Words by Gianna Sibal
A lot of Filipinos think that being the bunso translates to being the ‘spoiled’ one, or the most ‘loved’ one out of all the other children in the family. Older siblings cherish them and feel the need to protect them, but they can’t deny that they also want to tear our heads off—because, seemingly, our parents give the most attention to us.
However, I like to think that it isn’t true—there are downsides to being the bunso that go unnoticed by a lot, even by our own families. So, here are 5 things all bunsos like me will relate to.
5. We are always expected to follow rather than to lead.
Because our older siblings are supposed to know better than us and, by extension, are therefore allowed to order us around when mom and dad are gone. We’re not really entrusted with responsibilities—and it’s not because we know nothing. They say it’s because we’re young and we know less than our older siblings.
Which sucks and isn’t true all the time.
4. We pay the price for our older siblings’ past mistakes.
Because our older siblings are our parents’ test runs, bunsos are given a lot of restrictions because of what our parents have experienced with our ates and kuyas in terms of parenting. We’re not allowed to do this because ‘remember what happened to your ate before?’; or we’re not allowed to do that because ‘huwag kang gumaya kay kuya’.
3. Our lives become a constant battle of comparisons with our older siblings.
And we are expected to do as well as them—actually, better than them. You’re also known through them—teachers in your high school (if you attended the same school as your siblings) ask you, “Kapatid mo ba si ______?” And that—it’s kind of sad that we have to get out of that label and have to make a name for ourselves as well.
BUT. We can’t really change the fact that we’re bunsos, and we have to live with it—but, with the negative things come the positive. Sometimes, a change in perspective is all it takes:
2. We know that our ates and kuyas always have our backs.
The first person I talk to when I cry is my ate. As much as we annoy each other, and as much as I feel that I need to be in the same pace as her in terms of life success and achievements, she is also my safe place. Our older siblings will be the first to offer to hurt the people who hurt us.
1. We learn from their advice and their past mistakes.
Though the downside is the restrictions, we are given a much clearer and better direction in situations that our siblings have already experienced before; and we learn from them. I’ve learned to be wiser when it comes to boys due to my ate’s past heartbreaks, and I can’t count how many times I’ve asked her for advice about college and orgs. Our older siblings didn’t have anyone before them to tell them how to do this and how to do that, and I’m actually really grateful that I have my ate as my guide.
Being the youngest in the family might not be the best thing in the world, but it isn’t the worst either.
(ALSO READ: The 20 Most Iconic Movie and TV Siblings)
Are you the bunso in your family? What do you think? Let us know!
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