Tag Archives: family

Gay Marriage in Ireland Opens More Questions Than Answers

Ireland is now a country that has officially legalized gay marriage. With an astounding landslide win of 1,201,607 YES votes, the country has, apparently, become a vanguard of social change.

According to a BBC report, the reason behind this social revolution is because most gay couples would like the ‘status’ that comes with being married. Now that the proposal has been passed, a marriage between two people of the same sex will have the same status under the Irish constitution as a marriage between a man and a woman. They will be recognized as a family and be entitled to the constitutional protection for families.

Ireland is the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote. Same-sex marriage is now legal in 20 countries worldwide.

The NO Votes

In a separate statement, Diarmuid Martin, the archbishop of Dublin, personally voted “No” arguing that gay rights should be respected “without changing the definition of marriage”. In one opposition commercial, it said “You should be able to have reservations about gay marriage without being called a homophobe”. 

There were 734,300 who voted NO to Gay Marriage.

Implications ~ What does this mean for Catholic countries the world over? The concept of marriage, which originally was for heterosexual relationships has now become admissible for homosexual relationships. What does this mean for the very foundation of marriage? 

This mandate has only opened a can of worms. Bringing about more questions for families (not to mention children who will be growing up in households where Daddy-Daddy / Mommy-Mommy are one and the same). Now that the marriage ideal has been blurred, we are now opening the floodgates of how modern marriages should be recognized. The historical passing of this law in Ireland will rock the very foundations of marriage and families the world over. Whether it is “for better or worse”, only time can tell.  

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The Rise of the Filipino Baby Mama: Acceptable or Inevitable?

In this country, the number of single unwed mothers is escalating.

According to a few expat friends, apparently being a single unwed mother in the Philippines is deemed “acceptable” now. Though the point of what is acceptable or not in this culture is still up for further study and discussion, we did find common ground that it is never “acceptable” for the presumed father to abandon the mother and child thus leaving them without financial support.

Too many of these single, unwed women end up unable to support these children from wedlock. Many of those women have to turn to unsavory work in order to support the child because the fathers often do not. A friend of mine sums up this social and moral concern perfectly: “Personally, the inability and/or refusal to support your child is immoral, if not, should be found as a criminal act.”

You can go into any bar here in the Philippines and talk to the many women working in them and it is often the same old story over and over again. And this does not only encapsulate your stereotypical bar girl but even educated, professional, single women who are struggling to make ends meet in order to provide for their child.

The number of single unwed women is increasing and in the Philippines it is happening way too often. In fact, it seems that most girls here think that having a baby is the greatest thing in the world – kind of like getting a new toy, but that wears off awfully quick once the honeymoon phase is over.

In the Philippines, it seems that finding a child with two married parents is the exception instead of the rule. Find a Filipino guy that does not think its OK to bed any girl he can. It is this same macho attitude that permeates most developing countries. Given the lack of education, guidance, leadership, apathy and female empowerment, Filipino women are always on the losing end. Unwed mothers, has it become acceptable? No I don’t think it is acceptable, but given the circumstances, I think it is inevitable.

Anyone can have sex and make children, lots of it. But to be a parent? Now that takes a lifetime commitment. To my educated readers, it goes without saying that sex education is paramount. Though using contraception may not be deemed moral in a religious country such as the Philippines, but don’t you think it even more immoral if another defenseless human being suffer a lifetime of impoverished existence? So before you unzip, (and this goes to both parties) think and ask yourself: Am I really ready to be a parent?

In relation to the above, I’ve detailed some items below that hopefully could be of use to some women who read my website, particularly Article 194 – 208 of the Philippine Family Code. Remember: ignorance of the law excuses no one.

Technicalities: Claiming Child Support

For the single mother and child to survive, it is crucial that support be demanded from the father. To claim or demand support, the single mother must first prove that the child is related to the presumed father. Once proven, the written claim must be sent to the father with proof that such demand was received. In case the father disputes his paternity, this can easily be established by a DNA test.

If the father of the child refuses to provide child support despite receiving a written demand, the single mother can now sue the father for child support.

In case a child is taken away without the consent of the mother, the mother can file a civil and/or criminal case under Republic Act No. 90262, or “The Anti-Violence Act against Women and Children”. Or, she may choose to file kidnapping charges under the Revised Penal Code. In case the father, who had been given access, takes the child away contrary to the terms under which he was given access, the mother can sue him under RA No. 9262 or file a petition for contempt against him for violating any court order.

