understanding the bunso
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Understanding The “Bunso”, Cymplified!

Bunso is a Filipino word that pertains to the youngest child in the family.

There are connotations surrounding the youngest among siblings.

  • It is assumed that the bunso is usually spoiled rotten, which I hope my baby (and my other kids) will not grow up to be.
  • By being the baby, it’s assumed that they garner the most attention and affection, especially from the parents.
  • By being “spoiled”, the youngest could get away with anything.

I sure felt that way with my youngest brother. I even have proof. No, I’m not going to post here the photo of my mother carrying my baby brother on her lap while seated on a bed, with six- or seven-year-old me beside her, giving her a side-eye. I am not sure if it’s because he’s the youngest or it’s our age difference that got us into a very violent fight one time. So far, this hasn’t happened yet with my kids. Thank God. Hopefully, they won’t.

understanding the bunso
photo by Denison Tan

Why mommy seems to love the bunso more

Understanding the bunso starts with the pregnancy, even with the discovery. “Another baby?” They would say. “Was it an accident?” They would ask. People would assume that the third or the fifth baby was not in the plans. Since the plan (whatever that plan was) didn’t seem to involve another baby, not much attention will be paid to this pregnancy.

When I was pregnant with my third baby, there was no celebration. No fireworks.

Just kidding! I did not have fireworks with my first or second. Let’s just say it was a quiet pregnancy. And when I gave birth, there were fewer visitors, less food brought or cooked for me. It was fine! Really!

Maybe that’s why moms seem to care more for the bunso, to be more protective of her since her existence is not that extolled. People seem more excited with the first one.

Why mommy seems to baby the baby

The bunso is the last child. The last baby. It is the last time the baby reaches her firsts. The moment she says her first word is the last time mommy will record that milestone.

“Don’t grow up too fast!” Mothers tell their children. This sentiment is especially true for the youngest.

My bunso is now in nursery. Each day, I want to stop the time and preserve her baby-like features. Her rotund cheeks. Her small frame. Her fine and soft hair. Her tiny hands. Her small feet. Her cute laughter.

When the children quarrel, they would be questioning…

Why mommy seems to side with the bunso

I try not to. I think siding with any one of the kids is one root of sibling rivalry. I tell my eldest that shobe* is very young and doesn’t quite understand things yet. But, I do my best to explain to the littlest one what she did wrong and what she needs to do next time.

But, there are times when I feel tempted to support the bunso, though. It’s whenever the older kids won’t play with her or include her. These are the times that she needs the extra attention. I do agree that sometimes, to the eldest, younger siblings could be annoying. And sometimes, I do take pity on my baby.

Therefore, she would take comfort in mommy. Thus, making it look like mommy loves the bunso more, babies the baby more, and sides with the youngest often.

What do you think about the bunso?


*shobe – a Chinese Hokkien word for little sister


  1. Hi Cym! I’m the bunso in the family! My sister is 10 years older than me so I consider her as my mom too! I sometimes feel out of place when my sister and brother would recall their adventures together while teasing their saling pusa little sister. I have many thoughts about being a bunso. I hope to write about it in my blog too. Thanks for the inspiration and miss you! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!
    Nadia recently posted..EVENT ALERT: Type Kita Exhibit (Pass on the Passion)

    1. Hi Nadia! Wow, you and your sister have such a big age difference. It would be great to read the thoughts of a “bunso” to further understand the youngest child. I could link to it! Miss you, too! Have a blessed Christmas as well!

  2. Before, I wish I was the bunso na lang because I thought everyone is treating the bunso special since he/she is the youngest. I have yet to tell if I will treat my bunso more special that my first born because for me I love my son so much that I couldn’t imagine (yet) if I can still love another child the same.
    Mommy Maye recently posted..Make Your Kid’s Meals Fun with UFC Color Crazee

  3. Our youngest brother wasn’t spoiled by us in the family (because back then, we had nothing to spoil him with, lol). He grew up to be more mature and responsible than some of the older brothers.
    Shelly recently posted..Getting fit for less around Marikina

  4. I have to agree with you! my second pregnancy is not that special compare to the first one. I don’t know, I just feel so protected with my youngest, but I will try not to be though, beacause it would be unfair to my eldest. Both of my kids get along pretty well, they age gap is pretty close napagkakamalan nga na twins. Your youngest is super cute!
    Melgie recently posted..Foodtrip: My Favorite Food Collections

  5. Awwww you have a pretty litter daughter. Sana wag munang lumaki si baby haahhaha. Im the eldest in the family and I agree that bunso have more attention. Which is fine with me, please note that my youngest sister is 2 yrs old and Im turning 25. See para nadin akong may baby. Good job para sa pagpapalaki mo to your kids 🙂

  6. There are many misconceptions about Bunso. Spoiled, baby and sunod sa layaw. I think this is still depends on the parents on how they will treat their bunso.
    Allan recently posted..Christmas Party Theme: 80’s Rock

  7. I have 5 children. It’s typical that the bunso gets more attention because she’s the smallest, and the older siblings are usually asked to look after their little sister. But I think there will come a time/an age when bunso should be treated in the same way as every child in the family, unless she is special in some way (sick for example).

  8. I always said sa mga bunso that I know they are so spoiled because they know they always can get they want since they are the last baby of the family.
    Mommy Anna recently posted..Up & Up Cream is Now Available in Market

  9. I am the bunso in our family but I wasn’t able to experience all that extra attention. sob..
    Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen recently posted..Gerry’s Jeepney in Maginhawa, Quezon City

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