Remembering the departed

Undas. Kalag-kalag. Day of the Dead. Technically — according to the Catholic Church — 1 November is actually All Saints’ Day; it’s the day after that’s supposed to be the day for remembering our departed relatives. But in traditional practice (one might even say it’s now part of our culture), millions of Filipinos troop to cemeteries on the 1st of November. That’s why each year, the President has to declare that day a non-working holiday.

(This year, even 2 November has been declared a holiday, by virtue of its being sandwiched between a holiday and the weekend. Is it logical? Go ask business owners. But that’s for another post….)

This year, it doesn’t seem like the usual congested, bustling 1st of November. Usually it’s so crowded traffic would be backed up for miles. And usually there’d be so many people, food chains would even put up temporary outlets right on the cemetery grounds. People would be gathered around their families’ plots or mausoleums, chatting the night away, playing mahjongg and cards, drinking… well, yeah, praying too. But like I’d always say, kulang na lang tsubibo.

But this year was different though. The traffic going into the Davao Memorial Park wasn’t so bad. Even San Pedro, the Chinese Cemetery, probably even Forest Lake — all the major cemeteries in the city seemed quiet in comparison to normal expectation. I wonder why….

Here are a few photos taken at Davao Memorial, courtesy of Christian Te.

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