Supporting Filipino Family Financially....... An Expectation Or Obligation? What To Do To Avoid Problems.

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Posted (edited)

Could it be that some of the "supporting family" problems Expats deal with is there maybe an unknown to us ongoing obligation to provide? That is to say the children (Filipina) are brought up (groomed) that they would provide for them? Guilt is a huge Filipino head game.

From my experiences and what I have read is in general there is an expectation children provide for elder parents as/if needed. Some sort of family consensus is made in how this would be done. Most of us would agree this is the right thing to do if those are in true need. This was normal in the States and Europe before social safety nets and health insurance became the norm.

 

If we ask our future wife or GF not sure we would get the whole story. Other than speaking directly to Mom Dad and Daughter what can you do to avoid issues later on?

Edited by Old55
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IMO, Supporting the family is both an expectation and an obligation in the Filipino point of view. It is the clan culture and the societal norm. If we pay close attention we see examples all around us. Houses with signs that say "Bed Spacer Available-Female only" these are daughters who leave the province, work at SM and the other stores and send the money home to the family. Unlike us westerners, when youngsters marry they don't get an apartment together, they move into the "family home" and the wages go into the kitty. Since the expected standard of living is so much lower than ours, food types, fan versus air con, etc. etc. one or two family members in a low paying job can support an entire extended family.

 

Having said all that, we should not be surprised, when the family of our spouse "expects" some financial support. It is their culture, the way they have been raised and yes they look upon a foreign husband as an asset to the entire family.

 

I remember when we were first married and moved to the states my wife could not wait until she could get a job so she would have "her own money" and yes she sent a lot of it home to her mother, even though the family back in the Philippines did not need it, she sent it anyway.

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IMO, Supporting the family is both an expectation and an obligation in the Filipino point of view. It is the clan culture and the societal norm. If we pay close attention we see examples all around us. Houses with signs that say "Bed Spacer Available-Female only" these are daughters who leave the province, work at SM and the other stores and send the money home to the family. Unlike us westerners, when youngsters marry they don't get an apartment together, they move into the "family home" and the wages go into the kitty. Since the expected standard of living is so much lower than ours, food types, fan versus air con, etc. etc. one or two family members in a low paying job can support an entire extended family.

 

Having said all that, we should not be surprised, when the family of our spouse "expects" some financial support. It is their culture, the way they have been raised and yes they look upon a foreign husband as an asset to the entire family.

 

I remember when we were first married and moved to the states my wife could not wait until she could get a job so she would have "her own money" and yes she sent a lot of it home to her mother, even though the family back in the Philippines did not need it, she sent it anyway.

They can expect all they like in my case but will get no support from me. My obligations start and finish

with my partner. She works and supports the last of her children through Uni, I ask for nothing in the house]

hold from her, other than the love and care she gives me.

I will never support or make contributions to any of the family. Their culture is their business, my culture

is keeping what I have for the benefit of my partner and a couple of grandchildren.

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Posted

Could it be that some of the "supporting family" problems Expats deal with is there maybe an unknown to us ongoing obligation to provide? That is to say the children (Filipina) are brought up (groomed) that they would provide for them? Guilt is a huge Filipino head game.

From my experiences and what I have read is in general there is an expectation children provide for elder parents as/if needed. Some sort of family consensus is made in how this would be done. Most of us would agree this is the right thing to do if those are in true need. This was normal in the States and Europe before social safety nets and health insurance became the norm.

 

If we ask our future wife or GF not sure we would get the whole story. Other than speaking directly to Mom Dad and Daughter what can you do to avoid issues later on?

 

I think it's a phenomenally relevant question to which could break down and try to answer. It wont be complete but it will be a start.

 

1. What you give or pay out in your first 3-4 months here is not an accurate measure of what you will give over the long term.

 

2,Never say never, you are always going to listen. I will listen to all possible requests, sure I ask Gina to screen them out, but she herself doesn't have the experience. All requests for financial assistance or  loan must go through me. I hope to say no but there's always a chance I might agree, on small scale.

 

3. Never say never repeat. If you always say no, you are a mean SOB and no one will like you. You might even get an unexpected backlash.

 

4. Care of the parents. If they support you, you support them also. If you occupy their house or land you give more. Preferably not in money. When you go to the supermarket you buy them a few extras. You pay their electric bill, but try not to give cash. Other family members will notice that, and will try to extract money from the old folks. sometimes the folks come to you asking loan for other family member. This is only a ploy, you refuse that.

 

5. Death in the family. Almost mandatory, an amount of 10,000 and up. No time to quibble with the amount. Find who is in charge and give them the amount you decide and tell them that's the amount you are giving full stop. Each day your wife buys biscuit's and etc to put out, let her handle that.

 

6. Food staples, rice, salt, oil, they can't live without that. I expect them to harvest a few 50 kg bags per year. As long as they contribute even only one bag I will supply the rice.

 

7. Food condiments and supplements. Gina buys enough for us plus a little more, if she runs out she has to buy from her weekly allowance. She has a weekly allowance for our food and a little extra she has freedom to use it. If ever she misuses it I might stop it for a week, but I'm a softie you know.

