Random Musings

Understanding a Filipino

August 21, 2008

I came from a Godforsaken third world country – I cringe everytime I say “third-world” but reality bites like a son of a bitch and I can not do anything about it. I came from Philippines, that’s a fact! And I am not ashamed of that fact about me.Amidst the very corrupt government, the crab mentality, the pollution, the over population, the poverty, unemployment, inflation, the economic crisis that our government is facing for the past few how many years – there are still some things about our nation worth of our pride. The beauty of our country (which I hope will be preserved longer so my kids will be able to see it and take pride in it) and our values. More specifically, our great sense of gratitude.

I have encountered a lot of people having failed relationships/marriages due to “cultural indifferences”. Always, the main reason will be a conflict with the non-Filipino partner about the closely-knit family ties of the Filipino partner. The thing is, the Filipino’s main concern will always be “to help their family against poverty”. We have an ongoing fight against it and will do everything we can just to save them from it just like how they protected us away from it when we were kids. Poverty is the evil of all evils in our country and you have to be grateful if you have not suffered from it.

I came from a somewhat middle-class family in the Philippines. Though not very rich, we are blessed for being able to afford some simple luxuries in life. My siblings and I are not compelled by our parents to send them some money on a monthly-basis, but we do so whenever we can. Being the youngest in the family, I have less responsibility but it does not stop me from thinking about the welfare of my family back home. And that is because of one reason alone – my gratitude towards them.

“The life of a middle-class Filipina.”

As the youngest of four siblings and having an 8yr gap from the last child, I was spoiled rotten by my whole family. Parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents were all amused by this smiling child with cute dimples. (Haha! Yes, I was cute when I was a kid…. I wonder what happened now). My siblings will all have something for me when they get back home from school, my uncles/aunts will buy me new clothes for no reason at all, I will always have the biggest birthday celebration at school, they sent me to a good university in the Philippines – to cut the story short, I was well taken cared of.

No monetary value can repay the love and care my family showed me – yet, it is still one way of showing them that their hardworks for me were not taken for granted. Henceforth, as a Filipina with a deep sense of gratitude towards my family (or anybody for that matter) I will take care of them against poverty the way they did to me when I needed it most.

* We won’t put our parents in a home for the aged. They took care of us when we were little kids, why can’t we do it to them when they’re too old to take care of themselves?

* We will send them money if the need arises, unlike the other countries wherein the elderlies will get a pension – the pensions our parents will get from our corrupt government cannot even support the daily needs of a dog. So yes, without batting our eyelashes – we will definitely send money to our family if there is a need for it. I understand that once you get married, the properties and income will be shared by the couple – but you also have to learn to compromise towards the cultures and values of the other partner.

* They say, once you marry a Filipino you marry their entire clan. That is not entirely true, but yes you will have to bear the grief of meeting more than a dozen people during special occasions such as weddings, funerals and family reunions. But as for me, you need not get along with everybody (as I don’t get along with everybody as well haha!) but at least try and enjoy the occasion and the great food.

* We, Filipinos are naturally happy people. No matter what problems we may be facing, we usually have a sunny disposition. So don’t ever think that we care less than you do if the electricity consumption have sky-rocketed in a span of 2 weeks. Yes, we worry about that too (who wouldn’t?) but we just have a different way of dealing with it. Glass is always half-full on our side of the planet.

Those are just some of the reasons of “relationship” conflicts between Filipinos and non-Filipinos. Compromise and understand and the world will be a better place. 😀

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6 Comments

  • Reply ben October 31, 2014 at 21:37

    to think of it, one must look into the root cause to somehow minimize the problems in the pilipino culture. they said pilipino are brave on what? took 300 years to wake up. notice the countries spanish colonize, the countries are going backward. fuck religion .it is the way how the family foundation is set. strong foundation of a family like that of japan will sure bring stability on all aspect of a country. how can one be ashame of matters that is not of your own doings. we just don’t observe, we change things on family level. spanish introduce easy life style and so many holidays.

  • Reply kenneth delancey September 6, 2009 at 23:22

    i have met and might marry a filpina soon.i am a 54 year old male and i have been to p.i. 2 times recently.i went there for 50 days the last time and met her entire family.she seems very very nice to me and also honest.i told her right from the start that she will not be coming to the u.s.a and that i want to someday retire to the philippines.why bring an apple to an orchard.also i did not come there to find a girl and bring her here.i can find someone here without going to the other side of the damn world.what would be the sense.i love my filipina fiance bit there are many things i dont like about my situation.first of all,,i know that no filipino would do what im trying to do and that bothers me.if a filipino had some money like i have then they would just be happy to have that and live in america.a filipino would never ever do what i am trying to do and because im so sure of that,it makes me a bit angry and dissillusioned.most filipinos i know sold out there country for a fist full of dollars and they are not afraid to flaunt it and many do not plan ever to return to their country.im hoping to someday marry my filipina gf but when i start thinking about all the nonsense involved i wonder if its all really worth it.in the end ill probably just get told off for helping someone else

  • Reply t.endt February 5, 2009 at 12:52

    I don’t believe many filipina women marry for love,
    they marry for money
    the majority of them are greedy and they have NO respect for Australian people.
    They should marry their own kind, greedy greedy selfish women
    my heart goes out to you!
    watch out!

  • Reply drippingmind September 7, 2008 at 08:32

    For most of us Filipinos, it’s “family first”.
    More than “utang na loob”, our culture molded us to consider our family to be as important as our self. As we build dreams, everyone in the family is part of that dream. It’s sweet and I won’t trade that to anything else. 🙂

  • Reply PhilppinesNewsVote.com August 22, 2008 at 01:44

    I’m a Filipino and I have a hard time understanding even myself sometimes. Your article cleared some things up for me. 🙂

    In the United States, the culture’s focus is independence. Many young people move out of the house and lead their own lives as soon as they can afford it. In the Philippines, independence isn’t really the focus. The focus is more on helping each other in the family.

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