Filipino Kids and Their Lifestyle

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cartoons.jpgAre you curious about the lifestyle of 7 to 14 year old Filipino children? Sure, we know they have the inherent ability to assimilate new technology and adapt to change at such phenomenal rates but how much? Today, I attended the presentation of Cartoon Networks’ New Generations Philippines results of the first fully-localized study dedicated to Filipino kids with previous studies done in 2003 and 2005. Cartoon Network believes that such study is an integral part of its on-going quest to learn about kids, their lifestyle , opinions and behavior. The approach in conducting the study was based on face-to-face interviews with 1,000 child and parent pairs, surveying Filipino kids aged 7-14 years and their parents from socio-economics classes A to D in three metropolitan areas of Cebu, Davao and Manila in September and October 2007. Synovate Philippines was commissioned to conduct the survey.

The results are quite disappointing. TV is the number one choice for kids among various forms of media consumption.

  • 46% are internet users of which three quarters have their own homepage.
  • More than 75% go to malls with their parents at least once a month.
  • They’ve got PHP 37 billion to spend annually.

The survey does not give a clear picture on frequency of TV use and correlation to school performance. I am dismayed that there is such high use of TV consumption. Though activities like sports and reading were mentioned, what is the proportion of these activities over media consumption? The summary of key findings show:

1. Technology is within reach

There is a rapid growth of kids’ access to technology at home since 2005. Hand-held video game system increased by 90% while internet access was up by 53%. There is also a strong growth in items that kids personally own or have in their rooms. 26% have their own mobile phone compared to 14% in 2005 or an increased of over 60%. Then there are 30% who have a TV set in their bedrooms, an increase of 30%.

2. Television is still number 1

TV appears to be the most heavily-used medium in kids’ lives. TV remains as the kids’ favorite leisure activity with 96% of kids watched TV “yesterday”. Reading books and playing toys only ranked second and third behind TV. I find it sad that kids tune in to TV than reading books. Among the cable channels, Cartoon Network is the most watched channel with 64% watching it three or four times a week.

My daughters were nine or ten years old at the time Cartoon Networks was first shown in Philippine TV Cable. If I were to recall my kids at that age, TV was never their number 1 choice. Reading was their first choice. Even my four year old Luijoe balanced his TV, reading and other physical activities. I set the NO-TV rule on school days and they never complained. I wonder how many hours these kids stay tuned to TV.

3. Caught in the Web

Naturally, the new generation kids are very net-savvy. Internet usage by kids is much more widespread in 2007 with almost half (46%) of kids now using it compared with just 26% using the internet in 2005. Kids are quick to embrace the web 2.0 applications such as video (72% of internet users aged 7 to 14 watched video online) and multiplayer games (68%). Of course 76% of these internet users created their own homepage while 31% of the total kids claim to have made an online friend whom they have not yet met in real life. The kids rely on the Internet as a communications tool, with 43% of users sending/receiving e-mail at least weekly while 35% use instant messenger weekly.

It’s a fun activity but I hope the parents monitor their online activities. A friend once told me that in a party she hosted at her home, she caught her 7 year old daughter and her friend googling for “Zac Efron Naked” (The High School Musical star). My friend was so appalled. The 7 year old friend knew how to spell “naked”. Apparently, the mother of the friend is quite liberal and didn’t find anything wrong with it.

4. They are a potential Powerhouse Consumer

Imagine the allowance and gift money our kids receive make them a big market for capitalists. Combining pocket money and gift money, and scaling it up to the 3.7 million kids represented by the survey (Metro Manila + Central Visayas + South Mindanao) gives kids a staggering 37 billion Pesos to spend. Kids receive an average of 169 Pesos in pocket money per week, and kids in Manila receive around a quarter more than their counterparts in Cebu and Davao. Around 99% of parents claim to visit shopping malls with their kids, and over a quarter (27%) do so at least weekly. For both boys and girls, cartoon characters and shows are the next most talked about craze/trend after toys (equal 2nd with clothing/shoes among girls)

I would like to believe that the pocket money we give our kids go to their food allowance NOT for toys or gaming activities. I believe that kids shouldn’t be given big amounts of money and if ever, the value of money management needs to be instilled early on.

