Pista Minatay '' Feast of our dearly departed
Pista Minatay is a Hiligaynon Term means " Feast of the Dead " which is a traditional way of Filipino to visit our dearly departed that usually starts from October 31 to November 02. Between or within those mention dates we visited the grave where our loved ones were buried. Then we spent a couple of hours or days lighting our candles and praying for their souls.
November 02 is the all souls day or we called it in Hiligaynon as " Tig kalalag " Tig means day and " kalag " for souls. Then aside from lighting candles at the cemetery we also pray at the church and group of elders from our community visited our house to do the " Nobena para sa mga kalag " or " Novena for the souls ".
At exactly 5 in the afternoon, my mother lit 12 set of red candles in front of our main door to welcome the soul of our dearly departed. As we prepared a bunch of food at the altar together with the picture frame of my father.
This traditional belief shows that Filipinos are the type of people who never stop caring even to our late family members.
Yesterday I went to the cemetery where my father was buried who died last April 26, 2016. Then I lit 5 pieces of white candles and spent a couple of minutes until the candles are totally melted. My father was buried at the Burgos Public Cemetery and his casket was inserted into an apartment type of grave. We called it " panchon " this type of set-up are mostly visible to public cemeteries due to insufficient space.
The space inside the Public cemetery is almost congested like a maze. Because there are a new set of apartment type was built within the foot walk and you need to turn around the area before reaching the grave of your loved ones.
The common scenes that I always encounter every time I visited the cemetery are those " Sepulturero " or cemetery caretaker and sometimes set of people offering services to clean or trim the lawn beside the grave of your loved ones.
They also offer package service that includes cleaning, trimming lawns and repainting of imprints or " Lapida ". In our case, we chose to clean the grave of my father and do some repainting using enamel paint and different sizes of brush.
Before going to the cemetery make sure not to bring the following items:
- Sharp things like knife, scissors
- alcoholic beverages
- lighters ( only matchbox are allowed )
- any gadget that can create loud noise like speakers
- butane stoves
- glass bottles
- any form of metal
Take note: Always clean the area before leaving and never leave your things unattended
At the street within the area of any cemetery in the Philippines. There are a group of vendors selling a bunch of candles with different colors and sizes to address your concerns if you forgot to bring your stuff during your visit. The variety of fresh flowers are also available ranges from 20 pesos up to 300 pesos so nothing to worry about your budget.
Today is the last day that we are supposed to visit the grave of our dearly departed and we should remember them though they are no longer here. At least our presence, most especially our prayers for their souls is very important. As we believed that as a Catholic our prayers is the only way to help their souls to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
All the images are originally taken using my Vivo mobile phone
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