Living together in the Philippines is very common. Men and women live together here more often than they are married probably. There is so much stigma around it though that may be why people, especially Filipino refer to themselves as married. Even their friends do that and consider them married.
Living Together In The Philippines is Common
Usually it happens out of necessity. Couples here fail just as fast as they do any place else. The only difference is that as this time there is no divorce. Annulments are out of the reach of most. I know a Filipino couple that got one and it cost them P100,000. Sometimes even those with money are denied. It can usually be done but it is not a sure thing. There is a divorce bill pending before the Philippine congress. I don’t think we will see it pass soon but I think it is coming. I’m not sure. It depends a lot on the president and this one says he will not server two terms. Doesn’t sound like his going to reconsider. I rarely venture here but I hope he does and gives Filipinos a chance to decide on it.
The inability to formally divorce leads mean Filipino and expats to live with their partner. That is what they often call each other. Though I usually refer to Jessie as my girlfriend in public, I think of her as my wife. I just don’t write that way because I don’t want to mislead. I don’t even want someone to think that was my intention.
Marriage Vs Living Together In The Philippines
Many of us have gone through a divorce. Once you do that, it is hard to see marriage as anything other than a legal process. I do get the symbolism of it though and what it means. For me personally, I think it means more for a couple to stay together because they want too.
What I’m leading up to is I wonder why so many people just assume she wants too be married. She loves me and I don’t assume she will say yes at alll. I honestly don’t know what her answer will be when the question comes. I’ve already told her it is coming so she needs to be ready with her answer. She gave no indication what it will be and I like it that way.
You really don’t escape the legal process though by not getting officially married. As soon as you live with someone in the Philippines, you give them the same basic legal rights as far as property goes. If there is a split, property goes into something like an marital estate. That is what it is called for married couples. I think it is called something different for couples that are living together.
In the Philippines there is no common law time period. The requirement is you live together exclusively. There may be some legal precedent developed in the courts that modify this, I don’t know but the test is basically the exclusive test. I joke and say live with two. That’s illegal too perhaps. Someone that believes in marrying more than one woman will be bared from entering the Philippines if it is known to the Bureau of Immigration.
Since a legal annulment in the Philippines is out of reach for Filipino, those that do agree to split up just do it. They go their separate ways and move on with their lives. That can present real problems for a woman and her next partner. They can be charged with adultery. The husband cannot be. There is a concubine law that covers men but it is harder to prove. Now, I don’t think the government will come after you for this, the husband generally files the charge. I cannot remember if the government can take the action independently. The husband cannot file only on his wife’s lover, he has to charge both of them.
Now this part gets complicated and you really need a lawyer for any of this but if you live with someone in the Philippines that is already married, when you split, your partner isn’t entitled to the property. The martial estate or its equivalent is. What that sounds like to me is that you’re partners legal spouse is entitled to it. I don’t know how that idea sits with you, but I would find it a hard pill to swallow.
I don’t like hypocrisy more than most. Most humans are keenly alert to it though. Hypocrisy is one of the areas where I become judgmental. I know that is a hypocrisy in of itself. I can’t explain nor justify it. I don’t like to see people put other people down. I do that too though, almost all of us do it. I started to say all but I know of one person that I don’t think does it. He happens to be a retired Methodist minister and a man I have the deepest respect for. If you are putting down people because of your biblical beliefs you are not as Godly as you think.
Hypocrisy in the Philippines seems to reach a new level. It is one of the things I don’t like about the Philippines. I still love you though Philippines. Tsismis is a national pastime and I think most Filipinos would agree with my calling it that and poke fun at themselves for it. I know I joke with them a lot about it. They seem to have a good sense of humor about it. It is gossip and it happens all over but it is different here. Filipinos love a good scandal. Go to You Tube and do search for Philippine scandal. Most of what comes up wont be scandalous. People use the term to get people to see their videos. Usually a very bad boring video with a lot of thumbs down marked on it.
There are a lot of people living in the Philippines maintaining good relationships that are not married. They are happy and it is sad to me that they may feel some public shame regarding it. I’m glad they are happy and they have found someone that gives them comfort. Living together in the Philippines, like most things is not the same as it would be in the USA. Married or living together in the Philippines, just be good to each other.
Filed under: Living In The Philippines
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