(I first wrote divorce in the Philippines , seven years ago. This is updated in the light of the divorce bill being deliberated at the Plenary in the coming weeks)

divorce philippines

Believe it or not! The Philippines is now the only country without Divorce that has not legalized divorce. There is Vatican but it is not really a country.

In 2011, Gabriela refiled a controversial bill to legalize divorce in the country. Known as House Bill No. 1799 (An Act Introducing Divorce in the Philippines), which listed down five grounds for the filing of a petition for divorce. This year, a consolidated  bill  seeking to allow divorce in the Philippines has hurdled the House committee level and may be up for deliberation at the plenary in a week. The proposed  bill titled An Act Instituting Divorce and Absolute Dissolution of Marriage in the Philippines”, substituted House Bills 116, 1062, 2380 and 6027.

Spouses have the option to file for an absolute divorce, a legal separation, or annulment of marriage under the proposed bill. Section 3 paragraph 2 of the bill states that the government should assure that the divorce shall be inexpensive and its process, efficient.

The grounds for absolute divorce under Section 5 of the bill are limited to the following:

  1. Physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a common child or a child of the petitioner;
  2. Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religious or political affiliation;
  3. Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child or child of petitioner to engage in prostitution;
  4. Imprisonment of respondent for more than six years, even if pardoned;
  5. Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism or chronic gambling on the part of respondent;
  6. Respondent’s homosexuality
  7. Bigamous marriage contracted by respondent
  8. Marital infidelity or perversion or having a child with another person other than spouse during marriage, except upon mutual agreement;
  9. Attempt against the life of the petitioner, common child or child of petitioner
  10. Abandonment by petitioner or by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year.

My stand on divorce

I am for divorce. Let me elaborate.

I wrote about annulment in the Philippines 12 years ago. The comments from readers exposed me to the sad reality of abusive spouses. I understood the reasons of failed marriages of close friends and relatives but it was only in my blog and through emails, that I understood the abusive relationships in some marriages. My heart reaches out to women crying out for help, one of which told me:

Being trapped for 18 years (1992-present) as single parent but status married, I hate our laws, as a woman, as a wife, having been abused. I was a battered wife for four years until i decided to run away for my life. My home is not safe anymore, my basic right to life was violated for four years (1988-1992) by someone supposed to protect me. Annulment law is a milking cow for lawyers, a law only for the elite, a privilege to those who can afford, a law for sale, another human rights violation. For those battered women who cant afford, the law shouts for you to wait for death, no escape, we are doomed.
Being battered and unprotected is one thing I hate being born Filipina. I was already scammed and I cannot even appeal cause 15 days has lapsed. Money cannot be made in 15 days for a single parent with two children whose education is priority. Decision notice did not even warn me I have to beat 15 days.

It is for this reason that the bill was filed, “for women in abusive marital relationships, the need for a divorce law is real. It is high time that we give Filipino couples, especially the women, this option,” said Gabriela Representatives Luzviminda Ilagan and Emerenciana De Jesus in the bill’s explanatory note.

An abusive relationship is one reason why I support the divorce bill.

The abuse can be verbal, physical or psychological. One in five women experienced some form of physical violence .

In 2013, the government’s National Statistics Office carried out its latest National Demographic and Health Survey. It found that one in five women aged between 15 and 49 had experienced some form of physical violence, and one in four emotional, physical, or sexual violence from their husbands. Of course, these statistics are most likely a fraction of what is actually happening, since only 30 percent of women said they sought assistance after suffering abuse, falling to just 4 percent when pregnant. But there does appear to be an upwards trend of reporting crime to the police; from 1997 to 2013, the number of cases of violence against women reported rose by more than 500 percent. Granted, these cut across economic status, but statistics continually show that the impacts of a failed marriage or a violent spouse, and the inability to properly separate from such a relationship, often fall harder on poorer women.

Do you think the spouse who inflict these abuse ever change? Most never do and the only way for abusive spouses to change is to undergo therapy.

A divorced mother from the USA told me that “the culture and values of a society have to change. There has to be equal respect and rights given to men and women. This has to be more important than “protecting the sanctity of marriage”. As fas as I am concerned, if a partner (man OR woman) abuses the other, THE SANCTITY OF THEIR MARRIAGE HAVE ALREADY BEEN VIOLATED.”

divorce philippines

Divorce Law is a start

If the divorce bill is passed, well and good but it does not stop there.

Instituting divorce law is a start. Changes need to start within the family system and our culture.

1. As parents, we teach our children not by words but with our actions. Abusive spouses will pass on their habits to their children when they witness physical, sexual, economic, verbal or psychological violence. As parents, our children have to know that Violence against women in any form is a crime.

