The Role of a Filipino Father in the Family

There is a dissenting view on whether or not our country, the Philippines, is truly a male-chauvinistic society.

Many would attest that Filipino mothers also wield a great deal of influence over family decisions, capable of changing their husband’s minds on major concerns, including political issues.

As an example, my father can be very rigid and uncompromising, but he would often concede to my mom’s opinion, provided her judgment is sound and reasonable.

Despite the fact that a Filipino father traditionally plays the role of protector, benefactor, and decision maker in the family–our mothers also excel in these areas.

More often than not, our mothers’ opinions carry a lot of weight when making family decisions, such as enforcing rules on their children or making financial decisions for the family.

However, the Filipino father, being the head of the family, still has the final say when it comes to making crucial decisions for the family. And though this cultural norm is widely observed, there are also those who diverge from it.

Filipino Father Characteristics

1. Altruistic and Selfless

Self-sacrifice is at the heart of Filipino family values and ideals, and Filipino fathers embody this core principle in their actions. Many Filipinos, for example, work overseas. They endure the agony of being away from home for years on end to provide financial support for their loved ones.

the role of a Filipino father

Many are willing to take on low-paying labor-intensive jobs. They work themselves to the bone as construction workers, trash collectors, and jeepney drivers. Others work like a mule for hours at a time in confined office spaces or at their desks at home.

2. Hardworking and Responsible

hardworking Pinoy dads

In addition to being hardworking, Filipino fathers go the extra mile to ensure their bosses are satisfied with their work. They take initiative to take on tasks that are outside the scope of their job responsibility, anticipate their employers’ needs, and strive to exceed expectations. 

One may attribute their elevated degree of professionalism to their fervent yearning to secure a prosperous and promising future for their loved ones.

3. They Are Disciplinarian

They adopt a strict approach when it comes to instilling discipline in their children. Children are taught to respect elders and to behave appropriately when interacting with others. 

Most Filipino fathers still use an authoritarian style of discipline when dealing with their children’s behavioral issues. This often involves hitting a child on the buttocks.

While they’re strict disciplinarians, their predominant demeanor towards their offspring is one of affection and warmth for the most part. In fact, if they are in a good mood, they can even succumb to their children’s unreasonable demands.

4. Having a Sense of Pride

Filipino fathers have a sense of pride in their children. It’s common for them to discipline their kids and set high standards to ensure their success.

Even though it may seem severe, such actions show a Filipino father’s commitment to his children. It’s a reflection of his desire to have his kids carry the family’s good name in a manner that brings pride to the clan as a whole.

Filipino father

5. Filipino Fathers Are Family Oriented

Family is a top priority for Filipino fathers. They are constantly striving to excel at their jobs in order to secure their families’ good future. They believe that providing for their families is their primary duty. Thus, they do the best they can to ensure that their loved ones have the resources they need to live comfortably.

From Sole Provider to Shared Responsibility: The Evolving Role of a Filipino Father

Filipino women’s financial contributions have been reshaping fathers’ provider role.

In the past, women were responsible for domestic chores, child-rearing, and among other duties, while men were traditionally the breadwinners. Since societies have become more inclusive and more women are going into the workforce, there has been a shift towards a more balanced sharing of responsibilities between partners.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Bakit ang ama ang haligi ng tahanan?

A father is colloquially referred to as the “haligi ng tahanan” or the “pillar of the home” because similar to the trunk of a tree – it provides a solid foundation for the rest of the family to grow and thrive. Hence, a father is a figurehead, responsible for safeguarding and providing for his family.

What is the Filipino word for dad? 

What Filipinos call their father depends on where they live in the Philippines, but we usually call our dads Itay or Tatay.