The Father

The breadwinner role played by the husband is extended to his rote as a father. The father's main duty is to provide for his family as well as he can. It is a proud father who can say he put all his children through school and an even prouder one who can boast of seeing his children through college. Education is considered the best gift parents can give their children.

Many Filipino fathers also see it as their role to build up a business to ensure their children a place in life when they grow up and join the workforce. It is seen as an inheritance they can leave to their children upon their death. It is important to Filipinos that lie leave something to their children-through this they eel they an continuing to provide for their children even when the latter are able to provide for themselves. Parents think it is their duty to give their children a better life than the one they had. This is how the present dynasties in the Philippines were built-a family business passed from generation to generation with each generation improving and expanding it. In leaving his children more than he received, a Filipino feels he has been a good father.

The Filipino father is a ceremonial figurehead. He is the head of the family, but in many cases, in name only. He is treated like royalty at home-the children must be quiet when he is asleep, they bring him his slippers when he gets home, cater to his whims and needs and take pains not to get in his way or arouse his anger because he works hard all day and needs to rest and relax. Hence they do not usually consult him about their problems. As a father he does not usually have much to do with the children's upbringing. That responsibility is designated to the mother.

The father is a disciplinary figure used by the mother to threaten the child into obedience, e.g. she might say stop teasing your sister or your father will belt you when he comes home. This sometimes results in the children growing up in fear of their father and never getting to know him as a person. The Filipino only plays the role of father when his children are in their teenage years, whereupon he becomes more aware and more controlling of their activities, His role as disciplinarian is even stronger now because the wife seems to feel less capable in this area once the children are older. This is due to the disciplinary methods she uses (threats and bribery) which become less effective when the children get older. But the Filipino father's most important role or duty is still that of provider and the role is a lifetime one.