Palwagan: the Filipino Bank

As I keep mentioning in my posts money management is one of the areas where a Westerner and a Filipina hardly see eye to eye.

Many people in the Western world like to save and invest while a lot of Filipinos who live and work overseas seem to be more inclined to spend all they’ve got in non-essentials like expensive cars, the latest smartphones etc. and they seem to go about spending rather casually. They also send money home to support various relatives who are not always in dire need. And so arguments about money are likely to arise pretty often in a Filipino-Western Intimate Relationship.

Another aspect involving money, that one who is contemplating entering a relationship with a Filipina needs to be aware of, is the so-called Palwagan.

What is it?

It’s an informal form of saving and lending money between friends, relatives, members of a community etc.

Basically, all the members in the paluwagan will throw in a certain amount of money into a pool of funds. This will then be kept by one of the members.

Although I trust the honesty and the good motives of those involved, this system scares me quite honestly so, as far as I am concerned, I stay away from it.

I keep stressing that, in order to enjoy a great relationship with a Filipina in spite of the Filipino traits that may generate arguments and conflicts, being “in love” is better than “being right”. However, when it comes to money, being “in love rather than right” must necessarily be balanced with being “rather careful”.

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