Love in the time of COVID: Marriages in PH fell to 50-year low in 2020 | Inquirer News

Love in the time of COVID: Marriages in PH fell to 50-year low in 2020

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 07:07 PM January 07, 2022

MANILA, Philippines—A saying goes “love knows no boundaries,” but the strictest COVID-19 lockdowns imposed in 2020 slashed the number of registered marriages in the Philippines to 240,775—the lowest in 50 years.

The Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) latest data showed that not only were marriages two years ago 44.3 percent lower than the 431,972 registered in 2019, but 2020 figures were also the smallest on record since 1970.

The PSA data had been obtained from city and municipal civil registrars nationwide. Marriages of Filipinos living and working overseas were not included in the PSA report published last Thursday (Jan. 6).


Before 75 percent of the Philippines was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) — among the longest and most stringent virus curbs in Asia — starting mid-March of 2020, 44,349 couples tied the knot in February 2020, the highest monthly figure for that year. Coinciding with the so-called “month of hearts” and Valentine Day’s celebrated every Feb. 14, 1,529 marriages per day were registered in February 2020.


The months of December and January recorded the next biggest numbers of marriages in 2020, despite the eruption of the Taal Volcano in January of that year, which postponed some ceremonies in wedding haven Tagaytay due to health risks caused by volcanic ash.

With ECQ in full swing, the month of April posted the least number of marriages in 2020, with 866 or 29 a day. The figure improved by May of 2020 to 4,135, but these were still low, especially during the summer season when beach weddings are a fad.

“The low number of marriages in these two months [of April and May 2020] were due to the quarantine measures implemented throughout the country,” the PSA said. It was only by the end of May 2020 when ECQ restrictions were eased.

In comparison, in 2019 or before the pandemic struck, the most marriages were held in December, followed by the months of February, May, and April.

Separate, preliminary PSA data showed that marriages as of end-October 2021 reached 256,936, exceeding the full-year 2020 tally, as the government gradually eased quarantine restrictions.

PSA data as of Nov. 29, 2021, which had yet to record marriage numbers in November and December of last year, showed the most brides got married in June, followed by May and February. In 2021, June brides numbered 34,661, followed by 33,999 in May, and 30,342 in February.


Perhaps with less preparation, civil ceremonies dominated in 2020 with nearly half or 49.8 percent of total marriages that year, a jump from the 38.6-percent share in 2019.

With a majority Roman Catholic population, 27.9 percent of 2020 weddings were officiated in church. Muslim traditional marriages accounted for 1.3 percent, while 0.9 percent were tribal ceremonial weddings.

While Calabarzon, Metro Manila and Central Luzon had been placed under ECQ for the longest periods, these three regions accounted for almost 40 percent of total marriages in 2020. Calabarzon had the most recorded marriages, with 32,822; Metro Manila, 32,689; and Central Luzon, 28,183.

Amid the pandemic, the PSA said average marrying ages in the Philippines stayed the same — a younger 27-years-old among women, and age 29 among men.

The PSA also observed that while marriages involving teenage girls were four times more than those of adolescent boys, the numbers in 2020 dropped from 2019 levels.

In 2020, 4.4 percent of female teenagers got hitched, but the number of marriages fell by more than half to 10,485 from 23,928 in 2019.

Teenage males who got married in 2020 numbered 2,526, also over half lower than 2019’s 5,479.

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With most international borders closed, 97.9 percent of marriages in the Philippines in 2020 were between Filipino men and women. Despite the pandemic, 4,837 Filipinos still managed to say their vows with their mostly American, Japanese, Canadian, Chinese, and Indian partners: “In sickness and in health… Till death do us part,” in the time of COVID-19.


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TAGS: COVID-19, Marriages, pandemic, Weddings

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