Time to implement a decent Divorce Law and junk the moronism of ‘annulment’

Kris Aquino is not just another screeching Filipino showbiz personality. She is the sister of the President of the Philippines. Her marital woes with basketball player James Yap back in 2010 couldn’t have been good for the spin machinery of her brother President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III — a man who owes much of his appeal to the masses to the Catholic mind of the Filipino.

weddingPoor Kris. Flushing her marriage with James Yap down the crapper back then was not as simple as pushing down on a lever. Like the national economy, the landscape of options available to her in a backward theocratic society such as the Philippines is poor.

In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN’s Marie Lozano, lawyer Anna Liza Logan said the TV host is not seeking legal separation.

[…]

“We will have the court decide [that the] marriage was void from the beginning,” she said.

What’s up with the moronosim known as “annulment”, anyway? For me it is quite simple, really:

“Annulment” is no more than a legal process for a state-sanctioned acceding to the tantrums of childish people crying over spilt milk.

The process of annulment aims to void the fact of the marriage so that both parties may, in principle, be free to re-marry without “moral” consequence. Contrast this with divorce which, conceptually, recognises the fact of the marriage and opens both parties to exercise options.

Annulment retroactively removes the fact of the marriage and, with said fact nullified, parties have none such to be accountable for. Divorce, on the other hand, moves on from the fact of the marriage to be terminated. It leaves the involved parties to opt for next steps under the presumption that said parties are personally accountable for any implications on their individual values (moral and ethical) associated with moving on.

In short, annulment seeks to unspill milk, while divorce seeks to mop it up.

Framed in this way, which of the two represents the thinking of a saner society? It’s no wonder that a people raised in an environment laced with moronic philosophical frameworks that include fantasies such as “annulment” are renowned for their disinclination to take control of their futures.

In her bestselling book The Art of Choosing, author Sheena Iyengar implies an interesting proposition — that some cultures habitually frame their world around pre-set paths also known as “destinies” in contrast with Western societies where the key guiding principle is choice.

In short, to the Western mind, every situation is framed by choice. The question is usually What happens next? — and therefore oriented to prospect. To the Filipino mind lorded over by idiocies such as “annulment”, the question seems to be more around What was it that pre-ordained us to this situation? — and therefore oriented to retrospect.

Prospect implies a desire to control, whereas retrospect inclines towards resignation.

Is Philippine society framed by choice, or by destiny?

One of the key insights offered by Iyengar’s book is that people — and even animals — who were raised in environments where evaluation of options is encouraged and a semblance of control over the outcomes of these choices is felt are more likely to fight for survival — and success — more ferociously. That picture provides a stark contrast to a culture such as ours — one famously propped up by the three pillars of loser mentalities: pwede-na-yan (that’ll do), bahala na (come what may), and impunity.

It’s high time that we start to re-think the very fundamental philosphies that underpin the things institutionalised in our society. It’s high time that we junk this insult on the already meagre intelligence of Da Pinoy known as “annulment” and implement a decent Divorce Law.

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25 Comments on “Time to implement a decent Divorce Law and junk the moronism of ‘annulment’”

  1. …screeching Filipino show biz personality. This country is full of screeching, shrieking, grating, loud, and low, show biz personalities. But to the divorce issue,,, the influence of the Church’s hand on policy makers is still very strong. It is all a matter of educating the next generation, because this generation is controlled by comedians, third rate actors and pretenders in the senate.

  2. Hi Benign0,

    I fully agree with your article. I wish you all the best in getting a (decent) divorce law. How long did it take before the rh law finally became real (from conception till SC approval? And when will it really be implemented and operational?). With a strong RC church, I really think divorce is one step too far. You are pushing your luck. LOL. If I remember correctly, a priest already mentioned (after the SC approved the RH law) – in a newspaper – “whats next? Divorce?”.

    Now, I am asking you. Whats next after you get your divorce law? Euthanasia? Pls be careful, the Philippines might look like a western country.

    1. Well, the Philippines is the only country in the world apart from the Vatican that doesn’t have divorce laws, and euthanasia is simply the right of an individual to die in a dignified way through a method of their choosing. These are universal, not necessarily “Western.”

      The resistance to these two in the country stems from the pre-Reformation Catholic mentality most Filipinos are locked into and seem to not get out of.

  3. Spot on! Love your comparison of annulment to unspilling milk and divorce to mopping the spilled milk. And up till now, I never really to connected our law annulment to our culture. Thanks for making me see this.

