Every year as Filipino Catholics, we visit our dead in the cemetery on Nov 1st, All Saints Day. It is a tradition that has been observed by many. However, my family forgoes going there because of the traffic mainly. We now go on Nov. 2, which is All Souls Day.
Anyhow, many families take long time off from work around this time. Bus terminals, as well as airports are packed with people returning home. They all reunite with their families in the provinces, or cities where they were born-in to visit their long lost dead. We bring flowers, light candles and say short prayers for thier souls that they one day will be reunited with Christ as well as thier other ancestors in heaven.
Because this day normally brings families together, they also bring food, eventhough food stalls abound some cemeteries. They share stories and reminisce the past. And when they get tired, others go around to well known dead personalities, like Rico Yan, who was a young actor; and Corazon and Benigno Aquino, who was once our president together with her assassinated husband.
For us, since my family goes on All Souls Day, we just light a few candles, place flowers, eat a little, people watch, pray and go home after a few hours. It is no longer the same when we were little. It was a big thing back then, with my cousins families all celebrating this day of the dead together. Doing everything…
Now, we just see the flowers and candles they left behind. Like the leaves the wind left behind or the wax puddle on the floor left behind by their lit candles. I guess someday, it will be the same for us, a name on a slab of stone. The last trace that we existed once.