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Pru Life UK Identifies Highs and Lows of Filipino Personal Relationships in New Research

Find out why personal relationships matter more to Filipinos.


  • Philippines ranks second out of 10 Asian countries in relationship fulfillment

  • Filipinos express love for their partners more than any other nationality in Asia

  • Filipinos also argue with their partners the most in the region

Filipinos derive more fulfillment from their relationships with spouses and partners than in any other personal relationship, according to Asia’s first relationship index, launched by Pru Life UK.

The 2016 Pru Life UK Relationship Index1measures, via a numerical score, how satisfied people are with their primary relationships and what can be done to improve them. Primary relationships include partners, children, family, and friends.

In the Philippines, the Pru Life UK Relationship Index satisfaction score is 79/100. This means on an average, Filipinos’ primary relationships fulfill 79% of their desired relationship needs, the second highest in Asia.

Respondents of the study said that they appreciate partners who enjoy doing things together (84%), respect their individuality (84%), are honest with them (82%), make each other laugh and smile (79%), and are easy to get along with (78%).

Filipinos also enjoy strong ties with their children, with a relationship score of 59/100, the highest in Asia. The average score for parents is 52/100, while the tally for best friends is 50/100. Colleagues, however, score just 27/100, although almost two-thirds (64%) of working Filipinos said some of their work colleagues are among their best friends.

Pru Life UK Chief Executive Officer and President Antonio “Jumbing” De Rosas said the Pru Life UK Relationship Index provides a snapshot of the health of relationships in the Philippines, highlighting the areas that contribute to happiness and those that require attention.

“Relationships are at the heart of our business. We know our customers buy our products to protect the people and relationships they care most about. We also know that good relationships are crucial to our happiness and good health. Through the Pru Life UK Relationship Index, we want to help Filipinos understand their relationships better so they can make them more rewarding,” De Rosas explained.

He added, “The findings from the research are both cause for celebration and concern. Celebration in that we Filipinos value relationships grounded on important attributes such as partnership, companionship, respect, and honesty. However, gaps are also present in the level of relationship satisfaction with family demands, financial uncertainty, and technology causing rising tension and stress.”

The highs and lows of relationships with partners

The 2016 Pru Life UK Relationship Index indicates that Filipinos express their love for each other more than anyone else in Asia. 87% tell their partners “I love you” once a week; 68% say so every day. Filipinos are also most likely in the region (87%) to share intimate moments with their partners. They are the most likely in the region to laugh with their partners as well; 89% do so at least once a week.

While Filipino couples often share laughter, kisses, and share intimate moments, they are quite likely to become angry. 35% said they argue with their partners at least once a week, the highest in the region. Money is the most likely source of arguments, with 46% of couples saying they argue about this. Among others, couples argue about who makes financial decisions and who controls everyday spending. Almost half (48%) of married men say they make most of the big financial decisions, but only 13% of married women agree with them. As for the day-today spending, 57% of women say that they themselves control day-to-day spending for the couple, but only 34% of men agree.

Next to money, technology is likely to be impinging upon relationships: 41% argue about lack of attention and 37% about spending too much time on the phone or computer.

Banking on us

When it comes to finances, Filipino adults are generous with each other. They are highly likely to provide mutual financial support, with almost all adults providing some financial support to at least one other person. Filipinos are also highly likely to rely on their family for emergency support: 80% think that their parents will provide for them in case of emergencies, while 67% say that other family members would do so.

Meanwhile, married couples in the Philippines are likely to be closely involved with each other’s finances. More than three-quarters (76%) plan their finances together, and 84% often talk about their future plans.

Among relatives, Filipinos want their relatives to provide a combination of the support that they get from their parents and also the companionship they seek from partners and children.

Good relationships with children

Filipino parents have the highest relationship score with children (59/100) than any other country in the region. Filipino parents love to dispense advice to their children - 90% of parents say they give their children some advice at least once a week. As they give advice, 43% of Filipino parents think it is important that their children listen to what they are saying, the highest in the region.

Parents place a lot of emphasis on companionship with their children and are the most likely in the region to think it’s important that they enjoy things together with their children (75%). In fact, Filipino parents enjoy being around their children and interacting with them. 85% said their children make them laugh and smile; 85% said their children express love for them; 79% enjoy doing things together; and 76% frequently interact with each other. As part of their interactions with their children and as an integral part of their children’s growth, Filipino parents are also highly involved in helping their children in education, 87% of whom say they help their children in education every week.

Digital divide

Amid the stress of city life, the digital revolution has impacted relationships in the Philippines, where partners and parents often compete with smart phones for love and attention. For instance, 37% of couples cite time spent on phones or computers as a reason for arguing, and 24% said that their partners sometimes prefer using their phones to being intimate with them. Because of these concerns, many are prepared to forego technology, with 94% of the respondents saying that they would consider giving up technology for one day just so they can spend more time with other people.

“Round-the-clock connections provided technology advancements, and smart devices have intruded into our personal spaces. We are often distracted by phones and computers, to the extent that we sometimes fail to be present in the company of our families and friends. We need to pause every now and strengthen the relationsh Pru Life ips that really matter,” concludes De Rosas.

For more information on the Pru Life UK Relationship Index:

Visit the Pru Life UK Relationship Index site
Watch the"That's Me" Relationship video
Download and read the complete Pru Life UK Relationship Index Report 


About the 2016 Pru Life UK Relationship Index

The Pru Life UK Relationship Index was developed to understand the state of personal relationships in Asia. Given the vital importance of relationships to people’s happiness, wellbeing, and longevity, the Pru Life UK Relationship Index offers deep understanding and insight into relationships - how to make them stronger, better, and more rewarding. More than 5,000 interviews were conducted in 10 countries and territories in Asia. These included Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Interviews were conducted between 13 and 31 July 2016 with adults between 25 and 55 years of age. In the Philippines, 500 interviews were conducted online with a representative sample of adults covering Metro Manila. Respondents are residents representing the top two-thirds of household income in Manila.


1The 2016 Pru Life UK Relationship Index involved interviews with 5,000 respondents in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam between 13 and 31 July 2016. In the Philippines, 500 respondents took part in the study. Ipsos, a leading research firm, conducted the survey.