Halloween celebration is a big deal to the Filipinos. Most of them are looking forward to this Holiday celebration. Those who are working far away would go back to their home town to be with their family. This is the time to commemorate with their loved ones who passed away. The memorial parks are full of busy people walking, selling flowers, candles, food and drinks.
On the 31st of October, people who are working far away from their home town start to travel back home to celebrate this special occasion with their loved ones. On this day, people don't report to their work anymore. They are very busy preparing for Nov. 1 and 2 which they call All Saints Day and All Souls Day respectively and other public cemetery all over the country are full pack of people visiting the grave of their loved ones. I could just imagine the line of vehicles on the road going to memorial parks. The highway patrol people would have hours duty to make the road clear and convenient for people to pass by. Along the roadside going to the public cemetery and memorial.
At the Cemetery or memorial parks
You can see people bringing tools to clean the grave yard of their dead relatives. Honestly, most of them just visit the tomb of their loved ones, once a year only on this occasion so, they have a lot of things to do. Cleaning the tomb, repaint and they will make a shelter for them to stay on All souls day which is November 2. They will put up tents beside the grave with benches around it in preparation for their wake on the night of Nov.1. All members of the family specially the men are there to do the work.
Candles are very important part of the celebration. Most people would buy candles to put on the grave of their loved ones. This is also the time for the vendors to make money. You can see on the
roadside going to the cemetery and at the entrance, vendors are all around selling different kinds and different colors of candles. Many people are buying, as if they don't want to miss this item to be put on the grave of their loved ones on this occasion.
I have no idea of what is the significance of the candle but what I understand is, that is their special offering to the dead.
Along with the candles are bouquet of flowers. They would always bring fresh flowers to the grave. Again the vendors have great opportunity to make money by selling different styles of bouquets sold at different prices. People who have no time to make their own bouquet of flowers would not miss the flower offering because there are many for sale flowers at the cemetery entrance. The celebration wlll not be complete without the beautiful flower offering at the tomb. That's their way of showing their love to their dead loved ones.
On the day of Nov. 1, while the men and the other members of the family were preparing and cleaning the graveyard, the mothers and the daughters were also busy preparing the food. They considered this as a great festivities because relatives from everywhere are visiting with them, so they have to prepare extra food. They mostly cook their native delicacies like, puto, suman. biko along with other recipes, beefsteak, fried chicken, pasta, rice etc. they would also prepare drinks. This is a great fun for all the family members and relatives to get together and celebrate.
In this occasion, police surveillance are all around the vicinity to maintain the peace and order of the place. If there are many people, there are unwanted circumstances that could happen which could not be avoided specially if people are already drunk. This is a 24 hour activity so security measures should be provided for everybody's safety. Some of the people will go home at early dawn but there are others who would stay until morning, so the police authorities would also stay with them.
This is how the Filipinos celebrate the Halloween. It is a very special Holiday for them to look forward to. Great reunion and fun activities.