The Philippines is a country that heavily values family above all.
This means that individuals are forced or pressured into sacrificing themselves for the family’s sound more than it should be happening. We often fail to see the importance of self-care and giving our own feelings priority at times. This is partly because the Philippines is a collectivist country. This means that we value the group (our families) more than the individual (ourselves). This is in no way a purely negative aspect of being Filipinos. If anything, this is something we Filipinos should be incredibly proud of. However, just like most things, too much of one thing is almost always not a good thing. If we were to completely ignore our individual needs and wants for the good of our families, this could lead to so many problems like our own mental health suffering.
Each one of us, at one point in our lives, needs to become our person. For most, it is considered becoming an “adult.” However, becoming an adult is a challenging step in our lives as there is no set blueprint as to how to be an adult and what adults need to do. One of the final steps people take when they consider themselves to be adults and independent is the start of detaching themselves from their families to make their own and flourish. However, given the nature of Filipinos and how much we value our families and relationships with them, this may pose an issue to some. Often, this attempt to grow and become a better person is taken by some family members as disrespect or, even worse, cutting them off. This leads to conflict, which will make things worse.
We can do many things to mitigate or avoid problems arising between our family members and us while becoming our person. The most important one would be communication. A lot of issues stem from miscommunication or lack of communication. The lack of communication leads to misunderstandings and misplaced feelings, which could have been easily avoided. In this case, if we were to explain that we are doing what we are doing because we want to grow and better ourselves rather than abandoning our family, it could help avoid misunderstandings.
Setting boundaries is also crucial in terms of finding ourselves. We will be unable to grow if we keep ourselves in the same situation for all our lives. By setting boundaries, we create changes and new norms in which we will function differently.
However, finding the balance between too many limitations and too few boundaries is something each individual has to figure out, as pulling away too much or too little from our families is problematic. Mutual respect between the people around us and us is critical in developing into healthy individuals.
Munsey, C. (n.d.). Emerging adults: The in-between age. Retrieved March 23, 2021, from
What About The Philippines? (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2021, from https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country/the-philippines/