5. Heroes and Heroines

Angel Locsin is the favorite celebrity amongst girls (27%) and Richard Gutierrez for boys (11%)> When asked to choose between Lebron James and James Yap, 58% of kids chose local basketball celebrity James Yap over the NBA’s Lebron James as their MVP. Seriously, there should be better heroes and heroines or role models for our kids.

7. They know what’s going on

Despite their fascination with the latest crazes and trends, kids can see the bigger picture as they demonstrated when asked about environmental issues. Three quarters (76%) of parents and two thirds (68%) of kids agree with the statement ““Global warming is something that concerns me”. On an even more positive note, the vast majority of parents and kids have indicated an openness to doing something about it, with 95% of kids affirming that they ““prefer parents to buy environmentally friendly products”, and 80% of parents agreeing that they are ““willing to pay more for something if it’s environmentally safe”.

With these results, I hope our TV stations, aside from Cartoon Network provide relevant and more educational yet entertaining content to our kids. True, the tweenies – kids 7-14 years old are true digital natives, consuming media for entertainment and social networking, and are in the know about trends and issues – including computer and video games, and concern for global warming. But, I wish our kids through their parents balance reading, TV, sports and other activities as too much of one activity is unhealthy.

If you want to see the presentation , download the Pinoy kids and their lifestyle, New Generations Philippines 2007 Summary (12.8 MB)

or check this document

2007 Filipino Kids Lifestyle , Cartoons Network Survey

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1388 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • It’s understandable that TV is still the number source of media exposure and entertainment.

    Computers, hand-held game devices are still to expensive for your average Pinoy kid whose parents would rather spend that money on other more essential things like school and daily needs.

    The survey shows, or atleast offers how modern-day media has poisoned, I mean influenced the Pinoy kids minds today.

  • wow, interesting read.. but like you, am disappointed about the high percentage of tv watching. i would say reading would be a better exercise. the kids are now allowed only one program to watch, but since they were a bit kulit last weekend, papa gave them a one month no tv penalty. okay lang sa kanila, they found other things to get busy with.

    but i am also curious on how the kids get to be aware on global warming.. i hope their awareness would turn into good actions for the environment.

  • @Jhay- the best thing media can do now is to influence our kids’ minds to be productive.

    @Raqgold- very disappointing. The global awareness didn’t stem from media alone. School curiculum played a part on this.

  • Joy

    I believe that the result of the survey is largely a reflection of how closely parents monitor their kids’ activities. Not only that, the lifestyle of the parents greatly influence their kids’ lifestyle as well. Looking back at my childhood years, I’m very thankful that:

    1. Dad was strict: No tv during weekdays.
    Television is so tempting (especially when the other kids at school would talk about it in the morning) so I would sneak every now and then to watch what’s on tv (when dad’s not looking) but believe me, lip reading is a headache after 30 mins!

    2. I see dad reading until the wee hours of the morning.
    That motivated me plus I didn’t feel so alone everytime I’m burning the midnight oil. I’d fall asleep in the study table and he’d tuck me in.

    3. During dad’s free day off from work, he’d bring me to the bookstore.
    No wonder I’m still addicted to the smell of new books until now. I saw bookstores as big toy kingdoms — like an orchestra would play at the site of the shelves brimming with different sizes and colors of books. Lol

    4. I got rewarded for the “no tv” policy during weekdays.
    It gave me something to look forward to. I could watch ALL I want during Saturdays!

    Those were the days. The 80’s. Perhaps things have changed. Perhaps most parents got too busy or too tired working from 8-5.

    I share your sentiment. The result of the survey is quite disheartening.

  • The survey results are not something to be happy about.

    Maybe it was a wise decision on our part to be cable-less for sometime now. We also don’t buy the children those hand-held gaming console. They can play with these games on the pc instead so at least, they get to concentrate on doing other things besides clicking endlessly on those games. They can go online, Julian at 5yo has his own email address and chatting with relatives already, but these are mostly supervised. With malling, we can go to a mall to just eat and go home empty-handed, impulse buying.

    Sometimes I feel we deprive them but they have to learn that they can’t just get what they want at the snap of their fingers or at the slightest whine.

