The law does not require that a child be baptized. The church does. This religious sacrament entails that the child’s parents choose a godparent. The godparent accepts the responsibility of becoming a “second parent” to the child.
How relevant are “second parents” in this context?
The law has very specific provisions as to who shall bear the responsibility of raising orphaned children. For brevity, the responsibility falls on the extended family. Where there is none, the child becomes a responsibility of the state. Where, then, do the godparents come in? Do they have any legal standing at all? Unless the godparent also happens to be a member of the child’s family, he will have no right to exercise parental authority over the objection of relatives.
So, the inevitable question: what purpose do godparents serve in today’s society? As sources of gifts during birthdays and Christmas?
Then, the corollary question: what are our reasons for our choice of godparents or for our wedding sponsors for that matter? Are they the same reasons based on which the church requires that there be ninongs and ninangs in weddings and baptisms?
Knowing the conflict between the law and the church-imposed responsibility on baptismal godparents, is the church indirectly encouraging the practice that ninongs and ninangs are mere sources of material gifts?
It might be relevant to ask why Filipinos have a penchant for choosing politicians for their ninongs and ninangs in marriage even when they do not personally know these people and vice versa.