Dr. Paul Dumol on how Christianity shaped the Filipino family

Dr. Paul DumolSpanish missionaries introduced Christianity to the Philippines 500 years ago, and the religion has since changed many aspects of Filipinos’ lives, including the definition of a family.

“When Christianity came, the fuzzy boundaries of what the family was, were defined. And that is what we have now – sa labas at iyong nasa loob (legitimate and illegitimate family),” Dr. Paul Dumol told CNN Philippines.

Prior to the Spanish colonization period, there was no restriction on how many women a man can have a relationship with, Dr. Dumol said. At the time, a Filipino man had one official wife, but also “had access” to other women, who are “almost certainly” his relatives, he added, noting they all lived under the same roof.

“In my research about the pre-Hispanic family, the family was not defined by parents but rather by the male, the father, and it did not matter how many women he had because the family was his progeny,” Dumol explained.

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