  4. You’re helping me to understand the underlying mindsets that separate my upbringing from that of the (average) Filipino. It’s helping me to understand my frustrations living here, even if doesn’t make them go away!

  5. In the book “Papal Sin” by Gary Wills (2000 Doubleday Inc., USA), annulment is basically “Catholic divorce;” statistics in the book show that in the United States alone there are over sixty thousand annulments a year among Catholics (a rate of 90% for those who apply for it).

    There are no statistics shown for annulment in other countries with Catholic populations, though I assume that the process there is basically the same (due to the Church’s heavily centralized bureaucracy). Wills presents this as a basic form of dishonesty by Catholics to the doctrinal capabilities of the Church they worship in.

    1. MidwayHaven,

      I would love to give you stats/figures for annulment in my country (the Netherlands) but I cant because most likely it aint recorded. A church wedding (alone) is not even regarded as a legal wedding. Those who marry in a church also have to go through a civil wedding to make it official and legal.
      The divorce rate – however – is quite constant over the years, 1 in each 3 civil weddings end in a divorce.

  6. To my knowledge the Philippines is now (aside from Vatican City) the only country in the world that has no divorce. Another stupid record to be proud of. I actually think that it has less to do with the Church then with the machismo behavior of Filipinos. When there is no divorce it protects the male. Filipinos in general are not wearing the pants at home, so I think most dick waving men don’t want divorce as it would bring down a woman’s full blast fury on them and it could financially ruin them. Imagine he has to pay his wife monthly support money. Oh shit, how would he then be able to pay for his other family and mistress. Most of the law makers are “phil”andering males with outdated believes.

  7. Framed by neither choice nor destiny Philippine society is but by idiocy and mediocrity. Pinoy Pride is the path to the Shit Hole: Pinoy Pride leads to humiliation. Humiliation leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. And hate leads to being the galaxy’s bitch.

  8. Filipinos simply cannot get away from “till death do us apart” mentality.If the marriage does not work. Divorce, and start all over again, and move on…Annulment is the same, as Divorce…only it is approved by the Church.

    “E…binubugbug na, tinatadyakan…”till death do us apart pa rin”… It’s crazy, how we think and perceive things…

    1. I’m afraid annulment is a hypocritical way of ending a marriage! How can anyone deny the existence of the marriage?! People has to twist to fit the situation while Divorce is a dissolution of marriage. It will not only recognises it’s validity but also acknowledged that marriage can sometimes go horribly wrong and could end up not able to live together.

  9. Annulment is a messy affair and is based on a number of deceptive claims. Ever wonder how many psychiatrists are hired in the Philippines and elsewhere to testify that come member of the couple is legally unfit to marry in the first place?

    Also, I think the LGBT community would be interested in having a divorce law in the Philippines. Just a hunch, really.

    1. Absolutely! Annulment is an insult and hypocritical way of ending a marriage that did exist! People has to twist to fit the situation.

  10. The time to implement a divorce law was a very long time ago.

    The country lags 30 years behind in almost every facet of life it is difficult to imagine a place such as the Philippines without actually going there and seeing it with your own two eyes.

    it really is un-fuckin-believable, the backwards shit that goes on there.

  11. The primary objective of Filipino politicians is to steal.
    Crafting laws or doing anything that will benefit the country does not or will not happen.

  12. I don’t actually see why there is still no divorce provision in our country. Really, annulment is just like: “oh shit, it never happened even if everyone saw it”. Kind of makes me wonder how the CBCP views stuff.

    Good thing I’m not in the deep end of extremism yet, a lot of churches might be destroyed if that was the case.

  13. You are responsible for your actions, to people you have committed with promise to live with, and lived with indeed, Whether annulled or divorce, the responsibility for people you have committed your promise, and the ofspring you brought forth into this worldThe legal issues are just relief, reprieve, but not an escape from responsibility on a moral plane, and on the level of humanity. If one is not responsibl and mature, then he has no right to get commit to a relationship.

  14. Divorce in the Philippines does exist. Filipino muslims can file for it (google it, genius). My question is why cant it be applicable to atheists?

  15. No amount of intelligent discussion would make divorce a reality in the philippines if nobody actually stand firm on it on the senate and sc. I for one has been rooting for it…and rooting still. Annulment is an expensive joke and so is the cc hold in our state affairs.

  16. Divorce is sin it just like you go around and fuck anyone that you like when you are bored to you marriage, You can only divorce if there is a sexual immorality to both parties.

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