December-Mothers-Day-and-Fathers-Day-TW

Most Filipinos are familiar with the international Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebration on every second Sunday of May and on every third Sunday of June, respectively. But our history tells us otherwise. Deemed as a unique Filipino tradition, Filipinos traditionally celebrated Mother’s Day on the first Monday of December since the 1920s.

This Philippine News Agency 2008 feature tells the story:


Mother’s Day in the Philippines used to be celebrated on the first Monday of December. On this day, school children placed pink cadena de amor, others say carnations, on their chests. Schoolchildren who no longer have mothers placed white cadena de amor on their chests. Appropriate programs were held all over the country in honor of mothers and husbands gave gifts to their wives. What a wonderful way of honoring the wonderful people who gave birth to the children of the world!

It was said that in 1921, the Ilocos Norte Federation of Women’s Clubs appealed to then American Governor-General Charles Yeater to declare the first Monday of December as Mother’s Day to honor these fabulous women who brought forth God’s children into this world.

Governor-General Yeater responded with the issuance of Circular No. 33 designating the first Monday of every December as Mother’s Day. The then Bureau of Education was designated as the agency in charge of the national celebration.

When the Philippine Commonwealth Government was proclaimed, President Manuel L. Quezon also issued a presidential proclamation declaring the first Monday of December as Mother’s Day.

Then President Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Proclamation No. 2037 in 1980, declaring the first Monday of December as Mother’s Day.

During the term of President Corazon Aquino, however […] she issued Proclamation No. 266 declaring the first Sunday of May as Mother’s Day, thereby changing the Filipino tradition of Mother’s Day. […]


What the article forgot to mention is that this tradition was revived by President Joseph Ejercito Estrada through Proclamation No. 58, s. 1998.  He amended Proclamation No. 266, s. 1988, changing the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebration from the second Sunday of May and third Sunday of June, respectively, to the first Monday of December.