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Going Back To Your Roots: Celebrating Grand Parents’ Day


In a country where the elder is paid much respect, the Grandparents (and Senior Citizens) Day has been a yearly tradition every first Sunday of September in the Philippines since 1987.

This practice was adopted from the Americans who first started the tradition in 1973 through a proclamation by Governor Arch Moor of West Virginia. In 1975, President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation submitted by the US Congress stating that the first Sunday after Labor Day be the National Grandparents Day. This holiday aims to honor the elder, give them an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of the strength, information, and guidance only the elders can give.

While a structured program is usually put up by schools, churches, and senior organizations in the United States, residents of the Philippines celebrate it in a rather simpler, conservative, and cost efficient manner. It is always a delight to see toddlers and grade school students create colorful art pieces (the use of elbow macaroni mosaic and origami seems very popular). I remember my then 4 year old brother being scolded by my mother prior to a visit to our ancestral house because he picked on all our neighbor’s flowers in his attempt to make a flower basket (I believe he got the idea when I played flower girl in an aunt’s wedding).

Coming from a family of twenty grandchildren, my parents and their siblings would host a simple brunch reunion that would naturally task us grandchildren to prepare a song or dance number for the “talent portion.” Digging up old family albums is also interesting but be careful in flipping the pages as the paper’s too old and might crumble off!

Gift giving wise, Thai silk shawls and flowers in exquisite French crystal vases are very much appreciated by grandmoms. Collared shirts and sets of hand tools will surely put a smile on granddad’s face. If your time and budget permits, amp up your gifts and get them something they’ve been dying to have for the longest time. I’ve put a DSLR for my photographer lolo and a 50s style ceramic earrings embellished with my fashionista lola’s favorite flowers (which coincidentally is the Philippines’ national flower: the sampaguita) in my “saving for” shopping list. Hopefully, come September, I can hand them these tokens.

Celebrating this special Sunday of the year need not be expensive but it has to be sincere and grand in virtue. This is also a perfect venue to discover your roots, appreciate your family’s uniqueness, and enhance the communication lines between your generation and your grandparents’.

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  Published Date - August 19 2009
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  Mr. Timothy Spencer
This article was written by Timothy Spencer for Island Rose - Send Gifts to the Philippines. We hope you enjoyed this article and encourage you to visit our website. Through Island Rose, you can find Philippines Flower Shops or simply browse through our blog for more informative articles.
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