Close Family Ties

The Filipino has very close family ties. The family has been the unit of society and everything revolves around it. The Filipino family ordinarily consists of the grandparents, the parents, and the children. The father is the head of the family, but while he rules, the mother governs. For it is the mother thet reigns in the home: she is the educator, the financial officer, the accountant, the censor, the laundrywoman, anf the cook. But over and obove the "ruler" and the "governor" are the grandparents, whose opinions and decisions on all important matters are sought. Will a new-born child be baptized? The grandparents are consulted and what they say carries much weight. Ignore them and you risk their stinging rebuke.

Is the child sick? Will you call a doctor? Wait a minute, the grandfather thinks an herbolario (herb doctor) is enough. He has reached his ripe old age without having known a doctor. Do you think you can reach his age? Why, then, should you risk the life of the child by calling in somebody whose experience is limited to turning gadgets he, an old man, does not understand? No, he will not allow his beloved grandchild to be touched, by the medico. You wring your hands in sheer frustration, appeal to him in the name of modern science - and get a stern look or a verbal dressing down for your efforts. The "tyranny" of the elders is such that the Filipino family, in spite of the inroads of modern civilization, has remained basically the same.