FILIPINOS are known for their close family ties. Unlike in most western nations, the Philippines possesses this unique culture of constant family gatherings.
For our family, typical gathering happens every Sunday. As the saying goes, “Sunday is a Family Day” and this is observed religiously by every member of our growing tribe. We usually start our Sunday with a eucharistic celebration at Mount Carmel Church.
Immediately after hearing the mass, the adults will decide where to take our lunch. Just imagine dining out with almost every member of your family, with the next generation outnumbering the adults which are mostly teenagers is a total chaos yet blissful experience. After a sumptuous lunch, coffee and desserts will be served. This usually takes place in a local coffee shop in one of the many shopping malls in the city. This is the part where the adults drink coffee and the young ones partake the desserts.
Discussions of every possible topic under the sun are shared and as a result, our traditional Sunday lunch lasted until 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon or sometimes longer. Our noontime gathering alone is filled with laughter and pictures. These pictures are shared in our family group chat for other family members who are not around to take a glimpse of what’s happening with the family.
Once the coffee cups and dessert plates are cleared of the table, the group will disperse depending on the age group. Our parents normally go back home to rest; the kids will typically troop to an Internet Café for some online gaming while the adults go errands. Most of the activities are basically done to create further bond within the family – from the cousins to the higher ups.
Our ancestral home is the venue for our Sunday dinner. You can expect a text message from my mother before the 6:00 PM dinner time so therefore it is mandatory that everyone is present. The adults are entitled to eat in the round table and another set of discussions are engage, while the young ones are scattered according to their age groups.
Dinner time also calls for a movie time. The kind of movie to watch depends on the mood of the kids and with access to Netflix, K-Drama is slowly taking over the English films. If the movie is new and interesting, kids and adults will be watching it intensely. But, if the movie is mediocre, everybody will be engrossed in talking and laughing usually over a mug of brewed coffee, though sometimes, some would drink red wine with different kinds of cheese.
This is our Sunday habit that is very hard to break. The family patriarch and matriarch are the core of this habit that slowly transforms into a family tradition. The atmosphere of our Sundays is a classic example of a Filipino family. One that is based on a culture of respect. Nowadays, even with our busy schedules at work and schools, in case of our children, we made it a point to always be around and be together at least one day of every week.
It really creates a difference if you are close with your family. Though there are times you experience ups and downs, but in the end, it gives you peace of mind knowing that you have a family that you can lean on in times of needs. You have them to share your stories. Growing up in a close family is something to cherish forever. This provides strong foundation for our next generation and teach them to value the importance of their family. The treasures we acquire in every moment spent together will be forever ingrained in our hearts and minds.
How about you? What is your Sunday habit with your family?