Historical Facts: Mother’s Day in the Philippines


Filipinos tend to celebrate International Mother’s Day every second Sunday of May but history reveals us otherwise. Legally, Mother’s Day in the Philippines used to be celebrated every first Monday of December.

Former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1980 signed a proclamation stating the first Monday of December as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day respectively. But then, during the presidency of the late president Cory Aquino in 1986, the date was altered, following the American celebration of Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May. When Joseph Estrada became president in 1998, the tradition was changed back to the first Monday of December.

There’s no proclamation declared thus far, so legally, Mother’s Day in the Philippines should remain celebrated in December. However, with Filipinos inclined to adapt to US traditions, the Mother’s Day continues to be celebrated on the second Sunday of May.

Filipinos known for having close and strong family ties considered Mother’s Day as a special one. The mother as “light of the home” or “ilaw ng tahanan” in Filipino term, receives cards, gifts and surprises from the family through simple gatherings. Mother’s Day has also become the way of making the pious bond between a mother and a child way stronger. Thus, honoring the mother’s significant role in society.

Though Mother’s Day celebration is up in the air, this year’s event will surely be different amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The fight against coronavirus resulting in stay-at-home orders have altered almost every facet of life in the Philippines, including the way people mourn the death of their loved ones.

Source: Malacanang

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Haze Arevalo Dones

Hazel is a Foreign English teacher at Nongsuawitthayakom School. She loves to watch horror movies and read novel books. Get to know her thru her most favorite poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. By the way, she’s the best food buddy, EVER!