Celebrating the Filipino family

One happy Filipino family (BusinessMirror photo courtesy)

Today, we mark the culmination of the week-long celebration of National Family Week, led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, with the theme “Pamilya at Teknolohiya: Magkabalikat na Mapagtagumpayan ang Hamon ng Pandemya.”

The theme aims to emphasize the relevance of technology, whether modern or indigenous, in helping Filipino families, from about 22 million households and 110 million population, cope with the effects of this frightening public health emergency.

The celebration kicked off on September 20 with online activity, led by the DSWD, followed by family-focused activities done by the member organizations of the National Committee on the Filipino Family.

The celebration underlines how modern technology assisted Filipino families in strengthening family filial ties and in the daily life amid the pandemic, which swept ashore in mid March last year, like the use of online communication platforms.

Other faces of indigenous technology are also given recognition, like the Balai House Farming which provides the family activity to spend time together, at the same time yielding crops to help with food sustenance amid the pandemic.

Without stressing the obvious, we join the DSWD as well in emphasizing the need to raise awareness in observance of the “Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga Day” every 4th Monday of September, which is marked today, to coincide with the annual celebration of Family Week.

We append our thoughts and intentions with the DSWD in prescribing the need for stronger and resilient Filipino families, from an estimated 22 million households nationwide.

Needless to state, the Philippine Constitution recognizes the family as the foundation of the nation, and as a nation known for giving importance to strong family ties, the National Committee on Filipino Family is enjoining all sectors nationwide to conduct activities to commemorate this international event aimed at strengthening families worldwide.

At this time of the pandemic, there is an urgency to advocate for stronger and more resilient Filipino families and to encourage families to reflect on the importance of families in their lives and to strengthen this basic social unit of our society.

We know that God has chosen the framework of the family to help us understand authority and His plan in our life.

The structure of the family is vital to so many other laws, principles, and teachings in the Bible. If it is so important, it is also important to understand what God’s plan for the family is so that we can understand the rest of His Word as it applies to us today.

God instituted the family in Genesis 2:18 when He said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.”

He then formed Eve from a rib of Adam as told in verses 21-24 part of which says, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

Then in Ephesians 5:31, God says the same thing in the New Testament. “For this, the cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”

God brought Adam and Eve together and established the basis for the family. This basis is a man and a woman.

Even though Adam and Eve did not have parents, God instituted at that time the principle that a man and woman would depart from their parents and family unit to begin a new family unit.

Without a man and a woman coming together in marriage, there is no family.

God’s desire for the family is that it reproduce and multiply. Genesis 1:27 and 28 adds, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

God desires that husbands and wives bring forth offspring. This creates more of the definition God has for a family.

Obviously, not everyone is capable of producing children. However, in God’s plan for the family, we should be in such a relationship that God could grant us children if He chooses to do so.

When a relationship is one such that no offspring can be produced, then it is not a proper family according to the Bible.

But some family experts say the Filipino family is in transition, suggesting families these days can be formed in different manners other than a heterosexual union.

They add that since family is considered as the “foundation of the nation” and the basic unit of society, it is the state’s responsibility to protect its welfare. But how does the government in the Philippines do that for families outside the traditional setup?

We have the Family Code of the Philippines, an executive order signed by then President Corazon Aquino in 1987, which was amended in 1998 to nullify the prescriptive period “for action and defenses

grounded on psychological incapacity” in relation to marriage dissolution.

In 2013, it was further revised to allow a spouse to engage in a business transaction without the permission of his/her partner.

The 17th Congress also passed a measure that gives equal decision-making powers to men and women in family-related matters.

Some legal experts say the Family Code is not yet “outdated,” but there is a need to make it more sensitive to the needs of the dynamic social context.

For instance, some said “We need to revisit the Family Code for it to be more inclusive, in order for it to address the needs of those [in the outskirts], especially the LGBTQ. They also have the right to be happy if they want to.”

Good point.

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