The stay-at-home dads of the Philippines - in pictures
McNeil watches TV inside their house in Pampanga. A tense relationship with his dad, Ermando, emerged after McNeil’s mother left for work as a domestic helper in Dubai and he didn’t want to go to school. It prompted Ermando to join a new four-month programme that helps Filipino fathers deal with the challenges of having a wife who works abroad.
In the Philippines, 10 per cent of the workforce lives abroad and almost half of them are young women, leaving dad’s to raise families.
Ermando uses a bamboo pole to prize a guava from a tree. He has joined a programme called AMMA — an acronym that translated from Tagalog means ‘A father who excels in nurturing his child’. It teaches everything from how to connect and talk to children to financial literacy.
As more Filipinas work abroad, their absence back home is felt. ‘It creates a sort of disconnect in Filipino culture because the male now has to deal with the household and raising children,’ says Emigido Tanjuatco III, president of the Clark International Airport, which helped implement AMMA.
The Balwyut family use a well as they prepare for dinner with their neighbours.
Ermando cooks rice for dinner. He was one of the programme’s first 12 participants. He says the support group’s best asset is having community of fathers who are in a similar situation.
A boy walks past a colourful mural of dads and men in various jobs, in a street in Mabalacat, Pampanga.
Rommel Castro inside their house in Mabalacat. He joined AMMA to learn more about financial planning.
Men work on setting up a water pump in Mabalacat Pampanga. In the Philippines, 10 per cent of the workforce lives abroad and almost half of them are young women, leaving dad’s to raise families.
Ermando longs for the day when his wife will return. For now, his son has taken a year off school to work as a tricycle driver.
In the Philippines, 10 per cent of the workforce lives abroad and almost half of them are young women. This leads to many families where the father raises children to varying success. A support group north of Manila has started to help some of them out. Words by Fatima Arkin, photos by Jes Aznar for The National
Updated: February 21, 2015 04:00 AM