Basic Principles of Child Support:

  • It is everything that is indispensable for food, shelter, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation in keeping with the financial capacity of the family
  • It is joint (whether the parents are married or not), based on the proportion of the resources
  • It is based on the needs of the child and the means of the parents (there are no fixed percentages or rules on how much child support will be given)
  • It is never final (as the situation changes, so, too will child support requirements)
  • It must be demanded.

An excerpt from the Family Code of the Philippines on Child Support:

TITLE VIII

SUPPORT

Art. 194. Support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family.

The education of the person entitled to be supported referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include his schooling or training for some profession, trade or vocation, even beyond the age of majority. Transportation shall include expenses in going to and from school, or to and from place of work.

Art. 105. Subject to the provisions of the succeeding articles, the following are obliged to support each other to the whole extent set forth in the preceding article:

(1) The spouses;

(2) Legitimate ascendants and descendants;

(3) Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;

(4) Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; and

(5) Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of full or half-blood

Art. 196. Brothers and sisters not legitimately related, whether of the full or half-blood, are likewise bound to support each other to the full extent set forth in Article 194, except only when the need for support of the brother or sister, being of age, is due to a cise imputable to the claimant’s fault or negligence.

Art. 197. In case of legitimate ascendants; descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate; and brothers and sisters, whether legitimately or illegitimately related, only the separate property of the person obliged to give support shall be answerable provided that in case the obligor has no separate property, the absolute community or the conjugal partnership, if financially capable, shall advance the support, which shall be deducted from the share of the spouse obliged upon the liquidation of the absolute community or of the conjugal partnership.

Art. 198. During the proceedings for legal separation or for annulment of marriage, and for declaration of nullity of marriage, the spouses and their children shall be supported from the properties of the absolute community or the conjugal partnership. After the final judgment granting the petition, the obligation of mutual support between the spouses ceases. However, in case of legal separation, the court may order that the guilty spouse shall give support to the innocent one, specifying the terms of such order.

Art. 199. Whenever two or more persons are obliged to give support, the liability shall devolve upon the following persons in the order herein provided:

(1) The spouse;

(2) The descendants in the nearest degree;

(3) The ascendants in the nearest degree; and

(4) The brothers and sisters.

Art. 200. When the obligation to give support falls upon two or more persons, the payment of the same shall be divided between them in proportion to the resources of each. However, in case of urgent need and by special circumstances, the judge may order only one of them to furnish the support provisionally, without prejudice to his right to claim from the other obligors the share due from them.

When two or more recipients at the same time claim support from one and the same person legally obliged to give it, should the latter not have sufficient means to satisfy all claims, the order established in the preceding article shall be followed, unless the concurrent obligees should be the spouse and a child subject to parental authority, in which case the child shall be preferred.

Art. 201. The amount of support, in the cases referred to in Articles 195 and 196, shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient.

Art. 202. Support in the cases referred to in the preceding article shall be reduced or increased proportionately, according to the reduction or increase of the necessities of the recipient and the resources or means of the person obliged to furnish the same.

Art. 203. The obligation to give support shall be demandable from the time the person who has a right to receive the same needs it for maintenance, but it shall not be paid except from the date of judicial or extra-judicial demand.

Support pendente lite may be claimed in accordance with the Rules of Court.

Payment shall be made within the first five days of each corresponding month or when the recipient dies, his heirs shall not be obliged to return what he has received in advance.

Art. 204. The person obliged to give support shall have the option to fulfill the obligation either by paying the allowance fixed, or by receiving and maintaining in the family dwelling the person who has a right to receive support. The latter alternative cannot be availed of in case there is a moral or legal obstacle thereto.

Art. 205. The right to receive support under this Title as well as any money or property obtained as such support shall not be levied upon on attachment or execution.

Art. 206. When, without the knowledge of the person obliged to give support, it is given by a stranger, the latter shall have a right to claim the same from the former, unless it appears that he gave it without intention of being reimbursed.

Art. 207. When the person obliged to support another unjustly refuses or fails to give support when urgently needed by the latter, any third person may furnish support to the needy individual, with right of reimbursement from the person obliged to give support. This Article shall particularly apply when the father or mother of a child under the age of majority unjustly refuses to support or fails to give support to the child when urgently needed.

Art. 208. In case of contractual support or that given by will, the excess in amount beyond that required for legal support shall be subject to levy on attachment or execution.

Furthermore, contractual support shall be subject to adjustment whenever modification is necessary due to changes of circumstances manifestly beyond the contemplation of the parties.

