All Saints' Day and All Soul's Day
These are two holidays that most Filipinos especially Catholics celebrate every year. November 1 (All Saints' Day) and November 2 (All Soul's Day) are Philippine Holidays and collective called "Undas" or "Araw ng mga Patay" in Filipino. During this time, the Filipinos observe the visiting of their loved ones. Days prior to the said dates, Filipinos visit the graves of their loved ones to clean, make repairs and paint the graves in preparation for the visit. People around this time of the year will flock the cemeteries.
(Source: Philippine Star)
Candles of various sizes, shapes and scents are being sold in the market. Flowers of different variant are peddled and sold everywhere. Businesses during this season, makes it a point to earn a lot so prices of such goods goes up, higher than the usual price.
Most of these flowers come from the Benguet province and they are being traveled to neighboring towns and cities. The prices of flowers already go up while still in Benguet so it is expected that it is more pricey once it reached a different destination farther from Benguet.
(Source: Philippine Star)
While this event is said to be a remembrance in solemnity, prayer and Thanksgiving, in reality it is turning out to be a festivity, social gathering and a picnic. It is more of a celebration of the living than the dead. Aside from the candles and flowers that the living ones offer to their loved ones who passed away, they also bring in food, drinks and entertainment. Some would even camp around their loved ones' graves.
The public cemeteries around this time are being monitored by the local government units including the police force to ensure the safety of the people. The cemetery management also helps in the process to be sure that the area will not be vandalized. Sadly, try as they might, it is the public's undisciplined acts that makes this holiday a mess.
The public is advised:
- Bring enough water and protection against the heat and sun and/or rain.
- Do not bring alcoholic and intoxicating beverages or deadly weapons inside the cemetery.
- Gambling is prohibited.
- Make sure the candles will not cause bigger fires.
- Be mindful of your belongings.
- Be watchful of your children. Better yet, do not bring kids in the cemetery.
- Be sure to clean as you go. Do not leave trash behind.
- When leaving the house, be sure that you leave someone to man the house. If no one is available, ask a trusted neighbor to watch over your house.
- Be sure to keep your house locked and secured before leaving.
Because of some people's disregard to their surroundings, because they are only thinking about themselves and only live for the fun of it, some of them don't have the decency to clean after themselves. Therefore, it is left to the duty of the cemetery management and some concerned citizens to make sure that the cemeteries are clean.
Public Cemetery Condition
Although it is prohibited to live in cemeteries, due to poverty, some public cemeteries are being treated as home for the poor. It is here where they were able to seek shelter, turning into squatters. It is here where they live and in the long run have families.
Some squatters even do business here. Because of the growing numbers of people making the cemetery their home, others have decided to put up businesses such as mini stores. They even offer food and laundry.
The video above documented the sad plight of the poor people living in cemeteries and the poor in general. It is unsanitary, illegal but it is home.
Because of the influence of Western nations, the Philippines is also embracing the Halloween costume parties. This is one of the many consumer-driven events that the Western countries brought to the other parts of the world. Filipinos do not have this kind of events then. Filipinos only celebrate All Saints' Day and All Soul's Day and were happy with that. However, because of media, slowly but surely events like these are being fed to the minds of other people. We are bombarded by the need to be part of such events thus forcing us to buy costumes and be someone who we are not just for one day and for what? For fun? We struggle so much to become part of such culture. We struggle so much to be accepted. We always say we should be different and stand out, but are we? When all we do is conform with the want of the masses.
Philippine TV Specials
Philippine TV networks take this time of the year to make shows related to "Undas" or Halloween. As we all know, All Saints' Day and All Soul's Day and Halloween bring out spook-tacular stories and events. It is time for the scare season. It is time to bring out your best ghost stories, stories that you may have heard or experienced.
Magandang Gabi, Bayan or in English, Good Evening, Nation, has been one of the local TV news program by ABS-CBN. This was hosted by Noli De Castro. Every year, the show comes up with special Halloween program. In this show, they presented ghost stories, haunting from some places in the Philippines. This has been one of the shows I like to watch.
There are also other shows like Rated K who also have programs like these. They tell ghost stories too. This is hosted by Korina Sanchez Roxas. This airs every Sunday on ABS-CBN channel.
Pinoy True Stories - Hiwaga is another Philippine TV show that features extraordinary stories and mystery such as ghost stories. This is hosted by Atom Araullo. This is another ABS-CBN TV show that airs every weekdays.