Today, but particularly, we join the rest of Filipinos and others overseas in raising the glass to celebrate fathers—however they are addressed in the different languages—for their far-reaching role in the family, the basic social unit, and the bigger community beyond.
Indubitably, many have jumped into the observance, one version says, initiated in Fairmont, West Virginia by a woman named Grace Gordon Clayton in 1908 when she campaigned for her local service to honor fathers following the Monongah mining disaster the year before which claimed at least 367 men.
Another story points to US Civil War veteran Sonora Smart Dodd as the champion of Father’s Day, when the daughter from Arkansas wanted to honor her dad who, as a widower, raised his six children all alone after his wife died following the last childbirth.
In 1910, the first Father’s Day celebration by Sonora Dodd was staged in Spokane, Washington.
In the Philippines, Father’s Day is officially celebrated every third Sunday of June, following a presidential proclamation in 1988.
While we argue that fathers, in much the same level as mothers, must be celebrated 365 days every common year and 366 each leap year, we go on a spree today and mark it while we beat the drum for the fathers—dead or alive—who have played and who play a consequential role in the lives of their children.
The role touches incredibly on the cognitive, behavioral and general health as well as well-being areas of a child’s life. These are the children, eventual leaders or useful units of their respective communities or even their country on a wall-to-wall scenario.
Some research studies have shown the far-reaching impact of a nation’s political and economic past on the role of fathers then, linking poor parenting and absence to “the socio-economic legacy” among other social stumbling blocks.
More than treating the fathers today to a sumptuous lunch or dinner at a luxury hotel or establishment, more than giving the fathers a much-needed week-long trip outside their usual jurisdictions as a recognition of their contributions to the family and society, let’s honor them—again—by telling how great their gift and service have been.
Today, let’s raise the glass for these guileless walls of trust and security, the wellsprings of encouragement.