This was one of those holidays that I never really gave a big fuss about growing up. Though we were raised in a small community in the city, it wasn’t as westernized as most call centers/BPOs/other multinationals are taking it these days so no festivities much.
What I knew was that people just go to the cemetery to stay over and visit their dead, with tons of stuff like going on a holiday. Not really understanding why. We never did do that as my immediate family was complete – my father’s parents were long dead & buried at the province while my mother’s parents were also buried in the province. It did not seem important to them to go out of town and visit their dead. But there were at least a dozen candles lit at the evening of All Saint’s Day.
Trivia: Candle lightings and cemetery visits happen on All Saint’s Day, which is not the genuine English translation of “Araw ng Kaluluwa”. All Souls Day actually occurs a day after, which is not a holiday. Weird.
So I spend a couple of years overseas, the only event highlighted would be Halloween, which is tonight. Lots of drama thinking up, acquiring and donning on costumes. No trick or treat for adults though.
Freakiest halloweeny activity I’ve seen would be the Pink “Kabaong” (Casket) fitting at St. Peter’s Funeral Homes. Want to practice being dead? Try their caskets on for size. Talk about being morbidly mortified. These guys even have a TV commercial campaign last year that I’d rather not link you to. If you want to see, it’s still online – search for it.
My “trick” this year was putting superglue on my father’s crypt’s flowerholder. It hasn’t been once when we visit that we notice the it was unscrewed and gone. So this time I intently put on the sticky substance on the holder part before screwing it in place. With a grin. Now it’s going to be stuck there unless they break it. Hahahaha. Still thinking about a “treat”, updating later.
I’ve no direct experience on dealing with spirits or with the dead apart from my father dying a couple years back. No ghostly visits though, even though I wished for it. I’m fully aware that the crypt I still go to “visit” him just stores his ashes and that he’s no longer there. But it is a good venue to “catch up”, gather one’s thoughts, and recall memories you had together.
These things show how Undas translates to me.