Taking Care Of Elders, A Filipino Specialty

Senior Citizens

“Why The Philippines is the Best place to Grow Old”

Growing old is not nice. In fact, it is ugly.
Your face will start to have wrinkles. Your eyesight will be blurred. And you will be weak as ever.
Oftentimes, aging is looked down upon as something to be dreaded.

That is why in some progressive countries, the working class must send their old parents into hospitals and nursing homes.
Not because they want to, but for reason that they are too busy to take care of their old folks.
They only see these senior citizens on holidays. Not a good sight to see especially when you know that you are soon going to be a golden-ager.

If you are old and you want to live a happy life, then I suggest you go to the Philippines. The Philippines has a huge emphasis on family. To the Filipinos, family always comes first. Everything else is 2nd priority.
In this country, the older family members are still viewed as a key part of the family… regardless of age.
In this nation, the younger people interact with older people regularly, so that wisdom and values can be passed down, and older people feel appreciated and cherished by their families and society at large, making them a vital part of their communities.
This transfer of wisdom, ethics, and values is large in part due to the respect and reverence that the Filipino cultures hold for their elderly.

I am one of the Filipinos who received this wisdom and values from my Parents and Grandparents.
I was very close to my Lolo & Lola not only because they took care of me and spoiled me rotten, but they taught me the right conduct and proper manners.
And by the time they got old and weak, it was my turn to take care of them and see to it that they get the love and attention that they truly deserved.
My Grandparents (both Father and Mother side) are long gone. But the memories and wisdom that they taught me still carry on.

This wisdom that I’ve learned is now being passed on to my children as we speak.
Now, it’s my kid’s turn. They make it a point to visit their Grandparents as often as possible.
My kids visit their Grandparents in the province every month. They bond with them, help them with their chores, and video call them when they are back home in Manila.
They also check on my Dad (their only living Grandparent on my side) here in Manila when they have the chance.
My eldest Luigi sends pictures and stories on Messenger and always communicate with his Lolo.

Yes, my kids are lucky and blessed to have their Grandparents who are still in their 60’s and still healthy.
But sadly to say, it is not always rainbows and butterflies.
My sons have an unmanageable and unyielding Great Grandmother who is approaching the age of 90.
Their Lola-sa-Tuhod is what they call “Makulit & Relentless”. Their Lola always shouts and cries for no reason.
She is uncooperative and unreasonable most of the time. She calls everybody and seek the attention of everyone looking for affection.
It’s not a pretty sight. Their Lola has to wear diapers and is on a wheelchair. As I said, it’s ugly.
Still, my children are not bothered even a tiny bit. To my kids, they understand that growing old is not to be dreaded. They know that aging is simply a transition into a different stage of life.
So these 2 boys in the picture (My boys) still do take care of their Great Grandmother even when she sometimes is frowning and complaining.
They will always believe that their Great Grandmother was once a kind and sweet lady and only her sickness and old age made her change in a manner of speaking.

That is why they call it “It’s more Fun in the Philippines”.
It is not just the beautiful beaches and wonderful landscapes. The Senior Citizen is having fun too.
They are more valued and appreciated in this country even if they get stubborn and ugly.

Just look around you. You will often see smiles and laughter of the elderly almost everywhere.
Regardless if they are rich or poor, sick or not, pretty or ugly… they are all “Happy as a Bird”!

My foreign friends notice this unparalleled culture of ours when they visited the Philippines.
Although they are much aware that we are a poor country, they found some treasure that is way more valuable than Oil, Gold, and Diamonds.
It is the Filipino unique trait and values of loving and taking care of people.
“Yung pagbibigay respeto sa nakakatanda ang isang pinaka-mahalagang katangian na nakatatak sa ating kaugalian”.

We Filipinos take care of our elders not only because they are our responsibility and obligation but more because we love our elderly so dearly.

I’m happy to be a Filipino! I’m blessed to be born in this beautiful country.
Indeed, taking care of elders is a Filipino Specialty.
It is an exclusive privilege that our Senior Citizen are benefiting, and us the younger ones are truly proud that we have this rare and unprecedented values that we will pass on from generation to generation.

Written on June 28, 2019