Filipino caregivers: Service with a heart

Filipinos are characteristically good-natured, especially at work. We are known for our industry, passion and compassion.  Not surprisingly, therefore, companies and employers prefer Filipinos, particularly in hospitality and service industries.

In a study done by Taiko Immamura and Isamu Saito of Rissho University and Mariko Miyagi of Hosei University in Japan, the researchers took note of the characteristics and skills of Filipino caregivers that make them widely accepted and preferred worldwide by foreign clients who are under treatment.

In the study’s abstract, the researchers noted that Filipinos work all over the world as caregivers, and behind the success of the Filipinos in the field of care service are the unique aspects of some skills and traits they bring along with them to foreign lands. They went on to identify the following traits and cultural values as the most associated with Filipinos: deep respect for the elderly, close family ties, flexibility and creativity, hard work, pakikisama (getting along with others) and proficiency in the English language.

Here are direct quotes from their study:

Deep respect for the elderly. “Filipinos can be considered as exceptional in this respect since being a caregiver is not only a matter of profession and thereby getting good compensation but this is something about deep love, respect and care to someone of old age or anybody else who needs treatment, be it physical or emotional disability. This is something rooted in Filipino culture and an identity as a Filipino.”

Close family ties. “This is a significant factor that contributes to the expertise of the Filipinos. That is, relationship among Filipino families extends to something of higher importance and a great value. Filipino caregivers have the edge of offering good services in a foreign land since, in this context, the patient or client badly needs the utmost attention, understanding and care of the immediate family.”

Flexibility and creativity. “Filipinos are flexible and adjust to whatever happens, and that the Filipinos are creative, resourceful and quick learners. This is particularly shown in the ability of the Filipinos to create and produce something.”

Hard work. “Filipinos have a great capacity for hard work, given proper conditions. The desire to raise one’s standard of living and to possess the essentials of a decent life for one’s family, combined with the right opportunities and incentives, make the Filipino work very hard. This is manifested most noticeably in the willingness to take risks with jobs abroad and, while there, to work two or three jobs.”

Pakikisama. “This trait of pakikisama, or getting along with others is not something like a camaraderie only with other people, but is also serving as a useful tool in building a good relationship with others by extending help. No wonder then that Filipinos are much at home to this kind of service since it is within one’s value as a Filipino.”

English proficiency. “The English language is no longer foreign to the Filipino people. It is a part of the education system of the Philippines and the daily life of Filipinos. Mostly, even ordinary Filipinos converse with their fellows in the English language. In a study conducted by McBride [2001], it confirms the proficiency of the Filipinos elders in English language abroad, particularly in the United States of America.”

The news that the United States will need a huge number of caregivers in the next 10 years due to its growing aging population presents employment opportunities for the Filipino caregivers. Given the latter’s proven characteristics and skills relative to the job, they are certainly even at an advantage over their peers.

But who cares for the caregivers?

The challenge now, not only for Filipino caregivers in the US but worldwide, is to guarantee that they also get the care and compensation they equally and rightfully deserve.  Sadly, however, this is not the case for some Filipino elderly caregivers in America.

According to a policy report by three California-based researchers, most Filipino elderly caregivers in the Los Angeles area work past retirement age, among other things, due to lack of employment protection and benefits.

While the state of the US-Philippines relations hangs loosely in the balance today, given the change of leadership in both countries, may the best interest of each country’s citizens take primacy above all.

Meantime, let’s celebrate the Filipino caregivers around the globe who continue to show the world what it means to sincerely and diligently serve with a heart.


For comments and suggestions



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Article

Desert survival

Next Article

Church tied up with the elite

Related Posts

Read more

‘A new day is dawning’

ON March 20-22, 2023, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Russia, meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin both in official and unofficial capacity. From those discussions came a statement from Xi that is profound in its implications.

Siegfred Bueno Mison, Esq.
Read more

A different kind of 5S

IN her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up,” author Marie Kondo said that if a thing, whether a piece of clothing, a book, a gadget, or even a memento, does not spark joy, discard it. After all, memories are best kept in the heart and not in souvenirs. Kondo essentially says that tidying up things translates to tidying our lives.