The Tagasalo

The Tagasalo | @sikodiwa

This draws from a paper all the way back in the 80’s, when Carandang suggested that the Tagasalo is usually the eldest daughter. While the boys were allowed to play, she is taught the ways of the homemaker. So, at work and everywhere else, this dynamic is continued when women are expected to be like mothers to men who act like children.

But Urdabe’s study showed that the Tagasalo can be any child, of any gender. I know Tagasalos who are bunso (youngest) daughters, and also eldest sons. Usually they are not just the parents’ surrogates, they are also the parents’ most trusted confidants.

There is emotional pressure but also relational power in the Tagasalo: you carry the most expectations, but you’re also the most respected in the family or social group.

The Tagasalo is the family member who “catches” (salo) or takes over most responsibilities.

The Tagasalo may have grown up feeling responsible for others. They care deeply and are great mediators. This extends to other aspects of their lives, where they often
take over the tasks of others.

The Tagasalo can be taken advantage of, but they are not passive receivers: they may feel unappreciated but only because they are overwhelmed, not because they feel unloved.

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