Monthly Archives: May 2013

Mother’s Day in the Philippines and Elsewhere

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Vicente Manansala”s Mother and Child

Mother’s Day in the Philippines will be celebrated this year on the 12th of May, which is the second Sunday of May, was adopted from the Americans.  President Woodrow Wilson in 1914, declared it a national holiday originally meant to honor all mothers whose sons died in the war. This evolved from the efforts made by Anna Jarvis whose intention was to honor her deceased mother. 

Today, Mother’s Day is celebrated to honor biological mothers, maternal bonds formed by aunts, grandmothers, stepmothers or adoptive mothers and mothers’ contributions to Philippine society, particularly childbearing and raising children. In the past, it was customary to wear red carnation if the mother is alive and a white one if deceased.

Times have changed since then. Nowadays, Ipads, Samsung S4, a Mediterranean cruise or a Gucci bag are the listed gifts for mothers. Whatever happened to the essence of this old poem written by Joy Allison in 1917?

WHICH LOVED BEST?

“I love you, Mother, said little John;
Then, forgetting his work, his cap went on.
And he was off to the garden swing,
Leaving his mother the wood to bring.

“I love you, Mother, said rosy Nell,
“I love you better than tongue can tell.”
Then she teased and pouted full half the day.
Till her mother was glad when she went to play.

I love you, Mother,” said little Fan,
“Today I’ll help you all that I can;
How glad I am that school doesn’t keep!”
So she rocked the babe till he fell asleep.

Then stepping softly, she took the broom,
And swept the floor, and dusted the room.
Busy and happy all day was she;
Helpful and happy as a child could be.

“I love you, Mother,” again they said,
Three little children going to bed.
How do you think that mother guessed
Which of them really loved her best?  

What happened to the gift of breakfast in bed for mom?  Or a beautiful card crafted and written from the heart? AHA! How about if we go back to the more meaningful ways of saying “I love you Mother?”