Every 1st of November, people flock to the cemeteries to visit their departed loved ones. I'm sure this isn't unusual but over here, it's more than just a short visit and a prayer. It's an occasion to gather and eat and talk. It's like a party actually.
I remember when we used to go to North Cemetery in La Loma. We'd have to park somewhere far because roads would be closed to accommodate the crowds. Then we'd walk for more than an hour through crowds so thick, you don't even have to walk on your own sometimes. The press of the crowd would keep you moving.
We transferred our grandfather's remains to a nearby memorial park and it became easier. Now I have both sets of grandparents and an aunt in the same place. I left the kids at home this year with the hubby. I didn't think the crowd and the heat and hanging out the whole day at the cemetery would be good for them.
We still had to park a short distance away, below are my siblings while they walked behind me and my mom (she had an umbrella!). You can see we try to dress for comfort as the heat can become unbearable! Cars are lined up going inside (it's hardly moving, I don't know why they bother).
Scenes from the cemetery. Tents like the ones below lined up as far as the eye can see.
You can see how crowded it can get with a lot of people cramped over a small plot of land. Despite this, people stay from morning till night, even spending the night sometimes (Oct 31 to Nov 1).
Lunchtime! Typical Filipino food -- Grilled liempo (pork), diced tomatoes and onions with red egg, the ever present green mangoes, my Dad's bopis (don't know the english name for this) and tuna pasta that I prepared. The one below is what we call talangka. I don't eat it now (though my mom says I used to) but they like it. Ewww!
Is it too weird that I didn't take pictures during my vacation but I took pics of the cemetery trip?