November 1 Side Dishes

I am not going to talk about November 1. The stories are so common we can almost memorize them – how the traffic had intensified, how people prepare for the occasion, how to take care of self from criminals and accidents, etc.

It is after all a celebration in a celebration. We celebrate or commemorate the day for the dead but also we celebrate life itself. We are there in each occasion of November 1 to be with the living also. I guess that is what matters most. And, oh, they say, November 1 is for the living and November 2 is for the dead.

Side dish one is about the concept behind the building of a mausoleum for the dead. Inside the car, my two children are very vocal about their sentiments against creating one, thinking about the massive space provided for the already dead members of the family. They think it is an exaggeration to have one for the dead because they are, as a matter of fact, already dead. How can the dead appreciate all the magnificent structures built for them when they are not with us anymore and is in another dimension that we are not even aware of? What about the poor people of this country who have no place of abode and are vagabonds? They are living and yet they are in a harsher position than the dead with the fact that the dead do not know any of it, and these poor living creatures feels every pain of being a homeless person.

Papsie mentioned about the mausoleum as status symbol. If that is so, it is not about the dead. It is about us, the living and our selfish need to always be recognized, or be above others. Then I answered, maybe it is all about tradition and culture in our country. Maybe it is about gathering of relatives, a sort of reunion to some. In this occasion, we pride ourselves with the kind of family we have, with the closeness and unity we have for each other, although superficially at times.

Side dish two is about discipline. Filipinos fall short when it comes to self-discipline. We go and visit the graves, reunite with the relatives, and eat food with them. It is a picturesque scenario but spoiled by the garbage and litter all around the graves. How can we not learn from all the tragedies caused by these rubbishes?


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