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Family Description & Structure

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Essay title: Family Description & Structure

Family Description & Structure

Even though the Agbayani family is of Filipino descent, they can be seen as similar as any other working class nuclear family living in the United States. Reynelyn's household and immediate family consist of her father (Rodrigo), mother (Lorna), older sister (Heidi), younger brother (Leo), and herself. Her extended family on her father's side live in Seattle and her extended family on her mother's side live in Ilocos Sur, a provincial state in the Philippines. Both of her parents have jobs and are the main providers for the family. Some of the money that her parents make is used to help her father's parents and relatives here in Seattle and some is also sent to the Philippines to help the family of her mother's side. Reynelyn and her sister use some of the incomes they make to help out with bills and house payments. In Filipino culture and tradition it is highly considerate for the young members of the family to return portions of their earnings to their roots. This example can be seen in both of her parents giving money to her grandparents and both her and her sister giving portions of their paychecks to help her parents.

Since Extended family is a big part in many Filipino families, we try to live as close as possible as we can to each other in the Philippines as well as the United States. This kind of kinship and bonding can be demonstrated in her family. Most of the relatives on her father's side of the family live two miles down the street from them. The members of her father's extended family that live in that household consist of her grandmother, grandfather, cousins, three uncles, and two aunts. Reynelyn and her immediate family are always in contact with their relatives. They spend and average of 25 to 25 hours a week together at their house or the house of her grandparents. During family gatherings they cook enough food to serve 10 to 20 people, have 1 or 2 tables open for gambling (cards and mahjong blocks), and gather around the couch to talk and socialize. The children are either watching television, playing basketball, singing karaoke, and are even allowed to gamble.

Themes & Rules

One of the main themes with her family is religion. As observed in the genogram, you can notice that all of the family members from either side belong to the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ). Some of the rules associated with the Iglesia Ni Cristo include: going to church twice a week, participating in missionary work, no premarital sex, and not dating anyone outside the religion. Another main theme present within the genogram is smoking. Most of the males in the Agbayani side of the family smoke and combined with hypertension, this could lead to serious consequences and complications in the long run. Since smoking isn't illegal and since they have the money for it, it isn't really taken into consideration. The members of the family that don't smoke usually try to encourage the other members of the family to stop smoking. Since they are a traditional Filipino family, they don't go to outside sources (such as counseling or support groups) for help, instead they try to keep inside and deal with it only as a family. Another small and interesting theme is the fact that all the children's names of her grandparents on her father's side of the family start with the letter "R" and the fact that all the children's names of her grandparents on her mother's side start with the letter "L". There is no general rule to this theme and the only reason Filipinos do this is make it easier for parents and relatives to keep track of the children.

Analysis of Family Health Status

Hypertension seems to be one of the only health problems that has roots in both sides of the family. The probable reason for this is although Filipino diets are lower in fat and cholesterol and because meat is expensive and scarce in the Philippines, the salt content is off the charts. Salt is used as the main preservative because of lack of adequate refrigeration in rural parts of the Philippines. The part of the family that resides here in Seattle is getting treatment and are educated enough to make the right food choices and how to maintain their health. The mother's side of the family, in the Philippines, are the ones that should be taken into greater consideration because lack of money, lack of treatments, and lack of knowledge could put this part of her family in jeopardy.

Another health issue that has been brought to my attention from the genogram was eczema. Eczema seems to have all of its roots in the Agbayani side of the family. Since most of the members of the Agbayani family live in the

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