Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Chapter 1, Article 1: “Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life...”

According to the above very first and signal Article of the Family Code of the Philippines, it is not hard to conclude that marriage is not only a distinct but also unique human reality which is easy to agree to but definitely hard to live by, live in and live with for life – fun to plan and celebrate but distinctly difficult and trying to go on and on living it until death thus parts the couple. Marriage is certainly delightful to think about and to eventually celebrate – this is not a secret. But after such thinking and celebrating are over, some kind of a life-long “Way of the Cross” comes to order – with the honeymoon done away with, with the pictures of the wedding no longer that fun and exciting to look at and with the setting of the daily conjugal grind.

So it is that according to the same challenging provision of the Philippine Family Code: One, marriage is a “special contract”. Two, marriage is between “a man and a woman”. Three, marriage is for the foundation of “conjugal and family life”. After stating that marriage is some kind of a No exchange, no return agreement – a “special contract” – Civil Law itself provides that the said human venture is a “permanent union between a man and a woman”. This saying is a mouthful.

Marriage then is some kind of a triad. Union-Man-Woman. Among other things, this means:

First, that more than a mere friendship, companionship, togetherness, marriage is a “union” which basically means openness, consolidation, oneness. In other words, marriage is in the unique sphere of two-in-one as well as one-in-two. In other words, it's one of a kind human reality that there is really nothing like it in the world of human realities.

Second, that the underlying anchorage of marriage is “permanence”. This constitutive and therefore inherent element of marriage can be either a blessing if the couple concerned live up to their matrimonial vows – or a curse when the couple violate their vows, with each one living his or her own life precisely as they did before they got married.

Third, that marriage is definitely not for boys and girls but for men and women. And without the least intent of offending anybody, marriage is neither for two men or two women, all arguments to contrary notwithstanding. Reason: there can be then no union, no actual parenthood, no real family or veritable domestic community.