Yearly Archives: 2021

Observing All Saints’ Day in the Philippines

Family tradition

I grew up in the Catholic tradition of visiting the cemetery to honor the dead every Nov. 1. We would brave the crowd to bring flowers and candles for our departed loved ones. The occasion itself serves as a family reunion to us. Aunts, uncles, and cousins would come to the house to share a simple meal prepared by my mom and aunts. 

They would cook sumptuous ‘sinigang’ or ‘nilagang baboy’ for lunch. And before we head to the cemetery in the afternoon, the oldies would prepare ‘kakanin’ usually, ‘biko’ for our snack.

My late uncle. He raised my sister and me as his own.

No more burial grounds

It was sad that we no longer practice the tradition because there are no tombs to visit anymore. The area where once the cemetery stood for decades is now the haven of a big commercial establishment. Oddly enough, the commercial place in Alabang is said to be haunted by ghosts. 

My uncle failed to recover the remains of my grandparents. But, he was able to acquire an empty place for them at the next town cemetery.

(Update) Sadly, my dear uncle passed on last June. Another family member has joined his Creator.

Light a candle 

So for many years now, our family commemorates All Saints’ Day at home. I would light a candle beside the picture of my grandparents, aunt, uncles, and cousin and say a little prayer for them. 

For our family members no longer with us, these candles are for you.

I also lit some candles outside our door. Our oldies said the lights from the candle would guide the spirits leading them to the other side.

Ghost tales

Aside from hearing the stories about their late great-grandparents, my kids also loved to hear ghost stories when they were little. 

I think they got the fancy for horror and supernatural stories from me since I grew up watching horror flicks despite my being so afraid or frightened of creepy characters.

There are a lot of fond childhood memories to share about All Souls and All Saints’ Day but, a single post is not enough to accommodate all of them. How about you, how will you spend or celebrate All Saints’ Day this year?

Sacrifices for Loved Ones

It’s hard to recall personal “sacrifices” that I have made for my family because I don’t consider them sacrifices but part of my responsibility as a mother and wife. 

I can share with you were the occasions when I was assigned provincial assignments and did not see my kids for several days. Even when there was someone to watch over my kids, it’s different when you see them daily and monitor if they have eaten, took their vitamins, or completed their homework. I’m sure there are other moms out there who can relate to my experience. 

There was another instance when I was on assignment and got stalled in the area for days. A typhoon hit the province, and no available flights were going back to Manila. I wish I can voice out my complaint to my bosses for giving me the assignment then. But they can’t do anything about it as they too were following orders from the top.

I quit my job not because I don’t love the things that I do for more than a decade, but I thought there are more important things than earning money. I wish I’d stay, but there was a part of me that says I’d had enough. I’m still a working mom at present, but my home serves as my office for online opportunities. I’m happy that I’m no longer an absentee mom but a mom at their beck and call.

How about you what sacrifices you’ve made for your family lately?

Starting a Home Renovation Project

A home renovation project can be time-consuming, but it can be worth all of the work involved when you see the outcome. There are some tips to keep in mind when starting a renovation; and some things you might want to avoid. There are ways to begin a project now if you have an idea of what you want to see different in the house.

Whether you want to do all of the work on your own or hire someone to do the renovations, it’s best to assess the home to find out what work would be best and what should be left alone. There might be parts of the house that don’t need to be improved or are not stable enough to withstand a complete renovation. Once you have assessed the home to determine the best ideas, then you can start looking at the materials needed and how much money you will need for the project.

All of the systems in the home need to function correctly. These include the electrical system, plumbing, and heating. Issues with the electricity or plumbing need to be corrected before the renovation is complete. It is also the best time to examine the heating and cooling system for any issues with the filter or how the system operates.

If you’re replacing appliances as a part of your renovation project, then consider getting energy-efficient appliances. Some states will offer a rebate if you purchase energy-efficient appliances. Other states give credit if you properly discard older amenities that are not energy efficient. A usual project in the kitchen is replacing appliances with stainless steel or replacing the cabinet faces.

Windows and doors can also have a dramatic effect on the home. You want to get something that will blend with the rest of the design of the house. If the interior is small, consider lighter colors and more glass on the doors to allow natural light inside the home. For added protection to wade off insects from coming inside the house, you can add a screen roll to the window. It’s cheaper and saves you money to buy bulk screen rolls