As a kid, Halloween was a special event that I only read in books and saw in American TV shows. We did not dress up every Oct 31st. We did not go home with a jack-o-lantern pail full of treats. What I have are memories of Undas or All Saint Day. Unlike most families who visit their dead relatives in the cemetery in the afternoon of November 1, our family sleeps in the cemetery the day before. I don’t have memories of trick or treating but we’d go from plot to plot and collect melted candles which we later turn into a big ball of candle wax. The bigger the better of course. Most of all, Undas to our family is the day when we get together.
Last November 1st, Aki got his first taste of Undas, the Nevalga Family way. This year is also Jyl and Rock’s first time to sleep in a cemetery. Hopefully, next year, we can sleep there too. We left our house before dawn. By 6:30AM, we were already in Calamba. I learned that my other pamangkins and cousins, had actually just got home a couple of hours before us. They had a grand time in the perya! Oh, my memories of getting scared as hell inside the horror train. Good times! I can’t wait to bring Aki to a perya.
It was a bright sunny day in panchong (cemetery)
Staple food every All Saints’ are suman, adobo and tapang Taal.
My only concern with our musoleo is that our location gets really hot midday even with the sliding windows, thick curtains and air cooler. Oh yes, the family musoleo really is like a mini-house. That is how my grandmother wanted it to be.
This is my nephew Nico. The last I saw him was 2 years ago.
Mama Elout. She is my dad’s sister. She is based in the US but goes home every year for Undas. In my paternal side of the family, we don’t use Lolo and Lola. We only use Mama and Papa. Since Mama Ogie passed away, Mama Elout has been the matriarch of our family.
Jasha, my first pamangkin. Of my nieces and nephews, she looks like my dad.
Ara, the biggest 10 year old that I know. She has a brother, Adie, who is just two months younger than Aki.
I taught the big girls how to play with candle wax
And these were their creations. Cool, noh?
The kids, Franco, Lola Do and I went home at around 10AM. My cousins, aunts and uncles left past midnight.
We were supposed to leave for Elbi but since we had so much fun, we extended for 2 more days in Calamba!