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Mano po, Ninong, Mano po, Ninang

Having, choosing, and being a godparent is a big part of our Filipino culture. The role is most especially remembered on important occasions such as birthdays and during Christmas. But what does it really mean to be someone’s Ninong or Ninang? Read on as we take a look at what the role actually entails.

P.S. It’s not just about giving material gifts!

Also Read: Yes, ‘Generosity Burnout’ is a Real Thing—and Here’s How to Avoid it

What are godparents for?

Being a godparent is a very distinct honor because godparents are in charge of their inaanak’s Christian education and formation. “Godparents serve as role models of Christian Life,” says

Fr. Kit Bautista of the Society of Jesus. They are persons of integrity, outstanding in holiness and virtue, who follow the commandments of God and the teachings of the Church.”

What should you consider when choosing a godparent?

It’s common practice in the Philippines to choose godparents based on their stature, influence, and generosity. Parents also often feel pressured to choose those who are close to them to avoid any hurt feelings. But godparents should be carefully considered for their willingness to continuously take part in their godchild’s spiritual growth. When it comes to their inaanak’s Christian development and welfare, ninongs and ninangs should be guided by these keywords: nurture, advise, counsel, and protect. It’s a very noble calling if you think about it!

Are godparents supposed to adopt their godchildren in case the parents pass away?

Unless the parents express it on their Last Will and Testament, godparents have no custody of their godchild. But as part of their obligation to their kumare and kumpare, godparents should help teach their godchild good values, providing continuous guidance and support. But if you are a godparent, why wait? You can start doing this as early as now! And while it’s great if you remember to send your godchildren presents this Christmas, it would be even better if you took the time out to be a guiding presence in their lives.


Want to learn more on what it takes to be a Ninong or Ninang? Grab a copy of the October 2017 issue of My Pope Philippines. Call +63917.711.1818 now to order back issues!
Text by Tata Mapa. Photos from Newscom and GIPHY.
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