September 8, 2013, is Grandparents’ Day, a special day for grandparents not only in the Philippines but in other countries. Most Filipinos call them “lolo” and “lola,” or “tatay” and “nanay,” terms of endearment for grandparents who, through their sacrifice and experience, have imparted to the young life’s valuable lessons. Families take the opportunity this day to make grandparents feel – and enjoy – the love and concern of their children and grandchildren. It is customary to give them the gift of time, as a gesture of gratitude and appreciation, or treats as family visit or reunion, a restaurant meal, shopping, picnic, movies, gifts, cooking their favorite food, greeting them with flowers or letters.
Because of their strong family ties, Filipinos regard grandparents with honor and respect, caring for and showering them with affection, especially in their twilight years. Most Filipino grandparents stay with their children to assist in nurturing and molding their grandchildren. It is said that grandparents would secretly give their grandchildren the things they may not get from their own parents.
Schools, churches, communities, and senior organizations honor grandparents with special activities to bring families together. Malls and restaurants lay out the red carpet for grandparents, through special sales, discounts, free movies, gift giving. Hospitals give free check up and free medicines.
The Philippines started to celebrate Grandparents’ Day in 1987, which it adopted from the United States of America. In 1970, housewife Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade of Fayette County, West Virginia, campaigned to set aside a day for families to visit their elderly relatives. Her campaign, supported by civic, business, church, and political leaders, was successful and a resolution was filed in the USA Senate to make Grandparents’ Day a national holiday. The first Grandparents’ Day was observed in 1973. The resolution declaring the first Sunday of September after Labor Day as National Grandparents’ Day was signed into law by President James Earl Carter Jr. in 1978. The month of September was chosen to signify the “autumn years of life.”
The Manila Bulletin, led by its Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Emilio T. Yap, President and Publisher Atty. Hermogenes P. Pobre, Executive Vice President Dr. Emilio C. Yap III, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Cris J. Icban Jr., Business Editor Loreto D. Cabañes, Officers and Employees, Congratulate and thank all grandparents and the elderly for their invaluable contributions to society and for the selfless sharing of their wisdom to young people, especially to their grandchildren. Happy Grandparents’ Day. MABUHAY!