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Traversing Concubinage

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  • Category: Gender

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Extramarital affairs are mostly clandestine. However, in contemporary Philippine society it is the new “talk of the town”. It is permeated in social media such as films and tv shows with the “mistress theme”. This faddish phenomenon really caught every Filipinos attention. Extramarital affair is a top secret for both the married man and his concubine same goes with a married woman who commits the same act. It is a “Standard Operating Procedure” to be observed at all times, for the sake of its continuity and keeping their family’s integrity. They meet mostly at hotels, a proper place to make love in private, not in the conjugal dwellings to eliminate possible grounds for criminal case of concubinage as provided in Art. 333 of the Revise Penal Code of the Philippines.

This particular ground for concubinage is what makes the groundbreaking Ortigas-Madrigal case, the most celebrated, if not the most famous, concubinage case in the Philippines. It is groundbreaking for two reasons: First, it is a norm, at least in the upper class society, to keep their marriage, no matter how faulty it may be. Probably, to protect their wealth. Second, it is not easy to prove a case of concubinage, usually women must take extra effort to collect evidences of the said crime. Ms. Madrigal’s filing of lawsuit and eventually winning the case is momentous.

As written in the Revise Penal Code of the Philippines, the legal wife must prove that the sexual intercourse took place under scandalous circumstances, or that the husband kept a mistress in the conjugal dwelling or cohabited with her in any other place. As opposed to succeeding an adultery case a proof of sexual intercourse is enough for the prosecution. Susana Madrigal-Bayot, 64, from one of a wealthy clan in the Philippines, doesn’t just show her emancipation as a battered wife. As a woman and a wife, she emphasizes that winning a case against her spouse in this highly patriarchal society is possible.

Concubinage, as one form of extramarital affair, is a breach of marriage. Whereas, marriage is a sexual property (Davis in Collins, 1939). By sexual property, Davis refers to a social relationship and not property as a thing to be owned by someone. Furthermore, it is a kind of consensual agreement between a man and a woman on how they will act toward particular things. Violation of this agreement is considered a crime, in most countries. This violation is known as adultery. But law has defined the difference between the term adultery as committed by a married woman, and concubinage committed by a married man.

In his book, Collins (1941) suggests that there are three kinds of property involved in the family. ” (1) Rights of sexual possesion includes the rights of sexual intercourse and prohibitions on intercourse with outsiders. Sometimes the rights also extend to claims over a person’s emotions of affection, although this is mainly found in modern societies. (2) Economic property rights include the material household itself, the income that supports the family, and the labor that different family members put into making the household a living concern. (3) Intergenerational property rights include the rights that children have to inherit the family’s economic property, and also the rights that parents have over their own children, economically and otherwise.”

The phenomenon of extramarital affairs, specifically concubinage, is widespread. What remains to be explored, however, is the reasons for its persistence, as well as its implication for the women in general and for Philippine society. Despite of the people’s awareness of the issue, it is not surprising that people see it as something taken for granted. In this light, it is relevant to present the reasons why married men and the concubines, engage in the said affair.

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the phenomenon of concubinage, the underlying effects it has to the women and the Philippine society, through the different vista, from experts and the popular culture experts’ perspectives. Statement of the Problem

The researcher seeks to discover the different perspectives of different experts of concubinage in Philippine society. As such, the general question must be answered: General Problem: What are the perspectives of different experts of concubinage in the Philippine society?

Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to provide different explanation of the existence and persistence of concubinage, and its effects to the women in general and the Philippine society. Also this study will try to explain the reasons why women engage in affairs with married men. Conversely, reasons why men do the same with women. Thus, exploring the possible reason of its persistence in the Philippine society.

Significance of the Study

Extramarital affairs, is a sensitive topic rarely discussed in the Philippines. Nonetheless, its prevalence and persistence must not be taken for granted. That is why scrutinizing this topic will contribute to a better understanding of this phenomenon.

