“It was a small, simple action, but it crushed my heart like a stone.”
This was how singer-songwriter Nica del Rosario described her sentiments as she recalled the moment she signed as “single” her marital status in a form prior to returning to the Philippines.
Del Rosario and her partner Justine Peña tied the knot in a simple ceremony in Sydney, Australia last August.
Their marriage, however, is not recognized by Philippine laws.
— Nica del Rosario (@nicadelrosario) November 17, 2022
In a post on November 18, Del Rosario said that this reality dawned on her when she was filling out her One Health Pass card, a required online tracing form for travelers before entering the country.
“As I was going through mine, I stopped at one question: marital status. It stared right back at me, almost mockingly, like it knew that despite our magical, joyful wedding just a couple of days before, I had to begrudgingly mark myself as ‘single’,” Del Rosario said.
“It was a small, simple action, but it crushed my heart like a stone. It represented the reality that was waiting for us back in Manila: that the vows we exchanged in Sydney will not be honored in the place we call home,” she added.
Del Rosario further lamented: “The joy of getting to legally commit ourselves to spending the rest of our lives together is mixed with the bitterness that according to the laws where we reside, that doesn’t mean anything. But to us, it means everything.”
The “Rosas” singer then said that such an emotional moment inspired her to write her new song “Balang Araw”.
She said that she found “comfort” in her other reality that her marriage with Peña is still recognized in Australia, the United States, Canada and other countries.
Moreover, Del Rosario noted to herself that they have the life and the family that they had built.
“I don’t know when our laws will change; maybe we’ll be like those old lady couples in the US rushing to the courthouses on the day that same-sex marriage was legalized in all 50 states. Maybe it will come in 10 years. Maybe we won’t live to see it,” Del Rosario said.
“But we have today, and our love and our family. And for now, that is enough,” she added.
“Balang Araw” is, therefore, dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community, Del Rosario said.
“’Balang Araw’ is for every person in our community who continue to hope and fight for what we stand for: to be treated as human beings, to be given the same rights as everyone else,” she said.
She also stated: “Makukuha rin natin ang ating ‘balang araw’, pero sa ngayon, mahalin muna natin ang isa’t isa.”
“Balang Araw” is now available on all digital platforms.
The couple, along with Jeli Mateo, are the artists behind the campaign songs of former Vice President Leni Robredo “Kay Leni Tayo” and “Rosas”.
Moreover, Del Rosario also co-wrote Sarah Geronimo’s popular hit song “Tala.”