  • Sorry, what I meant was:

    With malling, we can go to a mall to just eat and go home empty-handed, impulse buying is not done, only planned purchases unless necessary.

  • where are the parents? that’s the question…also glued to the tube or busy on-line? busy with careeers? or OFW?

  • i believe the reason why is the way he or she is because the family plays a big factor, especially the parents.

  • I really can’t judge the moms . The survey said they imposed rules though the rules were not clear either.

  • It’s been a while since I’ve posted a comment in your blog, mga months ago na yata hehehe … Here’s my view about it:

    Many of the kids arrived from school to empty homes because the parents were slugging it up to the corporate ladder. Television and Internet were their after school companions, their faithful baby sitters .

    Today’s kids watch TV while listening to their favorite music and clicking the cyber world while skimming through their homework. I believed parents play a significant role in determining the kind of persons their children will evolve into. If parents implement proper guidelines using TV, Internet, explaining things properly to their young ones, our country will have a brighter future.

    For example my mom is a very good mother…We were exposed to different things. Everything was in moderation. That’s how we were raised, and we all turned out okay.

  • jc

    seriously kids these days are onto gadgets than brains which is partly to be blame with parents, friends, school, teacher and most of all the media feeding kids with loads of shits and stuff i mean they should just hang out with proper people and quit acting cool looks like a fool and ends up brainless. I live in davao and im 18 i may not be that good but i know shits and been trouble with the police just because of bad influence. Some of my classmates dont even know how to spell easy words i mean dude all them lot aint doin nothing but trying to be cool just a f*ckin retard. Kids need to learn the hard way to actually learn to realise what the effect of abusing the less important stuffs and shits.

  • heidi

    hi mam,

    I am a student from st. scholastica’s college and currently doing a thesis about the different influences including media on children’s concept of aggression. the data you posted was really informative and would really be helpful for my study… hope that more people especially moms would take time to post blogs like this one. thanks for the info and more power!!! God bless…

  • there’s something wrong with your comment feature – it’s not working right. I’ve been getting PHP errors whenever “Enable CommentLuv” is toggled

  • Hey, thanks for the listings, it is quite true about reading this post… 😉
    .-= edgar´s last blog ..Nike Air Max 90 – Yellow/White Croc Skin =-.

  • Thank you for your effort I wish success

  • Thank you very much .. Fans like you for your interest

  • PinayHeaven

    I think it’s INTERNET that is the number one choice for kids among various forms of media consumption….

    My kids is always in her PC. grrr… Online games.

  • I think INTERNET is the number one choice for kids among various forms of media consumption.

    My kids is always in her PC.. grrrr..
    .-= PinayHeaven´s last blog ..Pinay Motherhood Makes A Complete Woman =-.

  • Pingback: Filipino Kids & Their Lifestyle in 2009 | A Filipina Mom Blogger()

  • Ina

    for my family its
    50 % TV
    45 % internet
    5 % other hehee

    or internet is the highest!
    Nice post!

    .-= Ina´s last blog ..Land page =-.

  • I think that if you watch news etc. on tv you will be able to know what’s happening around the world and keep you up to date with the most important.

  • Kids shouldn’t depend on the media too much. However, they can use any form of media on a good purpose.
    .-= Brenna´s last blog ..Pre-Marital Sex =-.

  • Amy

    Hello, Very nice article thanks.

  • Although there is no factual basis of the survey, nevertheless, this is still something to ponder on. Nice observation.

  • I’d recommend this site for kids, visit TUKI (The Ultimate Kids’ Internet), an environment for kids that builds character, teaches kids about money and finance, health and nutrition, success principles, internet safety and is fun and safe.

  • A sense of humor is fundamental to a healthy lifestyle. It’s one of the first things that come to mind when we think about our lifestyle. That’s why Mother Nature gave us our sense of humor. Few things have more effect on our state of mind than laughter. It sets the tone and influences everything that follows. Finally It’s important to know that: A Healthy Lifestyle is Fundamental to a Slim, Healthy and Happy Body!
    .-= Kirsten Plotkin Healthy Lifestyle´s last blog .. =-.

  • Our children today is way too different from the before. They got carried away by watching TV and always being caught in web. We have to ensure the health of our children by early prevention of these things.