Why I am keeping my maiden name
People always get surprised when they find out I'm still using my maiden name, and the inevitable question is: Doesn't your husband mind?
For the record, he couldn't care less that I'm keeping my name, although he does insist that Bean takes his last name (sige na nga...). So why am I keeping my maiden name? Simply because I can and it's such a pain to change it.
For the uninformed, Philippine laws do not obligate married women to use their husband's surname:
Art. 370. A married woman may use:
(1) Her maiden first name and surname and add her husband's surname, or
(2) Her maiden first name and her husband's surname or
(3) Her husband's full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as "Mrs."
Take note that Art. 370 of the Civil Code uses "May" and not "Must", indicating that adopting the husband's name is merely discretionary and not mandatory.
Aside from not being mandatory, it's also such a hassle to go through the bureaucracy just to change my name. Maybe if I had someone to do it for me then it won't be such an issue, but as it is, I'm no longer with a law firm and can't rely on our messenger to do the legwork for me. No way am I trekking to different government agencies just to go through the name change process. It's just totally not worth the time and effort.
Finally, I have a very unusual last name and it does not conjure images of corruption or mass killings to prevent a political enemy's followers from filing his certificate of candidacy. In fact my last name has worked numerous times to my advantage because between my dad and my uncle, there is an 80% chance that some government official (c/o my dad) or well-established lawyer (c/o my uncle) would recognize my name, scoring me immediate ganda points. Of course, it goes without saying that my dad and uncle are well respected in their fields, thus the great goodwill attached to our name.
So there you have it, I'm keeping my name because I feel like it and it's to my advantage. Although I'll probably need to tuck a copy of Bean's birth certificate in his passport because for sure the different surnames will put airport officials on alert. But aside from that possible scenario, I really don't see why I should change my surname.
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