I just got home from Harrison B. Langham’s Christening. I missed the whole ceremony because it started at 5PM exactly coinciding with Sunday Evening service. I was late for the reception, too. It’s perfectly fine with me because most of the guests have already left Skylight Hotel. Not that I have a problem with being in a crowd. I just thought it’s nicer when you know everybody in a social gathering.
So what exactly is a Ninang? In Filipino culture, it’s Mrs. Sta. Claus. Of course, I am kidding! Seriously, according to wordnet.princeton.edu a Ninang is a godmother i.e. a woman who serves as a sponsor for a child at baptism.
A Ninang can be considered as a second mother or a substitute mother. A Ninang is expected to give the godchild presents during birthdays, Christmases, kindergarten graduation, elementary graduation, high school graduation, and college graduation, etc., etc. Seems like so many presents, eh? I’m just messing around regarding the kindergarten to college graduation gift-giving. But hey, if you feel so generous, no one is stopping you from giving. OK, as long as the birthdays and Christmases are remembered, the godchild will not mind if you forget the other gift-giving days. 🙂
I think, the most important function of a Ninang is to help in rearing the child to grow up with positive moral values. A Ninang must be wise enough to be able to reach out to the godchild and put some sense into his/her mind. A Ninang must be a godchild’s friend -not a “smother.”
Now what in the world is a smother? According to Julia Music, it’s a mother who overly smudges, protects, or shelters kid/s to the point of choking the kid/s. That reminds me I miss chatting with Julia.
Anyway, back to being a Ninang… to this date, I have 12 godchildren. None of them are teenagers yet. Thank God, I still have some years to grow up and be wise so that I can give them good advice when the time comes. A Ninang doesn’t give unsolicited advice either. She knows when to talk and when to keep her mouth shut. She also knows how and when to be fun and when to be really serious.
Writing about this now made me realize being a Ninang is actually an effort. Not a bad thing, though. I think it’s cool to influence children for good and somehow contribute to their success in life.