In times past, there was the accepted belief that June was the “marriest” month for Filipinos, recidivously romantic by nature—given the influence of the cultures of Madrid and Hollywood.
In recent years, others marched down the aisle in other months – it could have been in summer, in the monsoon or even in December as Christmas lights and sounds took the population on a pleasant spin.
But Catholic Church statistics suggests a decline in the number of Filipinos getting married in church and comparatively they are getting older by the dozen.
In recent years, an average of nearly 178,000 people from the different strata of society tied the marital knot every year—with a dramatic plunge afterwards.
The reason, generally, is that church weddings were getting more expensive.
Down the economic rung, people tend to get married because an added member—an in-law±can be an economic asset either because the addition is a member of the work force or can be an effective member in reaping economic benefits for the family.
Others get married because in previous years they bore an offspring, and getting married is among the best norms for social acceptance.
Still some get married to share health insurance benefits or ensure that each spouse is entitled to inheritance upon the other’s death.
There are of course, according to marriage counselors, others who marry purely out of love—an intense and passionate relation between a man and a woman.
The marriage is solemnized in a simple or grand ceremony—depending on the financial capability of the couple, mainly the man—that makes the couple, before the public, husband and wife, or the man’s family.
This is the formal beginning of a relation where they promise in public that they would “live together during the good or bad times, during richness and poverty, misery and health until death do them part.”
Some counselors say there are instances where both, man and woman, “need to compromise and sustain their feelings to live a harmonious life.”
At the impromptu program of a wedding held at a posh hotel in Makati recently, the groom’s old man had his Ten Commandments, spoken straight from the heart—commandments that could have been spoken by even the bride’s father.
The groom’s father was straight to the point, in a lingo that could be easily digested and understood by the witnesses to the church wedding a couple of hours earlier on.
“There will be Ten Commandments which my wife and myself hope they will assume as the cornerstone of their married life,” the groom’s father said.
In the father’s chronological sequencing, the commandments are:
First, be humane. Have the feelings proper to a human being; be kind, compassionate and elevating.
Second, be open to each other. Don’t be fastened; be clear, and don’t keep anything from each other.
Third, be noble. Be magnanimous and generous, even as you show the highest level of excellence or worth in everything you do to enhance both your personal and professional growth.
Fourth, be orotund. You must demonstrate to each other the characteristics of fullness, of strength, not only in body but also in emotions and mind, and of smoothness and impeccable excellence in your strides.
Fifth, be respectful. You must always have the capacity for expression of esteem, of goodwill and regard, which undoubtedly will show your sense of responsibility.
Sixth, be committed. You must be consigned to the present and the future, not only of yourselves but also of your children.
Seventh, be appreciative. Be expressive of admiration. appreciate the little things that each makes for the conjugal partnership and for your roots.
Eighth, be beneficent. You must be kind and have the disposition, always and at all times, to do good.
Ninth, be radiant. In whatever you do, you must have the capability to emit rays of light and be immeasurable in your infiniteness toward each other.
Tenth, be equitable and estimable. Be impartial and just; and, at whatever cost, in all the things you do, be worthy of regard, esteem and honor.
The Ten Commandments, said by the groom’s old man, appeared properly etched on marble.
(HBC is a father to three offspring, and grandfather to four grandsons).