For a lot of Filipinos, family comes first. Despite difficulties, we tend to stay together in one dwelling. The family that stays together is often a happy lot.
It is no surprise, therefore, that this tradition reaches beyond the grave. Filipinos are very respectful of the dead, and most of the time, we choose to remember them by praying for their souls. We even have two consecutive Catholic holidays in our calendar to give us time to personally visit them at their final resting places.
Last October 29, PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked the Star Magic talents during the birthday presscon for those born in September and October what they would do on All Souls Day. Most of them said they would spend some time in cemeteries to pay respect to the dead.
MARION DELA CRUZ. The former Pinoy Fear Factor participant said he would go home to Valenzuela to accompany his grandmother to the cemetery. Most of his relatives live in Austria.
"Bibisita kami sa puntod ng kapatid ko at sa lolo ko. Kasama ko ang lola ka. Yung pamilya ko po kasi nasa Austria. Kasama ko lang po sa bahay lola ko. Kaya magdamag, siya yung makakasama ko sa sementeryo," he said.
MANUEL CHUA JR. Also a former Pinoy Fear Factor participant, Manuel said his mother usually arranges Holy Mass for his deceased father. The event becomes the venue for a reunion with his siblings, he added.
"Minsan nagpapa-Mass pa si Mommy sa puntod ni Daddy. Tapos nandun kami hanggang next day. Kasi yung kuya ko po nasa Camiling, Tarlac naka-base kaya pag umuwi siya, that's the time makukumpleto kaming magkakapatid. Tapos yung bunso kasi namin nasa San Jose."
PICA LOZANO. This Star Magic newcomer is an actor, choreographer, composer, singer and hairstylist all rolled into one. He said his family is going to Manila Memorial Park.
"I'll probably spend it with my family. We'll probably go out. We're just choosing between the periods of November 1 and 2. Manila Memorial, mostly my relatives are there," he said.
ELMER FELIX. This veterinarian actor is also a former Pinoy Fear Factor participant. He said his family would probably have a mini reunion at the cemetery.
"Sa family lang, e. Nasa bahay lang siguro, then sa November 1, sa sementeryo sa Pampanga lang, sa Magalang. Dun kami nakatira talaga. Usually pag mga bonding times, reunion, kasama family, nandun kami sa sementeryo, kumakain. Para ngang Pasko, e," he said.
MATT EVANS. The former Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition housemate, now a lead actor, will accompany his grandfather to visit his great-grandmother's grave.
"Baka siguro bumisita na lang kami sa lola ko. Ano siya, great-grandmother. Baka bumisita lang kami dun sa North Cemetery," said Matt.
REGINE ANGELES. The Be Bench winner will take advantage of the long holiday to relax in Boracay with her friend Wendy Valdez. She said she won't visit any of her relatives' graves because of her religion.
"Kasi Iglesia [Ni Kristo] po ako, e. So wala po kaming ganun," she explained.
JOHN MANALO. The young actor said he will visit the cemetery with his family, but won't stay there overnight.
"Punta lang po ako sa lolo ko sa Loyola Memorial Park kasama parents ko, pamilya ko. Once pa lang po ako nakapag-overnight. Umuuwi po kasi ang daming masyadong tao," John said.
JOHN JAMES UY. The model-turned-actor said he'll go to Manila North Cemetery.
"We're gonna visit our grandparents, and our relatives who just passed away," he said.
SAM CONCEPCION. The theater actor said he'll spend more time with his family. He said they don't usually visit the cemetery on All Soul's Day.
"We don't usually do that on the tradition. Hindi ko alam, e. Not on the day itself," said Sam.