Words of Wisdom:


The Filipino Conceipt on Marriege

  • Date Submitted: 09/28/2010 02:36 AM
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The Filipino Concept of Marriage
It is a given fact that Filipinos do have a different way of looking at marital relationship compared to westerners and other Asians. Spousal relationship in the Philippines is not an equal alliance but unequal relationship wherein husbands are perceived and expected to lead while wives should be subject to him. The wives take a secondary role. The biblical concept where it is said that husbands should be the head of the household is taken by Filipinos as gospel truth which should never be violated.

It is also worth noting, and alarming that marital break up is on the rise. As one writer puts it, “(i)n the Philippines today, marital dissolution leading to family breakdown constitutes a major problem. From 1988 to 2000, it is estimated that over 44,000 men and women have filed for nullification of this marriages in Metro Manila… Although the nullification of marriage was considered to be deviant and socially undesirable in the past, it is rapidly becoming an alternative for people with problems in their marital relationship.” (Dayan, page 2)

It is also very evident that the Filipino concept of marriage is not between two individuals but between to families. In the Filipino setting, the husband did not only marry the wife but her whole clan. As such, the in-laws have so much to say in the lives of the newly wed. This even starts in the courtship stage. According to Dr. Medina, “(i)n the Philippines, traditional courtship was participated in or controlled by parents and other kinsmen. This system was rooted in the Filipino view that marriage was a union not only of two individuals but also primarily of their families.” (Medina, page 79)

Dr. Dayan added, “What makes the situation more complicated is when in-laws become part of the problem or sometimes even the cause of it. There are cases when parents, in their desire to help out, end up meddling in the lives of their married children, but this usually results in more...


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