We Reap What We Sow
Kasi, di ba uso sa mga Kano to send away their elderly parents to old folks' homes or retirement homes? Samantalang dito sa tin, ang mga lolo't lola ay inaalagaan sa sarili nating bahay, out of love and continue to be treated respect.
Kung ugali ng mga Kiwi na pagdating ng 18 yrs old, sinasabi nila sa mga anak nila "Bahala ka na sa buhay mo", then di ba balang araw, ganun din ang gagawin sa kanila? Masasabi mo bang di magkalayo ang kultura ng Kano at Kiwi pagdating sa pag-aalaga ng nakababata at nakatatanda?"
Galing ito sa isang reader doon sa post ko tungkol sa schooling dito sa NZ. Very good questions. Siyanga naman, there is a Western way, where in children are made independent and expected to live on their own at age 18. And there is our Pinoy way, kung saan walang age limit. Children can stay with their parents as long as they want.
Then there is also the difference in the manner by which children treat their olds. The Western norm is to send their folks to retirement homes. The Pinoy way is for children to take care of their parents themselves.
Most Kiwis of European descent, katulad din ng ibang puti, they adopt the Western way. The only difference, I’ve noticed is that Kiwi families are more close to one another. Siguro dahil maliit ang NZ at kokonti pa ang population, kaya mas madalas pa rin magkita-kita sa mga happenings ang mga anak, magulang, apo, lolo, lola kahit na may kanya-kanya ng mga pamilya ang bawat isa.
I can’t cite any official stats, pero sa tingin ko, dito sa NZ, mas mababa ang divorce rate kumpara sa ibang Western countries. Over here, it is very common to see 80-90 year old folks, magka-holding hands pa rin at very sweeet pa. It is this closeness between husband and wife that helps bind the family together. You can’t expect the same closeness between parents and their children if they come from broken families. It is very common to see Kiwis mingling with their parents and grand parents. Para din tayo. The difference is that the olds here receive pension and government support, kaya pwede silang hindi mag-depend sa mga anak nila. NZ knows the importance of the family towards building a strong society, kaya nga meron ditong dedicated agency for the family - the Department of Child, Youth and Family.
I think medyo harsh yung sinabi kong “pwede nang palayasin” at age 18 ang bata. Para nga naman sinabi mong “bahala ka na sa buhay mo”. By law, the parents have to take care of their children until age 18. After that, it is the state’s responsibility to support the child kung hindi pa kaya ng bata ang mamuhay mag-isa. In the Philippines, we don't have this mindset because there is no state support to begin with. Dito, kahit na pabayaan ng magulang ang bata pag tuntong ng disi-otso, alam nila na di pa rin totally mapapabayaan ang bata. Sa atin, kapag pinabayaan ang anak ng wala pang hanapbuhay, gutom ang aabutin.
About this age 18 issue, although foreign to us Pinoys, I don’t think there is anything to be wary of it. Westerners simply want things to be planned, so they decided to put a deadline to their parenting role. But putting a deadline, doesn’t make them bad parents, (nor make us better parents because we don’t have any deadline).
Let me describe two scenarios. One scenario is a father who gives alimony (child support) to his son until the son reaches 18. As soon as the child reached 18, the father stops paying child support. Tells his son: “go away, find your own place, good bye.” You could say that this is a father who conformed to the minimum requirements of the law. Kung baga, ama lang sa pangalan.
The second scenario is a father who provided far more than the minimum financial support required by law. The father was with his son during his son’s birthdays and every special event. Took him to sports practices. Helped the child in his school work. Taught him good values. Trained him on practical things such as house work and money matters. Set up a savings/trust account for the child’s college education. In short, brought up the child to be a responsible human being, socially, financially, and emotionally, that at the age of 18, he knew his son is mature enough to go on his own. Eto ang ama sa diwa, salita at sa gawa.
I’m happy to say that most Kiwis I’ve been in contact with are still of the latter kind. As you can see, parents can abide by the same law with regards to rearing their children until age 18. But the manner of doing this and therefore the end results could be entirely different. And so it is true, that when one becomes old and frail, one can expect no more than what one has previously giveth.