Thursday, November 01, 2007


Today is All Soul's Day in Manila; Day of the Dead as it is known in some parts of the world. It's is a Roman Catholic day of remembrance for deceased friends and loved ones; a tradition attributed to the ancient Pagan Festival of the Dead.

Back in those days, it was believed that the souls of loved ones who had passed away would return for a meal with the family on this particular day. Thus candles were placed in the window sills or door steps so as to guide their souls back home. A place was set at the table for them. Children would knock on the doors of the village houses to ask for food to be offered symbolically to the dead, but then donated to feed the hungry.

Here at home, I filled the table with fruits just in case some relatives and friends who had departed, including those other spirits on their way to visit their loved ones.


posted by Señor Enrique at 9:38 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is similar to Chinese All Soul's Day but on a different month; foods are offered too for the deceased.


November 01, 2007 10:30 AM  

Blogger Aura said...

This day is also holiday here SE, but only for the Saints and Martyrs( All Saints Day).Only tomorrow, All Souls Day( no longer holiday)is celebrated that people visit their departed love ones..but not the same celebration as we do in Phils.
Have a pleasant day!

November 01, 2007 4:54 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a house burned in the middle of our town...the fatalities were two elderly women. That was several years ago. Many new houses are being built about and around but their lot remains a rubble. The relatives have planted flowering plants about and in the middle is a small altar where they would place fruits and food of all sorts...daily. I do not know them personally but I do not think they're Chinese.

November 01, 2007 5:02 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Ganda ng contrast ng yellow at puti! Medyo soft yung stems ng prutas but overall galing-galeng!

parang fresh and juicy yung mga peras! Sarap-sarap!

Chinese/Spanish tradition yata ang kadalasn prutas ang alay sa mga kaluluwa. May kasabihan pa na dapat daw paligiran mo ng mga puno ng matatamis na prutas ang bahay mo para suwertehin langgam siguro at sa mga buwisit na mga manunungkit ng hinog na prutas sa mga puno niyo!

November 01, 2007 11:26 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...


Let me put on my priestly hat for a bit. HeHeHe.

Following the strictures of the Church, Nov. 1st is All Saints Day and is a holy day (not holiday) of obligation.

The 2nd is All Souls Day and for this one we can have a holiday. Oh, love to have one of those lovely pears!

November 02, 2007 2:20 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Many thanks for the correction, Amadeo. You're right, the 1st is All Saint's Day; wheereas the 2nd or 3rd All Soul's Day. Be that as it may, there's still plenty of fruits on my table for all the saints and deceased friends and relatives if ever they're up to dropping by :)

November 02, 2007 6:11 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ay naku, Pete, ang puno ng manga at santol ng kapit-bahay ay mas mabunga ang mga bahagi na tabi ng bakod namin kaya sila pa ang humihingi sa amin ng mga prutas nila ... hehehe.

Thanks, Pete. One of these days, I'll invest in some prime lens para mas maganda-ganda. Would you believe na kits lens pa lamang din gamit ko hanggang ngayon? Hehehe!

November 02, 2007 6:14 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Daily, Bernadette? Wow!

My mother who is from Bicol and of not Chinese heritage usually sets a place at the dinner table for a deceased sibling on their birthdays. Perhaps, the practice has been influenced by various cultures.

November 02, 2007 6:17 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I made an error for calling the 1st as All Soul's Day, Aura -- as Amadeo has pointed out :)

Most folks have the option not to report to work, but not sure if it'll be considered a paid holiday, though.

Thanks and enjoy your weekend!

November 02, 2007 6:20 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

The grave sites at the Chinese cemetery near North Cemetery, Kyels, must have abundant food offerings from the hundreds of its visitors. I was told that at the end of the day, they hand out these foods to the caretakers and the homeless.

November 02, 2007 6:22 AM  

Blogger mgaputonimimi said...

di ko na experience ang mag hain ng food para sa soul. siguro lumaki akong may ibang paniniwala ang family ko..

kahit ako, ang pag sindi ng kandila lang ang magagawa ko sa all souls day. ^_^

November 02, 2007 3:03 PM  

Blogger Admin said...

Happy Halloween Sir! Adventure tayo!

November 02, 2007 3:56 PM  

Blogger hiteleconsultdirectory said...

Senor Enrigue, just curious, how would you feel if those fruits actually disappear and no one acknowledges taking them?

November 02, 2007 7:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember when I was a young boy my grand parents used to leave suman at the kitchen table in case the departed came to visit.

Christian scripture never condones this practice but I guess these are part of the pre-Christian paganic beliefs that we have carried on from generations and still practiced even up to now.

November 03, 2007 1:25 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

True, BW. Christianity per se might not have been accepted altogether by the masses/natives had their spiritual beliefs (derived from their ancestors) not been allowed to be infused somehow into it. Many of our local festivals, for example, were derivatives of pagan practices with a Christian twist. :)

I think food and eating has become such a significant social phenomenon that somehow even when dead, some of us tend to make food offering to our departed loved ones as a physical demosntration of our undying love for them.

November 03, 2007 6:35 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I think I'd be tickled pink, Em Dy :)

But know what? I had in many occasions in the past, would lose mundane stuff like a pen or handkerchief, and would reappear in the most unexpected spots. Hindi pa naman ako ulyanin noon ... hehehe.

This used to puzzle me to no end until a friend suggested that there are passing spirits who'd take fancy on some items in the material world and whould take them. They would then return them on their way back, though no longer on the same spot where they've initially picked them up, though in the same nearby area.

November 03, 2007 6:41 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks, Richard. Same to you!

Hey, it's time to start posting entries in your site :)

November 03, 2007 6:46 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Mimi!

Me, too. Lighting candles has always been a practice for me on such occasions, but since returning to live in Manila, thought I'd expand it to include some fruits so as to make the place warmer and more hospitable, I guess ... hehehe.

November 03, 2007 6:50 AM  

Blogger dr magsasaka said...

We also put aside food, especially ulam, suman, and prutas for the spirits who may drop by.

In the morning kinakain namin yung mga hindi pa sira.

November 04, 2007 12:42 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

And I have lots of ruits to last me for a couple of days, Dr. Magsasaka. I was made sure not all of the would be too ripe.

November 04, 2007 6:19 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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