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Reality of modern-day families

/ 05:12 AM July 20, 2018

Dear Dr. Michael Tan,

Your March 23 “Irregular families?” column, on the state of Filipino families in today’s society, was informative. It is true that irregular families have increased in the past years for reasons that may be valid or reasonable, such as, as you mentioned, the high cost of church weddings and poverty.

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But come to think of it, in the days of our great-grandparents and grandparents, money was never an issue. Even poor farmers who had no means believed in marriage and would never think of living together without the blessing of the priest and a simple celebration that accompanied it. They believed in the help of Divine Providence in order to raise a family successfully.

I have met poor families who struggled to give their children a good education despite their poverty.

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Your column also mentioned the poor plight of those who are in live-in relationships: the lack of benefits from government, physical violence and abuse, tensions, conflicts, etc. These are sad realities.

Nevertheless, couples who plunge into this kind of relationship must first THINK carefully, considering the consequences of their actions.

Getting married need  not be costly if one does not expect the frills rich families can afford. It is a matter of living according to your means.

You also mentioned about the sad experience of your child not being admitted to preschool because she was from an irregular family.

One must not discriminate, and this must be handled on a case-to-case basis, especially in these times when the number of single parents has increased.

On the other hand, I understand that it is not easy to impart conventional family values to kids if they have single parents or are under the guardianship of two males or two females who act as father and mother. It may be confusing and burdening to a child whose mental and affective faculties are not
yet developed.

It is sad to know that the number of marriages in our society has been declining. But the significant number of Filipino couples getting married is still indicative of the value that we give to stable families as a result of marriage. After all, good citizenship and practice of virtues are still common among
“regular families.”

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CHERRIE C. LAPPAY,  [email protected]

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