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All Souls Day is a day of remembrance

Updated on November 22, 2016

If only our dear departed could speak...

... they would have scolded us.

All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day have just concluded a few days ago. But I just can’t let this thought pass me by.

I’m an actively practicing Catholic. And like most of the Filipino Catholics, I highly regard All Saints Day and All Souls Day. These are special days when we gather together around our dead loved ones’ graves to pray and show them that they are always remembered. It’s not that we don’t pray for them on other days.

We, Filipinos, are known for our loving and caring nature. So much so that we even express our love for one another beyond life. It's not surprising, then, that during All Saints Day and All Souls Day, we spend most of the day at the cemetery and memorial parks. We bring food and drinks to share with other visitors. Many of the musically-inclined even bring their instruments so they can make merry around the graves.

But the thing that pisses me off is the tons of garbage left behind by many of the cemetery visitors. It’s appalling to see garbage collectors gathering so many trash in the form of leftover, food wrappers, empty water bottles, plastic, and cigarette butts as soon as the All Souls Day is over. If we do love our dear departed, why could we not make their graves clean? Is it really that difficult to dispose of our own waste? Filipinos are known to be prudent and clean. Well, should this act be an exception?

Another thing that seems to have been lost from our age-old tradition is the negligible time spent for prayer. I've noticed that many of us, especially the younger generation, rather prefer to engage in chatter, singing, and noise-making with other visitors. The graveyard has become a reunion venue of friends and relatives.

If only our dear departed could speak, would they not scold us for our irreverence?

Anyway, I’m just expressing my thoughts, hoping that one All Souls Day, I would see people in solemn prayer at the graveyard.


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