How Filipinos observe All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day is one of a kind. Perhaps, you have noticed that during these days, a lot of family reunions happen.
In Cebu, these two days become almost festive as Cebuano families flock to cemeteries bringing food, flowers, candles, balloons and whatnot. Families also take time to clean up and repaint the gravestones of their departed loved ones before they pray together with their relatives as practiced. Though prayers would be enough, most of those who can afford choose to offer masses for the dead.
A number of Cebuano families also stay overnight in the cemetery either because they try to make up for being there only a few times in a year or just to spend the night in prayer. However, the huge crowd and the hassle of traffic congestion discouraged some to visit during November 1 or 2. Every year in Queen City Memorial Garden, across White Gold, families find it hard to look for an available space to park. Because of this, others decide to just pray from their homes, hoping that the dead would understand.
Malls are next to cemeteries when it comes to the number of people to accommodate during Todos los Santos and Araw ng mga Patay. This is because after walking under the heat of the sun, malls are Cebuanos’ place to cool down. Aside from this, there’s a belief or paniniwala that when you visit the dead, you shouldn’t immediately go straight to your home. So where would be the perfect place to take a detour than the mall?
During All Souls’ Day, there are also Cebuano families who light candles outside their homes believing that this would guide the souls of those still lost in the darkness.