I made a previous entry on the options available to married women on the surnames they may use upon marriage, citing Article 370 of the New Civil Code, that a woman has only three options: (a) her husband’s surname; (b) her maiden name hyphenated by her husband’s surname and (c) her husband’s full name, prefixed by “Mrs.”.
I received a comment from matriaka saying that the High Court had already clarified and ruled in two cases that Article 370 is not mandatory or obligatory, because of the word “may” used in the article. This being, the woman can then retain her maiden surname as the marriage only changes her status and not her name. The High Court also said that the best evidence of a woman’s name is that as written in her birth certificate. You can read the decision here and here. The first case dealt with the matter directly while the second was only collateral, as it was only on account of the separation or divorce (of a Muslim woman). The first case is relatively new but the other one is already an old case. We have to thank those feminist movements for emphasizing this particular right and making it known publicly.
So yes ladies, go and use or retain your maiden names : ) This is easier said than done though. Some government offices really require you to use the husband’s name – the forms aren’t even that friendly for those women who do not assume their husband’s name; even the hyphenated names get so much questions. Good luck explaining and arguing ^__^.
As for me, I’m not reverting back to my maiden name. I will stick to the hyphen because as much as I want to preserve my father’s name, I also want to show I’m now a part of my husband and his family too.
By the way, I wanted to reproduce the comment of matriaka as I was editing my previous entry but our rotational brownout suddenly set in and I accidentally deleted instead of approving her comment. I sent a personal email to her before I made corrections, thanking her for her comment and sent it to the email account indicated in her comment. Unfortunately, I just received a failure notice on the email I sent to her – I don’t know why.