This study will give a different viewpoint of the phenomenon that can be of value to the Philippine sociology. Researchers could use this study as a platform for further research and study. Furthermore, this could also be used by the policymakers to the revisions or formulation of a law that would be both substantial and beneficial for everyone.

Scope and Limitations

The researcher focuses on concubinage, a form of extramarital affairs, committed by a husband, and not adultery done by the wife. However, the existence of the latter is not put in contrary of the former.

This study will be confined to interviewing an expert in the field of women and development studies in the Philippines on her view of the existence and persistence of concubinage in the Philippine society. Content analysis, would also be utilized as a methodology, a data gathering process, to interpret the text from books about concubinage.

Roughly, two books discussing extramarital affairs would be used in content analysis. Furthermore, there may be lacking in data gathering part being only having single interview conducted and relatively few books to be interpreted in content analysis. However, data interpretations and analysis will not be manipulated to the extent of losing objectivity. This study will be interpretivist in nature, basically drawing a theory after gathering data. However, the findings could be subject to other interpretations as well.

Definition of Terms

For a better understanding of the study, the following terms are hereby defined according to the peculiar meaning as used in this study: 路Adultery – a legal term, whereas a crime committed by any married woman who engages in sexual intercourse with a man not her husband and by the man who has carnal knowledge of her knowing her to be married , even if the marriage be subsequently declared void. 路Annulment – a legal term simply declaring that the marriage never existed because some ground like pscychological incapicity is evident within the marriage. 路Cohabitation – residence of an unmarried couple in a shared household, with mutual sexual access, but without legal sanction; essentially an informal marriage.

路Concubinage – a legal term, whereas there’s an ongoing sexual relationship between a married man and a woman, not his wife. 路Concubine – is any woman who has a sexual relationship with a married man. 路Commune – is an intentional community of people living together, sharing common interests, property, possessions, resources, unexclusivity of sex. 路Cuckold – traditional English term for a husband whose wife has sexual relationship behind his back.

路Destierro – penalty given to the concubines, means banishment or to be prohibited from residing within the radius of 25 kilometers from the actual residence of the accused for a specific length of time. 路Divorce – is the final termination of a marital union, cancelling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties or the dissolution of marriage. 路Hegemony – dominant ideology, originally coined by Antonio Gramsci. 路Hypermasculinity – possessing of exaggerated manly traits to justify and legitimize one’s masculinity.

路Open Marriage – a marriage arrangement in which either spouse has the right to seek fulfillment of various personality needs – including sexual needs -with whomever he or she chooses. The marriage is supposed to be open, with everything out front and discussed. 路Prission Correcional – detention for three but not more than fifteen days. 路Stereotype – illogical presumption of things, people or social phenomena. 路Virility – masculinity or degree manly characteristics a man possesses.

Chapter III
Research Methodology

A qualitative research is oftentimes interpretive in nature (Creswell, 2003). In that case, the researcher used a qualitative approach. This study will be best explored using a qualitative method than a quantitative, where reality is seen as objective and singular. Different perspectives from experts, which are somehow based on their lived experience of the phenomenon of concubinage, will be greatly utilized using interpretivist paradigm.

The researcher collected data, it will then be developed to a description of an individual or phenomenon, after that it will be analyzed for themes or categories, and finally drawing conclusion or interpretation about it.

Interpretivism, interprets data based on the researcher’s participants point of view. It was chosen because of the need to present a detailed viewpoint of several groups. It is inductive in nature, utilizing in-depth interview of experts to guide and support the construction of assumptions.

Regardless of locale or medium, qualitative research is always based on open-ended queries; it uses in-depth probing to uncover the thought and feelings behind initial responses; and it applies insights and learning to the research process (Creswell, 2006).

