Wednesday, November 2, 2011


November 1 is a national holiday for the Filipinos in observance of All Saint's Day as Filipinos remember their dearly departed. In lieu with the tradition, Filipinos flock to the cemeteries to visit the graves of their family members who had gone ahead of them to pay respect and offer prayers. Some families also grab this opportunity to go to their provinces and reunite with their family and relatives. 

In our case, we take advantage of this day to introduce our kids to their grandparents whom they did not have the chance to meet, especially their grandfathers, who passed away several years before they were born. This year, we did not go to my father-in-law's grave anymore because we did not bring a car and anticipated the heavy traffic in Himlayang Pilipino in Tandang Sora. Besides, my husband as well as his other siblings already paid a visit to their father's grave on his birthday last Thursday so we removed Himlayang Pilipino in our itinerary for the day. 

We planned to leave the house as early as 7AM to arrive at the La Loma Catholic Cemetery early avoid the heavy but due to unavoidable circumstances, we were almost an hour late as planned. We left the house 15 minutes before 8:00 but still managed to arrive at the cemetery by 9AM. We took a bus going to Manila via Coastal Road. We were expecting that the bus will turn right on Gil Puyat Ave. where we are going to get off and take the LRT system. To our surprise, it did not! It went straight past the flyover so we felt a little agitated. We were thinking whether it will go straight to Roxas Boulevard so next drop off point will be the Lawton area. It felt good when it turned right on Quirino Ave. It was a relief as I was thinking we may walk about a kilometer if we get off in front of Manila City Hall and the kids will complain. We got off as it turned left on Taft Ave. and took the LRT from Quirino station. 

(Photo by Ealonian56 via Flickr Creative Commons)

The kids were excited to ride the train because it was their first time! They looked at the buildings we pass by and the cars below us. They were surprised when we their dad told them that he was still in college when he last rode the train. Goodness, that was more than a decade ago! 

We arrived at La Loma Catholic Cemetery by 9AM, just as my mother, my sisters and their children were arriving, too! After lighting up the candles we brought and saying our prayers, we started catching up with our lives. Believe me when I have not seen them for several months now. They live up north and I live down south. So seeing them weekly is not possible for us. We shared our experience on the bus. My sisters laughed at us, ridiculed us for being so ignorant in taking the public transportation. Yes, we rarely commute so we are not really familiar with the route changes. Hence, saying we did not even know how much fare to pay is already expected. 

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