Thursday, November 5, 2009

Celebrating the Day of the Dead in the Philippines

Cathedral at San Fernando Pampanga

I went home to the province of Pampanga for the Day of the Dead (Araw ng mga Patay / Ing Aldo ning Mete). I haven't been home in a while.

Municipal Hall at San Fernando, Pampanga

At the market stalls in front of the Cathedral, my mom and I bought mums and baby's breath flowers. We were able to get 2 dozen calla lilies for P40 ($1.20). Not bad. My mom really knows how to get a bargain. I used to sell the same kind of flowers at this very market when I was a kid alongside my Mama Let. She was a market vendor who sold different merchandise per season. I am getting these flowers for her grave.

These white mums are P300 (around $6)  but you can buy them at P20 ($50 cents) per stalk which would have around 4-5 floral buds.

We got the ferns, palm leaves, birds of paradise and orchids from our garden. The flower bed belonged to my dead gay uncle, so its just apt that he gets the flowers he cared for when he was still alive.

Hope this is pretty enough. We got these nice coconut weave baskets with banana stalks to pierce the flowers in. I had the kids make the ribbons.

We went to the cemetery by nightfall. It was very crowded and hot. Everyone seemed have fun nibbling on something- watermelon seeds, popcorn, mangoes and balut (boiled duck egg fetus).

Cowcow and Grandma Cow. He's complaining about the mosquitoes and he wants more popcorn and scramble (flavored crushed ice).

The family gravestone- my Mama Let, my fabulous gay uncle Marciano and my grandparents who died when I was very young.

A nearby gravestone- My macho uncle Cristino and his son, Jaycel who died of cancer at age 31.

Tomorrow its off to the old public cemetery to visit my other dead relatives.