Filipino Wife Not Allowed To Leave The House

One day Jessie came back from the bank and told me the banker said


Jessie, a Pretty Filipina!

“Its good your husband will allow you to leave the house without him.”  That, of course, was a very odd thing to me.  Husbands using the allow word in the USA is pretty close to using the divorce word!  🙂 Okay, so that is hyperbole!  I asked her about it and she told me that most pinoy don’t allow their wives to leave the house.

Of course, not all couples live by this rule.  I know quite a few that don’t.  I have learned should not apply the traditions of their home town to the entire Philippines. I’ve seen many times where Philippine traditions can be quite limited to localized. But, it is Jessie’s experience that more often than not, that Filipino husbands don’t allow this and most of the wives obey.  Obey is another high conflict word in American culture.

Culture of The Philippines

A few days ago, a Filipina sent a text message to me telling me that she was bored and a little lonely.  I was very surprised  to hear from her as I have not spoken to her in at least a couple of months. Since that day, I’ve sent her several text and she didn’t reply.  At the time, I asked her if she would like to meet Jessie and myself for lunch.  I had seen her out alone before, that’s where how we met her.  I have only seen her a couple of times though.  She told me she’s not allowed to leave the house except to deliver and retrieve her husband from work.

I was surprised and felt sorry for her.  She went  on to explain she’s in the house all the time.  I suggested that she talk to her husband about it as this is how many marriages end up in trouble.  She said that she didn’t have the courage to talk to him about stuff like that.  That too gives  insight into Philippine culture.

I suspect that many Westerners, especially women will be quick to cast judgment on her and him.  This is the Filipino way in many families.  It is Filipino culture, it is not an outsiders place to judge.  Family bonds are strong in the Philippines.  I know the USA could use some improvement in this area.  On the other hand, those strong bonds also bring a lot of pressure on Filipino.  It seems to me, mostly on pinay.

This is however, the Filipino way.  It may change some time, just as it has changed in American culture.  It wasn’t all that long where we heard “A woman’s place is in the home.”    Some American’s still believe this and that is okay.  Most o f us would respect that.  We should also respect the Filipino way.

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Filed under: Filipino CultureLiving In The Philippines

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