Thursday, November 5, 2009

all saints' day in zamboanga

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our grandfather died even before we were his grave had been part of our lives for as long as we can remember... this grave had witnessed our growing up since we're always here every 1st of Nov until we started working....we have our grandparents buried in a public catholic cemetery in Zamboanga City.

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what I love about this cemetery is the sense of orderliness...tombs seem to be arranged well despite the different sizes...there's this sense of space.... and also, this cemetery has this community-feel to it...we know the families of the other tombs beside my grandparents, and Nov1 seems to be our mini-reunion with them. Some we have only met there over the years.

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since this is a catholic cemetery, there's a "cruz mayor" placed in the middle of the area. People would usually pass by the cross to offer their prayers,candles and flowers. This is also where the mass is held. now i wonder if this is the general atmosphere for cemeteries across the countries. Or is it just in the provinces?

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occassions like this is an instant business opportunity for many...

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but for some time now, the opening of Forest Lake (a private cemetery) had somehow changed how Zamboanguenos observe all saints' day. Aside from the different setup - tents, picnic tables, picnic blankets, etc. - compared to the cramped public cemeteries... for the past years the administrator of the place would usually conduct activities for the kids such as halloween costume competition, kite-flying contest, concerts, etc. These activities had made the observation of this day more stressful to some who preferred to just visit their dead relatives and spend a day with them....

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but this year the day came and pass without too much buzz... at least this time you'll really feel the solemnity of the occassion...simple family gatherings and prayers.

Sta Maria Catholic Cemetery
Forest Lake (Tumaga)
Zamboanga City
01 November 2009

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