Sunday, November 2, 2008

All Saints' Day and All Soul's Day


Every November 1 and 2, Filipinos return to their hometown for a unique kind of family get together. We spend the days at the local cemetery to visit our deceased family members. To the uninitiated this means that we bring foods, flowers, lots of candles, and sometimes musical instruments to the burial place. I know picnics and cemetery doesn't normally don't go together but in our culture they do.

Yesterday we left for Barangay Libertad cemetery at 3 in the afternoon. We arrived at around 4. Traffic was relatively light compared to last year although the place is as crowded as ever. Kudos to the traffic enforcers for making our trip there stress-free.

Because we spend two days yearly at this place, a number of well-to-do has constructed structures to make their stay at the burial site as comfortable as possible. This is why my uncle called our cemetery as "subdivision of the dead." It is funny because it has truth in them, and sad too because the place looks too overcrowded with all the concrete buildings close together. Anyway, before I rained on anyone's parade you'll see why at the photo below.

Some of these buildings are bare with only benches for sitting, while others have the works: airconditioning, restrooms, appliances etc. In our case, our elders opted for a garden memorial to make it more easy on the eyes (less claustrophobic too).

Our family usually spends the first few minutes (or hours) talking and eating. When it gets darker, we pray. Then we talk some more, take photos, laugh.

We left at around 6, when the sun has set, and the night is more pronounced.


Benjamin Madison said...

Lovely photo of the candles and a very interesting description of how you spend this special day.

Tonymak said...

All Saints & All Souls Day are very special to the Filipino people. I would have loved to have been there this year with my lovely asawa and family. Maybe I will have the chance to go next year..
Take good care and God Bless everyone..


Tammie said...

what an a amzing, beautiful tradition. i think there is a stigma associated wih cemetaries---they dont need to be these spooky, scary places.

Hilda said...

Love your shot of the candles — beautiful! Mas type ko ang ginawa ng pamilya mo. I also love how you removed most of the colors except for the umbrella.

I haven't gone to the cemetery during Nov 1 and 2 in years! I'd rather go during my parents' birthdays or death anniversaries — any time except now. I really hate crowds.

Snapper said...

Very striking image. Bravo!

Chuck Pefley said...

Very effective photo with the candles.

babooshka said...

It is a very powerful image

hadv said...

I'm trying to figure out what I like about those candles.. oh yes.. i think it's because it's eerie.

Layrayski said...

Benjamin Madison--Thank you, that means a lot to me =)

tonymak-- Thank you for your comment tonymak, it adds credibility to my post *grin* God bless!

tammie-- yes, =) you won't feel scared when you visit our cemetery during these times, tammie. Lots and lots of people partying is as far from scary as could be. =)

hilda-- that's what I figured coz you didn't post one at your blog. Haha Thank you I'm glad you like my candle photos. I took a lot of them that I got confused as to which ones to post. Hehehe.

Snapper-- Wow, thank ye! =)

chuck pefley-- You're too kind =) I believe I've never had my photo described as effective. I like it!

babooshka-- thank you kind, sir. I'm honored you think so.

hadv-- hehehe I figured you'd like that aspect of it. =)

Louis la Vache said...

Wishing you a blessed All Saints Day.

"Louis" thanks you for visiting San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.

Layrayski said...

thanks louis for stopping by. God bless!

Ben said...

Thanks for comment on Nelson Daily Photo!

the donG said...

in the philippines, it's really a time to be together with both alive and the dead.

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