Although there are always exceptions, the Philippine people place a high priority on their families and the honor of their families.
It is only when outside influences attack, such as extreme poverty or alcoholism, that the family is abandoned or neglected in any way.
Because of the necessity of having a strong community of support in the uncertain culture and day-to-day life in the Philippines, Filipinos get strength and stability from having a large and close-knit family.
In fact, many Philippine children have several godparents in addition to their biological parents in order to provide for them in the absence of their true parents.
Honorary relations are also given to close family friends as “sponsors”. Even I have been honored to be given this title at a wedding in which I participated because I am close friends with the bride’s family.
In many instances, families in the Philippines are very large and economically self-sufficient.
Although understandably not nearly as affluent as families in the West, there is a close bond and a clear expectation between relatives that each member be ready and eager to help when difficult times arise - as they often do in the Philippines.
For example, in America, each individual is taught to “make their own way”, to “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps”. However, Filipino values dictate that relatives be prepared to care for all family members to their utmost ability. This is an important distinction, especially for a Christian missionary.
Filipino Values Rule the Workplace Too
Filipino culture and values within the family also spill over into the workplace.
This is normal and not considered to be rude in any way by those outside the family. It is an open and well-known fact to all employees of a business in the Philippines that preferential consideration will be given to family members above other staff.
In fact, it is common for a rather large business to be operated completely by Filipino family members.
As you can see from these short examples, the concept of the family is essential to Filipino culture and values.
The family shapes and defines the Filipino values system. If you would like to experience it for yourself, check out my page on fundraisers for mission trips.
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