November 1st is All Saints Day in the Philippines. My family shares this tradition with many other countries. In fact, my better whole’s (better half is lame) culture celebrates the same custom ten thousand miles away. I find this tradition romantic, it kind of puts me at ease to know that I wouldn’t be forgotten forever. This is a very important holiday after Christmas and Holy Week.
Some countries call it Day of the Dead/Dia de Muertos, but we call it All Saints Day, Dia de los Santos, and Undas. They say Undas came from the Spanish word Andas. The tradition was introduced when the Philippines was governed out of Mexico City, which was part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Candles are lit, tombs are cleaned, and repainted. Families offer flowers and even food to their deceased loved ones. I saw a plate of Tamales on my Tito’s grave. The day is usually started off with Mass. You’ll see many families get together, they are usually playing cards, eating, dancing, and telling stories of their loved ones. Some people even spend the night next to their loved one’s tomb.
It filled my heart to see pictures of my beautiful cousins and Titas together. Below is a picture of my Ate (ah-tay) Pam. A special thanks to her for sending me pictures. I have more pictures but they’re personal, and I don’t want to disrespect my family, or other people in the pictures.