Thursday, November 03, 2016

Remembering our Departed Loved Ones

Every 1st to the 2nd of November yearly, Filipinos would visit departed loved ones at various memorial parks and cemeteries. Customarily, the occasion is observed nationwide by surviving family members taking with them flowers and candles as offering to their departed loved ones. Those with bigger family members visiting would have tents. The tents are to protect themselves from the bright sunlight at daytime. Likewise shield from possible rain as they vigil overnight.

Family members would bring food for them to partake during the visit. In some memorial parks, fast food operators would take advantage of business opportunity. They cater food to the family members who do not have time to prepare food. It is a family reunion to most Filipinos as they gather together at the resting place of their departed loved ones.

Most of us prefer to visit on the 1st of November, being All Saints Day, some would visit the 2nd being the All Souls Day. It is also acceptable if we visit early to avoid the traffic jam.  In my case, I prefer to visit my parents resting place before the 1st of November.  Prior to the occasion, family members would clean up the tomb, freshen up with new coats of paints and make sure the epitaph on the head stone are readable.  For those who can afford to pay, they would hire someone to do the job.

Despite the influence of Western culture that is celebrating Halloween. Most of us Filipinos would spend for candles and flowers for our departed loved ones rather than spending for Halloween parties.  Due to some imposition from private offices and shopping malls some of us are hook up on preparing customs for Halloween.  I have nothing against those who celebrates Halloween parties. But, to be honest I do not like to see grotesque figures of dead people, zombies and the like.   It is not that I am scared of them but for me it connotes negativism.

I am glad that most Filipinos do not really buy the idea of this Halloween customs for Halloween parties. Rather continue the cultural tradition of spending money and time in remembrance of our departed loved ones. This tradition has been handed down from generation to generation all over the Philippines. This occasion in addition to Christmas brings Filipinos together as a family. 

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