Research Design
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Research Method
In-depth interview

In-depth interview is a methodology, which is useful in gathering data for a study. Qualitative research interview is “an interview, whose purpose is to gather descriptions of the life-world of the interviewee with respect to interpretation of the meaning of the described phenomena”(Kvale, 1983). The most common type of which face-to-face interviews but interviewing by telephone is popular too. Computer mediated communication (CMC) tools have been developed, some examples of tools used for CMC are e-mail and chat boxes.

Interviewing is most effective to gain insight of 鈥渟ubjective understanding鈥 of a phenomenon. By which, personal experiences of the interviewee will be much ingrained in the data gathering process.

Content Analysis

To support the data drawn from an in-depth interview, a content analysis was also utilized as a research method. As such, plain texts from books or on other media of written literature will be encoded. Once the coding is done, the data will be examined and the researcher will draw conclusions.

Content analysis is a method of observation, instead of observing people’s behavior directly, or asking them to respond on scales, or interviewing them, the investigator takes the communications that people have produced and asks questions of the communications (Kerlinger, 1964).

Content analysis was used by the researcher to look directly at communication via texts. This provides for an obstrusive means of analyzing interactions. Due to the sensitive nature of the study, the researcher will utilize the content of a book and will be used as a springboard to providing useful data.

Research Instrument

The interview conducted involves unstructured and open-ended questions, intended to elicit the opinions or views of the participants. An interview guide was used to provide the questions to be asked. The interview was audiotaped and will be transcribed afterwards for data analysis.

Interview Guide

1. How did the organization (Department of Women and Development Studies)established?
2. What are the major studies that the organization specifically done discussing concubinage or extramarital affairs in general?
3. What is the organization’s point of view of concubinage as a social phenomenon?
4. What are the reasons why men engage in extramarital affairs?
5. What are the reasons why women engage in extramarital affairs?
6. What are the effects of concubinnage in women in general?
7. What are the reasons of persistence of concubinage in the Philippines?
8. What are the effects of concubinage in the society?

Research Participants

Creswell (2007) discusses the importance of selecting the appropriate candidates for interviews. In order to have a comprehensive interview, research participants must be selected appropriately. Interviewing for a research is crucial and so is choosing someone knowledgeable to be interviewed.

For this study, the researcher had a single interview conducted. The researcher interviewed Dr. Judy Taguiwalo. If credentials are one good basis of choosing a participant, Dr. Taguiwalo is so qualified. The participant got a doctorate in Philippine Studies and graduated cum laude in B.S in Social Work both in UP Diliman. She also has her masteral in Public Administration in Carleton University in Canada. Dr. Taguiwalo has been the coordinator in Women and Development Program from 1999-2000. She is currently the Chair of the Department of Women and Development Studies, of UP Diliman’s College of Social Work and Community Development.

Outside the university, she holds numerous roles in different women’s organizations. She is the current Chair of Women鈥檚 Committee of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers and as such sits in the South-east Asian Women鈥檚 Committee of Education International, Asia-Pacific.

She’s a trusted member of Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), a regional women鈥檚 NGO with consultative status with the UN ECOSOC, International Association for Community Development, and Women鈥檚 Studies Association in the Philippines. She is the Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, Ibon Foundation and the former executive director of Center for Women鈥檚 Resources (CWR) and the former chair of the Board of Directors, Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER).

The following are Dr. Taguiwalo’ selected work aboput women:

路鈥淎ng Kababaihang Maykaya, Ang Pakikibaka para sa Karapatang Bumoto at Ang Pagtaguyod sa Kababaihang Manggagawa鈥 in UP-CSWCD Development Journal. 2007.

路鈥淕lobalization and Women: A Discussion Guide for Trainors,鈥 a publication of the Task Force Rural and Indigenous Women of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) for use of its member organizations in the region. 2006

路Co-writer, 鈥淲omen and Food Sovereignty Kit,鈥 a publication of the Task Force Women and Environment of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) for use of its member organizations in the region. 2006.

