>Since the Patriarch of our family, Tatang, died it has been a family tradition to go to the cemetery on the night of October 31 (no, we don’t have trick or treat) and vigil until early Morning of November 1. I remember it was always a pleasant experience. My cousins and I play around the cemetery and collect melted candle wax and create the biggest candle wax ball. We walk around the cemetery hunting for our crushes, giggle and run away. We use to play tag and hide and seek too. As a child, I never experienced trick or treat or Halloween party. It was always spent with family at the cemetery. 

Our family is famous for bringing in good food during our vigil. Friends and other relatives flock our side of the cemetery to mingle and eat my family’s specialties (yes, specialties!). We’re a family who loves to eat whenever we are happy or sad. 

When I stepped into College and started living in Manila, my visits to the cemetery dwindled and then I was totally absent for consecutive years. I promise if only I have the resources, I would fly over the weekend just for our family tradition. It pains me and at the same time gives me a lot of hope knowing my family’s gathered and celebrating what has been our tradition for many many years. 

Today, I lighted candles for my Grandfathers, my Grandmother, My Uncles and Aunt praying for the Eternal repose of their souls. May they find peace and guide us all. 

To my dearest Tatang, my darling Lolo, my fun loving Tito Lot, my gentle and bright Daddy Doc, my playful Mamang, and to my strong and fierce Nanay Tess, May the Almighty God embrace you all and give you peace, joy and contentment. Know that all of you are always in my heart. 

And this my friend is our typical Filipino Tradition during All Soul’s Day. What’s yours?