Modern Marriage: Why Filipinos no longer see the point to tie the knot

By , on February 14, 2017

Majority of Filipinos no longer see the need of entering marriage. (Photo: Charles Fettinger/
Majority of Filipinos no longer see the need of entering marriage. (Photo: Charles Fettinger/

It has been observed that there has a been a significant drop in people getting married in the country for the past ten years.

In a research report made by the Philippine Statistics Authority, there has been a 20% decline in the number of marriages in the country in the past ten years from 2005 to 2015.

According to Prof. Nimfa Ogena of the University of the Philippines’ Population Institute, the number of marriages severely went down especially among young people.

Factors such as cultural exposure and the economical aspect of marriage are just two of the many reasons as to why the trend of marriage is on the decline, and that it would further continue as the years go by.

It can be credited that one of the biggest factors is the growing attitude towards marriage. Marriage is still seen as an important social aspect in the country, however the decision to cohabitate instead of enter marriage is more of a practical decision than it is a necessity.

Ogena pointed out that marriage is seen as an economical contract where not only does the act of marriage cater to the union of two people, but also an act of being able to afford one.

Often times, couples resort to marriage if both parties are financially stable.  Otherwise, cohabitation is seen as an option good enough for couples. The idea seems appealing as it is encouraged by Western culture.

According to the professor, two out of three couples cohabitate before getting married. However, cohabitation doesn’t assure that the couple would resort to marriage due to economic factors such as being able to afford an actual wedding.

Weddings in the country are considered a social activity wherein everyone in the couple’s circle should be informed or at least be involved. And due to the celebratory nature of weddings, it is just too costly to even pay for a simple wedding.

Even a mass wedding conducted by the Catholic Church still costs money, according to Mary Racelis, a professional lecturer of sociology and anthropology at Ateneo de Manila and University of the Philippines.

Given economic situations, people from the middle class and the poor result to postponing the ceremonies and move on to the idea of couples cohabiting and starting from there.

At this point on, given these factors, the decrease of marriages will still be observed unless these factors are addressed.

Ogena explains that given the current social climate, marriage and childbirth no longer has anything to do with each other. She also said that this is not really a point of concern, but rather a moral challenge to Philippine culture and society as changes like these are being observed.