I'm Cordilleran. Well, divorce is not allowed in the Philippines as mandated in the country's constitution but if you look around, many Philippine settlers, especially in the lowlands, practically divorce their spouses (I'm talking about the essence of divorce). I mean they don't treat their spouses as their spouses and treat other people as if those other people are their spouses. You have the right to call someone your spouse if you are treating him/her as your spouse. If you call someone your spouse but you don't treat him/her as your spouse then he/she isn't really your spouse. In essence, you divorced him though you're married in title. The law is not followed in spirit.
In the Cordillera region, a certain type of divorce is allowed under IPRA but if you compare Cordilleran couples to non-Cordilleran couples, divorce, in it's essence, is far less prevalent in Cordillera than in non-Cordilleran provinces. One of the many fascinating things which I discovered about our region is that I have never heard of a native Cordilleran man who beats his wife and I have never heard of a Cordilleran wife who left her husband. I mean Cordillerans rarely divorce, in essence, their respective spouses. There is one rare incident of "divorce" which I have heard of and let me impart a brief narration of it.
There was this Cordilleran couple in Sagada who, after several years of marriage, didn't have a single child. They were ashamed of their unproductive marriage so they decided to divorce themselves from each other and maybe they could be productive if each of them were to be married to another person. I'm not saying that I approve of divorce. What I'm saying is that some Cordillerans practice divorce but not for selfish purposes. I've also heard about rare incidences of divorce in Besao, Bauko, Bontoc, Kalinga, Apayao, Barlig, Natonin, Paracellis, Mankayan, Buguias, Atok, Itogon, La Trinidad many other towns such as in the towns of Abra, Southeast Ilocus Sur, Northeast Ilocos Norte, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya and other places where Cordillerans reside. Divorce, in its essence, is rare in the Cordillera and if there is an incidence of divorce, most likely, it has been approved and sanctioned by the society.
Divorce may not be allowed in non-Cordilleran places in the Philippines like in the lowlands but look at how they treat their spouses. I can't bear to tell you many stories I've heard and witnessed myself. There are still many good marriages among lowlanders, though. We can still be glad that, at least, many lowlanders love their spouses. Some Cordillerans married lowlanders. Some of them were happily married and some of them were disappointed. Though that's the case, I'm not discouraging Cordillera-lowland marriage. I've met Ilokano women of virtue and charm. I have also met immature Ilokano women. My point is that it's up to you discern. There are Sagada men who have married women who are Bicolano, Ilokano, Ibanag etc. There are many women from different parts of the lowlands who went to different parts of the Cordillera and were married there. There has also been Cordilleran communities which were established in different parts of the lowlands like in Manila, Bukidnon, Lanao etc. and intermarriages, as I've heard, are beginning to become a trend especially in the south.
Like I said, I'm a Cordilleran and I can fluently speak four Cordilleran languages (Kankanaey/Kalkali, Cordilleran Ilokano, Cordilleran English and Cordilleran Tagalog). What about you? May I hear what you have to say? :-)
Adi tako bokodan di gawis.
Matagotago tako am-in.