Being raised as the eldest daughter in an Asian household is difficult. You have to know how to cook, clean, and care for everyone. Growing up, I never really paid attention to my feelings. What I felt back then didn’t matter because I wanted to be the perfect “Ate” (big sister). I supported my siblings in any way I can. I attended PTA meetings and school programs to show my support. I became the family clown, the cheerleader, the shoulder to cry on, and everyone’s confidante. I knew I succeeded when my parents jokingly asked my 4 siblings who they’d live with if they get separated. The four seriously answered, “Ate”.

Was I unhappy? Never.
Did I feel burdened? Sometimes.
Am I missing something? Yes.

So I decided to focus on myself this time. I knew I had to love myself to continue loving them. I didn’t want to hate them for holding me back. So I broke out of my comfort zone and everyone was happy to see me chase after my dreams.

My siblings are my strength and they love me enough to understand that this time, I have to choose myself.



    Awww🥺 I can relate to this as the older sibling in my household, having many of the same responsibilities as you. I, too, have never been unhappy because of it, no matter what anyone says. But, the burden has been heavy on me and I can see it is taking its toll.
    I am happy that you can look out of for yourself now!! I am no one and I don’t have the right, but I am proud of you😊


      Thank you, @jellybn! I hope you can also find the strength to walk a few steps back and take a breather from everything.


    hugs for you!! I can also relate as an ate in our household (although I am the middle child, but I need to act as the eldest since my kuya acts as if he is the maknae, and that is another burden to carry). I hope you also have an ate or friends outside of your family who can listen to you and carry that burden with you. It’s good to be open to family, to have a healthier relationship with them, but sometimes you just need to breathe outside of that space, especially when your time spent with them has been too long. <3


      I’m actually the eldest daughter. I have a Kuya but even he acknowledged that I’m the Ate. I’m even my friends’ Ate so I have to be a “good role model” wherever I go. I love how typical Asian/Filipino families understand each other like this.