A tribute to the dead

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Chill wind violently hammers itself against the vastly colored candles scattered all over the cemetery. Children of all walks of life take the opportunity of the dripping wax from the candles alit to entertain themselves from the long, senseless, passive ritual by, creating balls which they pit against other children comparing which individual has the biggest ball of wax. Their parents let them do so for they themselves are too busy preparing food and entertaining visitors of their clan.

Some children who are still very young and have no interest in a little ball of wax urge their parents to buy them ice cream from the estimated 300 vendors of candles, toys, ice cream, crackers and the lot. Several privileged ones takes the opportunity to flaunt their wealth by showing off their flashy cars, bragging either about its top speed, horsepower or the how genuine their leather seats are. Some obstruct the placidity of the site with superfluous chatter and the reckless vibration of massive speakers.

Some people’s only purpose to go to the cemetery, as I have heard from my colleagues, and I certainly think it is very factual; though I’ve never really seen some people do it, attend only for an inherited tradition of playing cards, which, they say, tend to fortify the relationship of the clan. For all these people mentioned, November 1, 2001, is only celebrated for the purpose of rite of passage. Only some, a very few number, if I must add, and if there is, go to the cemetery to devote a time in their lives, even just once every year in their lives, to pray for their loved ones who passed away.

What happened to the years when the cemetery is so calm and solemn you can only hear the torrent wind shouting at your ear? What happened to the first of Novembers where people prepare meticulously not for food but for what to say and include in their prayers? What happened to cemetery containing serious families paying accolade to their relatives who may not be present in the physical world but will always be present in their hearts? Why are there people who take the opportunity of a mass of people doing a rite passage to earn a living?

What happened to the parents who encourage their siblings to pay respect and keep still and quiet throughout the tradition? Picture this: when somebody dies, their relatives almost always are the ones who are out there leaning against the coffin, screaming their tonsils out, asking why that person left. Then, after a few months, and November first comes, that person is now laughing it all out, eating, drinking, near the tomb of the relative who just passed, as if nothing very grave happened a few months ago.

Why, the entire November 1, 2001, which was given the name ‘All Souls Day’, has taken a complete turnover to be given the new name ‘Festivity of the Dead’. Most of us, and I include myself and my kin, have been forgetting the true meaning of why we celebrate ‘All Souls Day’. I composed this documentary to be able to voice out my thoughts to whomever will be able to read this, for I don’t have that much energy to muster up my opinions. I just hope that someday, people around the world will realize the true meaning of a tribute to the dead.

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