A fast disappearing tradition of respect, la mano (Spanish for ‘the hand”) is a practice of placing the back of the hand of an elder ( a grandparent, aunt, uncle or a dear elderly family friend, etc.) to one’s forehead as a sign of respect.
When a parent introduced a child to an elderly relative or friend, the child has to acknowledge the visitor by politely stepping forward and placing the back of the hand to his forehead. The child also has to say as a greeting “Mano po.” Unfortunately, this tradition is fast disappearing since the time Filipino parents have ‘modernized’ their child rearing to Western standards (read: more liberal, less ‘Filipino’).
Nowadays, it is becoming rare that one sees the la mano tradition although some families still practice it to instill a more conservative behavior in their offspring.
Mabuhay ang la mano!