I just got back from GenSan to visit my family. I went there to celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day. Its a big holiday here in the Philippines in honor or pay respects for our love ones who passed away. As what I’ve known since childhood that November 1 is All Saints Day in honor for the kids that died. November 2nd All Souls Day in honor for the adult love ones that died. There was no school(semester break) here for the kids for the said event. Most families will go home to the hometown where their love ones were buried. Like me, I have to go to GenSan for it.
I think really nowadays it doesn’t really matter which day you celebrate. A lot of people now celebrate the day that really is best for them. Like us, we have children and adults that passed. We went to the cemetery on the 2nd of November since one of my sibling has something going on in there church on the 1st. Some of my family members went to the graves on the first of November and didn’t come back to visit the next day with us.
I went to GenSan early morning of Monday. I went to the farm first and went to the graves of my grandparents and uncle on my Mom’s side of the family. I didn’t stay there that long because me and my siblings had to go to my parents’ and sister’s grave. We went there at 1pm and stayed for like 5 hours there. We brought some drinks and snacks. My nieces and nephews were there already waiting for us. It was really nice just chatting there and remembering my parents. It was fun seeing some people really having a big party there.
Restaurants like Jollibee, Pizza Hut, Greenwich, Dunkin Donuts and some other good restaurants even put up a temporary place there. It must be a hit for them, they would not come back year after year if its not making good money for them.
There’s even a layman (from Catholic church) who will pray (lead prayer) with the family there. I am not sure how much they are charging though. I didn’t ask my sister about it. I saw a lot of families asking those layman to pray with them in the graves. The cemetery place really caters now to the need of the people there. I saw lots of police securing the place inside the cemetery and outside which is nice. Also there were ambulances and red cross volunteers there. That’s why people stayed there overnight. I think the maintenance people were not too enthusiastic about cleaning the big mess that was left behind by the people. I saw people just throw away their garbage on the ground. Don’t even look for the garbage can to properly disposed of it. Oh well, pretty normal here.
Some mausoleum owners there even built room for sleeping. They really had big parties there. Those mausoleums are really costly. Some are even like over a million pesos just for the land. It was just fun for us watching the people there having party. Some even brought hammocks and slept on that. Really, in all honesty its really good that people of all ages showed respect to the love ones who passed on ahead of us.
It doesn’t really matter if your rich or poor for as long as you honor your love one on that day, that’s good enough already. My siblings just wished I brought my kids. It would be something for them to experience for the first time. Hopefully next year they can go and see what really the events for.