Monday, November 07, 2005

Marriage in the Season of (Filipino) Discontent

This incident happened about... a week or so? Sorry, bu tmy PC at the house crashed and I don't like making blog posts in public.

Anyway, I was on my way back from Makati. There were three girls behind my seat and I couldn't help overhearing their conversation because they were so loud about it. I was tuning them out, of course, but the Mentat Protocols works on trigger-terms, so when a set of triggers related to immigration cropped up in their conversation, my Mind simply refused to tune them out.

It would seem that one of the three was leaving for a European country, ostensibly to immigrate. All along, I thought she was doing it either as a nurse (and I will have an entry on that later on) or under petition from relatives. Then I heard she was marrying a national of that country she was going to.

Nothing unusual with that. Many Filipinos have tried the marriage route to get a "Green Card" or citizenship in another country. But what really caught my attention was the way this marriage was to be brought about: it would appear that relatives of that woman paid another cousin 70k euros to make it look like he was marrying her. Legally, there would appear to be nothing wrong; the "husband" would be picking up his "wife" here on January and then she'll be a naturalized citizen of that country by virtue of marriage. When she gets there, she told her friends they wouldn't even be living in the same house.

If I was a tad bit more conservative. I'd be scandalized. As it was, Liberal Catholic that I am, it still shocked me, especially with the casual, almost nonchalant way the woman viewed marriage, even more so with a cousin of hers, if only to ease the entry into a new country.

This is not to judge the woman; I don't intend to, scandalized as I am at the way something I was brought up to regard as sacred could be treated so casually. In a very real sense, who can blame people like her for acting the way she did?

But my Soul is... "profoundly disturbed" by this little incident. I brought it up with my Dad about a few days after, and I was surprised to find out that not only was this "practice" more prevalent than I thought, but is quite an old phenomenon! It's been going on since at least the mid-80s so it's not as if it's a product of our globalized world.

I was just wondering... what the hell has this world come to that marriage could be reduced into something so... simple as a means to an end? That people could be so... cavalier in their attitudes towards this most sacred of sacraments?

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