References:
http://www.smartparenting.com.ph/mom-dad/relationships/Single-Moms-and-their-Child-Support-and-Child-Custody-Rights
Family Code of the Philippines, Article 194 – 208

To Forgive is to Give

As the saying goes, we cannot choose our family.

Loving and giving are Christmas components. Although we say that everyday should be Christmas, it is never easy to be loving and giving especially to individuals who continue to push the wrong buttons, rub us the wrong way or have a whole different value system compared to ours.

But sometimes, we fail to realize that if they are a work in progress, so are we! It is really a (physical) conscious effort on our end to embrace diversity, and be loving (and forgiving) particularly to people we don’t see eye to eye with.

To fore-give is to give grace ahead of time and grace undeserved, hence forgiving is giving: forgiving a parent, forgiving a sibling, forgiving a spouse, forgiving a friend, and even the grace of forgiving one’s self.

We may not have the ability of choosing our parents, family or present circumstances, but we have the ability of choosing forgiveness either of past pain or of future hurts, simply because we value the person more. Despite the many flaws of the relationship, we value the hidden heart of the person.

This may be the last Christmas I will be spending with my grandmother before I loose her completely to Alzheimer’s disease but I am thankful that I got to see her in her prime and had the opportunity to see the person she has become: a gentle, kind and happy soul who has never failed to smile at life’s setbacks while embracing with open arms her severely flawed children and grandchildren. The ability to fore-give and be gentle is courage in itself. My grandmother is the warrior woman personified.

As we hold our breaths in anticipation and celebrate another Christmas with ‘strangers’ we can barely stand, it is the mere act of forgiveness that makes us ‘family’.

Thank you Grammy for teaching me this not through words, but through your life.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

30 years and counting

When you turn 30, you’re supposed to act your age. Like what the rest of society is expected from a full grown person who’s supposed to be on their own, most likely married by now and popping babies, left and right.

But I don’t have a husband and I am carefully thinking where I can buy a customized one. Plus, I still have to decide whether I would like to go through the excruciatingly, painful process of child birth. (RANDOM THOUGHT ~ In this day and age of advanced medicine, there must be a way to keep the birth pains down a notch either by a new pill, procedure, conditioning, etc. It’s the 21st century after all, we should have something by now, right?)

Believe me, 30 years was a work in progress. I’m just relieved I even managed to get this far!?

Deep down, I have always been a kid at heart. Case in point, I came up with two very substantial examples: Adventure Time and fast food. 😉

Growing up on Disney movies, it was a no-brainer that I would love cartoons. I’ve sang with my nieces to the tune of Elsa’s Let it Go so many times already it’s sickening. Then there’s my infatuation with Wall-E, how convenient it would be to have a robot for a pet especially one who can do my house chores, and to have Alladin’s Genie as your best friend. Awesome right?

Lately, I’ve been hooked on Adventure Time. When I’m off the computer, I tune in to that show. I’m not plugging the show in any way, but don’t you just find the characters amusing? I am particularly fond of Lumpy Space Princess (LSP), who can be an annoying drama queen, is very self-centered and at times, arrogant but who you can’t help but love thanks to her saving grace of sassiness, sweetness, loyalty, intuitiveness and resourcefulness that, most often than not, gets her out of the most ridiculous situations.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out Lumpy Space Princess here –

[NOTE: Adventure Time is a PG rated cartoon. There are parts of the program that need parental supervision and guidance. Parents, you have been warned.]

And also, this comes as no surprise to most of you, I’m not much of a cook. The irony is that I come from a family that are fantastic cooks! Both my parents (and brother) cook. My grandmother on my father’s side is also a great one. She’s Visaya and all manner of home entertaining, she has down to a tee. While on my mother’s side (all Kapampangan), every single person in that family knows their way around the kitchen. During dinner, I would sometimes think, maybe the “cooking gene” skipped a generation — and guess who the lucky tadpole was?

You maybe good at the computer, but your useless in the kitchen” my mom would sigh.

But I am an appreciative audience. Really. I don’t nitpick on food. I eat whatever’s served. Yup, I’m a good tadpole in that sense. 😉

The idea of food has always had a more practical use for me: it’s only good when I’m hungry.

Don’t tell anyone this, but I can live on fast food alone. Ssssh…Although, I do have my (never ending) goals to eat healthy and live a clean lifestyle.

If it weren’t for my family’s cooking, I’d probably be skin and bones. (So a big thanks to my family for keeping me alive! Yey!)

