All Saints Day: A centuries-old tradition lives on
Tacloban City (November 1) -- The centuries-old tradition of All Saints Day continues to live on, as countless Filipinos, many of them returning to their roots, pay respects to their departed love ones amid stringent police and military security measures at bus and airport terminals.
So, although not declared a public holiday, yesterday begun the exodus to the cemeteries especially to those who have to travel long hours just to reach the tombs of their departed love ones.
In fact, for many who went home to their respective provinces to vote during the October 29 synchronized Barangay and Sangguniaang Kabataan elections, their All Saints Day celebration started on the 28th when they left for home.
Even with the prevailing harsh economic times, families will still find time and money to travel if they have not done so during the week end, with loads of candles, flowers, and food to last the holidays.
Surely, there will be a mad rush to supermarkets and shopping malls, with shoppers trying to stretch the buying power of the peso, spending hours of shopping to find the lowest food items and candles at less than half their actual price their wallets could afford.
For the flower they would put on the tombs of their loved ones, families will start to crowd the districts where fresh blooms are sold at less than half the price than those found in popular flower shops and high-end flower arrangement centers.
The Philippine National Police will again have their hands full, deploying more policemen to increase police visibility, checking bus and airport terminals, guarding the cemeteries and other crowded places to ensure public safety and order.
As if those are not enough, policemen at the same time will have to be vigilant to see to it that the residences abandoned by the occupants who are all at the cemeteries will be safe from unscrupulous robbers and Akyat Bahay gangs, and more so to ensure that no terroristic activities are committed.
So, the traffic nightmare will hound the commuters and motorists once again despite the hardworking traffic enforcers, the danger that wallets will be picked from pockets will be there once more, and the discomfort of being bumped here and there, by people coming and going, will begin to make people more alert again.
However, all of these difficulties, inconveniences and dangers are nothing because to millions of Filipinos, old traditions never die, not even fade away, traffic or no traffic, come rain or scorching sun.
After all, it is at this time of the year when Filipinos can share the goodness of their hearts to kindred who have gone to rest in God's embrace. (PIA 8) [top]