路Editor, Intensifying Working Women鈥檚 Burdens: The Impact of Globalization on Women Labor in Asia, Asia Pacific Research Network, December 2005.

路Book Review 鈥淭urning Failures into Successes鈥, A Review of Eve Weinbaum鈥檚 To Move a Mountain: Fighting the Global Economy in Appalachia. 鈥淩adical Teacher,鈥 2005.

路鈥淩ural Community and Women鈥 in 2005 Gwang-Ju Asian Women鈥檚 Conference for Peace, October 25-27, 2005, Gwang-Ju Korea, Sponsored by Gwang-ju Council of Women, Gwang-Ju Women’s Associations United, Korea Foundation for Women, Gwang-Ju Network, Gwang-Ju YWCA, Institute for Gender Studies, Chonnan National University.

路鈥淢arkado at Militante: Ang Papel ng Kababaihang Anak-Pawis sa Dalawang Pakikibaka sa Panahon ng mga Amerikano鈥, CSWCD Development Journal, 2004.

路鈥淯nderstanding Globalisation and its Impact on Indigenous Women,鈥 in Proceedings of the Workshop on Indigenous Women, Chiangrai, Thailand, October 25, 2002 published in Proceedings of the Workshop, February 2004.

路鈥淲omen in Especially Difficult Circumstances鈥 for the Philippine Encyclopedia of Social Work, 2000, Megabooks Co. and National Association of Social Work Education, p. 323- 335.

路鈥淎ng Hanggahan at Pagkakahon sa Mahihirap na Kababaihan ng Primaryang Edukasyon sa Panahon ng Kolonyal ng Paghahari ng U.S. sa Pilipinas. Philippine Social Science Review, Special Issue, 1999.

路鈥淢ilitant and Nationalist Organizers: The Women in the 1906 Issues of Muling Pagsilang鈥 in Review of Women鈥檚 Studies (Women Take Back History), Volume 8, No. 2., July-December 1998. U.P. Center for Women鈥檚 Studies.

路鈥淲omen and the Economy or the Limits of Gender Mainstreaming or Gender Sensitization鈥 in the Proceedings of the U.P. Faculty Conference, May 25, 1998.

路鈥淔ilipino Women and Globalization: Three Responses鈥 ,UP CSWCD Journal, October-December 1998 issue.

路鈥淒alawang Mukha ng Pakikibaka ng Kababaihang Pilipino sa Panahon ng Kolonyal na Paghahari ng Amerikano,鈥 Diliman Review, Vol. 45, Nos. 2-3, 1997.

Data Gathering

After gathering preliminary data about concubinage, the researcher conducted an in-depth interview with an expert in women and development studies for further knowledge of the said the topic. Throughout the interview, the researcher will gain necessary data, which will be utilized to provide an exploratory study of concubinage. Content analysis was also conducted to gather sufficient data needed.

First, contact building was initiated by the researcher. The participant was endorsed by the researcher’s former professor. The interview was conducted on the 24th of January, 2013 at the Department of Women and Development Studies in the College of Social Work and Community Development, University of the Philippines Diliman. Basically, the interview took an hour or so. An interview guide was used by the researcher to provide for a comprehensive and accurate flow of the interview.

The participant was chosen by the researcher because of the involvement of the said participant on women studies. Department of Women and Development Studies is the only one in the Philippines and a pioneer in the Asia-Pacific region, which aims to provide a historical and comprehensive perspective to the study of gender and development particularly in the context of the Philippines.

Concubinage, as a social phenomenon involves greatly of women, a wife who has been a victim of marital infidelity and a concubine as a new acquisition of philandering husband. It is proper to ask for this participant to share her insight of concubinage. The participant and her team conducts researches towards breater participation and empowerment of women in the context of more equitable gender relations.

As mentioned earlier, content analysis was also utilized in this study. Content analysis is a methodology – a data-gathering process by which textual analysis is utilized in order to provide pertinent information from written text.

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