A Big Mahalo to our Dads – Happy Father’s Day

As Mother’s Day is dedicated to our first source of love and nurturing; perhaps Father’s Day is that special time to honor our first source of strength and security. Of course, clearly there is overlapping of all the influential roles both our parents have played in our lives, particularly in contemporary society.

We are thankful, grateful and celebrate both on each of their special days.

Mother’s Day in the US came much earlier in 1907. The idea of celebrating the first Father’s Day was observed in 1910 in Spokane, Washington. But the official recognition of Father’s Day came much later when in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation designating the third Sunday in June to honor fathers.

But the significance and meaning to observe Father’s Day in 1910 was aptly captured when Sonora Smart Dodd came up with the idea when listening to a Mother’s Day Sermon in 1909. Her father William Smart had raised her and her five siblings alone on a farm after her mom died giving birth to their last child.

Sonora felt why shouldn’t her father be given recognition for his role in parenting. Her ministers at her church agreed and soon after preparations were made, the first local celebration in the US of Father’s Day occurred the following year on June 19.

Like Mother’s Day, a day to honor fathers caught on worldwide. The Philippines also celebrates Father’s Day annually on the same day as in the US, the third Sunday of June.

Perhaps similar to why Father’s Day took many decades later (after Mother’s Day) to be officially recognized, Father’s Day for some reason is not as commercially celebrated. For example, Mother’s Day is actually the busiest day in the year for restaurants. Mothers are usually showered with an array of special gifts from flowers to chocolates and greetings cards. Fathers, not so much.Why this is the case could be rooted in the traditional role of the patriarch, as lead provider and lead protector of the family. In such traditionalism, it’s a step out of character for the leader to be, suddenly, the receiver of gifts. But again, as contemporary society is evolving, so too has the commercial aspect of Father’s Day changing in that giving dad gifts is increasingly common.

Besides gift-giving, taking dad out to a restaurant is catching on, too. But the venues tend to be much more masculine like BBQ restaurants or large buffets. On the mainland, it’s still typical for families to hold BBQ’s at home on Father’s Day, which could be why BBQ restaurants became the common sense alternative if dining out. In Hawaii, family potlucks and BBQ at the beach are popular on Father’s Day.  There are also beer specials at restaurant-bars both locally and on the mainland. Mother’s Day dining tends to be at restaurants more cozy, quiet, and intimate with wait help.

Father As Role Model and Teacher
Typically when asked specifically what people are thankful for on Father’s day, often we hear something like, “My father was my role model growing up. He taught me by example how to overcome challenges, how to be strong, to believe in myself, and that I could do and be anything I want.”

Fathers often are looked upon as our first teacher who gave us gems of wisdom. He is often said to be the prime source who laid foundational values of the family, especially in the areas of work ethics and sacrifice. He is the one remembered for working through sickness and storms to be able to feed the family, put clothes on our backs and provide for our schooling and vacations. He gave us our first car, and our first driving lesson (on the latter, we wished mom had given us that lesson).

He is also credited for tough love, the person who put us back on track when needed – the disciplinarian who set and enforced house rules. The first person to talk with children about rules and when they’ve been broken usually was mom with a softer touch and actual reasoning explained. But when things are left unsettled, usually dad would come in and simply make demands to be abided by, end of discussion, end of story.

There is also a saying that subconsciously women tend to seek husbands who possess similar attributes and life perspectives as their fathers. It’s reported in the prestigious magazine New Scientist that women even tend to choose husbands who look like their fathers – even if they are adopted, a study revealed.

The research shows that women use their dads as a template for picking a mate by a process called “sexual imprinting,” said Tamas Bereczkei at the University of Pécs in Hungary. This is related to a human species desire to successfully pass on healthy genes, fortuitous genetic combinations.

Along this train of thought, what children typically say of their fathers who are very successful, is that they also prefer their husbands be at least similarly successful.

Beyond Death
While cross-culturally from American to European households, fathers are remembered on special holidays and occasions like Father’s Day even after their passing, in the Asian culture particularly among Chinese, fathers in death are practically venerated. In Filipino culture, it’s typical in our prayers to God for us to also appeal to our deceased parents to watch over

Whether your father has passed on or is still among us, we hope that your family (if fully vaccinated) can get together and honor him especially if you’ve forgone last year’s Father’s Day celebration due to the pandemic.  Mabuhay and Happy Father’s Day!

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