9-day All Souls’ Day starts in Guagua town
GUAGUA— Residents of this town’s Betis District take the commemoration of All Souls’Day in a more religious and meaningful significance with nine days of masses for the souls of the dead celebrated at the Saint James the Apostle Parish and visiting the tombs of their relatives to light candles after each afternoon mass.
While others would have been setting aside left-over candles after the November 1 occasion, folks of this district would continue honoring the dead, showering them with prayers in the company of family members continuously for nine days, starting from November 1 until November 9.
As early as Monday, residents here have been busy cleaning grave sites.
The local public cemetery is a virtual whitewash as most graves are painted an immaculate white. Mausoleums are given a fresh sweep, some even with the luxury of curtains and air-conditioning units.
Local residents here said they have been observing the tradition for as long as they could remember. They said the tradition could even be considered the longest observance of All Souls’ Day.
The tradition includes the offering of a nine-day novena, which a majority of the residents strictly observe.
But unlike the usual November 1 celebration, the focal point of the tradition is observed during the last day of the novena, which is highlighted by a morning mass and the blessing of graves in the nearby cemet er y.
“The event is more solemn and provides more time in remembering and offering prayers to departed loved ones. This period also provides time to look into our personal lives and how we have lived our lives so far,” local resident Precy Cunanan sai d.
Cunanan said the event also allows more time for family members to be together. She said her family would offer candles and prayers during the afternoon until the early part of the evening.
While it seems to be outdated, Cunanan said the tradition gives them a chance for introspection and a chance to bond with family members while remembering their departed loved ones.