When the nail sticks out

rants, raves and randomness

Divorce, the way forward

5 years ago, 2 years into married life, I bought my own pad- In my mind, I called it my “divorce pad”. Of course, I wasn’t really planning to get a divorce. I just needed my own back-up plan- W.S.H.T.F  plan (When shit hits the fan plan – I think all women should have a wshtf plan) . Some years 2 years ago, the building was finally built, and this year I’m busy working my ass off to finish the interior.  It’s not only about my post-divorce plan – shit’s been happening in Tokyo with radiation and everything, it’s great to have a place to go home to, if you really need to.

But then, back to the topic. Divorce. So many people are getting divorced now, it’s almost unreal. Meet T*, 24 y.o, bartender and twice divorced. Meet B*, a schoolmate, and divorced after a year of being married. My therapist, M*, 33, and once divorced.   And now X*, trying to obtain a divorce through a mediator. It’s almost no big deal – especially because this being Japan where  people don’t have kids. A child would bring complications into the divorce – especially the lack of  proper custody /visitation laws and kids getting cut off from one parent just because the other parent can’t handle it. Jj*, American, talked to me about it – how his J-wife totally cut off the biological father from the family and how he had to rebuild the ties with the  J-dad for the sake of his step-kids. It’s Complicated with a capital C.

But none more so than the Philippines – where divorce is still illegal.

 “The proposal to legalize divorce will not pass under my watch,” said House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., reported the Asian Catholic news portal ucanews.com.

Marriage “should be saved and should guarantee the proper guidance of children,” he said.

Catholic news service. Philippine lawmakers pledge to block proposed divorce law. March 25, 2015. Web. March 30, 2015. < http:// catholic philly.com/ 2015/ 03/  news/ world-news/ philippine- lawmakers- pledge- to- block- proposed-divorce- law/ >

First, can I just scream?

Being married myself, this is but wishful thinking.

  1. Wishful thinking is the formation of beliefs and making decisions according to what might be pleasing to imagine instead of by appealing to evidence, rationality, or reality. It is a product of resolving conflicts between belief and desire.From Google. 

Totally unrealistic, yes I would even say inhumane.  And it’s not just when you are practically being killed with his (or her) physical blows to the head and punches to the belly.Without going through all sorts of abuses, it’s a torture to go home to a place where the air is so negative. Kids can feel it. And with such marriage, do you think you can guarantee “proper guidance of children”?

Added another politician :

Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao, deputy speaker, said there was little support for the measure among legislators.

“(The law) will shred the fabric of our society and will encourage flippant marriages,” she said.

Catholic news service. Philippine lawmakers pledge to block proposed divorce law. March 25, 2015. Web. March 30, 2015. < http:// catholic philly.com/ 2015/ 03/  news/ world-news/ philippine- lawmakers- pledge- to- block- proposed-divorce- law/ >

The comment makes it sound like Filipinos don’t have the right to do with their lives as they like. Almost like a patronizing parent to a child who’s now moved out of the house and wants to be free.  Get over it.  I mean what’s “a flippant marriage”? Who are you to judge? What may look like flippant to you may be the real deal to me.

Let’s get real. People change. People drift apart. There is no guarantee that the person you’ve dated for 12 years will stay the same – or that you’d completely know who that person is. You could have tried to cover all your bases – check your blood type compatibility, hired a detective to do background check, date him / her for years, consult a feng shui expert.. and still… things may not work out. Do you live the rest of your life being punished for marrying the “wrong” person? It’s sadistic to force two people who no longer love each other to stay together just because we have misplaced “ideals”.

“Being a country where divorce is not legal is an honor that every Filipino should be proud of. Love for the family is the heart of Filipino cultural identity and cannot be destroyed by divorce”, says the Archbishop emeritus of Lingayen-Dagupan, Mgr. Oscar Cruz, speaking on behalf of the Filipino episcopate, in a speech sent to Fides.
The Church says “no” to the legalization of divorce. Agenzia Fides. June 6, 2011. Web. March 30, 2015. < http:// http://www.news.va/  en/  news/  asiaphilippines  -the -church  -says -no-to-  the- legaliza >

Why is it that people who have vows of celibacy get to dictate how married people should live their lives???

