I became a mom for the first time 13 years ago, at the age of 30. At that time, I heard and actually followed (and still following) some of the old practices and beliefs that the older generation practiced for years. Here are some of the practices that I grew up with and am aware of:
Po and Opo. Children are taught to say “po” and “opo” whether you are related or not. It is a must to insert these words in every sentence that you use when talking to elders. Unfortunately, my children haven’t practiced this that much as their first language was English. However, I always remind them about it and they actually do when they remember.
Father is the head of the family, and the mothers take care of the household. Well, those were the days when mothers would stay at home and religiously take care of the children in every traditional family. In this generation, mothers take the opportunity to work from home and still take care of the children in between. While of course, fathers remain to be the providers of the family’s essentials/needs.
Tsinelas Discipline. Sparing the rod is not so common during my time as a kid. My mom would use “tsinelas” and “patpat na kawayan” when needed. Sometimes she would even use the fly killer with a long handle. I don’t remember using this kind of discipline to my kids. I only remember grabbing a piece of a slipper and use it as props only to keep them quiet and sit still but did not actually use it. Time-out in the corner and face the wall worked well for us.
Angelus at 6 pm. Pinoy families are known to have a strong bond in their faith/religion. I remember spending time at past 6pm in the house of our neighbor when I was a kid and actually joined them in their regular praying of Angelus at 6pm. I wonder if there are families still doing this nowadays.
Taking Care of Our Elders. Pinoy parents also inculcate the idea of the young taking care of their elders not because of self-preservation, but simply because it’s the right thing to do. Home for the Aged and the likes are not commonly used among Pinoy families. As much as possible, we keep them with us up to their last breath.
Punishments. My mom tells me that when they get punished by my grandparents, they would ask them to kneel on grains of beans for an hour or kneel down while taking the weight of books put on their heads/hands. In my case to my children, I ground them for days – no gadgets, no TV and no outdoor activities till they realized what they did was wrong.
Education. Pinoy parents practically strive hardest and do everything to make sure their children will have the best education they can get. Pinoy parents are, by nature, obsessed with making sure that their children graduate. Unlike Americans, they are given the choice to leave the house and live independently when they reached 18. Filipinos at times live in their parents’ house even after having a family of their own.
Now that I have mentioned some of the common practices among Filipino families, would you revive these and actually apply them for your children? Would you also even dare them to follow including those superstitions and beliefs? Which among these on the LIST do you still follow and believe? Do you think today’s generation will just laugh about these?