How is a wake and the burial handled if someone dies in the family here in the Philippines?
Let’s look at what happened during the death of my Dad. I was living in the USA at the time of his death. Six months before my Dad died, Bob, Chris and I came to the Philippines to visit my Dad due to his sickness. Chris is our oldest son, at that time he was just 5 months old, and our only child at the time. Papa just got out of the hospital at that time. We came because we pretty much knew that his days were almost coming to an end. We wanted to see him and that he could at least see and know Chris. Well, we were happy we did because few months after we came he passed away.
During our visit my sister mentioned that my Papa told her that when he dies he wants to be buried right away. So when my Dad died I didn’t get to come here due to our oldest son having an ear infection, he couldn’t be on an airplane – thats the doctor’s orders. So when my family called me up and informed me that my Dad just passed away I then asked my sister when will he be buried? She replied that they have to wait for a few days because they need to get some papers like burial permit and others. I talked to a friend of a friend these person just lost her son. She told me that her son died on a Friday, they can’t process any paperwork until like Wednesday because of the weekend and holidays. No offices will be open to cater for the people that needs these kind of papers. I guess thats the procedure before I just didn’t know it.
In our culture we will have a wake either in the house or in the funeral parlor. In the farm, people there to tend to have their wake at the house. As I remember if somebody dies we will watch the person that dies 24 hours seven days a week until that person be buried. I’m not sure if it’s different in every province, though. In the funeral parlor it’s same thing people would still keep an eye of the person until burial day.
Here it would be common to have like 10 days wake. Some would even have 30 days to wait till burial day. For that they were waiting for a family member from somewhere abroad or a far away Province to arrive. My brother-in-law’s niece died in a car accident here in Davao. She was reviewing for her nursing board examination and got into a car accident one night. She was brought to the hospital for 2 days before she died. They didn’t bury her right away because they have to wait for a family member from Germany and the UK. In my opinion 30 days was really a long wait but for some people here it’s okay though. On that I don’t even want to tell you how the dead person looks like by then.
You might be wondering how they keep the dead body preserved? Well, theirs somebody from the funeral parlor comes to the house and inject something to the dead persons body. They probably come every other day. When my father-in-law died (an American, and went through this in the States) it was a shock for me because It was so different from what I am accustomed to the way they handled him.
Anyway, I hope you guys that used to live in our different provinces of the Philippines and maybe you have different take on this subject it would be nice to hear your story.