Working for Parents and Siblings: A Filipino Tradition that Traps Individuals

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Filipino families.

I’ve just been thinking of this for quite a while now because many of my friends are working their asses off for their families and spend so little time and money on themselves.

One of my closest friends has been working three jobs to support his mom, dad, two siblings, a niece and two nephews. My friend has always been very hardworking. He works late hours and gets sick often.

I always remind him to rest, but he jokingly tells me he doesn’t have the luxury to slack off because he has mouths to feed.

52382630 2155000734583338 8078811815665991680 n

I am in a similar situation.

I’ve been working for 10 years now, but I haven’t moved out of my parents’ home. It’s a little because of the comforts that come with staying, but it’s also because I am the one who supports the family. I pay for our utilities and groceries, and send my sibling to school. I usually save my money for all of those things and the last things I spend my money on are the things for myself.

Many Filipinos stay with their families because they are obliged to give back, to pay what was given to them.

In a typical Filipino situation, once you graduate and get a job, you give your first salary to your parents instead of actually prioritizing on saving money.

I was never taught how to save; but after years of working, I realized that it is very important to save money for future needs and to focus on yourself a little.

Many millennials don’t move out of their parents’ home because this tradition of working for their parents and siblings is holding them back. This is also the reason why many millennials are single. Instead of giving themselves the chance to go out and meet people, they work long hours and go home afterwards to rest for the next working day.

Self-care or self-love is a little hard to come by nowadays because individuals prioritize the happiness, needs and wants of their families before themselves.


Most people who work for their parents and siblings end up stressed and itching for a vacation just to unwind and focus on themselves.

I remember watching a local movie called ‘This Guy’s in Love with U Mare!’ where Luis Manzano had to give money to his family. It’s the same situation that most Filipinos face everyday.

What do you think of this scenario?