The Changes in the structure of the Filipino Family
The Filipino family was considered as the backbone of the state (Carandang, 2008). That is why alterations in the family’s beliefs, practices, structures and members’ responsibilities immensely influence the nation’s constancy. These changes have put our “traditionally- structured” families at jeopardy.
How the children in the family are being socialized is also subject to change that leads to inconsistency of the adaptation of the society to the small scale institutions like the family. I will give three visible changes in the structure of the Filipino family that are changed and continuously changing as of now. The first noticeable change in the Filipino family for the past two decades is the rise of the “OFW Families”. “OFWs send $14 billion to the country.
The stable and low salaries of the bourgeoisie as well as the minimum wage- earners and consistently increasing consumer’s basic goods lead them to decide to earn money somewhere. And some of the parents don’t just work there, they also tend to bring their families and live there as well and some parents leave their children in the custody of their grandparents. This is somehow alarming because if these phenomena will continue, no more Filipinos will be nurtured in their own lands and a sudden death of our cultural birthright will take place.
Second is the progress in technology that distresses the arrangement of the family members’ communication. The usage of cell phones, computers and the internet has been a great help in the prompt communication of the members of the family especially to those members who are working overseas. But like the other changes that occur, these advances also bring annoyances to the Filipino family. These are computer game addictions that contribute to the problems being faced by the heads of the family as of the moment, online gambling of the parents leading to financial burdens, cyber sex and sexual violence to the adolescents in the family (Carandang, 2008).
Lastly are the changing roles of women in the society. Women in the family in the past are entitled to be housewives who took care of the household chores and the providers of childcare of children of the family. But today women particularly the mothers are now called the “working moms”.
And every now and then these women are the breadwinners of the family that leads to other phenomena called the “househusbands” wherein the fathers are the ones who takes care of the chores and the children. At some point, this change is a good thing for it contributes to the empowerment of the women but in the part of the men in the family specifically the roles, the power and authority of the fathers are being questioned that triggers the supremacy, self- esteem and controlling capabilities of the “authentic” fathers.
The paradoxes in the Filipino family
Medina has pointed out so many changes in the Filipino family particularly in the weakening of the family bonds, lone mothers, media violence and communication, Filipino family members overseas and the sudden decline of the population of the members in the family but I would like to identify one particular change that can be coincided with a paradox in Graham Crow’s “Family sociology’s paradoxes, March 2005”. Medina presented in her book that a typical Filipino family is structured by the great influence of urbanization and industrialization that weakens family ties. This urbanization includes the power of the media, accurate communication to each family members of the family.
Many are saying that urbanization has been great phenomena that happened to the family for it provided advance technologies to help strengthen the family bonding. But according to paradox highlighted by Crow on his third paradox that domestic technology liberates housewives from the burden of the many chores in the household but it is not. It is said that “more is less”. More inventions is less chores but the reality is that the more you advance the technologies through inventions, the more the expectations, needs and wants of the family the more you have difficulties in providing it.
But as the advances in technology increases the workload of each member also increases. Increase in the usage of commodities like clothes, food and shelters and also an increase in the expectations of the families. Another problem with urbanization is that it weakens the family ties which are contradicting to the function of advancement of communication that is to strengthen family ties to members who are far away to their families.
The Filipino family towards Breakdown, Democratization and Continuity
Because of the social factors affecting Filipino nowadays many viewpoints arise when it comes to the existence of the family in a society. When it comes to the breakdown at some point some of the culturally bound norms of a Filipino family are at stake. Because of the “de-traditionalization” of the family, due to rapid changes in the society, some predicted that we are at some reason towards a breakdown.
Each member of the family are entitled with personal freedom at the present time that may lead to the democratization of the Filipino family. And because our country is a democratic one, no wonder that its constituents are also democratic as declared by the law. This may be the roots of development and economic progress because everyone has the right to give their capabilities and judgments for the betterment of their family and their country. Our family is undergoing democratization at some point.
Is the Filipino family towards continuity? My answer is yes. Because even though many changes occurred in the past years in the Filipino family there are factors that still remains visible like the personal attachments of each family members to each other, their trusts and values. Filipino family is undergoing a life cycle wherein when new changes occur; the things at the present times will be replaced and at some point will come back after sometime depending on the kind of relationship that a family have formed. For example in the past women were made for household and childcare tasks but today they are members of the labor force and at some point in the future, their past obligations will come forth again.