Despite my work as a journalist for a number of publications, being a content provider and social media specialist for some respected companies while running a modest start-up on the side, I can’t help but think — How did I get so lucky?

Truth be told, I would have to give the appreciation to the individuals who’s confidence in my capabilities and skills, to those whose lives I’ve been able to observe whether in their home, at work, with family or otherwise, have all been a cumulative source of inspiration.

For sharing your life with me, for showing me how it is be kind, how it is to share, to not take oneself too seriously, to constantly place a high premium on competence and integrity while reminding me to keep both feet firmly planted on solid ground. I dedicate this post to you. Thank you.

You have been an inspiration to me and I hope I could be the same with people I come in contact with for the remainder of my days. I hope that by the time I write on my 60th birthday, on this very same website, 30 years from now, I’ll be able to look back and reminisce what a privilege my life has been.

There is this verse that is very close to my heart which I also try to live every single day “He has told you oh man what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8)

Thank you for being a part of my 30 years. Happy birthday to me.

Old Lady Signing Off,

Paula

My Transformation (err, mutation?) through the years…

Potential hell-raiser right there...
Potential hell-raiser right there…
Serious kid. Nah!
Serious kid. Nah!
I was 5 years old then.
Cheeky 5 year old.
At 5 years old.
At 5 years old.
In gradeschool, I think.
In gradeschool, I think.
IMG_20141019_100935
My hair. Bow.
With some of my fabulous looking cousins during Anne's 18th
With some of my fabulous looking cousins during Anne’s 18th
During the 2014 Mining Conference at Sofitel. Working very hard as you can see.
During the 2014 Mining Conference at Sofitel. Working very hard as you can see.
During my trip to check out one of the mine sites in Palawan. Met with one of the tribes people.
During my trip to check out one of the mine sites in Palawan. Met with one of the tribes people.
Grabbing dinner after the 2013 Mining Philippines coverage
Grabbing dinner after the 2013 Mining Philippines coverage
During an art exhibit hosted by Dennis Smith with former first lady, Mrs. Imelda Marcos
During an art exhibit hosted by Dennis Smith with former first lady, Mrs. Imelda Marcos
My interview with Filipino artist BenCab.
My interview with Filipino artist BenCab.
My interview with Renewable Energy Director Mario Marasigan of the Department of Energy.
My interview with Renewable Energy Director Mario Marasigan of the Department of Energy.
My College Graduation.
My College Graduation.
MPAT
My Official Correspondent Picture. Sheesh.

To Progress or Regress: The Choice is Yours

Some people may say I am alpha female. Probably I am, in some aspects.

I think I am alpha female when it comes to work. I like to keep busy. I like to earn my own keep. I am focused and want what’s best from this life. I don’t sit idly by letting money fall on my hands. I am not wired to sleep all day, asking for dole outs from my parents or family members. That is not me. I have too much energy to focus on watching TV or playing video games all day long. I don’t let things happen to me. I make things happen!

And honestly, I just don’t understand people who do the opposite.

In this life, its either you progress or regress. And this has got absolutely nothing to do with being Alpha. As human beings, we are intrinsically wired for progress.

I am nearing my 30’s and so far, I am looking at what I’ve personally achieved so far. I’ve noticed that some people have no sense of urgency. They think money grows on trees and that family will always be there to support them. Newsflash: No they won’t!

What is happening to this generation? Are we that spoiled rotten? Why is there a sense of entitlement? Isn’t this supposed to be the healthiest and smartest generation? Then why all the professional couch surfing? Able-bodied, intelligent but lacking in work? Listen, talent is over rated. We need results. Where are you now in your life? What have you contributed to this world?

I have also heard the “This is my life. I will do whatever I want with it” excuse a dozen times. Fact: Relationships are interconnected. If you think that what you do (or don’t do) has any effect, it does. Sooner or later, your laziness/self-entitlement behaviour/pride/etc. will catch up and your family will bear the brunt of your life’s choices.

It pains me to see so much human potential go to waste. It’s like watching someone die slowly. It doesn’t matter if you’re a brilliant artist, designer, programmer, etc. My question is: Are you putting your skills to good use? Will you leave this world (or your family) any better after your gone? Think about that for a second.

I greatly admire people,even those who didn’t finish school, that are trying their best to make a decent living. That’s the kind of crowd I want to associate with. They want to succeed. They want progress. They want out.

I just hope I am reaching the people who want the same things in this life: love, financial freedom and independence.

The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor. – Proverbs 12:24