Philippines is celebrating All Saints Day every 1st of November and all Souls Day every 2nd of November every year. This is one of the most important festivities in the Philippines where people observe strict adherence to Filipino culture and religious traditions that had been on for so many years.
Looking back…I can still recall so many good memories of All Saints Day. Since my father died, I can very well remember how the loss of this very important figure in our family had brought us closer together. All Saints Day had been considered an important day in our family as all my siblings together with their respective families gather together at the memorial park where my father had laid to rest. This allows us to reunite and see each other amidst our busy schedule to offer our prayers, light our candles and share the scrumptious dishes that each family brings. We used to do “pot luck” and this caused excitement for each and everyone. Thinking what to bring, preparing our “baon” and squeezing ourselves in the very crowded market just to take a pick of the specially arranged flowers that we will bring and offer to our father has been a practice for years. When we all get there to the place, we are very excited to share stories, play games, or simply crack jokes to everybody’s delight. It’s very nice to remember how precious this day to each and every one of us.
Years passed and everything had changed including our routines, our jobs, our wants, our needs and sad to say, our family tradition.
Now, I know that my father feels very sad because the All Saints Day which he had probably been waiting for every year to get that opportunity to see his big family gathered around him had vanished. The All Saints Day is still there and will continue to be celebrated each year but our family gathering and practices will never be the same again….not again. Our family grew apart. The closeness was gone. The tradition has long been forgotten. No more “pot lucks”, no more scrumptious foods to share, no more jokes to hear, no more games to play. That’s how it is now.
Could it be that each member of the family had been taken away by their ambitions? By their desire to grow? Or is it because each and everyone had been taken away by pride, by misunderstanding or misconception of their renewed beliefs and aspirations?
“I am deeply sorry father! I know how this pains you. I know that you did not want this to happen nor you did expect that your death will keep us apart. Whatever it is, I will always be your faithful daughter and you will always be in my heart forever”.
I am hoping and praying that time will come that each and everyone of us will realize our own mistakes, learn to forgive and forget and break that wall that was unconsciously built between us. Every year, All Saints day will be celebrated and every year will be a new hope for a new beginning.
One fine All Saints Day, you will see us all again…praying together, laughing together, eating together….gathered together.
That’s a promise!
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