Nation Observes All Saints' Day

Article excerpt

The celebration of All Saints' Day on November 1 is part of an enduring Philippine tradition, particularly for Catholics, who make up an estimated 85 percent of the Philippine population. On this day, as well as on All Souls' Day on Nov. 2, the Filipinos pay honor and respect to their departed loved ones, through masses, prayers, candle lighting, and flower offering.

In the Philippines, the occasion is popularly called "Todos Los Santos" or "Undas." It is a day of remembrance, an important holiday, next to Christmas and Holy Week. For most Filipinos, remembering those who passed on is both solemn and festive. It is imbued with age-old practices and customs. Families attend Masses, offer prayers, and spend time in memorial parks. It is an occasion to foster close relations, to reunite with long-lost relatives and friends. It is the time to recall the good deeds and legacies of a loved one.

These are various ways to remember loved ones: Offer up prayers and masses, offer flowers and light candles at the cemetery, and revisit photos and videos of loved ones. On the eve of All Saints Day, families in some provinces observe "pangangaluwa," that go from house to house, a practice that is believed to bring peace to a departed loved one. …