2. Women have to change – they have to be brave enough to leave their husbands and make it in on their own, believe in their own strengths and ability to live and support themselves and their children.

3. Men have to change. If a man feels entitled to treat his wife and children as property or human beings who should be under his control, then he needs to be thrown in jail if he acts accordingly.

4. Most importantly, we all have to change, women trapped in these relationships are isolated – some physically, financially, socially, others just emotionally (that is why there are accomplished career women who are in these relationships).

*number 2-4 was shared to me by a divorced Filipino in the USA

Marriage will not be taken lightly if there is a divorce law. The law is there to help spouses trapped in abusive relationships and when the marriage is beyond repair. What happens if your child witness the abusive spouse hitting their parent? The child will believe it is alright to be stuck in a marriage where abuse is alright. The child in turn, will carry this on in their future relationships.

I believe my friend when she said that “the most important persons in this situation are the children. In any decision you make, always choose the one that is best for them.”

Voice out your opinions on the Divorce Bill.

The good news is this is the first time a Divorce Bill reaches House Plenary for deliberation.

If you feel that the divorce bill is important to you, show your support for it. If you are against it, then voice your opinion as well.  Think about the benefits and consequences carefully. Think about how you, someone you know, or even how your own children will be affected by the bill if it becomes law.

Click the thumbnails below

“An Act Providing for Absolute Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage” (Images via https://twitter.com/VinceNonatoINQ )

Photo: from localwin.com and “I can has divorce?” by Nick Schweitzer, c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved

“I want to be an architect. I want to build giant buildings that can touch the clouds,” Jonathan, a 4 year old boy told his mom about his ambition. Jessica encourages her son to dream about the future.

Setting age-appropriate and short term goals

It is never too early to teach kids about the value of setting goals and working their way towards achieving them. Goal setting can help provide children with a promising future.


It’s advisable to start young kids with short term goals that may take only a few days until a week to accomplish. This is a good way for kids to experience successful tasks before aspiring for more challenging and long-term goals.

Parents can help their children reach their full potential by encouraging them to set age-appropriate goals. Start them early to help them work their way towards their objectives. A goal could be as simple as finishing homework, completing a school project, memorizing a poem, practicing dance steps, or studying for a quiz.

Stephanie, 9 years old set a goal to finish a 200-jigsaw puzzle all by herself in a span of few days. Stephanie’s goal may sound trivial for an adult, but at her age, it’s a concrete goal that promotes critical thinking, independence, patience, and determination.

Never underestimate a child’s goal. Small goals can help shape a young one’s character. Every little goal promotes stages of development. It is the role of parents to be aware of their children’s hopes and dreams and teach them how to reach for their goals.

Kids need encouragement no matter how simple their goal is to inspire them to fulfill their objectives. It provides them a sense of purpose and direction. Just like adults, hopes and aspirations bring meaning to a young one’s life. It gives them something to look forward to. Little triumphs become stepping stone for kids to set new and more challenging goals.

When Stephanie finished her 200-jigsaw puzzle on her own, she felt a sense of joy and pride. Her parents showed her how proud they were of her accomplishment by having the puzzle framed. They displayed the puzzle on the living room wall for everyone to see. Stephanie’s mom and dad also rewarded their daughter by bringing her to Puzzle Mansion in Tagaytay to see the grand collection of jigsaw puzzles. Stephanie is excited to build her next jigsaw puzzle.

Children can benefit from fun goals. Little goals that kids enjoy doing can help them aspire for bigger goals in the future. Achieving a small goal can give a child a boost of confidence and energy.

we are all god's children papal visit

Freedom to choose

Parents always have the best interest of their children at heart but as much as you want your child to become successful in life, it’s also important to give them the freedom to choose their path.

Give kids the opportunity to create their own goals and decide what they want to achieve. Parents can guide their children but they should refrain from dictating what they want their kids to do.

Celso was a member of the university basketball team when he was in college. When his son was two years old, he bought him his first basketball. At age three, he bought his son a mini adjustable basketball hoop to develop his motor skills and coordination. Celso hoped that introducing his son to basketball at an early stage would encourage him to follow his footsteps. Despite Celso’s efforts, his son didn’t exhibit passion for basketball as he grew older. At age 7, his son expressed love for music and not sports. His son begged him to enroll him in guitar lessons. Even though Celso was disappointed deep inside, he did not show it. The last thing he wanted to do was discourage his child from what he loves. He did not push his son to follow the path that he wants. Celso supported his son’s love for music by buying him a guitar and enrolling him in guitar lessons. His son is now 12 years old and a member of the school band. Celso is very proud of his young man.

