Experiencing Meaning in Life as Thirty-Something Single Filipinas through Caring for Self and for Others

  • Samantha Erika N Mendez
  • Michelle G Ong


The Philippines is a collectivist and marriage-promoting culture that also values one’s shared identity with others. We wanted to find out how single women in their thirties experienced meaning in life in this context using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis as the research approach. We collected data from six always single Filipino women aged 32 to 38 through multiple face-to-face interviews using a semi-structured interview guide. We extracted five emergent themes: advocating for the self, caring for others, finding opportunities in singlehood, making sense of life’s challenges, and incorporating spirituality. This paper discusses the first three themes as they cohered around the potential for experiencing meaning in life in valuing both the self and others, and in reframing singlehood as a source of opportunities to care for both the self and others.