My wife and I really wanted to get married in the Philippines, for a number of reasons that are a bit private.
I was obviously aware that making this move would have entailed investing a lot more money and also taking much time off from work. But we were really determined to do the ceremony in the Philippines.
So I sent an e-mail to the Italian Embassy in Makati City, Metro Manila, to inquire about the papers I needed to produce and, much to my surprise, the list included the so-called “Certificate of Legal Capacity to get Married”.
I called up the Embassy asking for further clarifications, as I had never heard of the existence of such a certificate, and I was wondering whether I was being asked to go to a Psychiatrist to assess my “mental capacity” to marry another human being.
As far as I know, when you get married, here in Italy, all you need is your ID and a “Certificate of Singleness” and that is it.
The Italian Consul insisted that, in addition to the Certificate of Singleness I needed the above mentioned paper. “Where the heck do I get it?” I asked and they said that I could get it from the Town Hall where I live.
Sure enough, I went to the Town Hall and the officer behind the counter was somewhat taken aback by my ‘unusual” request.
I went a few times to the Department of Foreign Affairs asking for clarifications but they had no idea.
I kept calling up the Italian Embassy in Manila as well as going back to the Town Hall again and again but to no avail.
After various attempts, I dismissed the idea of carrying out my plans to marry my fiance in the Philippines and I inquired about the legal process here in Italy.
All I needed to produce was my passport and my “Certificate of Singleness” and she had to produce the same papers plus her Birth Certificate.
It only took us 15 days for the publications and on a sunny Saturday morning we got married at the local Town Hall in a very nice and elegant hall. It took us less than 45 minutes to be legally married and we didn’t pay a cent (they didn’t even bother to find out if my fiance was a legal resident or not).
So, based on my experience (obviously each country has its own requirements), I’d say that if your Filipino fiance lives in your country (and whether she has papers or not doesn’t seem to be an obstacle), you’d better marry her in a Western country.
The only circumstance that might make it difficult to marry a Filipina in a Western country, is if she lives in the Philippines, as getting a “Fiance Visa” or even a tourist visa for a Western country can be tough (the Italian Embassy rejects most applications).
But if she lives in your country or you can find a legal way to get her to your country you’ll most likely get married much faster and much cheaper in a Western country.