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HomeFeaturesMr. and Mrs. G versus the 'Divine Intervention': Facts about parental consent...

Mr. and Mrs. G versus the ‘Divine Intervention’: Facts about parental consent before marriage in PH

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A scuffle. A kerfuffle. A hullaballoo. And a choking too.

All because somebody could not keep things hush-hush.

It seized the ‘net (or this side of the ‘net anyway) by storm.

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Last 20 February, a wedding between celebrity couple Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Guidicelli took place in a hotel in Manila.

The secret wedding, however, turned out to be not-so-secret because somebody from the bride’s side spilled the beans to Mommie Dearest.

The news about the civil wedding, why it was kept secret, and of Mommy Divine’s intervention (reports say she gate-crashed the wedding) were all lapped up by netizens, fans, even supposedly disinterested parties who are given a peek into what kibitzers describe as “toxic Filipino culture”.

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It raises questions and issues on parental consent, on adulting, on intervening parents.

In the Philippines, parental consent is always considered before marriage.

In a research made by Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families, actions like these are based on the concept of ‘utang na loob’ or a debt of gratitude for parents, brought by Catholic and Spanish influences.

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Most of the time, the extent of the “debt” is unclear, is really difficult to measure. How it is paid and how long the duration of the “payment” should be are up for debate.

It is also based on the concept ‘hiya’ (loosely translated to shame but closer to filial piety).

Such is said to occur when one fails to meet the expectations of one’s parents.

In McClelland’s study, Filipino American families are said to be interdependent, which means family members depend upon each other for support.

However, netizens continue to support the Guidicelli and Geronimo wedding as for them, the couple are considered to be in the right age and are also capable of building a family of their own, something that they would want Geronimo’s parents, especially her mother to understand.

Geronimo and Guidicelli are now 31 and 29, respectively, which raises questions on Mommy Divine’s behavior.

Whatever the case may be, the G and G saga caught public interest because those involved are considered public commodities.

Who knows how many more couples are in the same predicament but — because they are unknowns — their situations escape public scrutiny.

If anything, the G and G saga merely mirrors a phenomenon that might be commonplace in Filipino households.

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Jose Aaron C. Abinosa
Jose Aaron C. Abinosa
Jose Aaron Abinosa graduated with a degree in Communication at the University of St. La Salle, Bacolod. His love for food and the media led him to create an online food channel called “Espresso”. He is also a dancer, singer, graphic designer, and a former theatre play director.
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