Filipino’s Strong Family Ties
In the Philippine households, it’s common to see not only a father, a mother and children living together. It’s easy to find the grandparents, an aunt or uncle or some cousins under the same roof.
One value that Filipinos are known for is the “close family ties” that results to extended family structure. It is because Filipinos believe that families should be together and help each other out.
Family and relatives do as much as they can to support each other even financially. For example, if a relative gets married, close kins somewhat feel obliged to help out, whether in the expenses or labor that comes with the occasion. The soon-to-be-wed barely needs to hand out invitations because attending such occasion feels like a duty.
In the recent years where the family structure has changed, like both couples working or single parenthood, the parents usually take care of their grandchildren. Those who can afford usually hires a nanny or a sitter, but having the mom or a relative look after one’s kids is more natural. Sending children to day care or nursery is not common. And in most families, children also tend to take care of their elderly parents as filial piety, Sending them to nursing homes is as rare as sending kids to nursery.
Parents treasure their children so much that they support them even during adulthood. Children are usually sent to college with their full financial support. Only those who can’t afford it let their young adults take some part time jobs. In cases of their children getting pregnant at a young age, they are there to help raise the baby.
Seldom that children are taught independence, like going to school by themselves at an early age or preparing their own simple meals in the morning. They are pampered and coddled as much as the parents could. At times, even after marriage, the new young couple can still seek help from their folks.
At times, newly weds who has enough money tend to buy to build their own homes, but it is not unusual that they choose somewhere close to either of their families but mostly close to the bride’s kins. It’s not a rare sight to see a whole compound or lots occupied by blood-relatives.
What’s terrifying is that a family can be powerful. Sometimes, an offender can get away from punishment with the help of their influential family. With money, connection and influence, almost nothing is impossible. But the same force can also affect positively,
However, the people in their 30’s and 40’s now are called the “sandwich generation”. It is because they are responsible in bringing up their own children and for the care of their aging parents. So with this current situation, how much pressure do they handle if there are more relations to take care of?
Yes, family is probably the most important part of our lives. and we can’t just exist without them. From our grandparents, to parents, siblings and close relatives, we extend our generosity and love. Blood is thicker than water as saying goes. But in these modern times, is it necessary? Practical?
Dependence is somewhat cultivated and that a person, unless determined, is almost definitely won’t be able to stand on his own two feet. It could lead to unproductively and idleness. There are also times when some abuse kindness and capitalize on empathy. No family is perfect and always live in harmony but is being too close to one another doesn’t make one feel tired of someone else, especially in minding one’s own business? Is privacy properly observed? Can one spend a perfectly quiet evening to relax or study? How about the financial matters? Money is always a difficult topic to discuss and can cause misunderstandings even to the closest families.
Nevertheless, our loyalty to our family always brings about the feeling of satisfaction and security. Most often than not, we put them as our top priority. They are usually the first to arrive when you need them and the last to leave when everybody turn their backs. It may not be true to everyone, and to some, family doesn’t usually mean blood-relatives, but it is always nice to know that there are people or a person who has your back no matter what.
Let’s discuss with aimtalk teachers:
- What can you say about “strong family ties” among Filipino families?
- Please describe your ideal family set up and explain why you like it.
- What is the role of your family in your life? What do you do to maintain a good relationship with your family and relatives?
family ties(n): emotional connection with family
relative(n): a member of the family
soon-to-be-wed(n): a person or a couple who are to be married in the near future
filial piety(n): to take care of the parents
treasure(v): keep and care for something that is very special and important, or valuable to you
pamper(v): look after someone very kindly and give them what they want or let them do what they do
coddle(v): treat someone in a way that is too kind and gentle and protects them from pain or difficulty
folks(n): parents and family
capitalized on(v): use a situation or something good that you have, in order to get an advantage for yourself
empathy(n): ability to understand other people’s feelings and problems