An Exposition of the Multidimensionality of the Tagasalo Personality

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



The tagasalo concept is a unique Filipino personality, indigenous to its culture and relevant within the family system. Carandang (1987) based this concept from her in-depth clinical practice and observation of Filipino family dynamics. The tagasalo is the family member who “catches” or “saves” the family and feels inordinately responsible for the care and welfare of other members of the family. Udarbe (2001) conducted further research and identified dynamics of the tagasalo personality. In the current study, the authors have extended the framework by exploring other dimensions aside from the compulsive and non-compulsive dimensions. The tagasalo also exhibits internalizing behaviors, an implicit tendency to be sensitive to other people, struggling with internal anxiety and stress; and externalizing behaviors by acting out explicitly to alleviate these anxieties. This chapter provides an in-depth theoretical-historical development of the tagasalo personality construct, locates it in broader psychological literature, and extends its potential by identifying multiple dimensions, supported with case illustrations and a composite case analysis.