Children who experience freedom to set their own little goals can gain sense of purpose. This kind of freedom can contribute to self-confidence and self-belief. Kids who are guided with goals can enhance decision making and problem solving skills. It also motivates them to work harder to achieve success.

Laying out step by step actions

Kids who have personal goals are likely to do better in life than those who don’t know how to make plans. When you introduce your children to the significance of goal setting, make sure that you also teach them how to reach their goals. Support your child’s dreams by guiding them in planning their course of action.

For example, if your child’s goal is to qualify for the school’s swimming team for the next school year, you can help your child enhance his swimming skills by giving him an opportunity to practice swimming regularly. It’s great if you have your own pool at home or if there’s a nearby pool in your village that he can use. You can also choose to enroll him in advance swimming lessons after school or during weekends. Part of the action steps is investing time and effort to regularly perform swimming drills in order to improve stamina and swimming techniques. When your child is determined to reach his goal, he will work hard to swim better and faster in order to qualify for the team next school year. Your child may also have to learn to make certain sacrifices to achieve his goal. For instance, he may not be able to go to the mall during weekends because he needs to attend swimming lessons. Part of goal setting is learning to set priorities even at a young age.

Learning from mistakes

The road to success is not always smooth. Sometimes there are bumps or roadblocks along the way. Explain to your child that challenges are part of the learning process. It may take a few tries before your child can achieve his/her objectives. Tell your child that it’s normal to make mistakes along the way. The important thing to remember is not to give up. Teach your child how to learn from his/her mistakes and use his/her experiences to do better in the future.

Acknowledging effort

Make it a point to acknowledge your children’s efforts in goal setting and working their way towards achieving their objectives. Applaud their dedication and commitment to their goals, no matter how small it is.

Compliment your child for a job well done. Boost his confidence with praises such as, “I’m proud of you for doing your best. Keep it up!” or “I’m amazed by how focused you are in reaching your goal.”


Photo c/o Flickr. Some rights reserved.
by Ma. Rachel Yapchiongco as originally published at Goal-setting for kids: Teaching them early

Consult your family doctor if chiropractic care is needed  under the supervision of a chiropractor or Spinal Care Chiropractic. 

spinal care chiropractic

I recently attended an event at the Spinal Care Chiropratic to learn more about chiropractic care. I have always wanted to get the services of a chiropractor because I am scoliotic but I am also aware that chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine.  Not all doctors are supportive of alternative medicine so it is my intention to research on the best chiropractic care.

There are many misconceptions of what a chiropractor is. For one, the “manghihilot” is not the same as a chiropractor. Secondly, chiropractic care or being under the supervision of a chiropractor is not mainly for back and spinal problems.

spinal care chiropractic

Unknown to many, optimizing one’s overall health and wellbeing is something obtainable by chiropractic care. Did you know that one’s spine  affects everything regarding sickness and disease? It is not a specific treatment for any disease or condition but instead, chiropractic care focuses on the inherent ability of the human body to heal itself.

spinal care chiropractic

I am not a medical professional but I believe that the curvature of the spine like my scoliosis have an effect on my body . Perhaps the pain in my lower back after walking is one?

spinal care chiropractic

Chiropractic care has become the 3rd largest healthcare profession and the number one alternative healthcare approach in the world. Its benefit extends beyond managing back issues and is more about the important practice to regularly maintain a healthy lifestyle.

My visit to the Spinal Care Chiropractic  opened my eyes to the Gonstead Technique– which claims to be one of the safest and most effective in the world. Less than 1% of chiropractors worldwide specialize in Gonstead due to its complexity. In the Philippines, the only Gonstead practitioner is Spinal Care Chiropractic’s Dr. Daniel Su. A Taiwan-born Australian, Dr. Su graduated with a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science Degree. He earned his Masters in Chiropractic from Macquarie University in Sydney and has also completed the 3-module Gonstead Ambassador Program.

spinal care chiropractic

The only Gonstead practitioner in the Philippines is Spinal Care Chiropractic’s Dr. Daniel Su.

Check how Dr. Su helped his 19-year old patient suffering from extreme kyphosis by using Gonstead Chiropractic.

Gonstead Technique 

The Gonstead technique is conducted with a thorough analysis of the whole spine to detect the presence of spinal misalignments or subluxations. They will even check your walk or gait.   A customized treatment plan is then created for patients with the goal to correct these subluxations, which will assist and restore the body’s natural healing process.

spinal care chiropractic

The Gonstead Chiropractor goes beyond what many chiropractors consider a spinal assessment by conducting a thorough analysis of your spine using five criteria to detect the presence of the vertebral subluxation complex.

Visualization — Visualization is a way to cross reference all the other findings. Your chiropractor is an expert in looking for subtle changes in your posture and movement which could indicate any problems.

