Did You Know That Cheating is Illegal in the Philippines?

Liliana Andrino
Bouncin’ and Behavin’ Blogs
3 min readOct 2, 2023


A person behind bars forming a heart with their fingers
Photo by Rajesh Rajput on Unsplash

Let’s face it. Everybody knows cheating is wrong.

Unfortunately, a lot of people can still get away with being unfaithful either because affairs are so common it’s no longer surprising or no one really expects huge consequences for sleeping with someone who isn’t their partner.

But in the Philippines, there’s a whole lot more at stake than just a person’s reputation. Being unfaithful can actually have legal repercussions.

And it turns out that when cheating can land someone in jail, loyalty quickly becomes a very appealing idea.

A Country Where Infidelity Is a Crime

The Philippines is not the only or even the first to criminalize extramarital relationships. In fact, there are traditional sanctions in some countries that include even capital punishment.

Still, laws against cheating are things that people should learn about, especially men who are dating a Filpina for the first time.

Under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, it’s a crime for a married man or woman to sleep with someone who isn’t their spouse. When it’s the wife who is having an illicit affair, it’s called adultery. For husbands, on the other hand, cheating with a woman who isn’t their wife is an act of concubinage.

If proven guilty, anyone who’s committed adultery can go to prison for as long as 6 years, and this includes the wife as well as the man she was cheating on her husband with. Meanwhile, concubinage can land an unfaithful man in jail for a maximum sentence of 4 years and 2 months, while his affair partner can face exile.

With such concrete penalties, it’s a small wonder that people from the Philippines seem to take marriage very seriously. There’s even a popular saying that cautions couples against tying the knot without being a hundred percent sure of their decision:

Marriage, according to Filipinos, is not like hot rice. You don’t get to spit it out if it burns your mouth.

Filipinos and Loyalty

Cheating being illegal is enough to dissuade most people from even thinking about being unfaithful, but it’s also not the only reason why Filipinos place a lot of importance on loyalty to their spouse.

To this day, divorce is still not a legal option in the Philippines. With the country being primarily Catholic, and fidelity to family among the most important values of its people, the union of husband and wife is considered nearly sacred.

For others in different parts of the world, marriage can be something they can try out of curiosity. If it works, then they’re lucky. If it doesn’t work, it’s too bad, but it doesn’t have to be a huge failure.

This kind of mindset can make things like cheating very easy to commit since marriage is almost seen as something with no strings attached.

It’s different for Filipinos. Vows made between married couples are binding, and hurting one’s husband or wife by sleeping with someone else is treated as the worst kind of betrayal.

But just because there’s a moral expectation, it doesn’t mean everyone is immune to the temptation of cheating. This is where criminal liability comes in.

After all, in a country where loyalty is a basic requirement for marriage, getting sued seems like a fitting consequence for failing to hold up your end of the bargain.



Liliana Andrino
Bouncin’ and Behavin’ Blogs

Professional Dating Coach, Writer, and Mentor for I am an advocate for love that goes beyond borders.