Are you in favor of Divorce in the Philippines?

The Philippine House of Representatives has recently approved the Absolute Divorce Law. It’s now up to the Senate to concur and there you have it, it will become a law. How about you? Do you approve of divorce in the Philippines?

Couples who seek freedom from their marriage contract will now have an alternative to the more tedious and expensive process of securing an Annulment of Marriage.

Having a divorce in the Philippines will change and affect our culture about how we view our relationship with our legal spouse. Couples will be quick to let go when things come to shove.
Trying to improve their marriage will no longer be a priority. There will no longer be a deep sense of commitment to stay together. Divorce na agad.

It is every person’s right to live in peaceful harmony with their surroundings including with the people they are staying with. So if couples already dread each other or one or the other has found love and passion somewhere else, it’s up to them to leave. Kung ayaw mo na talaga, split ka na. If your spouse is abusive, physically or verbally, and he/she brings out the worst in you, you must have a legal recourse to reclaim your life.

There are numerous reasons to separate and whatever the reasons are, whether petty or big, it’s the couple’s prerogative. I worry more for the children. There is an emotional and psychological impact on them. Couples must take every action and precaution to prevent children from being disadvantaged and negatively impacted by the separation.
It is important that they still feel loved and supported by both parents. It is tougher if they have to move to different homes and change schools. In many instances, children experience a change in their lifestyle due to financial challenges associated with the separation such as lack of finances to support their schooling.

It’s hard if the separated parents relocate to another place where frequent or regular in person contact with both parents and siblings is not possible. The feeling of longing, belonging, stability, and a sense of loss could affect the children.

When couples divorce, support groups like the aunts, uncles, most specially grand parents can play a big role to caution the impact on the children. They can provide a loving atmosphere by stepping in and giving the children the attention, love, and care. They can help establish a stable family, provide protection even if one parent is absent.

It’s worst when couples break-up their children, for example tig isa sila, sayo si girl akin si boy. Parang personal assets na hati sila. I think children should stay together most especially if there are only two of them. While I understand both parents wanting to live with their children, kahit isa lang, parang kawawa yung bata. Unless baby pa lang who has no awareness of what’s going on.

I also worry for children who will have to live with strangers— the new partner of their parent, the person’s own children or family. In many instances, children of divorced couple are abused by these people.

True stories:
1. She and her husband divorced and the two year old daughter was left with the mother while the father went back to his parent’s house 4 hours away. She took in a boyfriend. One night the little girl was being fuzzy. At 11 pm she didn’t want to sleep. The mom’s partner went to the girl’s room and gave her the strongest jab on her stomach. She died instantly. The mother failed to protect her.

2. She sent her eldest daughter to her husband in New Jersey hoping she’ll have a good life in America. She lived with her biological father and her grandparents. The grandfather impregnated her. Apparently ever since she came to America he’d been molesting her but she never told her parents for fear of the grandfather. I believe he’s now in jail. I think that is a very light punishment. He should be meted with the death penalty. Even with that, the tragedy he inflicted upon his own blood is irreparable. There is absolutely no forgiveness to what he had done, on earth or in hell.

3. He fell madly in love with this young and vivacious twenties girl. He was stupid to think that this young girl can replace his wife as his kids’ real mother. Every time his 8 year old daughter and 10 year old son would come for the weekend, he didn’t know that his new partner was not treating them right. She would deprive them of food and would threaten to kill their father if they complained. She would even inflict physical harm on them. The father was oblivious to his partner’s abusive behavior. He was blinded by her charm and oozing sexuality. Her evil deeds was just discovered when one day the two kids refused to go with the father and started crying. The mom sensed something was wrong.

What we don’t want is a generation coming from broken families who are prone to anger, depression, low self-esteem, or they could become bullies, aggressors.

Two weeks ago I welcomed a balikbayan guest from San Francisco who was here with a retired American lawyer. The American found out that dental implants are a lot cheaper here in our country so he traveled all the way from the US to have them done here, saving him $15,000. Instead of paying $23,000 for 4 implants, here, it only cost him $8,000.

He was divorced 3 times and have 5 children between two wives. His first wife was having an affair. They didn’t divorce because of that. They divorced years later due to another relationship. Then he remarried but his second wife didn’t want to stand as a mother to his two children with his first wife. His young children’s welfare was his priority so he divorced her. Came his third wife. I already forgot what the reason of their divorce was but the woman is now married to another guy. And all of them get along well. They get together as one big happy family during special holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Getting along with your former spouse may not happen in the Philippines. Just like what my husband says, magkaaway sila kaya nga sila naghiwalay. So chances are divorced couples will keep their distance because there’s anger and animosity toward one another. These negative feelings are transmitted to their children.

Last year I met an IT engineer in the US. He has a stable job and is doing fairly well. He thought he had a stable and loving relationship until he discovered that his wife of 15 years was very much in love with a workmate. He talked to her and persuaded her to stop her relationship with this guy. She sad yes but he discovered months later that she never stopped. She continued the relationship and realizing there’s no more chance for his wife to love hm again, they agreed to file for divorce. His world suddenly turned upside down. He gave his wife the big house he had just fully renovated. Because he didn’t want to live far from his son, he rented an apartment two blocks away from his wife’s house. It worked that way for a year but his wife fell in love with another guy and she moved in with him and sold the big house. The IT engineer could no longer see his son as frequent as he would like. He got so depressed for a year and never went out and just sulked in one corner. New Year was coming so I asked him where he would spend the holidays. He answered in a sad voice, he didn’t know yet. He hasn’t received an invitation from any of his friends. I told him “why don’t you go spend New Year with your mother”. He said his mother is newly married and is busy with her fourth husband. And how old is the mom? 76.


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