Mothers are hailed as queens in their households

The Filipino mom is a queen too. Stock photo

By Ludy Astraquillo Ongkeko, PhD

Tributes have been paid to Queen Elizabeth who left this terrestrial world at age 96, her demise marked by pomp, pageantry and lots of affection from people around the world.

And why shouldn’t it be. Her 70-year reign likely will never be matched by any monarch anywhere. It demonstrated her ability to adapt and modernize, to maintain “stability” alongside “continuity,” during her seven-decade reign.

In June 2022, Queen Elizabeth marked her platinum jubilee 17 months before the passing of her husband, Prince Philip. Two days before her death, she welcomed Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, the 15th to head the British government during her long reign.  Till the end of her reign, Queen Elizabeth became highly revered for her devotion to duty, a model of leadership in what has been defined often enough as “a messy world.”

This writer is far from comparing herself to Queen Elizabeth although we are both nonagenarians in age. I’ve known many queens in my lifetime as well. I’m referring to the Filipino mothers who have families and run households like they were running their own little “monarchies.”

The Filipino woman has held her own wherever she finds herself in the world. She is usually the sole head of her household even as she finds herself in circumstances where she becomes widowed, separated or divorced. She is queen wherever there is family around her.

‘Mum’ Queen Elizabeth with Prince Charles and Princess Anne when they were children.

Her advice or opinion is sought in reference to any undertaking in her household. It could be answers to questions like “Should we buy a new car?” or “Where will Joey go to school?”  Architects and the househelp cannot move forward without the consent of the mother, the homemaker, the queen.

When there are children of school age who depend on their mothers for daily guidance, they cannot clear the path through their fathers alone. Fathers usually defer to their wives for any family decision to carry weight: “Ask your mother.”

As children are wont to do, they let their mothers know their itineraries and schedules ahead of time to ensure there is no conflict and no opposition. As the virtual head of the family, the mother holds the key to an organized household or family event. She does have her own kingdom and everyone has to follow her rules if they do not want to be on her bad side or, shall we say, “royally pissed.”

Yes, the mother does reign supreme in many households.  Household helps’ salaries are part of her concerns as are duties expected of them.  Vacation schedules are handed down by the mother who is in firm control and makes sure she is running a tight ship.

Keeping track of their schoolchildren’s assignments is important to a Filipino mom.  It is she who reviews everything and makes sure they are done within the time allotted. No cramming school work inside the school bus or the family car on the way to school.

The bottom line: the mother is queen and her household is her royal domain. Everyone is expected to follow the rules. No changes can be made without going through her or seeking her approval.  Every member of the household is aware of her rules and the consequences for breaking them. 

© The FilAm 2022

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: