The Mats, an old short story written by esteemed Filipino writer Francisco Arcellana, contains existing representations of the Filipino family today. It tells the story of a big and well-to-do family who, at first glance, appears happy and content, but behind this facade is a burden that the members seem to want to forget or to not think about at all.
The father came home from a business trip one day, bringing with him intricately designed mats for his wife and for every child. There were three more mats that could not be given in person because those children died already, and this is the burden of the family. No reasons were given for their death, but I can surmise that they either died at childbirth or at war or during a serious illness in their childhood. The father appealed to his family not to forget them in their daily happy existence, and to accept that they died so they can truly move on.