Once upon my childhood , in a small town , we celebrated Parents’ Week.
Filipinos celebrate Mother’s Day with the rest of the world in May and on Father’s Day in June. But it wasn’t like that during my childhood. I remember in grade school we celebrated Parents’ Week in the first week of December. We wore a corsage during those days. It was made of a leaf as the backdrop and flowers in the middle. Red flowers would indicate that one’s parents were both alive, one red and one white meant that one of the parents had passed away, and all white showed that both parents were gone. The leaf was usually a fern or “pilik,” a plant with very fine leaves ( a variety of fern), which I no longer see around.
The flowers were usually either kalachuchi or bougainvilleas, which were then the favorite flowers in our town.
Parents of the Year were chosen and honored during the celebration. I don’t remember when that practice was stopped, replaced by the western practice of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Initially, I hesitated following the western tradition but my love for my parents prevailed over my desire to preserve our Pinoy tradition.
Happy Mother’s Day!