A beautiful tradition
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Tomorrow, the entire country will mark All Saints Day and the next day will be observed as All Souls Day. The latter is actually the date when Christians are supposed to honor their dead, but, somehow, in the years after the introduction of the Faith in this country, most people had come to observe November 1 as the time for visiting the resting places of their beloved dead, although some still choose November 2 for their annual visits.
The Catholic Church has been trying to point out that November 2 is the date designated by the Church, but somehow, most people continue to flock to the cemeteries on November 1.
Of course one can visit and pray over the graves of one’s departed kin at any time of the year. Their prayers will surely be no less effective then as they would be on either All Saints Day or All Souls Day. What is unquestionable is that probably no other country shows as much concern and thoughtfulness for their dead than ours. Which, we believe, is one of the more admirable traits of our people.
In the Philippines, too, these two days have become, not only times for remembering the dead, but also for a reunion of the living. Our people, no matter where they are based at the moment, make it a point to go home to their towns, provinces or cities on these days, and usually, their purpose, aside from paying respect to their lost ones, is also to meet and bond with their living kin. That is why, we note that, shortly before the holidays for the departed come, hordes of passengers flock to airports, bus and train stations and piers, braving the crowds and the congestions, just to be able to go home and observe the All Saints and All Souls tradition.
Some other peoples may question why we have this obsession to travel home on these days. To us, this is one way of perpetuating one beautiful tradition of our forefathers that also tightens the bonds of our families, wherever they are now based.*