The new generation Filipinos – What’s different?
You know what I’ve always loved about the Philippines and Filipinos? The kindness. The caring. The selflessness. The love shown to family, friends, and even total strangers. The patience. The tolerance. The generous, giving and nurturing natures. The soft soft hearts!
I used to write letters to ladies in the Philippines back in the 90’s when I was newly divorced. The girls would usually say they liked singing, dancing, reading pocketbooks and doing housework. They also liked staying at home and helping mum. And it wasn’t hot air. They were telling the absolute truth. Two girls I was involved with back then were actually like that when I met them. They did housework, and they did it well! Up at 4:30 to 5:00am. A few hours of handwashing clothes. Cooking. Shopping at the market, all to take care of their parents and/or younger siblings.
No, these Filipinas weren’t my soulmates. We weren’t right for each other. But in hindsight I couldn’t say that either of them were actually selfish. Quite the opposite. One in particular? The issue was she got involved with me because my money could have been the saviour for her poor family. She was prepared to do anything for them, and did in fact put herself last. Not the stuff of a great relationship, of course. However the intentions were about caring for others.
My wife Mila? Her mum cooked. She and her sister would sell food out in the street when they were 7 or 8 years old. And no one told them to! They were happy to help. Older sister as a teenager? Devoted to caring for her younger siblings, and making the house immaculate. Spent her life working to support her family, and did so because she was following her big, kind heart! And the country was FULL of girls like that, and that was and remains the appeal. It’s not just pretty faces. Virtuous, good women!
The millennial new generation Filipinos – What happened?
I worry about the new generation of Filipinas…..a lot! How to describe them? Selfish! Self-centred. Oblivious to the needs of others, and believing the world owes them a living. Surrounded by kind and caring relatives who would give all for them, yet they do not emulate the caring. The kind relatives give! They take!
These are the ones who grew up with internet and phones. They are the ones whose parents struggled, and tried their hardest to protect their kids from the harsh realities that they grew up with, forgetting that a tough life with self-sacrifice and working hard for everything you have is character-moulding. Take that struggle away, and you rob them of the strong character that is the mark of a good person.
I think of some younger people I know. Life revolves around phones, friends and having fun. Adding the largest number of “friends” onto Facebook. Taking “selfies”. Being popular. Their mothers get up early and work hard. Them? Sleep in until 11:00am, no problem! Get up and start texting. Fiddle with the hair. Take selfies and upload them. And the days of “good girls” not drinking or hanging around nightclubs? All gone! Their mothers danced at barangay fiestas with their female cousins and went everywhere with chaperones. Not this lot!
I have a 30 year old nephew. His wife actually works for Down Under Visa. I can remember him telling me how before they were married she would visit him, and while she was there she would happily wash his clothes by hand. Slavery? Male dominance? Definitely not! She just cared about him. At the time I told him if he let her go he would be an idiot. They’re still together, because he knew how lucky he was and still does. The millennials? They wouldn’t even help their middle-aged mothers wash clothes, let alone a fiancé. Mila hand-washed my clothes the first time we met! And why not? I was (and still am) willing to take care of her. Why shouldn’t she take care of me? Yet the “new generation” would be far too wrapped up in themselves to even consider that. All about what the boy will do for them!
Look around and you will see them. Not always immediately obvious, because Filipinos are charming and sweet….even the selfish ones. They smile freely, and they generally speak sweetly. And if you are a sucker for a pretty face and a few giggles then you will find it very hard to recognise them. But take note of what they actually do with their time, and particularly who they sacrifice (or don’t sacrifice!) their time for. Do they do anything for others? Anything at all, and/or anything willingly? Or is it all self-directed? Do their parents carry heavy things and spend hours doing manual labour, whilst they sit around glued to phones? Once upon a time the priorities of young people revolved around trying to give their parents a break from all the decades of hard work that bought them their current easy lives, and certainly trying to not give them unnecessary stress and worry. Helping around the house. Caring for younger siblings. Studying hard and getting good grades and dreaming of giving their parents an easy retirement. Not this lot!
Our good Filipina ladies
I would think that most of you are like me. Remember that this article and this website are devoted to helping Aussie men with Filipina wives, fiancées and de facto partners to continue to enjoy and improve on their great relationships. Most of you have found great women in the Philippines, and what makes you love them most of all is how incredibly caring and selfless they are. That’s most definitely my story! That 7 year old girl selling food on the streets grew up to be the most caring and selfless person I’ve ever known. Everything is about others, just as it is with her mum and her sisters.
Yet the children of these sisters and brothers? In many cases you would swear they were from a different planet!
What can you do? Is there a solution? I wish I had a great conclusion here, but ‘fraid I don’t. They are surrounded by selfish peers with phones who wouldn’t lift a finger to help anybody, and yet continue to take and take with oblivion. I would implore you not to “kill them with kindness”. Don’t give them everything they want. Let them wait. Let them work for things. Teach them the word “no”. Expect them to help out. Pounce on selfishness. And limit the exposure to the phones and the me-me-me technology. Teach them the importance of conversation. Teach them the virtue of hard work. Eat dinner together as a family. Expect some higher standards more akin to what you expect of yourselves, because one day these will be the adults of this poor world and the parents of future generations.