In memory of our beloved departed, I remember my parents and other relatives who have passed on to the next life and sadly missed to this day and forever this All Souls’ Day; and I will include in my prayers all the relatives of my friends who have been good to me.
There is nothing better that we can do for them but to offer prayers for the repose of the souls of our dearly beloved departed everyday, not only in the celebration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day last Thursday and yesterday, Friday.
This particular year has saddened me for what had happened to my family, in particular, when a brother demolished the ancestral home of our parents in our compound without our knowledge. It was a tightly guarded secret within his immediate family who lived in our parents’ ancestral home here in Quezon City and left it with a big hole on the ground, worst than what happened in Marawi.
I will leave it at that. I only want to express that our sadness (me and my siblings who had no participation in the dastardly act) goes beyond the destruction of an ancestral home that we were all supposed to hold dear and sacred for the rest of our lives. To add to the sadness that we the siblings are going through is the coming of the Christmas Season, and Christmas Eve in particular, where we always celebrated Christmas Eve in the garden of my mother and father in a teahouse I had built decades ago in my parents’ garden for we were not allowed anymore to enter my mother’s house for my youngest brother and his immediate family had taken over the house. We, on the other hand, respected their “privacy” which it later turned out to be a “take over” and possession of the ancestral home.
This Christmas will be one of the saddest of all the Christmases we have had since the lifetime of our late father and mother; and now without even the memories they left behind; memories we cherished left in the ancestral home they’ve left behind. That too was robbed away from us.
On my part, the pain is as intense as when our father passed away in 1965 and our mother in 2002. No ancestral home to decorate which has been my obligation to continue decorating the ancestral home and garden every Christmas Season in their lifetime and in death.
Let me quote what has been written or extracted from the internet:
“All Saints’ Day is called undras in the Batangas area. In the Philippines, November 1st is Araw ng mga Patay (Day of the Dead), also popularly known by the Spanish term Todos Los Santos.
Among the traditions of the day is the family’s visit to the cemetery, where tombs are cleaned or repainted, candles are lit, and flowers are offered. The members of the family also play cards, eat and drink at the cemetery. It is a national holiday. (In my opinion, these practices must be stopped. It’s ugly.)
The Mexican equivalent is Día de los Muertos. Araw ng Mga Patay; Day of the Dead; Araw ng Mga Namayapa; Day of the Departed; namayapa; “gone to peace.”
November 2nd is celebrated as All Souls’ Day in both the West and the Philippines. The term Undas now refers not only to All Saints’ Day itself, but also to the entire period during which the tradition is observed, particularly All Souls’ Day and even the last day or two of October. Dapat idaos ang mga aktibidad ng Undas tuwing Nobyembre 2, ayon kay Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo.
The Undas activities should be observed on the 2nd of November, according to Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo. Marapat na sa November 2 ang Undas dahil ito ang opisyal na petsa ng Araw ng mga Kaluluwa at hindi ang Nobiyembre 1. It should be that Undas is on November 2 because that is the original date for All Souls’ Day and not November 1. Hinikayat ni Quevedo ang pamahalaan na maglaan ng tamang deklarasyon para kilalanin ang Nobyembre 2 na tamang araw ng Undas. Quevedo is asking the government to put out a proper declaration in order to recognize November 2 as the right day for Undas. Ideally, Filipinos should travel to their hometowns or provinces on November 1st (All Saints’ Day) and honor the dead on November 2nd (All Souls’ Day).”
According to a friend in Cebu, Louie Nacorda: “A most appropriate way of honoring our saints in heaven, and away from commercialization of horror booths, malevolent ghosts, witches and ogres” in reaction to my column last Tuesday, October 30 entitled “Undas at Typhoon Rosita” wherein I praised the procession of Saints that was initiated by our Sacred Heart Parish here in Quezon City when it passed infront of my residence here along Tomas Morato Avenue, instead of those children garbed with scary costumes like honoring the evil spirits. Let’s get rid of that so-called “American tradition of trick or treat.” There is already too much madness in the world today. The kids can still continue with the tradition by garbing themselves like the saints and angels in heaven.
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