The Ate & Kuya are positions of power within Filipino culture. If you plan to date a Filipina, it’s important to understand how this concept works.
How the Ate / Kuya Factor Impacts Your Relationship with a Filipina
The Ate / Kuya Factor – Who’s in Charge?
In the Philippines, the eldest daughter in the family is known as Ate (prounounced Ah-Tay). If the Ate is the first-born child, then she is in charge of all her siblings.
The Ate almost rules with the power of a parent. When she tells the younger brothers and sisters what to do, they do it.
Now, if the Ate has an older brother, her power is limited significantly as compared to being the eldest child. She is still the Ate, but only to siblings younger than her.
The eldest male child is known as the Kuya (pronounced as coo-yah). If the Kuya is the first-born child, he is very respected and commands authority on the same level as the parents. It’s almost as if the Kuya’s job is to handle the daily affairs of his siblings. He’s sort of like a third parent rather than a brother.
Why does this even matter?
Well, you have to take it into consideration based upon your own personality. For example, if you are used to calling the shots in your household (like me), then you may clash if your girlfriend is the oldest child and the Ate. She has grown up telling others what to do. She is used to being in charge. Therefore, it may cause a power struggle.
If your girl is one of the younger siblings, and her oldest sibling is a male, then she is used to taking orders from the Kuya (a man). You will probably get along.
If the girl is one of the younger siblings, and her oldest sibling is a female (the Ate), then she has grown up taking orders from a woman. She may have the perception that women are the ones who are in charge. You may clash with her view of what is normal.
Now, if your personality is laid back and you don’t care who is in charge, or if you are used to being bossed around by your ex-wife, then it really doesn’t matter.
What finally worked for me is a girl who has several older brothers, that are all EMPLOYED. She is used to taking orders from the Kuya and has grown up in an environment where males work hard for their money.
The Ate / Kuya Factor – Who Has to Support the Family?
Listen to this.
If your girl is the eldest child in the family (the Ate), it is her inherent responsibility to bring home the bacon.
The pressure is upon her shoulders to go out and earn a paycheck to support everyone. It’s just the way it is here, especially among the poorer families.
If you end up dating a girl who is the eldest child, realize that her main mission in life is to make money and give it to her parents.
If you cannot accept that, then move on to the next girl.
If you don’t have the money to help support her entire family, pick another one.
The girl will be so damn stressed every minute of every day unless you make her some type of promise to send money to her family every month, just like a car payment. I’m sorry, but I cannot recommend that anyone date a girl if she is the oldest sibling. There’s too much contractual bullshit involved that’s not in your (the Western guy) best interest. If you are a rich man, then it’s not a factor. Just be prepared to shell out a few hundred bucks every month to the family and everyone is happy.
Make sure you read all of my articles on How to Date a Filipina so you know what to expect.