On Filipino Families

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One of the most common Filipino traits that other countries recognize is our close-knit relationships with our families, and it could bring both the best and the worst for all of us.

Unlike other typical families from western countries, we treat our families here with utmost priority and respect. I’m not saying that the families from those communities don’t have respect and don’t priorities their loved ones, but all I’m saying is that we do our best to ensure that that they feel they’re our world, and we’ll do our best to secure them no matter what.

When it comes to bringing the best of us, I believe that because we’re so close with our families, it makes us want to do everything in our power to make them happy. We strive harder in everything that we do so that we can provide them better. For example, in our day-to-day work activities, one of our motivations to aim for that promotion is to earn extra income to bring more food to our tables. Our families take pride in us, especially when our efforts are recognized because they believe that our achievements are also theirs. The list could go on and on.

On the other hand, this thing is also a double-edged sword. In a lot of families today, utang na loob is still prevalent. Please note that I’m not saying that it’s bad, but this usually leads to unhappiness, especially for those indebted to someone. Many people choose the course that they don’t love because it’s what their parents want. Someone would also want to move out of their homes and start their own families but can’t because they’re still paying off all the “good deeds” that their parents have done for them in this world. And like the positive side of things, this list could go on and on.

How about you? What are the best and worst things that your family made you do? Share your thoughts in the comments.

6 Responses

  1. So grateful to have very supportive parents and to think that they supported my studies, reason that I have this sense of gratitude to help them. I totally agree about the traditional family trait about “utang na loob” and it seems that we need to pay back something for our parents. In my own case, my parents let me decide about my plans in life and I am the one who chose to support them even if my Dad has a regular job to support our family. I think this trait is not so negative. Helping our parents is something that we can treasure about respect and love. On the other side, naa koy kaliwat na cgeg measure sa achievements sa iyang mga anak and always comparing sa uban taw (naapil ko hahhaaaa)..for the record I was a consistent grade C student and not so naning in school up to my college years. Ending up this school journey na my parents are still proud of my college degree and it’s good enough for them na I graduated from my fine arts major and my kaliwat was so intriga about my degree na wala daw bright future ( they think that art is not suitable to earn more hahahaa).. Until na quite na sila about me when I started to work and achieving different milestones in life. Anyways that’s all! Love this blog, MJ!!!

  2. Hi, Maurice. Personally, I talked to my mom (as I used to live with her) about being independent, and this includes about “debt-of-gratitude” or “utang-na-loob”. Well, the thing was she understood about what I wanted and one thing that I could really forget was that she supported me. She said that she never wish to ask any financial assistance from her children, but I willingly gave her whatever spare I have. She totally supported my dreams although there were moments that she needed to interfere (for guidance, sake).

  3. If there’s one thing I learned from my family, that is I have to continue striving to get a better life. I’ll never be able to get all the things in the world if I don’t persevere… and that motivated me to become who I am today.

  4. I feel that we should break the notion that we should still be providing to our parents to the detriment of our future. It sucks that we’ll end up in the same or sometimes a worse situation that way.

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