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The Typical Filipino Family

Learn about Filipino family, its distinguishing features, values and role as basic society. This will
enable visitors and expatriates better deal with Filipino people.

A typical Filipino family is composed of father, mother, with three to four children and may also
include an extended family of aunt, uncle, cousin or grandparent. Per UN survey a Filipina had
an average of six children in the 1970’s. Just lately it has reduced to three. The RH Bill however,
endorses a two-child policy for the future.

Roles of Family Member

The father is family head and breadwinner. He makes major decisions in consultation with his
wife. He implements disciplinary measures to correct children.

The family treasurer and home keeper is the wife. She takes care of children and husband.
Children are usually closer to her than to their father. Mother may also augment family income
through employment or through engaging in business. To ease her workload at home, she hires
domestic helper or requests assistance from extended family.

Most Filipino moms are already working because of the rising cost of living. Some are even out
of the country despite estrangement with the husband and kids.

The children are taught to respect and obey their parents. The elder sibling, especially the girl, is
trained to be her mother’s assistant. She learns to look after her younger siblings and to manage
the home. Elder sibling also gets respect from the younger ones. Filipino children are assigned
home chores to train them to be responsible.

The Filipino family practices monogamy except for Muslims where a husband may have
multiple wives. Divorce is unlawful but marriage can be annulled with both parties not allowed
to remarry.

Roles of Family, School and Church

The family is the first institution to develop a child's character. We, parents teach our children
values learned from ancestors and community. These values are modified to suit our needs. Some
factors affecting changes are parents' upbringing, religion, education, social and economic status.

We normally desire to provide bright future for our kids. We try our best to give them the best
education we can afford. We have an adage that knowledge is the best treasure we can give them
as it cannot be stolen and is their key to success in their chosen fields.

The school is another institution influencing our family. Teachers provide big role in children’s
lives. They set lasting examples which may even influence children’s choice of profession. Good
manners learned from school additionally provide solid values foundation.
The church is an institution that influences Filipino parents and children. Spiritual values which
are addressed to the hearts and conscience of a man is powerful and all encompassing.