TRIVIA: Mothers and Mother's Day
MANILA, Philippines – For this year, the annual Mother's Day celebration falls on Sunday, May 11.
This celebration is an intimate occasion for Filipinos, as most families reunite and bond for a fun weekend.
Part of the tradition in observing Mother’s Day is the giving of flowers, cards and gifts or even treating mothers to a “day off.” Some settle for watching a movie or having a fantastic dinner together.
Apart from these Mother's Day practices, Rappler lists some interesting facts about mothers and the Mother's Day celebration.
1. By law, Mother's Day in the Philippines is actually every December
Former president Joseph Estrada signed in 1998 Proclamation 58, which declares the first Monday of December of every year as "Mother's Day" and "Father's Day."
Proclamation 58 has yet to be replaced by another proclamation for the date to be changed. Yet the country currently celebrates Mother's Day every second Sunday of May.
Estrada's proclamation replaced Proclamation 266 signed by former president Corazon Aquino in 1988, which sets every second Sunday of May as Mother's Day.
Before that, president Ferdinand Marcos signed in 1980 Proclamation 2037, which declares the first Monday of December as Mother’s Day.
2. Not all countries celebrate Mother's Day every second Sunday of May
Though a lot of countries celebrate Mother's Day on this day (including the Philippines and the US), the dates in other countries are changed to fit their culture, tradition, custom or existing holidays.
In some countries, the celebration for mothers is combined with that of fathers (like the Parent's Day in Korea) or of children (like the Mothers' and Children's Day in Mongolia).
3. It has been 100 years since Mother's Day was officially observed in the US
Mother's Day was first celebrated in the US in 1908. But in 1914, former president Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation declaring Mother’s Day a national holiday to honor mothers every second Sunday in May.
The campaign to adopt a special day honoring mothers was started by Anna Jarvis, who is now considered the mother of Mother's Day in the US.
4. “Mother’s Day” is the proper name of the celebration, not “Mothers Day” or "Mothers' Day"
Jarvis wanted it to be a holiday to honor each individual's mother. Thus, the name is singular, not plural.
It must be a singular possessive, for each family to honor its mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers of the world.
5. The celebration for motherhood dates back to ancient times
Some historians claim that Mother's Day originated from ancient spring festivals dedicated to maternal goddesses. Greeks honored Rhea, wife of Cronus and mother of the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology.
Ancient Romans had a spring festival dedicated to Cybele, also a mother goddess. Called Hilaria, this celebration lasted for 3 days and included parades, games and masquerades.
6. The youngest mother to give birth is aged 5
Lina Medina delivered a baby boy at an age of 5 in Peru in 1939. Her parents brought her to the emergency room after noticing her stomach was growing abnormally.
Doctors initially thought she might have a tumor, but she was found to be 7 months pregnant after running some tests.
Meanwhile, the youngest girl in the Philippines to give birth is only 9 years old. She is from Mindanao, and was raped by her own father twice.
7. The oldest mother to give birth is aged 65
In 2003, a 65-year-old retired teacher in India named Satyabhama Mahapatra gave birth to a baby boy. She and her husband had been married for 50 years prior to the childbirth, and the baby was their first child.
The baby was conceived through artificial insemination using eggs from her 26-year-old niece, Veenarani Mahapatra, and the sperm of Veenarani's husband.
8. The most number of childbirth in modern times is 64
Leontina Albina of Chile claims to be the mother of 64 children, of which only 55 are documented. She was earlier listed in the Guinness World Records in 1999, but was dropped from later editions.
9. The Philippines holds a Guinness World Record on breastfeeding
In 2007, some 15,128 mother-child pairs in 295 sites across the country joined a breastfeeding program, earning it a world record.
The country also bagged in 2006 a world record for the most number of women breastfeeding simultaneously in a single site.
10. In the Philippines, women in urban areas have lesser children than those women residing in rural areas
Based on the findings of the 2011 Family Health Survey (FHS), the total fertility rate (TFR) of women in urban areas averages 2.7 children per woman, lower than the average of 3.6 children per woman for those in rural areas.
TFR is interpreted as the number of births a woman could have, on the average, at the end of her reproductive year.
The survey also revealed that 9.5% of women aged 15 to 19 years have begun childbearing, wherein 7.4% are already mothers, and 2.1% are pregnant with their first child.
The proportion of young women who have begun childbearing range from about 1% among women aged 15 to about 24% among women aged 19. – Rappler.com
Dada Grifon is a Rappler intern.