Instrumentation — The instrument of choice in the Gonstead System is the Nervoscope. The Nervoscope detects uneven distributions of heat along the spine which can be indicative of inflammation and nerve pressure. This instrument is guided down the length of your back and feels like two fingers gliding down each side of your spine.

spinal care chiropractic

the Nervoscope detects uneven distributions of heat along the spine which can be indicative of inflammation and nerve pressure.

Static Palpation — This is simply the process of feeling (or palpating) your spine in a stationary (or static) position. Your chiropractor will feel for the presence of swelling (or edema), tenderness and any abnormal texture or tightness in the muscles and other tissues of your back.

Motion Palpation — This process involves feeling the spine while moving and bending it at various angles. This enables the chiropractor to determine how easily or difficult each segment in your spine moves in different directions.

X-Ray Analysis — X-ray films enable your doctor to visualize the entire structure of your spine. This is helpful in evaluating posture, joint and disc integrity, vertebral misalignments and ruling out any pathologies, or recent fractures that may be present or contributing to the patient’s condition. These full-spine radiographs are taken in the standing, weight-bearing position to fully substantiate the examination findings.

The ability to recognize and correct these misalignments forms an integral part of the Gonstead Concept. For example: When the lower portion of the spinal column has misaligned vertebra, the body tries to keep itself and its skeleton upright and straight. Often it compensates by causing a vertebra above to become misaligned. This is the body’s way of attempting to re-establish the normal perpendicular position of the body.

The Gonstead technique also addresses other areas such as the hip, shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee and foot. It can even delve into cases related to pregnancy and childbirth, children’s development, improving posture, scoliosis and increasing mobility. It can likewise help a patient deal with sleeping disorders, reducing the occurrence of common colds and cough, and strengthening one’s immune system.

spinal care chiropractic

Spinal Care’s results-focused wellness approach also covers managing stress and will extend its services with sound advice on living a healthy lifestyle, proper diet and nutrition.

spinal care chiropractic

It is the goal of a Gonstead doctor to restore and maintain optimal health by locating and correcting any interference to the nervous system caused by vertebral subluxation.

Subluxation Degeneration

I plan to talk to my doctor soon and seek advise if I need chiropractic care for my back.


Check with your doctor before you visit the Spinal Care Chiropractic . Chiropractic care is alternative medicine and may not be endorsed by some doctors.

Spinal Care Chiropractic is located at 9th floor of Menarco Tower 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. For inquiries, please call 816.3982, 0917 842.6160 or email [email protected]. You may also visit www.spinalcareph.com and Spinal Care Chiropractic on Facebook.


World Cancer Day gives us a chance to reflect on what we can do, make a pledge and take action.

No matter who you are – a cancer survivor, a co-worker, a carer, a friend, or a student – and no matter what you choose to do, ‘We can. I can.’ make a difference in the fight against cancer.

Here are the facts about cancer:

  • Cancer is a disease that knows no boundaries and has, or will, affect us all either directly or indirectly during our lifetime.
  • Actions taken by every person, organisation and government will help reduce the burden of cancer to achieve the goal of a 25% reduction in premature deaths from NCDs by 2025.
  • Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for 8.8 million deaths per year. However, we know that more than one third of these deaths are preventable, and if detected early enough, many cancers are curable.
  • Until cancer awareness is improved globally and actions are taken to prevent and treat the disease, millions of people around the world will die unnecessarily every year.
  • We must act now because the global cancer epidemic is enormous and set to rise. It is predicted to increase from 14.1 million in 2012 to 19.3 million cases per year in 2025.

Here is what we can and I can do.

  1. Early detection saves lives. Be aware on Childhood cancer warning signs
world cancer day

Image via worldcancerday.org

Diagnosing cancer isn’t always easy – not all cancers show early signs and symptoms and other warning signs can appear quite late when the cancer is advanced. However, increasing awareness of signs and symptoms and the importance of timely treatment has been shown to improve survival from cancer. This is because finding cancer early almost always makes it easier to treat or even cure.

2. Everyone can take steps to reduce their risk of cancer by choosing healthy options including quitting smoking, keeping physically active and choosing healthy food and drinks.

Reducing exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and other sources, such as solariums, also greatly reduces the risk of many skin cancers.

Everyone can make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce their risk of cancer.

“We must all work together if we are to free the world from the pain and suffering of cancer. The American Cancer Society has made significant contributions to the remarkable progress we’ve seen in the U.S. In addition, as a global leader, we continue to share our expertise in cancer prevention and treatment to help save more lives. On this World Cancer Day, we can make a difference for millions of people everywhere by committing to actions that will reduce the global threat of the disease.”
Gary Reedy, CEO American Cancer Society