Family Solidarity Among Filipinos: Advantages and Disadvantages

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familystudiesWho do we turn to when friends have abandoned us, when society has taken its back on us or when everyone else has let us down? Our families, of course! In good and bad times, their love and support can get us through anything.

As Filipinos, we are blessed to have been brought up with strong family ties. Not only do we get support from our parents and siblings, but other relatives are also there to guide us and make sacrifices for us. Our grandparents, uncles and aunts, and cousins are there to help us with our needs, be it physical, financial, or spiritual.

In times of crisis and hardships, the family is our anchor. During emergencies, there is always a family member we can turn to. This is not only true in matters of life and death but also in occasions that call for celebrations. We can count on the whole family to be there in the most significant events in our lives: christenings, birthdays, graduations, weddings, etc. You will not find in any other country the kind of close family ties that we, Filipinos have.

Although there are many advantages to always having a family around to pick you up in times of trouble, there are also times that it can also lead to laziness. Some Filipinos tend to depend too much on their parents and other relatives for help. There are those who choose to remain jobless believing that the family will always be there to take care of his or her needs.

Instead of being independent, many Filipinos are subconsciously taught to be dependent on charity by their own families. In Western countries, when a person has reached the age of 18, he or she is encouraged to live on his or her own. In the Philippines, many Filipinos, long after they get married and have children, continue to live in the house of their parents and still be dependent on them for financial and moral support.

Another disadvantage is when some people use their family’s influence to get away from a crime they have committed. They believe that they can get away with anything illegal because they come from a well-known and powerful family. The thinking is that their parents or relatives will always be there to back them up when they are caught.

Whichever way we look at it, we are extremely proud of our strong family ties. The family is our primary moral and spiritual support system in times of crisis and social unrest. No less than the 1987 Constitution recognizes the role of the family as the foundation of the country. However, we have to remember that too much of a good thing can also have harmful effects. In as much as we take pride in their honors and achievements, we must never use our family’s influence to our advantage. We must learn to be independent and take responsibility for our own actions, only then can we show our family how much we truly value and respect them.

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