"Until death do us part". This statement is one of the most famous and most striking lines that couples say during their marriage for it accentuates the life-long journey of the married couples to stay in love and faithful to one another for the rest of their lives. With this, it is a great challenge for the couple to maintain the bond that they made during marriage. This concept of maintaining the sacredness of their marriage is very relevant to traditional Filipino spousal relationships. Traditionally, Filipinos have a long process of courtship in order for them to have a relationship that will last. The courtship process urges the suitor to really prove his worth and know his soon-to-be partner well. Hence, genuine love and knowledge of one another must be seen between the two before they enter married life. However, today, the way of life of couples changed due to negative effects of social changes, which resulted in the increase in number of cases of broken families, cases of divorce and annulment. With this, this paper aims to look at the traditional Filipino courtship practices and importance of marital vows in the Filipino context. Also, this paper explicates Gabriel Marcel’s concepts of disponibilité and creative fidelity to highlight the importance of availability, constancy and fidelity in Filipino spousal relationships. Moreover, this paper tries to offer lenses that spouses can use in their married life especially in today’s modern world to maintain the sanctity of their marriage.
Ivan Efreaim Gozum, Angeles University Foundation, Philippines