Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nightmare Before Christmas


Well, I guess so. we always experience Halloween, All Saints' and All Souls' Day before we get to December and celebrate Christmas.  Hence, this is nothing to fret for. This custom which is another Filipino staple, simply emulates how we, as community, are very much family-oriented ☺

Often times, we would make jack-o-lanterns in our house and place them outside for display. However, we weren't able to have it this year. My sister and I got work and mom is really busy, so no one's gonna do it. My shift ended November 1st and we have all decided to celebrate All Saints' and All Souls' Day at my grandma's place.

Our family is not the type that would actually go out and camp at the cemetery.  We are just accustomed to bringing flowers and lighting up candles and offering prayers on the graves of our departed.  Then back home, it translates to feasting and an endless game of mahjong (our family's official game during family gatherings).  Our oldies would insist in preparing foods that are created from sticky rice which are to be served and shared.  This means overflowing tikoy (the native one not the one you eat during Chinese New Year), suman (ibus), biko (Ilonggo's suman), valenciana, palitaw, baye-baye (grounded sticky rice mixed with brown sugar and coconut meat) and kalamay-hati (grounded sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and brown sugar until it becomes a paste).  And then this would be paired by a roasted bird (this year we had turkey [advance na ata ang thanksgiving! nyahahaha]) and anything that has soup (we have boiled monggo with pork) and a lot of regular rice.  The explanation here is that the sweetness and stickiness of the foods serves as a medium to bind everyone on the family, even those who have departed already.

Of course, we have an altar with lighted candles on it and we offer a portion of the food prepared for the souls of the dead. Then on the living room, it is a non-stop horror movie marathon (yep, our family is fond of scaring ourselves) and my cousins and I would actually play Resident Evil and Silent Hill on the Playstation.

Was lucky enough to have November 1 and 2 as my rest day, as this event is pretty much the same feat every year but I wouldn't care having it over and over again.  Like I have said, we Filipinos are family-oriented, it is an innate nature and is part of our identity ☺

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