When people move to the Philippines from the west. The biggest single complaint I hear is about the family moving in. How this seems to be the biggest invasion of privacy and inconvenience.
You must first understand the culture and how that culture operates to understand the dynamics that fall on this. The Philippines operates on the collective idea. Where everyone contributes to the family and assist each other. What is yours is mine and same the other way. This goes against the mentality of the western mind. The family is more then just blood and relationship. It is a way people live and survive. Understanding the economy and how poorly people are paid. Is just one dynamic of this structure. Let me give you an example:
My father-in-law is a farmer and carpenter by trade. He lives on 2 hectors of land and farms that. However there are times when the work is not there. Either the weather or crops are not ready. The same applies for his other trade of being a carpenter. So there are times when the money becomes lean. Yet living in the home is my Brother-in-law. He does not have a trade yet works at a bakery 6 days a week, 12 hours a day. He earns the bare min of 180 pesos a day. ($4.50) Now this income is not much and yet it is enough to assist the family or collective when those hard times of crops and work are limited. He assists in the farming along with his wife and my mother-in-law.
This type of living arrangement is very common in the Philippines. The reason is most people are living hand to mouth. They do not earn enough to save for that rainy day. What they earn today is tonight's meal.
|Wife and Tim Potter Philippines|
So when I hear people from the west complain about supporting the wife or girlfriends parents. I get this inner chuckle because they do not understand Filipino living and how they live as a collective for the greater good of the family.