We have to be in touch with reality. I come from a broken home. Gee. Did the break up  of the family “break my love for my family”? I am not half a person because of my family background. I don’t love my family any less than if my family were “unbroken” (Youtube Unbroken by Skye! Great song!). And I  think I turned out pretty well in the end. A contributing citizen of my country, paying taxes and helping improve the per-capita happiness of my host country. No hang-ups, hardly any emotional shit. Pragmatic and unsentimental and ready to buy a divorce pad while still happily married.  My idol is Lee Kuan Yew, may he RIP.

Divorce was legal in the Philippines and widely practiced, especially among tribal communities until 1950, when the new Civil Code prohibiting it was adopted.
Catholic news service. Philippine lawmakers pledge to block proposed divorce law. March 25, 2015. Web. March 30, 2015. < http:// catholic philly.com/ 2015/ 03/  news/ world-news/ philippine- lawmakers- pledge- to- block- proposed-divorce- law/ >

It seems like from the 1950s onwards, we’ve gone from a more progressive country to a real backward one. I mean look at this :

Divorce, the way forward . Manila in the 50s. Image from the internet.

Divorce, the way forward . Manila in the 50s. Image from the internet.

What happened las islas Filipinas? Why did you fuck yourself up?

However, legal separations, in which spouses live apart but cannot remarry, are permissible under the code, as are annulments.
Catholic news service. Philippine lawmakers pledge to block proposed divorce law. March 25, 2015. Web. March 30, 2015. < http:// catholic philly.com/ 2015/ 03/  news/ world-news/ philippine- lawmakers- pledge- to- block- proposed-divorce- law/ >

Masochistic! What is the purpose of being legally separated without being able to remarry again? And what for? What does the state benefit from a single person that it cannot from remarried person?

It seems like, aside from the Catholic church, the only reason PI doesn’t want to legalize divorce is its unfounded fear that people will go on abusing it, as if we’d go on our endless debauchery of divorce and remarriage if given the chance. Walang pananalig sa  mga tao. Politicians who block this act like they know better. Especially since..

Despite the strong influence of the church in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, a recent survey shows strong and growing support for legalizing divorce.

The survey conducted by the polling group Social Weather Stations and released March 23 found that at least 60 percent want divorce to be legalized.

Most respondents agreed that “married couples who have already separated and cannot reconcile anymore should be allowed to divorce so that they can get legally married again,” according to the survey. Twenty-nine percent of respondents disagreed, while 11 percent were undecided on the issue.

SWS said that 62 percent of men and 57 percent of women who responded supported legalizing divorce — up from 52 percent among males and 49 percent among females in a similar survey in 2011.

Catholic news service. Philippine lawmakers pledge to block proposed divorce law. March 25, 2015. Web. March 30, 2015. < http:// catholic philly.com/ 2015/ 03/  news/ world-news/ philippine- lawmakers- pledge- to- block- proposed-divorce- law/ >

Aren’t politicians supposed to represent us, regardless of their personal opinion? Isn’t this a government of the people, for the people and by the people? 60% of the people want divorce. Yet, our calls are being ignored. Because no one has the balls to stand up against religion and status quo.

Catholic leaders said that despite the strong sentiments of the people to legalize divorce, the church would never change its position.

Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, retired archbishop of Manila, said “even if 99 percent (support legalized divorce), what is wrong is wrong,” he said.

Catholic news service. Philippine lawmakers pledge to block proposed divorce law. March 25, 2015. Web. March 30, 2015. < http:// catholic philly.com/ 2015/ 03/  news/ world-news/ philippine- lawmakers- pledge- to- block- proposed-divorce- law/ >

Isn’t there a separation of church and state? And who are you to say it’s wrong when all you do is stand on your pedestal and preach while WE – actual married people – are living real lives AND suffering?

Pilipinas, let’s get real. If the Catholics don’t want divorce, then don’t divorce. But it’s unfair the hold the whole population back just because of what YOU DON’T WANT. It’s like banning milkshakes because you don’t like it. Don’t deprive us of things you don’t want. Don’t deprive the majority of milkshakes just because you think it’s  bad for me and will make me fat. It’s selfish, immature and totally out of touch with reality. Outdated. Un-progressive. Limiting. Rigid. Ridiculous.

Well what about annulment then?

