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Family Composition

It is difficult to classify the Filipino family as it tends to change in composition from time to time. The latest statistics available show that a typical Filipino family consists of six persons (three females and three males) but this is not complete family. Of this six members, three are aged 15 or over (parents and one young adult); the other three are under 14. The young adult may have left and established household, by the time the data were printed. The urban (6, 4) household is slightly larger in number than the rural (6.08) and contrary to general observation, a higher proportion of nuclear family households (77.0) are in rural rather than urban centers.

An explanation of the statistics may be found in Filipino customs Newlyweds usually live with the grooms family until the first child is born and then they move into a home of their own which is often close to the parent. In this way, several units of the extended kinship group eventually, live in close physical proximity to one another insuring. Interdependence and close association. This system has led many social scientists to think of the Filipino family as an extended family (father, mother their children and other bilateral relatives) as contrasted to the nuclear (father, mother, and their children). The unit of family is the nuclear family, but the Filipino term “pamilya” embraces everyone affiliated through consanguinity (blood relation) and compadrazgo, (ritual relatives) whether present in the household or not. Pamilya refers to bilateral relatives who may either live with the family or in the same neighborhood plus siblings who maybe away from home.

A number of studies have tried to explain the prevalence of extended family households in Metro Manila. Urban families usually enjoys higher incomes so relatives from the provinces tend to seek their help in finding jobs or places to stay while studying or working in the city. Parents feel more secure if they know their children are with relatives rather than in impersonal boarding houses; besides, it is cheaper to live with city relatives, although a network of “utang na loob” is involved. Affordable lodgings and land are scarce in cities; hence doubling of household’s results.

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