The “utang” culture in the Philippines is so deeply embedded that it almost comes naturally. Most of the time, people lend money without hesitation; and more often than not, they don’t mind if their friends and family don’t commit to paying back after a certain time, if even at all.
Filipinos are not very financially literate. Most Filipinos don’t have bank accounts and don’t believe in savings. Most Filipinos have bank accounts for their payroll, only to withdraw all of the money after their salary is deposited. This is also connected with how Filipinos are quick to lend money, and why money lending is such a booming industry here. There are money lending apps, small financial institutions, and even the neighborhood 5-6.
Since family ties are very tight in the Philippines, it gets even harder to ask for your money back. Filipinos have developed a sort of understanding that money can be lent between family members without any strings attached, or as others call it, pay when able.
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
This quote strongly resonates with me. I value money because I work hard for it. Others should also value it, as well, and make sure that they earn every peso the hard way. It’s always better to make people work hard for their money instead of just giving it to them. You might want to consider buying something from them or availing of their services in exchange for their money.
I remember lending money to a friend five years ago, and she still hasn’t returned that money. I often joke about it when I see her, but she just shrugs it off. Though it was only Php5000, it was still my hard-earned money and she never said she wouldn’t be able to pay it back.
Money lending should provide security to the lender; it is called “lend” for a reason, after all. There should be a committed timeframe on when the money will be returned or if any interests will be incurred. Ideally, money should grow when it is being lent. However, when you lend money to your friends and family, money doesn’t grow. Sometimes, it doesn’t even return.