3 years ago, this month, I got married with my Filipino partner. Then, I realized that there are many steps before the actual wedding day.
One of interesting marriage requirement was family planing seminar.
However, first question came into my mind... is this really necessary?
In the bottom of this blog, I will show the process of marriage in the Philippines , which shows attending this seminar is mandatory.
But the seminar even mandatory for all couple, is held only during weekday. I hope the city hall will consider the schedule of this seminar.
Contents of the seminarContents of this very "fascinating" seminar is the following. 1) To introduce means of family planning, simply say, to show us how to use birth control devise. 2) To have very simple workshop to help the couple knows each others. 3) To have a "conflict resolution" workshop. The seminar did not use the term of conflict resolution...but I think this name fits to the content.
The seminar, surprisingly started on time!
No one came late. Surely, this is mandatory. If the couple misses this, no certificate will be issued, which affects the entire process.
But I said in my mind...hey, you guys, you can be on time! (I often experienced "delay" of any kind of meeting...then these people coming late said "Filipino time")
The facilitator was a very macho guy. His looks reminded me a teacher of physical education(PE) during junior high and high school days.
However, these PE teacher did not teach these stuffs to the students. So, I have never encountered these contents in my elementary to high school education.
Surely, I was very interesting these. I sometime bend forward to see these items and dummy doll. My husband seemed bit shy because of his partner is obviously very interesting.
For your information, people here are certainly hesitating to use these contraceptives because of the religious practice and belief. Some says sexual intercourse must be done purely for "reproduction".
Sex before the marriage is not allowed/recommended but it is happening. Then, how to have a sexual act without applying these contraceptives? It will leave your imagination.
The second content has been facilitated by a counselor looking female government worker.
Then, she asked us the following questions.
1. To raise three things which you appreciate about your partner
2. To raise three things which you want him/her to improve
3. To raise three things which you appreciate about your partner's parents.
4. To raise three things which you want his/her parents to improve.
Going though these questions, I really sensed that marriage here is family to family relations.
And no one raised the points why we let my partner talk about my parents too.
But it might be a very timely and good trial because unless you are not given that chance to express these, you may keep these. Partner may not fun of listening especially the part s/he and their parents needs to improve in some parts.
Until here, we finished the two third of content.
Steps of Marriage in the Philippines.
To have a certificate which proofs you are single.
To have a permission of marriage.
The couple goes to the city hall where Filipino partner registered, and submit set of documents. The set of documents won't be accepted without the schedule of family planing seminar.
10-14 days after, if no one claims our marriage, A marriage permit will be released.
To sign to marriage contract. At this time, the couple has to have a personnel who is legally-defined such as city mayor, priest, pastor...
To submit a marriage certificate in order to register the marriage. Within 1-2 months, this record will be registered in the Philippines. For a Japanese citizen, the couple submits a set of documents including photo copy of marriage certificate to the nearest Japanese embassy. Then, this marriage will be registered in Japan too in 3-4 months time.
For me, it is amazingly long process and almost a ritual in modern time. In my country, this process has done within 30 mins. Big difference is Japan has a family registration system, which shows whether I am single or not, where I live and so on.
Half of the process has been done with my husband but another half has been done alone. Along the process I am struggling to be a patient. I was sent one office to another office...anyway, this is another story.
I felt that marriage is not only love but also willingness to be together.