Unfortunately, strangers were blocking the way. I was told that the obstacles to my happiness were my friend’s boyfriend’s family members. I had stumbled upon a pamalaye, the part of an engagement where the parents or family members of the groom formally ask for the bride’s hand in marriage.
Apparently, among traditional families in the
, wedding arrangements are discussed in between mouthfuls of insanely superfluous food. In the past, the man’s family solely sponsored the food. Philippines
My friend’s pamalaye was obviously organized hurriedly. If it had been planned and announced I would have known better than to show up salivating. I later learned that my friend’s decision to marry faster than you can say I-hate-your-cooking-future-mother-in-law was not because of temporary insanity but because she was already three months pregnant. In the
of long ago, a situation like this would’ve ensured that the couple could officially choose their mode of death. They could die by clan firing squad, cord-free bungee jumping or social stigma. Philippines
These days, there is less disapproval over getting pregnant out of wedlock and getting married because of it. Since I don’t want to turn this post into a morality issue or a venue for comments on why you hate your mother-in-law, I would just like to leave my readers with a few questions to mull over.
1. Is it absolutely necessary to get married if you get pregnant? There is no divorce in the
. What are you going to do if you find out your husband likes guys better or is an escaped inmate of a mental ward? Philippines
2. What can you say about enacting a law that will make family member background investigations mandatory before couples marry? Marriage in the
is also is a form of social survival. You don’t marry an individual; you marry families, cousins, the in-laws of in-laws and their pets. Philippines
3. Do you agree that you shouldn’t get pregnant if you are not emotionally or financially ready? Would you volunteer not to get laid-- ever-- to avoid pregnancy?
By the way, you might want to know that:
1. At least six out of seven of my guy pals who got married just because their girlfriends got pregnant are not happy. They frequently sing the line, “Regrets, I’ve had a few….” in dark videoke bars and then choke and switch to another song.
2. I didn’t get pregnant before I got married. I can almost hear you say, “So what?”
3. There was no traditional pamalaye before I got married. I had no idea there was such a thing because I lived under a western imperialist's rock. I told my mom I would marry, or else…
4. My daughter’s life is hers. She can decide to get pregnant out of wedlock if she wants to as long as she made a conscious decision to do so OR she and her boyfriend have paychecks that can rival the Sultan of Brunei’s OR they can work harder than underpaid, overworked third world production workers. Her boyfriend must also be a good, clean, respectable man and not the spawn of the Alien and the Predator.
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