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Gen Z’s take on “ninong” and “ninang”

by Deanna Macaranas

WE’RE nearly halfway through December and, for sure, a lot of us are more than excited to receive gifts and Christmas bonuses. 

While working adults can buy themselves tokens, kids are still waiting to receive their Christmas presents. 

One of the well-expected gifters are the ninongs (godfathers) and ninangs (godmothers) of these kids. However, there are instances when they wouldn’t show up even if we visit them and try knocking on their doors.  

When we were younger, we used to wait for our ninongs and ninangs so we could receive our Christmas gifts. While some of us were excited to figure out what kind of toy we’re receiving, others would receive that red envelope (ampao) often filled with crisp peso bills. 

Now that we’re older, we’re taking over the role of being a ninong or ninang to the younger ones. But have you ever considered how the Gen Z are taking over the role? 

We interviewed two college students who shared their thoughts and experiences in being a ninong or ninang.  

Kathryn, 19, and Zach, 21, claimed that the decision of being a ninong or ninang was made by their mothers. 

Kathryn estimates that she has 20 inaanak (godchild/ren) to date, while Zach has only four. They believe their godchildren range from 2 to 10 years old. 

Gift-giving is one of the essences that Christmas holds. When we asked Zach if he would give a gift to his inaanak this Christmas, he said, yes.

However, when we asked Kathryn, she replied that she doesn’t plan on giving anything to her godchildren. 

“I don’t have money yet as I’m not yet working–what am I going to give to them?” she said. 

While the godchildren’s age can be a sort of big deal to other ninongs and ninangs, is there really an age range when ninongs and ninangs should stop gifting their inaanak

Zach thinks there is no age limit in terms of giving gifts to their inaanak. For Kathryn, it’s only acceptable to give gifts to them until they’re 18. “I think being 18 means that they’re capable of gifting themselves so I don’t think they would need me,” she said. 

Asked whether she can relate to the Internet memes where the ninong and ninang would hide from their inaanak, Kathryn claims that she can connect herself to it.

“Well, I agree with that because we actually do hide from them since we cannot give them anything,” she said.  

Meanwhile, Zach said he could also relate to the memes but that it doesn’t necessarily mean that he wouldn’t give them presents if they were to see him.

“Of course, I wouldn’t show myself but if they see me–I’ll give (gifts to) them,” he said.

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