November 2007


Usually, November 30 is remembered for our national hero Andres Bonifacio; but November 30 have marked another event, a dreadful one, the super typhoon Reming that killed hundreds and destroyed billions of homes and assets. Today is November 30 and everyone is worried as another supertyphoon approaches. But we are seasoned survivors, we have already learned from the past and we will never let it happen again. Everyone have crossed boundaries to prepare!

cyclone.jpgThe local government for example have risked legalities just to ensure the safety of the province, hurray to Governor Joey Salceda and all the mayors and government officials for their ‘zero casualty plan’. The Governor have pointed out and continually lobbied that the province is the most vulnerable area of the country for drastic climate change as discovered by scientists. True to that, the province have recently hosted a climate adaptation convention that her excellency, President GMA and V-President De Castro along with Energy Secretary and many high officials have attended. Because of such efforts, the province is now a model for inclement weather preparedness.

Not only that, everyone knows better than being hard headed. Almost everyone was submissive to the rulings of the local government and everyone was housed safely before the supertyphoon’s estimated arrival. Everyone joined in the provincial prayer lead by the Bishop and it was answered through the changing of direction of the supertyphoon. Thanks be to God and to the will of the people who have learned well from the past.

Because we were spared, we will surely have a great Christmas this year.. something we have missed last year! This is a good lesson for us..In unity, there is strength…May we be strengthened with our new found unity!

I love our town feast…everybody is having great time…everyone is happy, playing, eating, and having fun..but those days are gone..our place have separated from the yearly town feast and created its own, which i find ridiculous as it is smallish and incomprehensible.. we also have our own patron saint, which is passed from house to house..although i have nothing against it, i just find it unattractive to be celebrated..imagine, a small area of around a hundred family is having a feast, of course no colorful parade for that..i always associate a ‘fiesta’ with a parade you see.

fiesta.jpgA ‘fiesta’ is a foreign word, spanish of feast, where a patron saint’s birthday is  celebrated through colorful parade and mass. Everyone is excused from the daily routine and chores, everyone is invited to eat whoever he/she is, and everyone really have a great time! Usually, every town has one patron saint which is its twon fiesta too. Prior to that date, everyone will be busy preparing for tons of food, drinks, and everything. New clothings, things, and niceties are acquired to impress visitors.

A day before the feast day, everything is set and everyone os ready. It is not necessary to go to work or school. Everyone is expected to watch a parade of about a day or two, which features civic and military parades. There is also a competition with the schools that attended the parade. All schools are solicited to participate and it is a proud experience to be part of your schools corps. The Mayor or the feast committee will also invite other towns’ school corps to add to the fun. Everyone will enjoy and be full that day.

During the fiesta, everything prepared is served to anyone who comes. The celebration last til everyone drops. Drinking is also allowed at homes, gardens, and almost anywhere. The patron saint will also be paraded over and over. Toys and games are also available in the plaza for the kids to enjoy and even the elders. Clowns and weird persons will also be shown down the plaza for attraction. A remote market is also set up for manufacturers of nearby towns and cities to promote their goods and for the townpeople to test and taste.

But not anymore..With the state of economy we have, everyone have become meticulous of their finances and acquired assets..Seldom will you see families who will totally go for that same celebration. The most is a decent get together that are taken part by relatives and friends only, not outsiders. In short, people have change and this is just one of those random changes..  

cemetery.jpgVisiting the cemetery during soul’s and saint’s day is never as spooky as it was years before. Nowadays, you will see many idling and roaming around making fun. Caterers and food vendors are also everywhere. You can also see families who are really having party right on the tomb of their loved ones. The mass that is usually held for this especial days are not as popular as they were before, too. Most are just coming to basically spend the holiday they earn from their offices or schools- an occurence that is basically afar from the old days. 

Cemeteries are great taboos in our religion. It is usually viewed as a creepy area where cruel ghosts are inhabiting. As a kid, I was made to believe that cemeteries are not supposed to be visited than on the first day of November, soul’s day. My older brother and father were only the ones to come before that day to build a camp where we can sit and pay our respect to our dead loved ones. During the visit, there were many things we need to look out: 1) We must necessarily be silent as not to disturbed the resting dead. 2) We were not also to step on the tomb or the ghost will haunt us. 3) The mass being held at the chapel must also be attended, or else our dead loved ones will be continually idling somewhere. These are just some of the things I can remember that we were made to believe in those years.

But nowadays, we have very different beliefs. Today, there are even bands playing and parties are held in the cemetery. Everyone, even kids are roaming around and making fun all through out the day. Food and drinks are served everywhere, you do not necessarily have to cook or prepare. You can also use the tomb as your table for all the drinks and food that you have. The mass is usually unattended nowadays, elders are just the ones paying attention on its schedule while the youngsters enjoy the day.

I, myself belong to those that tries to make the best of the day-by sleeping and roomkeeping. I also pay my respect to my dead loved ones but not as ruled as the yester years. I just visit, pray, and rest.. attend mass in the church and not in the chapel where we were trained to attend november 1 masses. I also try to go home as soon as I’m done as there is too much noise and troubles are usually end results.

Some are even irritated with the people traffic during the day, which makes me wonder why they just dont stay at home and wait for their dead loved once to visit them rather-lol-