Mother’s Day In Philippines: 13 Special Ways To Celebrate

Family celebrating Mother's Day in Philippines.

Araw ng mga ina, or Mother’s Day, is a special occasion celebrated worldwide, and the Philippines is no exception.

In fact, this day holds great significance in Filipino culture, where mothers are considered the “ilaw ng tahanan” or the “light of the home.”

Filipinos have unique ways of honoring their mothers on this particular day, from gift-giving traditions to cultural practices and customs.

So, join me as we look into the heartwarming and meaningful ways Mother’s Day in Philippines is celebrated.

When Is Mother’s Day Celebrated In The Philippines?

Mother’s Day in the Philippines is such a diverse mix of legal decrees and cultural influences, resulting in a unique celebration that Filipinos love to commemorate.

In the 1920s, up to the last few decades, this holiday was typically observed on the first Monday of December. 

However, things got a bit more complicated when former President Ferdinand Marcos declared that this day would be celebrated as both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

After that, the next President, Cory Aquino, changed the date to align the Philippines with the American tradition of having Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May and Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June. 

But wait, the plot thickens! In 1998, former President Joseph Estrada reverted to the original date of the first Monday of December.

So, what’s the final verdict? Despite Estrada’s decree, Filipinos continue to honor their mothers on the second Sunday of May, just like in the United States. 

It’s a day of love and appreciation for all the sacrifices that mothers make for their children, and the Filipino people don’t let political wrangling get in the way of celebrating this special occasion.

Daughter with her Dad surprising Mommy with flowers during Mothers Day in the Philippines.

How Is Mother’s Day Celebrated In The Philippines?

In the Philippines, there is a famous saying that goes, “Ang puso ay nasa tahanan” (home is where the heart is), and it’s not surprising that mothers are considered the heart of the home.

That’s why Mother’s Day is a special occasion that is celebrated with great joy and gratitude. Here’s how Pinoys celebrate Mother’s Day in Philippines:

1. Giving Fresh Bouquets Of Flowers Or Money

Giving fresh bouquets of flowers is a classic Mother’s Day tradition in the Philippines.

Pink carnations (a traditional Mother’s Day flower) are often given to represent a mother’s undying love.

However, in case their mom has already passed. Then they will often wear white carnations to show regard to them.

And you know what? Filipinos level up their gift-giving game by presenting money bouquets instead of flowers. 

It’s a unique way of expressing love and appreciation for their mothers, and it’s also a practical gift that can be used for anything they need or want.

Whether money or a grand floral arrangement, it’s always a heartwarming gesture that any mother would appreciate.

2. Coming Together For A Special Meal

What’s better than spending Mother’s Day with the whole family? In the Philippines, many families come together for a “family celebration” where they cook and share a special meal.

From popular Tagalog foods like adobo and sinigang to more modern cuisine, there’s no shortage of delicious food to feast on.

They may even add sugary delights like leche flan and bibingka because nothing says “Mahal kita, Nanay” (I love you, Mom) like a mouthful of sweetness!

Filipinos sending care packages to celebrate Mother's Day in the Philippines.

3. Sending Care Packages To Moms Living Abroad

For Filipinos living abroad, it’s not always possible to celebrate Mother’s Day in person with their moms. But that doesn’t mean they can’t show their love from afar!

Many Filipinos send “Padala” (care packages) filled with Filipino treats and goodies, such as dried mangoes, polvoron, and ube-flavored snacks.

It’s a sweet gesture showing how much they care, even from miles away.

4. Hosting A “Mothers Bring” Feast

Another popular way to celebrate Mother’s Day in the Philippines is by hosting a “mothers bring” party.

Each mother brings her favorite dish to share, creating a delicious potluck-style feast. From homemade lumpia to pancit palabok, there’s no shortage of mouthwatering dishes to try.

And, of course, no Filipino party would be complete without some karaoke and dancing!

5. Going On A Family Outing

One way Filipinos bond with their moms is by exploring the great outdoors or the top places in the Philippines.

Most Filipino families often take their mothers to local parks or attractions, like the Manila Ocean Park or the Enchanted Kingdom, for a fun day out.

For adventurous moms, Filipinos often plan a particular activity or adventure. This can be anything from hiking to kayaking or trying a new sport or activity together.

It’s a fun and exciting way to celebrate Mother’s Day and create new memories together.

Mother and daughter in a salon for Mothers Day celebration.

6. Taking Their Mothers Out For A Day Of Pampering

Mothers tirelessly devote themselves to their families throughout the year, making Mother’s Day the perfect occasion to give them a break and let them unwind. 

