Sunday, September 10, 2006

Filipino Family Structure, A Strong Model

I moved out of the house, not because I wanted to be more independent, but moreso because I wanted my family to be more independent themselves. Over the years, they have relied on me. One of such reliance is the borrowing of money.

Since I'm the only one who graduted from college, my siblings, including my parents have borrowed money from me. I always obliged. But then I saw this over-reliance on me, and I no longer wanted to tolerate it. So after years and years of trying to help them become independent to no avail, I finally decided to move out and get my own place.

Before you know it, in the first week I was on my own, my sister calls me to borrow money. After feeling bad for her situation, I obliged. Then another brother, who already owed me money decided that he was going to pay me partially and the rest would come later. All right. This week, my other brother borrowed money because he gambled it away.

Shame on me for allowing that. I let them walk all over me again. Despite my sibling's gambling addiction, and my constant advice to them, I allowed them to rely on me again. Part of me was telling myself not to do it so that they will learn their lesson. The other part of me is that they needed my help. They are my blood after all. And it wasn't like I couldn't afford what they were asking for.

The Filipino family is a strong structure. This is what makes the Filipino culture something to be proud of. Despite poverty, Filipino families in the PI stick together. They help each other out. They will give what they do not have just so they can help another member. That is one of the reasons why you will probably not see a homeless Filipino here in the US. If a family member was laid off from work, or was not doing well financially, the Filipino family will rally in support until auntie and uncle, brother, sister, cousin, tita, tito, or distant friend, are on their feet once again.

I am hopeful that my siblings will realize that they are now mature adults, and that they need to start acting accordingly. I hope one day, when I too need help, they will be more than willing to lend a hand.


Mia said...

I admire how you see both sides of the issue -- the pros as well as the cons. :) And I join you in hoping that your siblings mature eventually. It's not bad to occasionally help out a family member in need, but it's harmful if it becomes a dependence (and said family member starts slacking off because s/he feels you'll be there to help if s/he needs money, anyway).

VegasFilAmGuy said...

I'm always openminded about things. I try to see both sides before making judgments. I did 7 yrs of high school and college debate, and one thing I learned is to look at things from all angles.

jef said...

I really don't have any problems with my sibling though. Yet! should I be in your position, so long as the money that I will give can suffice their needs, I'm always go. Charity begins at home.

VegasFilAmGuy said...

Yes, I agree, charity begins at home. Also ends at home, right? Yeah, home and family will always be there.

Anonymous said...

Will let my college students taking Filipino Family course read your article and make a reaction paper about it. Promise to share with you their papers.... Mabuhay!