Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints' Day 2011

All Saints' Day is considered as one of the most significant holidays by many Filipinos, probably next to Christmas and Holy Week. Celebrated on the 1st of November, “Undas” or “Todos Los Santos” in the vernacular, has become more of a family reunion to commemorate the dead.

It is the time of the year when tombs are cleaned and painted, candles lit and flowers are offered and families flock to cemeteries to spend the day or night with their departed loved ones.

Donna and I decided to visit her father's tomb in the Manila South Cemetery earlier than usual so we went last Saturday. It was not surprising that there are already hundreds of people in the cemetery. Some went early to clean and paint the graves of their dearly departed. There are various stalls selling all kinds of foods and stuffs.

I haven’t seen so many deaths in my age. I have been to funerals of my grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, distant relatives and friends but never within my immediate family; which is something that I am thankful for. Although, I understand that death is a fact of life. We have to thank and relish every minute that we spend with our loved ones.

The last couple of days has afforded me the chance not just to remember the dead but to celebrate life and it also prompted me to reflect on what it means to live in this world. The truth is no one will live forever. The time will come when our friends and loved ones will remember us during All Soul’s Day or they will visit us in our tombs.

Although we avoid thinking about it, the fact that we know our time will come should teach us how to fully live our lives. Recognizing that we have limited time in this world, we should strive harder to care more for this world and for the people around us. We should start managing our lives and try to live a happy and meaningful life.

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