 

8. Sundry items, shampoo, soap, laundry product, bleach, toothpaste, coffee, sugar, ketchup, mayo, noodles, all on my restricted list, the more you put out the more they consume, the more we have to buy. We will keep noodles and pasta and stuff in stock, but Gina hides it. Things will go missing if ever we leave the house for a while.

 

8. Alcohol, stopped it long ago. Even me I don't keep drinks in the house. I text the sari sari lady if I really want a Pilsen, when it's cold, I will take a 2 minute walk down there and drink it down there, Seen a few fights and family disputes usually after drinks.

 

9. Birthdays, Death anniversaries et al. Honestly this is a Filipino thing and it's better to avoid otherwise the expectation is too high. Gina and me we avoid our own birthdays but what she will do is make a big pansit or miki miki and invite the neighbors late in the day, no drinks but soft drinks. This keeps everybody happy.

 

I have a few more but will post now.

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They can expect all they like in my case but will get no support from me. My obligations start and finish

with my partner. She works and supports the last of her children through Uni, I ask for nothing in the house]

hold from her, other than the love and care she gives me.

I will never support or make contributions to any of the family. Their culture is their business, my culture

is keeping what I have for the benefit of my partner and a couple of grandchildren.

 

 

Me too.  I made it very clear when we got together it was just me and her... not the whole family.  They were fine before I got here and will be fine after I am gone.  There were some "loan" requests early on but she and I both said no.  And meant it.  I would not have married her otherwise.

 

One exception was that I would make 1 (one!) small temporary loan, if I felt like it.  One of the uncles works for he school district and regularly does not get paid.  So I would loan p1,000 to tide them over until the check came in.  It was always paid back.  But a cousin (the uncles daughter) asked to get p5,000 to get a necklace out of hock (I did see the receipt).  My wife really wanted to help so we did.  The girl paid back p2,500 fairly quickly then stopped.  So for over a year there is no loan for anyone else.  Looks like I am out of the loan business for good now  :tiphat:

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Ultimately it will come down to "The Golden Rule" (he who has the gold makes the rules) IMO. My wife has her money which goes into her account quarterly and I am out of it from there-that's our compromise. Usually where there is a clash of cultural practices such as the "taking care of the family by all means necessary", I always thought it best to find agreed upon middle ground rather than to face the sometimes stressful decision on when to say yes and when to say no.

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The filipina way, love and give all you can to help the family, well what i have seen it does not happen how they way they say it does,

Keep the poor poorer while i can live a good life is what i see,

Family values well i think we have more here in England and that is saying something,

I am not saying all the people are like this , like anywhere you go there is good and bad in all, those who have nothing and those who have everything too,

In my short time and watching family life, i have seen that if the daughter marries it seems to be her husbands family comes first , the sons cant care less about anything other then looking good,

The poor parents still would do all they can for there kids but in truth the kids dont care at all,

And once the pale man from the west comes along well all there Christmases have come all at once, IF YOU LET IT HAPPEN,

I have no problem helping out when it is needed but i will not be taken for a fool again, they know that now plus i have learnt a hard lesson in finding this out,

But each to there own , its all about keeping everyone happy and the most important person is yourself

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It is predominant in the Philippines to take care of their elders, yes, but this support extents to other cultures as well, including the US. To me it is only natural to help out your parents who have toiled and labored to provide shelter, food, clothing, and even education for you. It is a natural consequence for many families living in Hawaii, including mine. Although my parents have never asked me for financial help, if they should need it, I wouldn't hesitate to provide what I can, whenever I can.

I can understand if the people complaining on this site have nothing to give, if they can barely take care of your own finances, but I bet this is not the case for the majority.

This is an aspect of the Filipino culture that appeals to me - the strength of family ties. And I am aware of the people that take advantage, but that should not deter you from the things that matter most.

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They can expect all they like in my case but will get no support from me. My obligations start and finish with my partner.
Didn't you tell in an other topic you are moving to Phils?   If so you can be FORCED to contribute   :)      The law say the family member with resourses HAVE TO support family member in need,

if they are retired,

or if they are younger AND have done their best to solve their problem.

 

Lucky for me I'm older than my future (?) parents in law, so they will have some harder to demand support because of their age, when I'm still working myself   :mocking:       

 

BUT I will do some Help-to-self-help for the family anyway IF I don't find them greedy 

E g finance a STARTUP of a few piglets breeding. And TELL them it's Help-to-self-help.

OR if I find I need to TEST them, then I make harvest/breed sharing with them, with some better deal for them than normal, but the invested money is MINE. If they behave good, I plan to give my share of the profit to the grandmothers, who are still alive, so the poor family don't need to support them. But one of the husbands is OFW, so I want to check how much he earn compare to me, so it's fair. 

1. What you give or pay out in your first 3-4 months here is not an accurate measure of what you will give over the long term.
Do you mean less or more later?

I claim DON'T spoil them in the beginning as many do. 

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When I married my wife, I had not the first clue about expectations or obligations.  Fortunately, I dodged that bullet.  We have never been asked for financial assistance. 

 

My experience has actually been the reverse.  We have been recipients of their generosity, all without asking.  We did not really need help, and never thought to ask.  Nevertheless, we were grateful for their kindness.

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