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Filipino Family Values

Filipino Family Values

Filipino Family Values

The Importance of Family Values

The formation of values is vital to an individual's socialization. Situations in which values are developed and nurtured include the home, school, workplace, and other environments that are important to the individual. Some may include obtaining knowledge, wisdom, and necessary skills and then using them in your home and elsewhere. While many values can be taught or instilled externally, values are arguably more enduring when they are picked up on their own.

5 Traditional Filipino Family Values and Traits

The Filipino family traditionally holds many values that have been treasured and passed on for many generations. These values are incredibly beneficial. Read on to learn about traditional Filipino family values.

1. Paggalang (Respect)

  • In the English translation, paggalang means to be respectful or to give respect to a person.
  • Filipinos are accustomed to using the words “po,” “opo,” and “ho” when they are conversing with older people or, sometimes, with those who play important or prestigious roles in society. Using these words is customary in the Philippines and shows respect.
  • Paggalang can also be shown toward elders by kissing their hands to say goodbye and as a greeting upon arrival.
  • Younger members of the family can show respect toward older siblings by calling them kuya (older brother) or ate (older sister).

2. Pakikisama (Helping Others)

  • Pakikisama means getting along with people in general.
  • There is a general yearning to be accepted and well-liked among Filipinos. This applies to friends, colleagues, bosses, and relatives. This desire is what steers one to perform pakikisama.
  • The word pakikisama literally translates to "helping others." Therefore, this trait usually fosters general cooperation and the performance of good or helpful deeds, which can lead to others viewing you in a favorable light.
Younger members of the family can show respect toward older siblings by calling them kuya (older brother) or ate (older sister).

Younger members of the family can show respect toward older siblings by calling them kuya (older brother) or ate (older sister).

3. Utang na Loob (Debt of Gratitude)

  • Utang na loob means to pay your debt with gratitude.
  • With utang na loob, there is usually a system of obligation. When this value is applied, it imparts a sense of duty and responsibility on the younger siblings to serve and repay the favors done to them by their elders.

4. Pagpapahalaga sa Pamilya (Prioritizing Family)

  • Pagpapahalaga sa pamilya: placing importance on your family.
  • This implies that a person will place high regard on their family and prioritize that before anything else.
  • For example, this is why it's not uncommon for a father or a mother in a Filipino family from the Philippines to seek employment abroad or take a job they don't want just to earn a decent wage to support their family. They've placed the utmost priority on meeting the family’s basic needs and practicing pagpapahalaga sa pamilya.

5. Hiya (Shame)

  • Hiya means shame.
  • Hiya controls the social behaviors and interactions of a Filipino. It is the value that drives a Filipino to be obedient and respectful to their parents, older siblings, and other authorities.
  • This is also a key ingredient in the loyalty of one’s family.

Traditional Filipino Values

  1. Respect for family. Close family ties are extremely important to the average Filipino, who is taught to believe that family members should be cared for and supported, no matter what.
  2. Respect for older generations. Most Filipinos have high regard for the elderly, especially parents and grandparents.
  3. Respect for community. There's even a word for this: Bayanihan, a spirit of camaraderie and kinship. Filipino individuals are taught to care for and support all of their extended communities without expecting to be repaid.
  4. Hospitality for all. Mabuhay! Welcoming, feeding, and making guests comfortable is a big deal in the Philippines. Before they leave, guests are given pasalubong to take with them.
  5. Generosity. Filipinos are expected to be generous, both with their loved ones and with the community as a whole.
  6. Flexibility, adaptability, and a positive outlook. Filipinos are usually encouraged to look at the bright side and ascribe to bahala na, which means “whatever happens, happens.”
  7. Hard work. Matiyaga is an important value in the Philippines.
  8. Compassion. Damayan is sympathy for those who have lost loved ones and the act of supporting the bereaved in times of grief. Empathy is extended to all in the Filipino community including strangers, outsiders, and the homeless.
  9. Faith and religion. Most Filpinos practice religion and have a strong faith.

Respect in the Filipino Culture

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.


Ha on January 23, 2020:

Respect isn’t a hierarchy

Helping others should be a selfless act

Shame is manipulative on August 05, 2018:

Nakaka - touch

lorejane achivar on January 24, 2018:

wow! its a great and good idea for us,,how to learn to this kind of filipino culture values...its nice to show it to evryone.thank u


Princess Nicole Salta on July 11, 2017:

its great idea and i love it

mj on June 08, 2017:

wow nicecomment

analyn cabatingan on April 22, 2013:

it nice to read about Filipino culture values but please, cite some references for the validity of infomation. Thanks!

lina on September 18, 2012:

am very proud of our filipino values. its an inspiration to every family.

man lupet on July 09, 2012:

lagi namn yan ang nakikita ko

baby-care from Philippines on July 04, 2012:

It's a great idea to share our important values as a filipino and really feels great to be a filipino citizen

Dynaliza Pamaylaon on June 27, 2012:

i am so really proud that i am a filipino citizen.... All i can proud off is the filipino values... My parents keep on inculcating me to value the filipino values..

cool guy on June 25, 2012:


dane dyvid calabria on June 13, 2012:

im very proud to be a filipino!seing those filpino values make me so proud.

Gener Geminiano from Land of Salt, Philippines on July 29, 2011:

Have a good day too, Thelma and thanks a lot for dropping by...

Thelma Alberts from Germany on May 10, 2011:

Hi Emilgen2011. It is good to read a great Hub about our Filipino Family Values. Yes, family is very important to us whatever happens. As what I heard before "Blood is thicker than water." Have a good day!