Notes on a Wedding

kasalan

Simbahan ng Santissima Trinidad, Batangas City

I attended a wedding in Batangas over the weekend. Because the groom is an old friend from college, and because a bunch of us drove down for it, I was saved from having to sit with aunties who aren’t even my aunties.

That also meant I was saved from having to deal with the question “so, when are you going to get married?” We all were, I guess. Nobody really brought that up except in jest at the four couples we were with. And even then, it wasn’t a question of when so much as whether they would be next. And there was a feeling that even that is surrounded in uncertainty.

“Another one bites the dust,” Vyxz, who attended the wedding with her boyfriend (as seen in the photo), remarked the night after the wedding as she counted off couples who have either gotten married or have started families. In a drunken phone call much later that night, we harassed the new husband, shouting “bawal magpa-kasal!” We didn’t mean it, of course. We wished him a happy life with a happy wife.

I guess it just gets scarier as you get older, the thought of growing old alone. I mean, it’s easy for people to say, “oh, you know, there’s bound to be someone out there for you.” Looking at the numbers, there might not be, actually.

According government statistics collected between 2001 and 2010, fewer Filipinos are getting married, with the decline at around 1.5 percent each year. The biggest drop was in 2005, when 518, 595 couples got married, down 10.9 percent from 2004.

Jose Ramon Albert, secretary general of the National Statistical Coordination Board, notes in a Sexy Statistics column on the board’s website that “among males, there are more single than married – 46.8 percent for the former, 45 percent for the latter.” In contrast, 40.3 of Filipino women are single. That doesn’t sound too bad until you take into account that these figures are for the entire Philippines.

Albert’s love advice (backed by science): “A single male aged 20-29 will have the best chance of finding a single female with age 20-29 in ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) and will have the least chance in Region VIII (Eastern Visayas).  On the other hand, for those aged 30-39, they will have the best chance of finding a single female within the same age bracket in ARMM and will have the least chance in Region IV-B (MIMAROPA).”

Which, you know, sort of puts things in perspective. If you’re with someone right now, know that you’re together despite the actual odds. Also know that you might not make it. That isn’t any reason to love who you’re with less, though. Every day that you are together and you are not looking for love in, say, ARMM*, is a good day.

*If you are in ARMM for fun, that is fine.

5 responses to “Notes on a Wedding

  1. I used to be anxious about not getting married before I’m 30. Logically, I know it makes no sense, but I was sort of conditioned to believe that if I didn’t get married by 30 I’d never be married at all and I’d die alone.

    I think it was last year that I finally broke through the conditioning (I’m 30 this September). Right now I can honestly (as in not saying this out of bitterness or drama) picture myself old, alone, and contented. Sabi nga ni Morrissey, “I find I’m okay by myself”.

    • I’d imagine it’s worse for you (or would be if you were in Mainland China).

      Aw, man. I grew up a loner and I guess that’s where the need to be with someone comes from. I mean, I’m fine alone. But I’m best when in a relationship. I like the thought of 1:1 correspondence, of someone being there for me, of goddamned Seals and Croft’s “Summer Breeze”.

      I’m having to put that on hold for now and trying to learn to be alone again.

      Worst case, I’ll be an Uncle Who Has Dogs And Books.

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