples should have the dicretion on what to do with their relationship. They would know best after all. But as for me, this is what I believe in.