Caregiving in the Filipino Culture
The traditional Filipino is a close-knit family that is extended in nature and family relations are traced bilaterally through the lines of both the mother and the father. For this reason, relationships within Filipino families tend to be more egalitarian in nature compared to most other cultures and societies. This may have been due to the fact that before the Philippines was colonized by Spain (1565 to 1898) and the United States (1898 to 1946), the Filipino society was matrilineal in nature. More than anything else, Filipinos highly value the presence of their families and the family remains the basic unit of their society regardless of the liberal influences they may have derived from the West.
In a traditional Filipino family, the mother takes responsibility of the household needs and is predominantly responsible over the value formation and emotional growth of the children while the father is expected to be the head and the provider of the family. Thus, the father is often referred to as the main pillar while the mother is the light of the home. Children on the other hand generally view their mothers as someone who tends to be soft and calm while fathers are strong and the most influential family figure. Due to this remarkable closeness within the Filipino family, it is not uncommon for parents to have difficulty letting go of their children, often creating a situation where the latter stay in the family for as long as they want even after reaching legal age. On the opposite extreme, this also explains why grandparents are often seen and in most instances, even expected to live with their children as the form...
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...gencies. Considering that my mother-in-law agreed to immigrate to the U.S., adopt a new country and citizenship, and devote her golden years to the care of my family and her grandchildren, personally taking care of her till the end is the least that my family can do for her in return.
In a larger sense, Barbara Yee was right in saying that “Something not as well recognized, but necessarily true, is that the American culture is forever changed by its association with these new Americans. Our great nation has derived its strength, creativity and vision from contributions made by new Americans; let us not forget and appreciate this diversity” (2009). My mother-in-law is an immigrant who certainly embodies the best that immigrants, both past and present, have contributed to American society, and my wife and I are proud and honored to have her as a member of our home.
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