November Rain

Posted: November 2, 2006 in All and Sundry

Since I have been very busy lately rehearsing for my piece in the Performing Beckett festival, I did not even realize that All Soul’s and All Saints’ Day just passed and I wasn’t able to write a single piece about it. Tradition! (so the chorus goes in fiddler on the roof) I have written essays on these Catholic Flipino traditions before and to not be able to write another this year is, I think, shameful. Well, anyway, I managed to find the last essay I wrote for MindaNews about All Souls Day. Incidentally, it was the last coverage I did with Boyd as my photographer. Sorry guys, I couldn’t find the haunting pictures he took that night. Little did we know that a week and a few days after, he was going to be lying six feet under in one of those cemeteries I wrote about.

Thanks to Wawalt for this blog entry’s title. Reminds me so much of how we just miss people along the way.

Here it is: (for you Boyd, just a thing or two to remind us of the paradoxes)

In Death As In Life

By Jean Claire A. Dy

Filipinos from different walks of life troop to the cemeteries on All Saints and All Souls Day. But more than just places where families converge to remember those who departed, cemeteries are as much reminders of differences—economic and cultural—in death as in life.

Even one quick tour around Davao City’s cemeteries on the eve of All Saints Day revealed these stark realities to a first time Davao cemetery visitor like me. Almost all the cemeteries that night was already buzzing with activity as people prepare for the next day’s activity. In the dark, candles lit the faces of people gathered around grave markers neatly arranged in rows on the grassy expanse of San Pedro Memorial Park. This solemn sight is marred by the R&B music blaring in the background that mixes with the syncopated laughter of teenagers roaming the cemetery. If not for the presence of tombstones, one would perhaps make the mistake that there’s a rave party going on.

A few meters away from the entrance of the cemetery, youngsters vending curio items lined the cemented pathway. One group sold necklaces with luminous twinkling plastic pendants that come in different shapes and colors. more

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