In the Philippines, many children spoil their moms with a day of indulgence. From a tranquil spa session to a rejuvenating mani-pedi at the salon or even a fun-filled day at the beach soaking up some sun and surf.

There are plenty of ways to pamper and appreciate the hardworking mamas in our lives.

7. Creating Handmade Gifts

Aside from giving giant stuffed teddy bears, one of the most heartfelt ways to celebrate Mother’s Day is by creating handmade gifts that show your love and appreciation.

From a handmade card, a scrapbook filled with memories, or artwork created by yourself, there’s always a way for Filipinos to show their mother how much she means to them.

They put time, effort, and love into a special gift. Indeed, it’s a gesture that will be treasured for years to come.

8. Organizing A Surprise Party Or Outing For Their Mothers

Filipinos love to surprise their mothers with a party or outing to show their love and appreciation.

Some families organize a surprise party at home, while others plan an outing to a favorite restaurant or tourist spot.

They decorate the place with balloons, streamers, and other festive items to make it more memorable.

For example, they may organize a surprise beach trip to Boracay or a picnic in a local park. The important thing is to make their mothers feel loved and appreciated.

Family cleaning house while mother is sleeping.

9. Giving Their Mothers A Break From Household Chores

Filipino mothers are known for their dedication and hard work in household management.

On Mother’s Day, children often say, “Ako na gagawa nyan, Ma” (Let me do it, Mom) and take over the household chores to give their mothers a much-needed break.

They prepare breakfast in bed, clean the house, do the “labahin” (laundry), and take care of other tasks, allowing their mothers to relax and enjoy the day.

10. Making A Donation To A Charity Or Organization

Mother’s Day is also a time for Filipinos to give back to their community. Some families donate to a charity or organization that supports mothers and families in need.

For example, they may donate to a women’s shelter or a local non-profit organization that assists single moms.

This is a meaningful way to honor their own mothers and help others at the same time.

11. Creating A Video Montage Or Slideshow Of Family Photos

Filipinos love to “balik-tanaw” (reminisce) and look back at old family photos. On Mother’s Day, children often create a video montage or slideshow of family photos to showcase their favorite memories with their mothers.

They include childhood photos, family vacations, and other memorable moments with a heartfelt message.

12. Writing A Heartfelt Letter Or Poem

Mother’s Day in the Philippines is the perfect time for kids to flex their writing muscles and express their love for their moms.

Kids pour out their hearts, relive precious moments, and shower their moms with gratitude. Who needs Hallmark when you’ve got creativity and love on your side?

Calling mom on Skype on the second Sunday of May.

13. Hosting A Virtual Celebration Or Gathering

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many families cannot be together in person on Mother’s Day.

To still celebrate the occasion, Filipinos often host a virtual celebration or gathering.

They use video conferencing tools to connect with their loved ones, play games, and enjoy a virtual meal together.

Tagalog Phrases For Mother’s Day In The Philippines

Looking for ways to greet a loving mother in Tagalog this Mother’s Day? Here are some common phrases and messages that you can use to show your love and appreciation:

EnglishTagalogPronunciationSound
Mother/MomIna/NanayEe-nah/nah-nay
Happy Mother’s Day!Maligayang Araw ng mga Ina!Mah-lee-guy-ung ah-row ng mga ee-na
I love you, MomMahal kita, InayMah-hal kee-ta, ee-nigh
I love you so much, MomMahal na mahal kita, NanayMah-hal na mah-hal kee-ta, nah-nay
Thank you for everything, MomSalamat sa lahat, NanaySa-la-mat sa la-hat, nah-nay
Enjoy your dayMag-enjoy ka sa iyong arawMahg-en-joy kah sa ee-yong ah-raw
This is for youIto ay para sa iyoEe-toh ahy pah-rah sah ee-yoh
You are a true light of the homeIsa kang tunay na ilaw ng tahananEe-sa kang too-nigh na ee-law ng ta-ha-nan
Learn Tagalog with Ling App now!

Celebrate Mother’s Day In Philippines With The Ling App

Mother’s Day in Philippines is a unique and meaningful occasion that celebrates the love and sacrifices of mothers.

Whether you’re a Filipino or a foreigner, this day is an excellent opportunity to show your love and gratitude for your mother or mother figures in your life.

So why not join the celebration and try out some of the local traditions and customs?

And if you’re interested in learning Tagalog and the Filipino culture, the Ling app is the perfect place to start. With our language learning resources, you can easily master the basics of the Filipino language and explore its unique culture.

Download from App Store or Google Play now!

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