Age-related expectations still haunt Pinays, survey says

Published July 24, 2018, 10:38 AM


In this day and age, it seems unlikely that women would still find themselves hampered by what society expects them to be, but a recent survey showed that Filipinas deal with unfair expectations at different ages.


A survey conducted by a marketing intelligence and consulting firm from March to April 2018 among 160 respondents aged 18 to 60 years-old revealed that two out of five Filipinas are scared of the expectations bound with their age. From looks to career, financial stability to marriage, women feel the pressure to ‘have it all’ as they get on in years.

Most of the women surveyed say that much of the pressures come from themselves followed by peers or friends, other family (such as spouse, children or sibling), parents and society in general respectively. About fifty-eight percent of Filipinas believe that society has unfair expectations of them at different ages and sixty-nine percent of Filipinas in their 30s are afraid of the expectations that come with aging.

The survey also found out that not only do women face these expectations they experience negative comments about their age as well.
Below are the age-bound expectations identified by the women in the survey.


  • Eighty-eight percent of Filipinas feel that by the age of 25 they should have already established they careers and be financially independent.


  • Women in their 30s feel pressured to start a family. About eighty-three percent say they are expected to be married by then and eighty-six percent are saying they feel pressured to have kids at this stage.
  • Ninety-one percent of Filipinas in their 30s have received mean or negative comments on their age. Being called names like losyang, gurang, kulubot, bungal, nawawala na sa kalendaryo, and manang.


  • The pressure to get married and to have kids remain for some Filipinas in their 40s, getting the common jibes of matandang dalaga, napag-iwanan na or even the backhanded compliment of maganda pero walang asawa.
  • But for others, the pressure changes with as many as eighty-nine percent of Filipinas in their 40s who feel that they are expected to look good for their husbands, his friends and their children’s friends. About seventy-nine percent of Filipinas also worry about being the ‘perfect mom’.


  • When Filipinas turn 50, there is that added expectation that aside from taking care and providing for their kids, they also have to support their own parents. As many as 97% of Filipinas feel that in their 50s they should have enough money to support their parents and their kids.

About seventy percent of women believe that they should not be afraid of aging yet somehow they feel the need to live up to the expectations for them. People often base their sense of happiness on fulfilling expectations and find it even harder not to meet the expectations of others because of the disappointment they encounter from those around them when these are not met.

The continuous need to not disappoint can lead to loss of self-worth for some. For women, societal expectations to be a ‘certain way’ are more internalized and this self-defeating belief or view needs to addressed and changed.