Weddings and Marriage from a Perspective of a Single Filipina in Her Mid-20s | A 'Write to Wander' Original Article

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I was inspired to witness the wedding of my close friend Pau and her husband Jose which happened just last weekend. There's always "something magical" about weddings.

I'm a bit glad that due to the pandemic we can't have mass gatherings. I am just not a fan of this usual Filipino scenario:
Concerned Auntie: Dae, pila na gani imong edad? (Dear, how old are you?)
Concerned Tito: Diba baynte syete naka no? (Aren't you twenty-seven already?)
Concerned Lola: Sus, day, wala naka nagkabata. (Tsk, dear, you're not getting any younger.)
Concerned Uncle: Mao gyud, nagkatiguwang naka. (Yeah, you're getting older.)
Concerned Ninang: Kanus-a man diay ka magminyo? (WHEN ARE YOU GETTING MARRIED?)

It's a Filipino (Pinoy) classic. When a "single" Filipina is in her mid-20s or her late 20s or early-to-mid 30s, the entire clan seems to have their eyes on her. "When are you getting married?" (But patriarchal society has it, Filipino men are not often asked this question. double-standards, right? It's just So weird because the men are the ones who ask for marriage but then women are the ones "often" get asked. Isn't it ironic?)

While the concern is much appreciated and valued, I would respectfully and gently suggest, if I may, that I guess we can slowly get this out of our culture.

Because this way of thinking has caused lots of Filipinas out there to ~calmly~ panic, having pushed with the idea that "there should be a specific timeline" to get married. While yes marriage is a gift, but does it have to be defined by "the world's" standards and timeline?

Also: why don't they ~usually~ ask "Are you stable enough?" They just ask your age and then ask when you'll get married. I guess it's highly important to consider stability in pursuit of marriage. This is not just financial stability but also one's mental, emotional and spiritual stability. "Are you stable enough in all these aspects as you enter marriage life?"

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As a single person, we have lots of thoughts. That's natural. Sometimes our thoughts are crazy and wild and out-of-place. Sometimes we ourselves don't get our own selves and our own thoughts. Now when we get married, we add one human being to this cycle of thoughts. And it changes everything. It makes thought processes more complicated. And in marriage, two people have to be with one another and bear each other in their promise of forever. Two different people with minds of their own, committing one another in marriage. It sounds like a big deal because IT IS.

I know of people who do not want to get married because they simply don't want to be married. And is there something wrong with that? No. Because not wanting to get married is a choice as much as wanting to get married is (a choice). Either choice is good or bad depending on where your values and principles lie. No choice is wrong.

Is it wrong to get married? Yes or no or maybe. Let's ask people who got married.
Is it wrong to not get married? Yes or no or maybe. Let's ask people who never got married.
Let's also stop the ~lowkey, not-talked-about~ stigma that "all single unmarried people are lonely and miserable because they don't have partners". Get this: Not all single unmarried people are lonely and miserable just as not all married people are joyfully ecstatic. That's just the truth.

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People usually recommend "Get married, you're already up for it", but then most often than not, these people who've advised you to get married usually do not have the ideas of what to do to "stay married". It might be easy to get married, yes. There are lots of resources that sell us "weddings". LIKE A LOT.

But why don't lots of resources tell you "how to stay married". When the statistics tell us that there are many marriages in the world that end up in divorce and in the Philippines, many marriages get annulled, or become "inactive" when both husband and wife do not legally separate for the sake of the children and just have things of their own (but still married legally via documents). [The average rate of divorce across all years and all regions was 4.08 divorces for every 1,000 married people. Published on a Feb 3rd 2019 article from psychologytoday.com] [On annulment: The number of registered marriages in 2019 reached 431,972, lower than the total registered marriages of 449,169 in 2018. - Data from Philippine Statistics Authority]

I am a pro-marriage and pro-wedding person. I have written this because it is wise to be realistic about our expectations when it comes to weddings.

Our society has glamorized "weddings" so much so that the real purpose of weddings has been clouded.

People are pumped up with weddings, the "big day" as the movies tell us. But what happens in the marriage-- after the wedding-- is what we fail to talk about as a society. And it is the important, not superficial part! BUT WHY DON'T WE TALK ABOUT IT AS MUCH AS WE "SELL" THE IDEA OF ~SPLENDID~ WEDDINGS?? Why.

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I am not an expert about marriage or weddings lol. From my point of view, I grew up idolizing weddings and getting married. Congratulations, society, you've done a good job convincing this ~let's face it another hopeless romantic~ girl. (You've sold her the idea of weddings which is a whopping $60 billion dollars per year industry.) [As an industry that generates on average $60 billion dollars per year, tying the knot is a big deal – on all accounts. Published on a Dec 2nd 2020 article from thepearlsource.com]

What I have realized now that I am still single and in my mid-20s is this: It is not healthy to drown oneself in the idea of getting married at a certain age, just because society has shaped us so. This thinking can sometimes result in bad marriages because of the lines "we were too young to get married we should break up" or "we did not know it would be this hard, let's give up".

To end this rather lengthy post, my take on weddings and marriage:

Weddings- Before I used to dream of a big, big wedding. Like the ones in the magazines. But now that I've understood why weddings exist, I have come to realize that a sincere, spiritual, intimate wedding is best-- only the very close people who have witnessed your love story are there to give their testimonies of how both of you have chosen each other despite all (ALL) odds (7 billion other people being the odds lol)

Marriage- I believe it is sacred (therefore I humbly, respectfully and gently not agree with divorce). It is a lifetime season and there's no backing out. It has to be pondered upon seriously so that a person can be guided before entering a marriage. On that note, I wish that there would be many free resources out there that discuss the important aspects that a person must consider before marrying. Moreover, I wish that people do not rush marriage and really think it through. It's easy to fall into the trap that "love is enough so long as we have feelings for each other, it will suffice". But our feelings come and go-- fact. We will not always "feel" we love this other person, there are times we just don't feel like loving-- fact. Marriage has to be beyond "feelings". Gentle reminder: It is a COMMITMENT of a LIFETIME. Unless you're ready for that, then do not even think about weddings because you are not yet "marriage material". (my ideal marriage and should also be the kind of marriage we Christians aspire to: Jesus as the bridegroom and the Church as His bride)

To ~finally~ end, I guess marriage is one of the biggest decisions anyone in life has ever got to make (alongside having & raising babies and moving to different cities and taking job opportunities outside your comfort zone). I think that it's really sweet that we get to make that decision; like we have the free will to do it.

Marriage is a choice.

But let's please be mindful and reflective and soulful a.k.a. meditative as we decide on this matter. Marriage can either break you or make you. You have a choice whether it's the making or the breaking that stands out between the two.

β€˜Til the next post, hivers! Remember that you are loved beyond borders and beyond time & space. Okay? Okay. πŸ’›β€οΈ

Ciao for now! πŸ€—πŸ₯°

This article is written by Jong, the blogger behind Write to Wander of writetowander.com. Facts are stated to prove a point, and the sources are cited. All photos in this post are hers, too.


Jong CL

Hive-llo, everyone! Welcome to Jong's little buzz-y corner in Hive. Jong believes that every person she meets can teach her a thing or two (or three, or more) about life. She shares her love for life here-- the captivating beauty of life! To be more specific, but not necessarily in this order, she's interested in: wisdom, love, poetry, single life, books, travel, health&fitness, fashion, gratitude, unspoken hurts, heartbreaks and healing. Lastly, she loves Jesus.

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