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THE BUNSO: Being the youngest child in a typical Filipino family

THE BUNSO: Being the youngest child in a typical Filipino family

We have all heard the story of being the eldest child, especially the daughter, in a typical Filipino household. The hardships, sacrifices, and pressure she had to endure for the family. We understand where they are coming from and we admire them. However, we have yet to hear the story of being the youngest child in a typical Filipino family. Being at the bottom of the food chain is difficult.

A stereotype about the youngest sibling is they are the parents’ favorite. The most loved, most nurtured, and “if my children are drowning, I would save them” child. Well, I hate to tell you that it is not usually the case. It is not always butterflies and sunshine. Sometimes, there is a storm the youngest child has to weather.

THE BUNSO: Being the youngest child in a typical Filipino family

Keeping up with the older siblings

Being the youngest child means all of your siblings had already proven themselves. They are academically smart, went to college, and found high-paying jobs. Basically, they are successful.

They set the bar so high that sometimes we have to double the ladder to reach it. Pressure is a common thing in a Filipino household. We eat it for breakfast. Yet, it is still different when parents have someone to compare you with. Not to mention that it is your sibling they are comparing you with – the one you share your room with.

Of course, it is no one’s fault. Your family does not say directly to your face that you have to be like your sister or your brother. But, it is always in the atmosphere – an unspeakable task that the youngest must accomplish.

Parental insurance

In the Philippines, it is not normal for children to move out of their parents’ houses. It is common for them to stay as long as they want. It is not frowned upon for children to live with their parents even if they have their own families.

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The culture of “utang na loob” has been normalized and applied in the family setting. We cannot take away the fact that our parents sacrificed a lot for our future and we owe it to them to repay their hardships.

On the contrary, the children have to save and prepare for their future. Older siblings are expected to start their own lives first. They mostly want to marry and create their own family.

In this case, the youngest is expected to shoulder all the bills and other expenses. This is also the time when parents start their retirement. So, the breadwinner will be the youngest child. It depends upon the financial capacity of the family when the youngest can start his life.

Most typical Filipino families are highly traditional. They have a lot of rules to follow. Each family member has their own set of stereotypes and roles to accomplish. At the end of the day, there will always be pressure, expectations, and standards to reach. For now, all we can do is do our best to be successful for our family and for ourselves.

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