Monday, May 18, 2009

Being a Filipino mother . . . .

The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands found in Southeast Asia. With diverse ethnic groups, our country has 154 dialects (Source: Diksyunaryo ng Wikang Filipino, Sentinyal Edisyon, 1998). The translation of the word mother in the eight major dialects are similar (sourced from

Tagalog - ina, nanay, nay, ema, ermat

Cebuano – mama, maninay, nanay, nay, inahan

Ilocano – mari, ina, nanang

Hiligaynon – iloy, nanay

Bicolano - nanay, ina

Waray-Waray – iroy, iruy, nanay

Pampangan – inda, indu, ma, ima, inang

Pangasinan – ina, nanay

However it may sound, they all mean the same to us Filipinos. I have been searching and compiling articles from the web some basic characteristics of a Filipino mother in modern times. Here are some items that I found from

1. A Filipino mother is hard-earner. She finds ways to earn more in order to provide her family well. Most Filipino mothers have some “side-lines”, mini-business or part-time jobs; and for those who do not have full-time jobs, are into multi-jobs at one time. I, myself, am applying for a part-time position in a call center and as a blogger mom, as well. But my purpose for the latter is not financial (although, I will never refuse if such opportunity comes); but for personal growth. At a very young age of 3, my son had witnessed his mother (me!) as the family breadwinner. My husband had no full-time job then, so he takes care of our son. So when he already had a job, he explained to our son that an aunt will take over because he already has work. My son innocently replied. “Why do you have to work? You are not a woman.” He thought that only the woman who goes to work in an office and the man stays at home to watch the kids. Well, the world through the eyes of the children, so they say.

2. A Filipino mother has high respect for herself. A Filipino woman, in general, values her being – attributes, accomplishments and position in the society. As a mother, she finds ways to improve, personally and professionally. She tends to undo her mistakes and outdo her inadequacies. I am neither a writer (not even a good English conversant!) nor an IT backgrounder (Bachelor in Business), but I tried to put myself into the net, just so I can learn the IT world and improve my communication skills. Speak out your mind… who cares?

3. Above everything is her family. A Filipino mother is willing to sacrifice for her family. If given a choice, a pinay mother will never work abroad if it would mean being away for long from her husband and children. On the other hand, if her being away will generate a comfortable life for her family, then she is willing to go through the painful experience. In all my work schedules away from home, I always see to it that the things my husband and son need are in place before leaving the house. Despite heavy work traffic, I check them once in a while through texting.

4. Education is treasured. Some say education is the best inheritance parents can give to their children. True. I know of some parents who sweat more just to send their children to the best school. Others loan money in order to pay escalating tuition fees. Sometimes, a Filipino mother becomes a “stage mother” such that she is ever present in her child’s school activities. I remember an incident during a boy’s basketball tournament for grade schoolers. While the players were running toward the other court, a 9-year old player suddenly tipped over. Unexpectedly, the mother came rushing to the middle of the court to rescue him! She never minded the game was still going on. Also, as parents, we tend to dictate what course our children will take in college because we thought it’s the best for them and employment is assured after graduation.

5. Housechores become everyone’s business. In most Filipino homes, I still believe that the mother leads majority of the chores. A Filipina is still meticulous in some things done inside her home. However, nowadays tasks are no longer gender-based, but rather on abilities. In my home, the husband takes charge of washing our delicate clothing and underwears; takes care of our mini-garden and some hard labor; the son replenishes our water dispenser, assists me in cooking (he likes culinary) and sets the dining table; the rest, myself. We always encourage our son to do chores at home. It is an invaluable achievement a man can be proud of; as well as the mother, for raising a good son.

Well, this is all for now. Am still searching for other articles of the same issue.

Till next post...


  1. May I ask for the author's name? So I may properly site my sources in my critical essay :)

  2. Yes, the Filipino mother has a lot to offer to the world. Indeed, she is the "light of the home".

    However, I would like to point out that the Philippines has actually more than a hundred languages. Tagalog, Ilocano, Waray, etc are languages and not dialects. See ethnologue report