Under the country’s Family Code, marriages can be ended three ways: through legal separation, which does not allow remarrying; an annulment; and a third, through what is called “a declaration of nullity of marriage.”

An annulment cuts the marital bond because it was void from the beginning for reasons such as fraud, or the couple were too young to marry, or were married by someone with no authority.

To get “a declaration of nullity of marriage” one must show that a spouse is not fulfilling his or her marital obligations due to “psychological incapacity” that existed even before the marriage but manifested only later. Such a case could be particularly expensive because it could require expert testimony.

The Associated Press. Divorce Ban Shows Catholic Church Power in Philippines. The New York Times. January 16, 2015. Web. March 30, 2015. < http:// http://www.nytimes.com/  aponline/2015/  01/16/world / asia / ap-as-pope -asia-philippines- divorce.html >

Filipinos really have a penchant for bullshit.

I wouldn’t have minded annulment if it were easy, fast – and free. But it isn’t .Annulment discriminates against those who don’t have time or money. More so on the last. It’s just unrealistic to expect the average Juan or Juana to cough  up 100,000 Pesos++ for lawyer fees. Saka, if both parties want it, why stand in the way? Here, it would have been free. Think about it – most legal contracts have provisions for a way out. There’s a buy out, there’s a bond, there’s an expiry. Why? Because it accepts the fact that conditions change. Why can’t marriage contracts be the same? Why does a marriage contract need to be rigid and stiff and binding for life?

Saka, what if you’re married to a foreigner who can legally divorce you in his country? Talo ang Pinoy dito. The foreign spouse can move on, marry someone else and live his/her life while you can’t, stuck to having “married” stamped on your papers back home. I mean what’s the point? Para pahirapan tayo?

Some radical proposals :

1) Marriage contracts should have an expiry. Subject to be renewed by mutual agreement. If you want to stay together forever, then just keep on renewing it.

2) Monogamy should be optional. There should be a tick box that says you agree to sleep only with your spouse during the duration of the your marriage. Otherwise, you should be legally allowed to do whatever you want.

3) If both parties don’t want to be together anymore, then just let them file for a divorce for free. Ano bang issue ng ibang partido dito? Kasi it all sums down to them leading their own lives, which is their basic right.

4) If two guys or ladies want to marry, just let them. Because really, who cares? Some people want strawberry milkshake, some people want low fat milkshake. Why do we have to worry about what our neighbors WANT?

5) Online database to check someone’s marital status. So we can avoid the bullshit, heartaches and Complications with a capital C. Like this :

Juan Del Rosario – M (for married)

Juana Rodriguez – D (for Divorced)

Maria Gomez – S (for single)

 My point is, at this stage of my life, I start realizing that life is more about trial and error. No one gets to the end successfully without trying failing. (Japanese are averse to trying and failing, hence their low English ability AND the number of suicides – but we aren’t Japanese, are we?) You try one job and if you like it, then you continue doing it. If you hate it, you quit.  You date one guy and if it works out, then it does. If it doesn’t – well, then you move on, try again and see where the next date takes you. Marriage should be flexible enough to let you be human and make mistakes. So what if you’ve been married 10 times?

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Thomas Edison

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4 comments on “Divorce, the way forward

  1. Joe America
    March 31, 2015

    As my various ex-wives would say, “bravo!” And, legalistically speaking, any contract without a termination provision is a bad contract. Shit does happen, and what is best for the kids is for sure not for some other person to decide, no matter his overbearing sense of moral correctness.

    • ikalwewe
      April 3, 2015

      The Philippines should stop being so masochistic about it. Or melodramatic. People change. We change our minds. It’s not being fickle. It’s life, get over it! I still don’t understand what the big deal is.Now, looking at my options, the least complicated steps seem to be 1) become a Japanese citizen 2) divorce my husband- if I want to remarry again. If I remain a PI citizen I cannot get a cenomar to remarry .

  2. IM Sirius
    April 17, 2015

    I’m not sure why government is in the marriage business to begin with, apart from allowing busybodies to use government to enforce their moral/religious views on strangers. The most you should have to do is file a form with some local agency for legal and tax purposes.

    • ikalwewe
      April 21, 2015

      That’s true. The govt should stop making things hard for the regular Filipinos. But alas, it’s a country ran by the rich, for the rich!

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This entry was posted on March 30, 2015 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .
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