It has become customary for Filipinos to go to the cemetery every 1st of November to observe All Saints/All Souls Day. People of all ages light candles and offer flowers to their love ones who were resting in peace. During this day, prices of flowers and candles go thrice than their usual cost. Oh well, what can I expect, it usually happens when there are celebrations and the demand of the products are relatively high. This is where most sellers take advantage of the opportunity to earn more bucks. Anyway, it is business and there is nothing I can do about it. I do not know if this only happens in the Philippines or anywhere in the world. One thing is for sure, All Saints/All Souls Day in the country is extraordinary that you will be amazed on how Filipinos celebrate it.
In the cemetery you get to observe the following:
1. MP3’s and other sound system are loudly played inside the vicinity, in which some people are like having a party in a disco hall. Where on Earth would you see that huh? And instead of kneeling and offering prayers, they shake their booties and groove to the tune of latest disco music craze.
2. If luck permits and no policemen roving around the graveyard, some are quenching their thirst for alcohol and others are drinking to the fullest with other strong beverages. I just don’t get it why they do this. They are not there for a social gathering. Cemetery is a place to visit the people who has been a part of your life in which you need to let them feel that in some ways they are still important eventhough they passed away. Oh well, I know drinking is a way of killing the time as you enjoy chatting with other family members but heck not in cemetery please?
3. Playing gambling stuff. It has been a tradition in the country that in order to keep the atmosphere more enthusiastic and alive, you should know the game– and that is play cards or mahjong. Influences in gambling has been evident in the country way back it had been colonized by Chinese and Spaniards to name a few. Hence, do not be culture shocked when you see Filipinos playing cards or other stuff atop the tomb or anywhere in the mausoleum. It is in the blood already.
These are just some of the practices that I think only exist in the Pearl of the Orient Seas- the Philippines. It might be out of this world but hey you are seeing Filipino culture! I do not know if you find it weird but as time goes by it has been already part of the culture and society accepted it. What I just do not like with the ones I mentioned above is the heart thumping playing of music in the sacred place for souls who are in hell, purgatory or in heaven. It is just so annoying and disrespectful for the dead people. Just my two cents though 😉
Before I kick myself and head on to offer prayers for my beloved father (may God be with him always) am leaving a video that you would love to see. 😀