Last night I read something that made me "praning" and made me wonder if I am LEGALLY REQUIRED to use my husband's surname after marriage.
I consulted my lawyer friend, Atty. Leo Ganzon, and he shared the Article 370 from the New Civil Code of the Philippines.
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.”
The "MAY" in the sentence means it is OPTIONAL. It is not a duty. It is not mandatory to adopt your husband's surname after marriage.
A woman is allowed to keep and continue using her maiden name in ALL LEGAL DOCUMENTS after marriage.
IMPORTANT: However, if the married woman starts using her husband's surname in her passport, license, SSS and other forms of national identification and/or she signs any legal documents/contracts using her husband's surname, she will never be able to revert to her maiden name until her marriage is annulled or until she is widowed.
The last part was also confirmed by a friend, who was going through separation. Only until her marriage is annulled by the courts can she start using her maiden name legally again.
Bottomline is: FILIPINA WOMEN CAN KEEP AND LEGALLY CONTINUE USING THEIR MAIDEN NAMES AFTER MARRIAGE. However, if they plan to do so, they should NEVER use their husbands' surname IN ANY identification, legal documents and legal contracts.
P.S. I'm not a lawyer. I'm a housewife. Don't ask me legal questions.