Many comparisons have been drawn between the “de buena familia” good families and the “nouveau riche” of Manila, Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Davao, and the rest of the Philippines. But there is one thing I have not seen discussed, and it is the clan profile of a “de buena familia” vis-a-vis that of a nouveau riche/newly prosperous one.
Very noticeable in “de buena familia” good Filipino clans is that many members [ apart from the omnipresent miscreants and bad eggs ] are interesting, productive, sometimes outstanding individuals. The streak is noticeable in nuclear families, then the clan in general, and extends even to their allied families. In keeping with the culture of wealth and financial savvy, the young are provided with “good education” that hopefully ensures their future, “good” [ read: stringent ] not only in terms of academic excellence but also “good” [ read: well-off, if not outright rich ] in terms of classmates/peers having a similar, well-provided quality of life. Postgraduate degrees in prestigious universities abroad, the more and the more expensive the better, are essential for the competitive edge in later professional life. Because of generations of financial stability, even affluence, “good marriages” not unlike corporate mergers further and assure enjoyable social, and later profitable business, connections. That is why Lolo A is Chairman of the Board of Company A, Lolo B the majority stockholder of Conglomerate B; Lola C is President of Company C, Lola D is Chair of of the Board of Company D. It is why Daddy is Chairman of the Board of of Company E and Mommy is the President of Company F. And why Tito G heads Corporation G and Tita H owns Company H. It’s All in the Family, Filipino-style.
What is interesting in nouveaux riches/newly prosperous Filipino clans is that it is usually just one family member, or if they’re lucky then one nuclear family, who has “made it big.” Then the relatives, by degrees of closeness, gravitate and revolve around him/her/them like moons around a planet or planets around the sun. Thus, in such a family, it is not surprising that the housekeeper is actually a maternal aunt, the “yayas” female cousins, the drivers uncles and male cousins, the secretaries sisters, and so forth and so on. One can certainly take the view that the successful family member has taken on the duty of uplifting everybody else in the family or clan. Very Filipino.
What are your observations?