Tag Archives: childhood memories

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?