Building a life together is the next step in the eight-year relationship of engaged partners, Deej and Kich (last names withheld upon request). They are members of the LGBTQIA+ community and, as it is with any couple, thoughtful planning before jumping into any major decision in life is important to them. This year, they are moving in together and looking forward to fulfilling their big plans as a couple. Building their careers, saving for their future, investing in a business, and starting a family are all on the horizon in the next 5 to 10 years.
Empowered and ready
The timing couldn’t be more perfect. Deej and Kich, both 30, passed the bar exams this year and are eager to carve meaningful paths as newly minted lawyers. They feel more empowered to make life-changing decisions that will bring them closer to achieving their dreams.
“Mas malakas na ang loob namin after passing the bar,” says Kich, who shares that her parents are still in the process of fully accepting her relationship with Deej. “Ang laking tinik na natanggal,” she quips.
The two met in law school back in 2014. They started out as friends and discovered they shared many things in common. They are both Potter Heads, book lovers, and graduated in pre-law courses that relate to the written word —Deej has a degree in Journalism, and Kich in Literature.
From the very start, the two have consciously made an effort to be open and validate how one feels, no matter how trivial it may seem to the other. “During the bar review, we scheduled fights,” reveals Deej. “We realized that this works for us because hindi na heightened ang feelings, kalmado na, and we don’t spend time na nanghuhula how the other feels.”
This openness plus learning how to compromise are key to the longevity of their relationship. “Kich is always willing to compromise. Hindi siya laging magbibigay but she is willing to meet me in the middle,” adds Deej.
Securing their future
In 2019, Deej decided to propose to Kich. “Others propose when they are established na and are as ready as they can be. I proposed when we had nothing because I wanted to build [a life] with her from the ground up,” they say.
“We are a match pagdating sa future plans because we are in constant communication,” Kich adds. “Habang tumatagal, nag mi-meet ang goals namin.”
In planning for their future, they have set goals that they consider non-negotiable. “[We are on the same page] when it comes to wanting kids, getting “married” (if later allowed in the Philippines,) where we’re going to live, how many kids we want, and what kind of family we want to raise,” says Deej.
They plan on creating different sources of income so they can contribute more to the legal field. Deej wants to specialize in sustainable development law, while Kich sees herself being involved in human rights or government work.
“I also want to start my own business, something to do with food,” says Deej. This, they say, is a practical route if they intend to eventually do pro bono work. Kich, on the other hand, wants something that will give them both passive income. “We’re thinking of investing sa stocks, open kami doon,” she says.
They have also discussed how they will manage their finances. “If we stay together, we want our money organized,” shares Deej, whom Kich describes as a strong planner and who is ‘always four steps ahead.’ They are both open to having separate accounts plus a common fund for home expenses, and a savings fund for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) in the near future.
“Another non-negotiable for us is life insurance, yung may health benefits, especially in case of accidents,” puts in Kich, who knows that financial protection and security for same-sex couples is very important in the Philippines, especially because it’s still a long fight to having civil unions legalized or at least acknowledged in the country.
The legalization of civil unions will allow the LGBTQIA+ community to “marry” whom they choose and let them enjoy the same privileges and rights as married couples. But as they await that, the insurance industry has taken significant steps to uphold inclusivity, enabling Filipinos in same-sex relationships to assign their partners as beneficiaries in their life insurance policies.
This was highlighted by the Insurance Commissioner back in 2020, in a legal opinion issued to the University of the Philippines College of Law’s Gender Law and Policy Programme, stating that “the insured who secures a life insurance policy on [their] own life may designate any individual as beneficiary.” While this is subject to the provisions of relevant laws and submission of necessary requirements, it is still an important step in helping LGBTQIA+ couples secure their future.
Sun Life’s insurance businesses, including Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. and Sun Life Grepa Financial, Inc., are among the insurance companies which allow policyholders to list their domestic partners as beneficiaries, so long as there is no legal impediment. Sun Life continuously works towards inclusivity and is ready to be a bright partner for the LGBTQIA+ community in their financial journey.
As they anticipate a future together, Kich and Deej find comfort in the knowledge that their relationship is built on a solid foundation, enough to make them believe in forever. Kich shares that one of the anchors of their relationship is their shared concept of ‘even if.’ “Even if we fight, ‘mahal pa rin kita—pag gising mo bukas, mahal pa rin kita.’ A fight isn’t enough for us to break up,” she says, adding that they strongly value their power of choice and that she chooses Deej every day.
Deej echoes the same belief. “Whatever we have right now, kaya naming patagalin through conscious effort and constantly reminding ourselves that we’ve chosen each other for almost eight years, and it would still be the same conscious choice tomorrow. Even if."
Are you ready to build your future with your loved one? Sun Life can help your bright partner in your financial journey! Visit www.sunlife.co/brightpartner to learn how you can get started.