Utang na Loob and Utang sa Lending Company

As I mentioned in the past, one of the hallmark characteristics of Filipinos is Utang na Loob, an inner obligation to pay back with interest a favour that was done to them, maybe decades ago, and this creates some sort of fabric of interdependence where everyone ows something to someone else.

OFW, because they are viewed as wealthy, are particularly expected to return favours and when they visit the Philippines many “creditors” show up from nowhere.

The problem is that OFW, more often than not, don’t really have the money that their relatives or friends in the Philippines think they have and, at least this is what happens in my country, OFW often get into utang sa labas and borrow money to help people in the Philippines.

Interestingly here in Italy we have lending agencies that advertise their services in various languages including Tagalog, meaning that Filipinos are among their best customers.

Utang na loob and the consequent utang sa labas is one of the reasons why most Filipinos who live in my country struggle to save up and many reach age 65 with zero money in the bank and mired in debt.

It is very hard these days to save up any money in my country, even if one is determined to avoid getting into debt, so, if Filipinos cave in to people in the Philippines who demand the payment of some utang na loob, there is very little chance for OFW here to make the grade financially.

2 thoughts on “Utang na Loob and Utang sa Lending Company

  1. i dont do utang na loob… my parents tried to psychologically manipulate us at the beginning of how we owe everything we have now to them and that we should send 500 euro every month to them.. hahaha… i just ignore it. they learned to find their own income.otherwise, they would really starve because i could be very “evil”. haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree. If OFW send money people in the Philippines become complacent. Better to teach them how to fish themselves than give them a fish


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